Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 5th December 2020

Worsening ground caused Bit On the Side to pull out of today's contest and that heavy going allied to conceding 15lbs to the eventual winner put paid to Whitehotchillifili's chances of winning. She was game and gutsy in a three-length defeat, but the weight took its toll late on up the hill.

And now to Saturday, whose "free feature" is the Trainer/Jockey combo report and the free races are...

  • 12.00 Navan
  • 12.05 Sandown
  • 2.25 Sandown
  • 3.00 Sandown
  • 3.22 Wetherby
  • 4.30 Wolverhampton

And as my full race profiling seems to be a bit out of kilter right now, I'm going to take a look at a couple of runners from the Trainer/Jockey report. I've set fairly demanding criteria that has produced just three qualifiers, one of which I'm really not interested in. Fillies' Junior Bumpers aren't my (or many people's) bag, so it's off to Wolverhampton we go...

Red October runs in the 7.00 Wolverhampton...

Red October hasn't been seen at this best in his last two runs when down the field on soft ground at York and then 6th of 10 at Chelmsford last time out in a higher grade. Nevertheless, he has finishes of 2116 from four A/W starts including 116 on standard going, 211 at 16-30 days since his last run, 116 going left handed and he's 1 from 2 in cheekpieces and 1 from 1 at Class 3, but now makes a Tapeta debut.

His trainer Hugo Palmer was 6 from 8 over the last fortnight prior to today's action and has an excellent 38 from 156 (24.4% SR) record here at Wolverhampton since 2013, which includes 5 from 13 for jockey James Doyle, 4 from 20 at 1m4f and 3 from 8 at Class 3.

Jockey James Doyle also has some good numbers behind him with 4 wins from 16 over the last week and 31 from 80 (38.75% SR) here at Wolverhampton since 2016 including 3 wins from 6 at Class 3.

Red October only sits fourth on the Geegeez Speed Ratings, but Instant Expert shows him in a very favourable light...

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The draw stats suggest he isn't too well drawn in stall 1, but over the course of a mile and a half, the draw shouldn't be the reason for a horse getting beat...

...whilst the pace make-up of the race suggests horses who prominently win more often than not...

44 of the 96 (45.8%) winners were prominent racers, whilst those held up for a late run won 36 (37.5%) times, also backing up my theory that the draw might not be as important here as it is in other contests.

When you overlay the pace and draw together...

Red October actually seems to have as good a running style as you'd need from stall 1. Perhaps he could press on a little to enhance his claims, but he's not badly positioned there.


Next up is Atalis Bay in the 5.30 Wolverhampton...

Like Red October above, Atalis Bay was disappointing last out, finishing 9th of 11 beaten by almost 12 lengths over 5f on soft ground. In his defence, that was the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket and this represents a major drop in class/quality. Prior to that run, he had won three on the spin showing versatility on Good to firm, Standard to Slow and then Goods to Soft ground over both 5f and 6f.

He's 3 from 3 at odds of 6/1 or shorter, 2 from 3 under today's jockey Andrea Atzeni, 2 from 2 at 6f, 2 from 2 in fields of 7 runners or fewer and 1 from 2 at Class 2. He has no run on Tapeta yet, nor has he gone left handed before.

Trainer Marco Botti's horses have been running well of late, even if they're not winning as often as he's like. Over the past fortnight, his 18 runners have only produced 3 winners (16.66%), but that's not a disaster, but the fact that 12 of them finished in the first three home suggests they're going well. The jockey booking is interesting, as this is Andrea Atzeni's only ride of the day and he comes to a track where he has ridden 17 winners from 72 (23.6% SR) since 2015 including a 6 from 14 (42.9%) record over this 6 furlong track and trip.

Instant Expert backs up the horse's stats and reminds us that he's a tapeta debutant...

Don't be too alarmed that he appears to be rated 13lbs heavier than his last win, that was just his last A/W win, he did win off a mark of 93 at Haydock two starts ago, so despite being 5lbs heavier here, it's not quite as bad as it first looks.

Over 6f, Atalis Bay's draw might well be important than the afore-discussed 1m4f contest, so let's work out whether stall 3 will be good or bad here...

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Stalls 2 and 4 seem the most successful in this type of contest with a definite bias towards the lower end of the draw, whilst in these sprints race positioning is key...

...suggesting that no matter where you're drawn you want to be up with the pace.

The above figures back up that suggestion, as leaders have won 34 (30.1%) and prominent runners 59 (52.2%) of the 113 races in focus. So, with a record of almost 5 in 6 going to prominently ridden/leading horse, we know where we need to be on the heatmap...

...which also reinforces the stall 2 to 4 supremacy from earlier.


Both Red October and Atalis Bay look very well suited to the task ahead, but both carry the same baggage as each other. Both disappointed last time out (last two for Red October), both are carrying more weight than they've won with, neither has raced on Tapeta before and Atalis Bay has never run left handed.

They're both likely to be fairly high up in the market and as such, there are too many question marks about both for me to want to back them, I'm afraid. I'd say Atalis Bay had the better chance and 4/1 isn't a bad price about him, so if we wanted a bit of fun, we could have a couple of quid on him for some interest, but no real money. Red October, I'm not sure about, so I'll leave him be.

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1 reply
  1. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Hi Chris – What an excellent write up, worth every penny of my monthly subscription in one day ! Great insight from a man that knows his business. Brilliant & Many Thanks BS


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