Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 3rd December 2021

Friday's fabulous free feature (enough f's yet?) is the Horses For Courses (H4C) report, which  shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at your discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. Plus, as with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

In addition to the H4C report, we also have our usual selection of 'free' races, which will be...

  • 12.00 Sedgefield
  • 2.05 Exeter
  • 2.40 Exeter
  • 5.45 Newcastle

My H4C report has a very balanced look to it for Friday...

...but I'm going to focus on the third of the NH races from the 'free' list, a competitive-looking 8-runner (good for E/W bettors), Class 3, 4yo+ handicap chase. They'll go right handed and tackle fifteen fences over 2m3½f on good to soft in a bid to land the £8,605 offered to the winner of the 2.40 Exeter, which looks like this...

All bar The Kings Writ, Cut The Mustard and Tile tapper have a win in their 'recent' form line (I use quotes because it might have actually been some time ago for some of these). All eight have raced in handicaps before, but Tile Tapper and Longshanks are only having their second attempt with the former dropping two classes to be here. Three others (Cut The Mustard, The Kings Writ  and L'homme Presse) all drop down one level with the latter pair now returning from breaks of over seven months, as does L'air du Vent : the other five have all raced in the last four to eight weeks.

Cut The Mustard has previously won over this trip, whilst L'air du Vent and Tile Tapper have already been in the Exeter winners' enclosure, as has The King's Writ, our only course and distance winner. We've plenty of big name jockeys and trainers on show here for what looks a really competitive affair, so let's take a closer look at the runners' past records via Instant Expert...

If I'm honest, overall NH form isn't telling us much and that probably means that if we look just at chase form, we're going to learn even less, but we should look anyway...

We may well have the odd bit of green on the above graphics, but even The King's Writ (who looks best off) has questions about him, now that he's 13lbs higher than his last winning mark.

So, what do we know, Chris?

Well, we know that via the pace stats that prominent horses win around 26% more races than you'd expect them to and this is at the detriment to those racing further down the field, but to stand the best chance of winning here, it has paid to lead...

Mid division's stats show they do well at making the frame without converting to wins, so perhaps, they give themselves too much to do from too far off the pace. They would appear to come late and maybe overhaul the prominent chasers, but leaders win more often and place more often, so ideally we'd back one that likes to set the tempo.

But who might lead, Chris?

Well, thanks the Geegeez logging how every horse runs, we can show how they've tackled their last four races...

...where it looks like Antunes and The Kings Writ are likely pacemakers, but over their last two runs, you could go all the way down to Gunsight Ridge. Cut The Mustard also has two prominent runs, as does Tile Tapper and the only one who hasn't attempted to get involved early is Longshanks, so the pace angle isn't actually going to help us too much.


I do these race previews 'on the fly', as it were. There's no prep, no research or anything, I take the list of races and pick one based on class, runners, competitiveness etc and try to analyse using the toolkit. And sometimes there's no bet to be had and we move to the next race. I try to do this piece, as though I was you quickly going through the cards.

At this point, I'd say it was a No Bet race and move on, but in the interests of completing a race overview, I'll now refer to the unquantifiable 'gut instinct', after I've had a quick look at the runners themselves.

Antunes was a winner over 2m½f back in February, but was beaten by over 40 lengths next time out and then by 56 lengths on his return last month. He's up markedly in trip and probably won't have the stamina to see this out. That said, he's related to many winners and his yard do well here. Mind you, I'd have preferred a Skelton in the saddle...

The King's Writ has made the frame in 9 of 16 over fences and was a decent third of nine off 2lbs higher at a higher grade than today when last seen and he'd have every chance of at least repeating that here if ready first up, especially with his record here at this track...

Cut The Mustard won a couple of chases in Ireland for Willie Mullins at the turn of 2019/20 and although not hitting those heights for Paul Nicholls since, was still a runner-up in back to back races at the turn of 2020/21. She looked like needing a run after a wind op last time out and that might have been just what she needed. She'll get a good ride from an in-form jockey, too...

L'Air Du Vent is very lightly raced but did win a 3m chase here just under a year ago on soft ground, but in three races since was pulled up, then a faller and then beaten by some 61 lengths. Not seen since 24th March, he'd be excused for needing a run/change of fortune. Jockey rides well here, though, especially for this yard.

L'Homme Presse represents a yard, rider and trainer/jockey combo very much in form, but whether that'll be enough on chase debut is unknown. The trip shouldn't be an issue nor should the underfoot conditions, but tackling fences for the first time after a break leaves me a little wary, even if...

Gunsight Ridge hails from a yard very much in form and unlike the runner above, has already had a recent crack at fences, when a very respectable third at Aintree 27 days ago, staying on well over 2m. The trip is further, of course, but he has made the frame at 2m5f, so it shouldn't be an issue. That chase debut came after 227 days off track and he'd be entitled to be even better here.

Tile Tapper won a bumper here on New Year's Day 2020, but was beaten by 25 lengths on his last run of spring '21, before going down by 50 lengths on his reappearance eight weeks ago. He was last of seven that day and that doesn't fill me with confidence ahead of a chasing debut.

Longshanks completes the line-up and makes just a sixth start. he won his final hurdles contest back in February and was a decent third of seven on chase debut at Stratford in late October after 250 days off track. He'd stepped up to 2m4f that day, so the trip should hold no fears, nor should the fences after the way he grew into the race LTO. Could do better here off bottom weight.


So, if I was just using the usual toolkit, I'd not be making any suggestions other than move on and that's perfectly fine. It's always OK not to have a bet, but based on a bit of digging and using the stats from the excellent report suite, the ones I like best here would be Cut The Mustard, Gunsight Ridge, L'Homme Presse and Longshanks in alphabetical order. Cut the Mustard is worth a small E/W tickle at a 12/1, whilst the others are priced at 3/1, 4/1 and 9/2 at the head of the market. I've no real fancy from the three, so it's just the small hopeful E/W play for me.


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2 replies
  1. 10 Things You Didn't Know about Geegeez Racecards
  2. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Hi Chris – Another Trifecta & Exacta winner, many thanks. Shame Cut the Mustard didn’t ! Would have been a super return then.
    Cheers Bob S.


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