Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 3rd September 2021

Friday's free feature 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 the user’s 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. In addition to this report, we also have the following free races of the day...

  • 1.35 Newcastle
  • 2.20 Haydock
  • 3.30 Haydock
  • 4.30 Haydock
  • 5.52 Down Royal
  • 7.15 Kempton

My own settings for the H4C have yielded no possibles to consider, so it's back to the free race list we go where the delightfully named Tin Man handicap looks the best of the bunch. It's a 7-runner, Class 2, Flat handicap for 3yr olds and above. The trip is a straight 6f on good to firm ground and it shows on your cards as the 2.20 Haydock...

This is a good looking sprint with plenty of 1's in the latest form columns. Only Edraak & Golden Apollo raced at Class 2 last time around with Be Proud & Manigordo stepping up one class and Mitrosonfire & Embour jumping up from Class 4. We've one class dropper, Regional who was last seen in a Listed race, but that was almost 11 months ago. Edraak raced 32 days ago and the others have all been out in the last three weeks.

Trainers of Edraak & Mitrosonfire are good form (14 30) and the jockeys aboard Golden Apollo and Edraak are riding well with the latter the pick on previous course form. All bar Regional & Be Proud are past 6f winners, but none of the seven have scored here at Haydock before. Regional & Mitrosonfire are both aged 3 and receive a 2lb weight allowance and our own SR figures predict a tight contest.

Edraak has four wins and four places from twelve starts so far, winning three of his last six. He's 4 from 8 over this trip and has won under today's jockey Oisin Murphy who has 6 wins and 6 places from 19 rides for Michael Appleby in the last year as well as...

Regional won a Class 5, 5f, maiden on debut for Richard Fahey last July and then ran well enough to finish fourth in a Listed race at Ayr, beaten by less than 1.5 lengths. He was then beaten by almost 7 lengths on a step up to 6f in another Listed contest last October and hasn't been seen since. He has been quite cheaply during his lay-off and has been gelded. First time tongue tie today on yard & handicap debut off a stiff looking mark of 94.

Mitrosonfire has been on fire these last three months, winning four of six starts and he comes here on a hat-trick after Class 2 wins over 6f at Ascot and Newmarket last month. Up 3lbs here, but loves this firmer ground and is in cracking form, as are his handlers...

Golden Apollo is one of the more experienced runners here with 48 outings under his belt already and despite having bags of ability, he lacks consistency. He regularly makes the frame but doesn't win anywhere near as often as you'd hope. In fact it's almost two years and 13 defeats since he last won, but proved he's still got something when finishing as a 1.5 length runner-up in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last time out behind Justanotherbottle who has since been a Listed race runner-up.

Embour has a solid 40% place & 20% win strike rate from his 30 flat runs, but like the runner above is on a losing streak. His stands at nine defeats since scoring on his seasonal reappearance at Redcar five months ago. He was sixth and almost three lengths behind Golden Apollo in the Great St Wilfrid, but did improve to be a runner-up, beaten by just a head next/last time out, albeit down at Class 4. Further improvement will be needed up two classes for a yard that is 0 from 55 here over the last six seasons!

Be Proud has already got 50 races under his belt at the age of 5! In fact he really hasn't stopped racing over the last 15 months, making 26 appearances. He has won three times this year including last time out when winning by half a length at Sandown. However, not only will he need a career best effort here up 5lbs for that win, but he's also up in both class and trip to 6f, where he is 0 from 15 and he probably prefers Tapeta. That said...

...but his yard are 1 from 38 at Haydock over the last six seasons.

Manigordo completes the line-up and he was 5th in that Great St Wilfrid race mentioned earlier, actually winning his side of the draw from stall 4 of 20 where the first five home came from stalls 19, 17, 18, 20 and 4 highlighting the impact the draw can have. That was a really good effort, but he didn't back it up next/last time out, when dropped in class at Lingfield, he could only finish third of ten, beaten by over three lengths off today's mark. You'd have thought that he'll need to run much better here to be involved.

At this point, I'm liking Edraak, Golden Apollo and Mitrosonfire more than the others and I'm less keen on Regional, but I'm not nailing my colours to the mast just yet and certainly not before checking out race-relevant form via Instant Expert...

...where Mitrosonfire cements his place in my thoughts with an almost full line of green. Edraak has some good numbers too, but Golden Apollo has tried this level extensively and 3 from 32 isn't great, although he has made the frame ten times. He is, however, like Embour, running off a mark lower than his last win, so he's more than capable of landing this.

Manigordo was done by the draw in the Great St Wilfred, as can happen in large fields, but will it have much effect with just seven runners at Haydock? Well, it's not as pronounced, but I'd say stalls 1-4 would be more preferable than 5-7 here based on the following...

...whilst horses that lead fare best of all here...

There's a fairly generous spread of winners on the pace draw heatmap, suggesting that you can win from any draw and you can win from any racing style, but there are three pace/draw combos best avoided...

...whilst mid drawn runners who lead or sit in mid-division do best followed by low-drawn leaders. Ideally, I suppose, stalls 1-4 and lead? Well, this is how (based on their last four runs) we think the pace/draw will pan out here...

Mitrosonfire is interesting there in the red, but so close to the green and I think there's an error here. His pace scores are 3, 1, 4, 4 but he wasn't held up (1) two starts ago when winning at Ascot, where the report read "chased leaders, ran on inside final furlong, led inside final 100 yards", so that should be a 3, which would have him on the green here.

Summary

I liked (alphabetically) Edraak, Golden Apollo and Mitrosonfire from quite early on and although none are a perfect fit here, the other four haven't shown enough to force their way in.

Of my three, I like Mitrosonfire the most, he just seems to tick most boxes and he's in hot form. Of the other two, they're very closely matched but Golden Apollo's last run coupled with the weight carried by Edraak just swings it.

The bookies have my three at 4/1, 4/1 and 10/3, so there's no E/W play today.

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