Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 5th November 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. 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 this report, we also have the following full free races...

  • 12.50 Warwick
  • 2.25 Newcastle
  • 5.45 Dundalk
  • 6.45 Dundalk

My settings for the Horses for Courses (H4C) report haven't generated any possible qualifiers and with the two UK races being a juvenile hurdle and an A/W nursery, I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and tackle the first (and most valuable) of the two Irish races from the free list. I'm not a big fan of Irish racing, especially on the A/W, but the theory behind the Geegeez toolkit is that it should work on all races where you've enough data to work with and there are certainly plenty of races similar to the 5.45 Dundalk, an 11-runner, 3yo+ handicap over a mile worth over £11k...

What I want to do here is a fairly quick process of elimination to reduce the field down to a small shortlist and my first cut comes by removing Benavente and Fastman who return from breaks of 245 and 113 days respectively and the reasoning behind this is that in the 247 one mile handicaps here at Dundalk since the start of 2016, only 13 have been won by horses returning from 90 days or more off the track. That equates to just 5.26% of the winners, but from 12.76% of the runners, so removing those coming back from a layoff should improve our chances, plus Fastman is the only one without a win at course, distance or course & distance and handicap debutants struggle here, so that's another red flag against Benavente.

I'm drawn initially towards the higher rated horses, as the top four all come from yards with plenty of green form icons. All these horses have won at least once so far and have clocked up 39 wins between them, but how have they fared under these conditions? Instant Expert has the answers...

...and once again, those higher up the racecard have the best stats. Himalayan Berauty doesn't have enough form to work with/make a decision on, nor does Geological, but I've already seen enough efforts there by Geological and Harriet's Force to decide they're not for me. I don't like swathes of red on Instant expert when horses have had double digit amounts of races to 'get it right': Geological might well have 9 A/W wins including 8 here, but that strike rate isn't good enough for me and the pair are jettisoned, leaving me with horses drawn in stalls 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11, so still strung across the full width of the stalls. So, let's head to the draw stats to see where the best starting point(s) is/are for these left handed contests...

By draw sectors, it would appear that the lower the draw, the better, so better news on the face of it for Freescape, Bonnyrigg and Himalayan Beauty, but not so good for the likes of Tyrconnell, Bucky Larson and Zozimus, but if we look at the actual individual stalls...

...the fact that the place stats are all pretty similar would suggest that the draw needn't be the reason for losing here, which would then say to me that racing style/positioning aka pace is more important, so we should now consider the pace stats and how pace & draw work together. The pace stats are quite clear here, you want to race as prominently as you can from both a win & place perspective, as seen here...

and the pace/draw make-up says that regardless of where you're drawn, if you can lead, your chances are greatly enhanced...

However, here's where we hit a bit of an issue as this is how our field have raced in their last four outings...

...where 4=led, 3=prominent, 2=mid-div and 1=held-up, we see that we've no natural pacemaker in the race. I'd be guessing here, but Geological might take it on with Fastman and Ozymandis, but otherwise the pace/draw heatmap isn't going to help us.

That said, based on the draw stats above, I think I want my runner(s) to be in the top 6 of the draw, so that gives me the runners in stalls 1, 3, 4 and 6 to consider.

Summary

Via a quick process of elimination, I've whittled 11 runners I know very little about down to just 4. I'm now going to look a little closer at Freescape, Bonnyrigg, Himalayan Beauty & Ozymandis to see if I think any of them are worth backing. There is, of course, a chance that I've already discarded the winner and there's also the possibility of me not wanting to back any of my four, but all that is OK : there isn't always a bet to be had/made.

Freescape has 3 wins and a place from 7 here at Dundalk, including 1 from 1 over course and distance, but hasn't won any of his last 9 starts over 23 months and is clearly on the wane, dropping down to his lowest mark of his career. He's 3lbs lower than his last win and down 2lbs from a 6 length defeat when 11th of 16 last time out. He looks up against it here and is probably the weakest of my four I've left myself with.

Bonnyrigg ran really well at Leopardstown two starts ago, only finding one of his 17 rivals too good on the day, going down by a length, but staying on well over 7f. He then stepped up in trip to make an AW debut here over course and distance last week and was a very creditable third of twelve. He runs off the same mark here, but gets a 2lb age/weight allowance and should improve for having had that first A/W run. Good for a place, I'd hope.

Himalayan Beauty has also only had one A/W run to date and was only 2.75 lengths down over 7f here last September, staying on in a manner suggesting that a mile would be a better trip for him. His last two efforts over a mile would suggest he's better than his bare results might indicate, as he was 2nd of 14, beaten by just a head at Punchestown just over seven weeks ago and then he was 8th of 17 last time out, but that was a Listed race and he was less than 6 lengths adrift after running really well for most of the race. Class told in the end and this is easier (on paper, at least) and a similar run might see him in the money.

Ozymandis is still unexposed after just four starts including threee here finishing 412 over 6f, 7f and most recently a mile. He only went down by a short head over course and distance four weeks ago having been caught on the line and he, in turn, was only a short head clear of the third placed horse, Punk Poet, who won here over course and distance last week (when Bonnyrigg was third) Punk Poet won after being raised 4lbs for that third place finish here and Ozymandis is only up 2lbs, so if the form holds out, he'd be the one to beat here.

So, Freescape is out and I like Himalayan Beauty & Bonnyrigg's chances of making the frame. Ozymandis holds the latter on collateral form via Punk Poet and I'd say that makes Ozymandis my winner here.

Over to the bookies, we go...

Sadly, Ozymandis seems to be everyone's idea of a winner and odds of 7/4 are a little restrictive as i was rather hoping he'd be around the 9/4 or 5/2 mark. He should win this, but I can't back him at 7/4. I'll wait and see if there's any movement. As for the places, Bonnyrigg is the 11/2 second favourite, but that's not long enough to go E/W for me, but Himalayan Beauty is right out at 20/1 and with some firms paying four places, I can't resist an E/W punt there. He's either massively overpriced or I've got it badly wrong.

Final word is back with Freescape, who has a decent draw and an excellent line of green on Instant Expert. I noticed he's also quite long at 16/1, so i'm also having a small dabble with ihm with a bookie paying 1-2-3-4.

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Your first 30 days for just £1
1 reply
  1. 10 Things You Didn't Know about Geegeez Racecards
  2. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Hi Chris – An unusual trip into the Irish racing market, lets hope its a winning one. Great pick yesterday with Your Hired – many Thanks Bob S.

Comments are closed.