Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 6th October 2021

The Trainer Statistics (TS) report is, in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

And we offer this report free to everyone every Wednesday to supplement the daily free races, which for this Wednesday are...

  • 1.38 Sedgefield
  • 1.45 Navan
  • 3.05 Nottingham
  • 4.40 Navan
  • 5.50 Nottingham

My own settings for course 5 year handicaps on the TS report threw this at me when I just looked... I think I'll assess the chances of those two runners in the 2.48 Sedgefield, an 11-runner, 4yo+, soft ground, Class 5, Handicap Chase over a testing 3m3f...

Both horses raced against each other 19 days ago with Joey Steel winning a 4-runner, Class 4, handicap chase over 3m2f at Newton Abbot with his stablemate back in third place, some 20.5 lengths adrift. Both obviously drop in class here, Joey Steel is far better form, although Cage of Fear has been running well enough without much reward. After jockey allowances, Joey Steel still gets a 6lb pull from the top weight and in Nick Scholfield, has a jockey in good form.

Trainer Christian Williams' first runner here at Sedgefield was on 12th Jan 2018 and he's sent ten horses to run in handicaps here so far, achieving 5 wins and two runner-up finishes so far. With today's race in mind, those runners are...

  • 1/1 at Class 5
  • 4/7 over fences with two more placed
  • 2/8 with 1 placed from 8 yr olds (JS)
  • 0/1 from 7 yr olds (CoF)
  • 1/2 dropping down a class
  • 1/3 with one placed for jockey Jack Tudor (CoF)
  • 1/2 with the other placed for Nick Scholfield (JS)
  • 3/4 with the other placed from LTO winners (JS)
  • 1/1 over course and distance, albeit over hurdles
  • 1/1 on soft ground (C4, 3m2½f chase)

Cage of Fear was a winner just over a year ago in a Class 4 handicap chase over 3m½f at Perth whilst still with Fergal O'Brien. Truth be told, he hasn't really set the wrold alight in three runs for Christian Williams, but the drop in class, a career-low mark and a race at the yard's favourite track might just be the final spark he needs. He's certainly good enough to make the frame here and the ground/trip should be fine for him.

Joey Steel, on the other hand is going the other way and after finishing 2121 in his four outings this summer, he's now at a career high mark of 93. The yard have been patient with him and it took him a while to get the hang of things, but the boking of today's jockey Nick Scholfield for those last four races seems to have helped massively and I think they'll be the ones to beat here down in class.

Relevant past form...

Both have won on similar ground conditions and Joey Steel has won over a similar trip, but don't read too much into that 1 from 7 record at this grade, as he's also 1 from 3 at Class 4. He's now 4lbs higher than his LTO win, whilst Cage is some 13lbs lower than last year's success and could be dangerous off that mark, especially with Tack Tudor taking another 3lbs off.

And from a place perspective...

...suggesting that both of them are well suited to at least making the frame here.

Cage of Fear normally races prominently, whilst Joey Steel tends to come from off the pace, although he was much more advanced last time out. That was possibly because it was only a four-horse race and didn't want the leader to have an easy passage...

...but our pace analyser suggests that he might well want to repeat those tactics again here... these would seem to suit Cage of Fear far better than Joey Steel.


For me, based on all the above and looking at the others in the race, Joey Steel isn't only the better of the two Christian Williams runners, he's also the one to beat here full stop. As for Cage of Fear, I really think he could make the frame and might even get a 1-2 for the yard. He'll not have it all his own way, of course and the likes of Grey Atlantic Way and Crank Em Up could very well outrun their odds and get involved.

I wrote the above by 3.30pm before the markets had formed, when I returned to my desk at 5.45, Joey Steel was the 2/1 fav, which is a bit skinny in my opinion. Cage of Fear, however, was available at 10's and is worth a small E/W bet, too.


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