As expected, Mr Dib Dab was in the back half of the field at Lingfield earlier, whilst the horse I fancied for the race won by 3 lengths at 13/2, well done to those who got on and fingers crossed for the Kempton race later.
Thursday's feature of the day is free access to Instant Expert for ALL races including our featured free races of the day, which are (weather permitting, of course)...
- 1.00 Wincanton
- 1.10 Southwell
- 1.50 Down Royal
- 3.00 Down Royal
And I'm going to play it safe by sticking with the A/W for the 1.10 Southwell. It looks a competitive affair despite just having 6 runners for this Class 5, 4yo+, 1m handicap. The winner will receive £3429 and here's the card...
We've three course and distance winners (Straitouttacompton, Cheat & False ID), whilst Win Win Power has also won at this trip. The latter comes here on a hat-trick, whilst Cheat also won last time out but now steps up in class. Hotspur Harry hails from the yard positively noted on the card, whilst Win Win Power's jockey also carries a green icon. Greek Kodiac & Win Win Power are someway clear on the Geegeez ratings.
Win Win Power is 2 from 2 since coming back from a 3 month break almost a fortnight ago. Both wins came under today's jockey over today's 1m trip, the first by two lengths at Chelmsford in a Class 6 hcp and then by a head here over course and distance 8 days ago at Class 5.
He makes his Fibresand debut today carrying a penalty, but did beat the re-opposing Cheat by four lengths at Chelmsford and the latter has since won too.
Hotspur Harry has yet to make the frame in seven attempts and was a 14/1 4th of 6 here over course and distance last time out. In fairness, he was beaten by less than a length and a half that day and is now eased a pound by the assessor and drops in class.
That was also his course debut, so he might go well second time around, especially as his yard are 8 from 44 (18.2% SR, A/E 1.18) in Class 5/6 handciaps here since the start of 2018. Things would have to fall his way, but a top 3 finish is possible.
Greek Kodiac tops the Geegeez ratings, of course and has two wins and a place from his last four runs on the A/W, scoring over 1m2f on the Chelmsofrd Polytrack in a Class 4 contest and landing a 7f Tapeta success at Newcastle.
He was a staying-on third here at Southwell over 7f on fibresand debut last time out, going down by just over half a length. Luna Wish was four lengths further back, but she has won over a mile since.
Straitouttacompton has two wins and a runner-up finish from his last four visits to Southwell, finishing 115 over course and distance, but was disappointing in that fifth place finish here last time out. He was beaten by some 13 lengths that day and has been off the track for eight weeks since. He won here twice last February and then again at Leicester in mid-June, but hasn't run well in any of three races since.
Past performance says he can win this, a mark of 67 says he can too (last won off 70), but recent form suggests something isn't quite right (has started slowly in each of three poor efforts) and others make more appeal to me here.
Cheat is another course and distance winner and is likely to be popular with Hollie Doyle in the saddle. He won here over C&D last time out, finishing a length and a quarter clear of the pack, having dropped to a career low mark of 62. It was by far his best run in 16 months since his only other win. He'd lost 8 races in between and his overall record now stands at 2 from 14.
He couldn't follow up his first win after being raised by a class and four pounds, so he's by no means certain to do it again back up in class and carrying a penalty. He was well beaten by Win Win Power recently and although better off at the weights here, has a lot to make up on his victor from that day.
False ID makes up the sextet and might well also do that on the track. He's not a bad horse as such, but looks up against it here. His last four outings have all been over course and distance, finishing increasingly further down the order at 1346 and off the same mark as last time, I can't see him doing much here.
Career-wise, he's a respectable 7 from 57 (12.3%) on the A/W, but is better on tapeta than Fibresand, better over 7f than a mile and is only 1 from 14 for his current handler. Now to be ridden by a 36th jockey, he's not one to be too confident in.
A quick overview of race suitability is provided by Thursday's feature of the day, Instant Expert, of course...
Hotspur Harry was always going to come out worst of all, having to failed to (or even place) yet, but aside from him my thoughts about False ID being a struggle seem to be backed up by the above graphic.
Six runner contests can often be tricky/tactical affairs and draw, pace and race positioning can be vital in making or breaking a horse's chances here. In 89 previous similar 6-runner affairs, making the frame (ie first two home) has been made easier by being drawn higher...
...and the same can be said from a win perspective too. Stall 5 (Win Win Power) has fared exceptionally well and whilst you can win from stall 2, it just doesn't seem to happen very often, which isn't great news for Cheat, especially if the horses in the higher stalls set off quickly and assume control, since the ideal pace/draw scenarios here are highly drawn leaders, then mid-draw leaders followed by high draw prominence then mid-draw prominence. Any other pace/draw combination seems to have struggled here in the past...
As usual, we can overlay the past running styles of our runners onto that heat map and hopefully we'll have some in the green...
...and the suggestion here is that Hotspur Harry might set out to win from the front, followed in by the well drawn Win Win Power and Greek Kodiac on the rail.
Given what we know about these horses' recent form, draw, pace etc. it's between Win Win Power and Greek Kodiac for me. I think Hotspur Harry will make a bold bid to win off the front end, but will (hopefully) be swallowed up by my two.
As for which will win, Win Win Power would be the one for me. He's in the best form, has a great draw, his race positioning looks ideal and he gets on great with his jockey. The negatives are a first run on this surface and the weight, but he'd still be the one for me.
Sadly, the market agrees with me and are showing Win Win Power as a 9/4 favourite. That's towards the lower end of my general comfort zone, but it is only a six-runner contest and an implied chance of winning above 30% seems pretty fair, all things considered.
No E/W suggestion here, False ID is the only double-digit odds horse and he's likely to be last (or second last) home.
WWP for me with Greek Kodiac next best, hopefully. Boringly predictable, I'm afraid. Perhaps I should have looked at the market first and just said to follow the market. After all, they're sometimes right!