Well, I was right that Hotspur would try and ultimately fail to win from the front at Southwell this afternoon, but sadly didn't get the right horse to beat him. The course specialist roared back to form and made me look a bit stupid, considering my penchant for stats.
Friday, however, is another day and gives me another chance at solving the puzzle. Feature of the day is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report and our free races are...
- 12.40 Lingfield
- 2.30 Catterick
- 3.20 Chepstow
- 5.00 Dundalk
And with the following snippet from the H4C report featuring a runner from one of our featured races...
Rogue Tide is the only LTO winner in the field, Thrill Seeker has been runner-up in each of his last two starts and the H4C horse, Accomplice was a winner two starts ago. These three set the standard on form and unsurprisingly head the Geegeez ratings.
Accomplice is a 7 yr old mare and although beaten into fourth place over C&D last time out, she was beaten by less than a length behind Rogue Tide, but she re-opposes 3lbs better off this time. She has won 5 of 19 (as per H4C) here at Lingfield including 5 from 15 over course and distance, including 3 wins from 8 over C&D with David Probert in the saddle.
Thrill Seeker was a runner-up over C&D here last time out going down by just a length 12 days ago and previously was also a runner-up over this trip at Southwell but was well beaten by 8.5 lengths that day. Runs off the same mark here, so might still have a little more to find to win, but his form line will no doubt make him popular. His yard is in good nick and the Trainer/Jockey combo are 12 from 37 here over the last five years.
Rogue Tide won here over C&D last time out, beating Accomplice, of course. He was only a short head in front of the runner-up that day and a 3lb rise to a career-high mark of 75 might prove problematic, as he struggled previously off 73. Yard is 6 from 22 in the last fortnight, however and the jockey rides this track well.
Hector Loza was seventh on that very same (Rogue Tide/Accomplice) race and was beaten by just over 3.5 lengths. He's now 5lbs better off with the winner and normally you'd say that could make him competitive, but the sad fact is that he hasn't even made the frame in nine starts since moving away from Novice company, where his best form (113) happened. Tends to set off too quickly, does too much early doors and fades. A new approach is needed if he's ever to do anything. The in-form Hollie Doyle takes the ride, so that's a positive at least.
Gold Ribbon is a 4 yr old filly yet to make the frame in six starts and hails from a yard whose last 13 runners over a near-three week period have all been beaten. She herself was a well beaten sixth at Wolverhampton ten days ago going down by the thick end of ten lengths off today's mark. Plenty to do here just to get involved.
Warne's Army has made the frame just once in five starts during an on-off career so far. Didn't run well in two starts last June after 31 weeks off the track and now makes a Polytrack debut off just 2lbs lower after another 32 week absence. Hard to get enthusiastic about her chances, but trainer Mark Johnston is no mug, has a great record at this track and has been firing winners in of late (17 from 47 over the last month). Others appeal much more here.
Ruby Gates won here in mid-March over course and distance last year off a mark of 70 and goes here off 67, mainly due to a string of poor runs since that win where this 8 yr old mare has finished last of 10, last of 8, 8th of 12 and 9th of 12 and never nearer than 12 lengths behind the winner. So, yes she's well weighted here and her jockey has a good course record (10 from 57 over the last year), but a return to wining ways looks unlikely.
Nothing above changes my mind that will be a three horse race between the three form horses, but let's assess race suitability via Instant Expert...
I've gone with one year form here, as most runners have been fairly active over the past 12 months ad again we've got our three versus the field again with Ruby Gates also showing well, thanks to that C&D win last March. My three main protagonists are drawn across the stalls in boxes 1, 4 & 7 and similar past races have favoured the higher end of the draw...
Draw order gives us an Accomplice / Rogue Tide / Thrill Seeker preference, whilst the pace/draw stats tell us that highly drawn mid-division runners fare best followed by mid-drawn leaders and then those drawn high and are held up. Overlaying our runners gives us this suggested race pattern...
...which would suggest Accomplice / Rogue Tide / Thrill Seeker from our main three runners.
Alphabetically, it has to be between Accomplice, Rogue Tide & Thrill Seeker based on the above evidence and it's Accomplice that I like best after going through the data etc. He tops the Geegeez ratings, is drawn best of the three, has the best pace/draw make-up of the three and is the horses for courses runner. He fares well on Instant Expert and is in decent enough form, so it's Accomplice for me.
I've very little between the other pair, so it's time for my first look at the market.
Accomplice is currently best priced at 4/1, which is a nice price, whilst Thrill Seeker is the 7/4 favourite (looks short) and Rogue Tide is also priced at 4/1. Ideally for the forecast, you'd want Rogue Tide as a runner-up, but I think all three will be pretty close at the finish. I'm fairly sure that one of these three win, but I do prefer Accomplice.