Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 5th October 2021

Our free feature every Tuesday is The Shortlist : a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing.

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

In addition to this excellent report, we also offer the following as our free races of the day...

  • 2.55 Galway
  • 5.20 Huntingdon
  • 6.30 Kempton
  • 7.00 Kempton
  • 8.00 Kempton

The only UK NH race from that list is a stayers' hurdle that features a horse we backed last Tuesday but ended up as a non-runner, so let's see if we think Blue Sans is still worth backing a week later in the 5.20 Huntingdon. The race is an 8-runner,  Class 4, 3yo+ handicap hurdle over 3m1f on reportedly good ground...

Blue Sans and Presenting Yeats bring the best recent results to the table, both won LTO and the latter carries bottom weight here, receiving some 24lbs from top weight Neverbeen To Paris, who aside from He's A Goer, probably has the worst recent record.

Champagne Noir is the only class mover of the eight, stepping up from a runner-up finish at Class 5 recently and he's one of the four 7 yr olds competing against 1 x 5yo, 2 x 6yo and Hattaab, aged 8.

All bar Commentariolus (133 days) and Khan (79) have raced in the last five weeks and all have had at least a fortnight's rest. Plenty of the trainers and jockeys involved here have good recent (14 30) and/or track (C1 C5) form.

Neverbeen To Paris carries top weight off a mark of 114, which is a 5lb drop from LTO. Mind you after finishing last of 7 beaten by 49 lengths and 6th of 8 beaten by 16 lengths in his last two, he probably needs to drop further, even if he did win off 115 over hurdles back in May 2019.

Commentariolus won a 2m maiden hurdle on debut back in February 2018, but has failed to make the frame in ten starts since and has been beaten by 34L, 54L, 27L and 37L in his last four outings. Easily/rightly dismissed here.

Blue Sans was our pick last week, but was pulled from the race and she's 2121 over hurdles. She's never tackled 3m1f but was only beaten by a head over 2m7f and has a win and a place from a pair of 3m PTP outings, so I'd expect her to see this out off only 3lbs higher than a comfortable win LTO. I'd be very surprised if she's not in the mix at a venue where trainer, jockey and trainer/jockey have done well previously...

Champagne Noir steps up a grade and is raised 4lbs for a half length defeat over this trip at Uttoxeter four weeks ago. The presumption here is that he's in good nick, but up in class and weight after a defeat doesn't suggest he's win here, but I expect him to be heavily involved, based on how poor some of his rivals look. Plus, his yard is in good form right now and his jockey has had a good year here at Huntingdon...

Khan looks like his stable's second string here behind bottom weight Presenting Yeats, but he has won two of his eight starts over hurdles, the most recent being a 5.5 length victory over 3m2f in this grade at Fontwell three starts ago. He wasn't as good up 5lbs next time out going down by two lengths at Cartmel and then ran a stinker at Stratford LTO, coming home last of five beaten by 46 lengths. He's not one to trust for me, even if the yard is going well and has a good record with stayers...

Hes A Goer is probably poorly named as since April 2019, he has raced just six times including breaks of 115, 400, 133 and 136 days. He was pulled up in two of those six and finished 10th of 12, last of 6, 12th of 17 and last of 6 in the other four at a combined margin of defeat of some 213 lengths. Anything positive about this one? Oh, yes, his jockey rides the track well enough...

Hattaab is, at 8 yrs old, the oldest in the race and it's fair to say that he has been given every opportunity to be a successful racehorse. He's had 39 races, 13 jockeys, 4 trainers and has tried the Flat (0/4), AW (0/4), Bumpers (0/3), Chases (0/1) and manly hurdles where he's 2/27. He did have a mini purple patch this summer when a runner-up and then a winner four weeks later, but has been 9th of 10 (18L), 8th of 14 (9L) and 5th of 7 (17L) since and looks destined to struggle here. He gets on well with jockey Kielan Woods and from a career record of 2/39, he has actually finished 1218 under today's jockey over hurdles on good ground off a mark of 96-107 on a flat track when racing 3 to 5 weeks after his last run, but he's not winning here despite his trainer's good record at this venue...

Presenting Yeats completes the line-up and although up 3lbs for winning over this trip at Warwick LTO, still carries bottom weight here off a mark of just 90. two wins and three third place finishes from his last five show that he has been in good form for over three months now. His yard does well with stayers and the string have been amongst the winners again of late...

At this point, it's a three horse race in my mind between Blue Sans, Champagne Noir and Presenting Yeats, as also suggested by the Geegeez SR figures and recent form, but let's see if relevant form (via Instant Expert) can shine a light on one of those I've already half-disregarded...

Well, I'd say that Blue Sans comes out best on both win & place stats. Hattaab's 8 places on good ground and five at the trip suggests he'll at least enjoy the conditions here, whereas Khan's place form leaves plenty to be desired. Of my original three vs the field. Champagne Noir doesn't have enough relevant data after just five efforts over hurdles but ran really well last time out, whilst Presenting Yeats' numbers are strong over this kind of trip.

The pace stats for similar races to this one over the last five years tell us...

...that the further forward a horse has raced, the more likely it has been to win and that hold-up horses have the best place percentages, suggesting that it is possible to come from off the pace, but judging the time to increase the tempo is difficult with many falling just short. We've got data from our horses' last few runs and these are their pace scores from their last four outings...

We should remember that those scores are relevant to the race in which the score was achieved, ie if all 8 were leaders, it should go without saying that all 8 couldn't lead here etc. So, here's what I think will happen.

Champagne Noir is the pace maker and He's A Goer will be the hold up horse. If any try to stay with Champagne Noir, it'll be Presenting Yeats with his 2 x 4 in three races. Khan is likely to race prominently as third in the pack. Mid-division is where we'll find Commentarilous and Blue Sans just ahead of Neverbeen To Paris and I think Hattaab will revert back to hold up tactics.

The IV scores from the pace stats suggest leading is the best policy, but only hold up horse have an IV of less than 1.00, so that would suggest Hattaab and He's A Goer are worst off here from a win perspective.

Summary

I took three against the field from an early point and I still see no reason why/how the winner won't come from one of Blue Sans, Champagne Noir and Presenting Yeats. Sadly, the market also agrees with me and the trio are priced at 2/1, 3/1 and 3/1. I've ordered them alphabetically, but I also think that's the order they'll finish in. 2/1 is uncomfortable betting territory for me, but I think the odds are about right for Bue Sans here, plus we backed her at 9/4 LTO, didn't we?

The best scenario is the forecast/exacta or even the tricast/trifecta, so fingers crossed there. And for those wanting a longer priced E/W play, Hattaab at 9/1 might be the one from off the pace to break into the frame if one of my three don't fire.

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