Monday's piece shortlisted four runners at Wolverhampton, of which one won and one didn't run, which sounds great, doesn't it? Sadly, the other two runners were the ones I expected to fare best and they came home fifth and sixth of ten runners. A moral victory of sorts, I suppose.
Lequinto, who won, qualified by having a satisfactory profile on Instant Expert and was also top of our own ratings, so although I didn't side with him, the clues were still there.
Next up is...
Tuesday 6th October
and Tuesday's free Races of the Day are
I've decided to go with the third on that list, the...
2.50 Leicester : a 7-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on Soft (Heavy in places with more rain due) ground worth £11,972 to the winner.
As today's free feature is the Shortlist, we should start by seeing of any of our 7 runners are on it...
...so that's a tick in the box for those two and then we look at which (if any) of the seven runners have two or more blocks of green on the Instant Expert tab of the racecard...
None have raced here at Leicester before, but Ainsdale scores 3 out of 3 on the other boxes with Count D'Orsay and Dave Dexter scoring two. However, the ground is already heavy in places with more rain on the way, we should really look at this too...
...where only Ainsdale has run on heavy ground before when winning at Nottingham at this trip almost a year ago, albeit two grades lower than today. The pace/draw profile is very important over short trips, especially when the going is at either extreme of the scale, so let's look at that next.
And assuming Acclaim doesn't drag Ainsdale along too quickly, the latter would get another tick with Blue de Vega and Ishvara also looking of interest and then after I'd considered all of the above, I would then be in a position to refer back to my own personal report angles report to see if anything was of note and when I do that I find the following...
Acclaim The Nation : Jockey Stats 14 Day/30 Day
Blue De Vega : Trainer Stats 14 Day
Dave Dexter : Trainer Stats 14 Day & Trainer Jockey 14 Day / 30 Day / 1 Year
Ishvara : Trainer Stats 14 Day
So, ticks in the boxes for those four runners for that one.
Based on the criteria I've used above to analyse the race, Ainsdale and Ishvara dominate the proceedings and are (purely coincidentally) the two runners from the Shortlist report.
But do I think they'll win? One might and one shouldn't. Ishvara has only won at Class 4 and lost her last handicap outing off this mark in a lower grade. This should be too tough for him and she's probably wanting a step up to six furlongs, whereas Ainsdale might well prevail here provided he doesn't go off too quickly.
He was in fine form last October in difficult racing conditions and I'm happy to view his latest outing as a pipe-opener for today. He was beaten by the best part of three lengths at this class and trip ten days but that was his first outing for 332 days and it came on good ground. Having had the run and now back in the mud, Ainsdale would be the one I'd like most here with the obvious pace caveat and a note of caution about the weight.
He won three races in 11 days last October off marks of 75, 81 and 89 and I'm concerned that a further step up to 97 might be a bit much on this ground.
This is then the point where I look at the odds and he's generally a 10/3 or 7/2 shot, as of 7pm Monday and that's just a bit skinny for my liking with my reservations about pace & weight, so whilst I'll be wanting him to be the one to win, he won't be carrying my money.