Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 6th December 2021

Monday's free offerings are access to the PACE tab on the cards for ALL races and the following trio of full free racecards...

Hmmm, a novice hurdle, a juvenile hurdle and a 7f novice stakes! I'll be honest with you, they're not setting my heart racing here, so with the feature of the day in mind, let's give you a bonus race and take a look at the 7.00 Wolverhampton, a Class 5, 5f dash across the tapeta where 11 runners will swing left handed in a bid to win £3,240...

FORM : Cherish, La Roca del Fuego and Glamorous Force have the best recent form, but Liamba is running well, as are Good Earth and Trusty Rusty

CLASS : Mutabahhy is down a class here, but Glamorous Force, We're Reunited and You're Cool are all stepping up a grade

COURSE/DISTANCE : All bar Ghaaliya and Highest Ambition have won over 5f previously with Mutabaahy, Glamorous Force, We're Reunited and You're Cool, Trusty Rusty doing it here at Wolverhampton.

LAST RUN : All bar Liamba (300 days off!) have rtaced in the last 8 weeks with Highest Ambition & You're Cool having raced in the last fortnight.

We've no handicap debutants or second timers, nor do we have any yard debutants on display. we no have five jockeys riding with a claim and at 9yrs of age, You're Cool is the only non-3 to 6 yr old.

Relevant form via Instant Expert...

On the purely simplistic basis that green is good and red isn't, our focus here tells us that Mutabaahy looks best suited by the expected conditions and that with full lines of red that Cherish, Good Earth & Highest Ambition have work to do. Mutabaahy is also some 6lbs lower than his last win, but La Roca is 7lbs higher. i won't discuss all the weight changes, as I'm loathe to patronise.

Next up we should consider the draw...

The blue line shows (stalls 9 and 10 aside) an almost lineal, gradual decrease in results the further away from the rail horses are drawn over this left handed five furlongs and that makes sense, as those drawn lowest have shorter distance to travel, but the wider runners can almost "slingshot" the bend ie approach it quicker from wider and cut across the apex almost F1-style, as this simplistic image suggests...

...and that gradual decrease in results and the rise from wide is illustrated by the stall-by-stall results...

That said, I believe that over such a short trip, race tactics will play as much if not more of a role in the final outcome, because even if you get that 9/10 draw and can cut the corner, if you're slow away you'll be running into traffic when you're trying to accelerate from the bend, so that's where feature of the day, the Pace tab comes to the fore and the pace stats tell us that whilst prominent runners fare 21% better than par (IV 1.21), the best policy is to lead...

Leaders account for just 13.6% of the runners, as you'd expect, but they actually account for 19.5% of the placers and an impressive 28.1% of the winners and just as the draw stats gradually decreased, so do the results from running styles the further down the field you run.

So, does that mean that a low drawn (or stall 9/10) runner who likes to lead should go well? Yes, it certainly does, as shown in our unique pace/draw heat map...

We know the draw...

We also know how they've raced in their last four runs...

(4=led, 3= prom, 2= mid-div, 1=hold-up)

And we can now combine the two and place them on the pace/draw heat map and arrange them in draw order to give ourselves a bird's eye view of how they might break from the stalls...

...where La Roca del Fuego looms like he'll be the one trying to make all.


From the card analysis, I have reservations about Ghaaliya, Highest Ambition & You're Cool (all for form reasons) plus Liamba (300 day absence).
From Instant Expert, I placed a red mark against Good Earth & Highest Ambition
On pace/draw, I have concerns about Highest Ambition, Good Earth, Mutabaahy, Glamourous Force, Cherish and You're Cool

I'm happy to still consider horses falling into one of those areas of concern above, but I do have a 2 and out policy, so I'm now disregarding  Highest Ambition, Good Earth and You're Cool, leaving me with eight to ponder in draw order.

Liamba is 5 from 33 within a month of her last run, but 0 from 7 after a longer break. She's better over 6f than 5f and all her A/W wins have come at Southwell. She's 2 from 2 in December, but I think she'll need the run and would be one to consider next time out.

We're Reunited just doesn't win often enough and although he tends to be there or thereabouts on the Flat, he has only made the frame once in 8 A/W runs, although that was a Class 6 course and distance win here just over a year ago. He won by a neck that day and is now 3lbs higher, so whilst he could get close, he wouldn't be my choice as a winner.

Trusty Rusty is an interesting filly who has made the frame in 6 of her 11 A/W starts, finishing 1123 in her last four, the first three of which were here at Wolverhampton. After two Class 6 C&D wins, she stepped up Class 5 and was a runner-up. She was beaten by a good 4 lengths that day, so a 1lb drop doesn't make her a shoo-in here, but it should help her get closer.

Mutabaahy looks quite inconvenienced on pace/draw stats, but he's 6 from 14 over C&D so he has obviously managed to win despite not front-running. He was, admittedly beaten by over four lengths here last time out, but now drops in class (1), trip (1f) and weight (2lbs) and now back over his favoured trip, could well be involved.

Glamorous Force comes here on a hat-trick so he's clearly in good heart. Was a course and distance winner from off the pace last time out, so it can be done, as shown by Mutabaahy on several occasions. He's only up 3lbs for his win and his yard have been in good form (3 wins, 4 places from 10) of late and he's definite one to consider.

Cherish has been in scintillating form over the last seven months with 6 wins and a place from 8 starts, but all on turf. That said, she has shown versatility by winning on good to soft, good, good to firm and firm ground as well as making the frame on soft! She won a 15-runner handicap at Bath almost eight weeks ago and is up another 6lbs for that win. She hasn't raced on the A/W since beaten by a neck here over 6f back in March and she's now rated 32lbs higher than that run. She clearly has ability, but I'd have preferred her to have had a more recent spin on the A/W.

La Roca del Fuego (the rock of fire) is the likely pacemaker here and has won four of his last seven including by 2.5 lengths at Chelmsford two starts ago off a mark of 63. That sent his OR to today's career-high of 70 and he was unable to run to that level at Kempton last time out, coming home last of nine, beaten by almost nine lengths weakening badly late on. he gets on great with his jockey, but all his form is at Chelmsford and I think 5f is a bit sharp for him.

Ghaaliya is a lightly raced daughter of Frankel who won over 6f on debut at Kempton in June 2020, but has only made the frame once in six races since. Her handicap mark has slid from 75 to 69 in four races and she now makes a debut at 5f. She has raced here once before, finishing 5th of 10 two starts ago and I'd be very surprised to see her in the shake-up here.

To be perfectly frank, this is one of those races where I don't really have a clear idea of which horse(s) to back as none are jumping out at me, so I'll approach it from the other side and rule some out that I wouldn't want to back. Ghaaliya doesn't look good enough to be here, La Roca's mark is too high for me and I think he's better over 6f, Liamba is likely to need the run after a ten month break plus she's better at Southwell and over 6f. Trusty Rusty is interesting but a mark of 58 does her no favours after winning off 52, but then losing off 57 and 59 (twice). She'd need to come down in weight for me.

Which leaves me with four, of which Glamorous Force and C&D specialist Mutabaahy make most sense to me. The market have these at 4/1 and 8/1 and of the two at those prices, I'd rather have an E/W bet on the latter.  Cherish and We're Reunited are the other two I'm still considering and again at odds of 5/1 and 9/1 respectively, I think I'd rather back the latter E/W.


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