The Shortlist is 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 the current and the following days' racing. It's also our free feature every Tuesday and here's how it looks for the 7th September...
If I'm entirely honest, none of those really grab me to the extent that I'd want to explore their chances with too many unknown/unproven variables, so it's a good job that we also have a list of free racecards every day and here are Tuesday's...
- 1.40 Leicester
- 2.05 Catterick
- 5.30 Galway
- 5.45 Windsor
- 7.30 Galway
And of the three UK races I'd consider, the first is a 2yo novice fillies race and the last is a 6-runner Nursery, so whilst it's certainly not the best race available, I'm going to look at the 2.05 Catterick, a lowly Class 6, one mile, flat handicap for 3yo+ runners. Nine are set to compete on good ground (firmer in places) for the £2,322 prize...
Of our nine runners, only the bottom three on the card are without a win in their last five starts and all bar Morty and Maeve's Memory (who both drop down a grade) ran at Class 6 last time out. Maeve's Memory is also the only one not to have raced since the start of August and all bar It Must Be Faith of the other eight have raced in the last fortnight (based upon me writing this on Monday, of course!).
Rebel Redemption, Ginato, Fossos and I'll be Good have all won over this trip and the latter is a former Catterick winner, whilst Sfumato and It Must Be Faith have won here over this trip. We've four three year olds in the field (Morty, Ginato, Fossos & Maeve's Memory) who all get a 2lb weight allowance and in It Must Be Faith (11) and I'll Be Good (12), we've a couple of veterans in double digit ages.
Not much positivity from either trainer or jockey stats, but Tony Coyle (Newgate Angel) has had some decent form of late whilst both Jason Hart (Rebel Redemption) and Danny Tudhope (Morty) have done well here at Catterick in the past.
Rebel Redemption was a winner by a neck at Thirsk at the end of June but results have gradually deteriorated (2346) in four runs off 4 and 5 lbs higher since. He's still a little high in the weights off 61 for my liking but if he approaches this positively, could make the frame.
Sfumato is the course and distance specialist with three wins and a runner-up finish from six attempts. That runner-up finish was his last run, 13 days ago off the same mark as today (59) when just a length and a quarter behind Motawaazy who has since stepped up in class and won again off a mark of 69, completing a hat-trick in the process. A similar effort to LTO puts Sfumato right in the mix.
Morty won over 5f at Ripon in early August and was then a runner-up over 5f here over course and distance just a day later, both off a mark of 55. Since then 4th of 5 and last of ten off 61 don't inspire confidence, but his blindfold was far too lately removed LTO and he might be worth a second glance back up at 6f.
Ginato has certainly been kept busy this season and now makes his eleventh appearance inside five months. He finally got off the mark in a Class 5, 6f handicap maiden at ripon in mid-July, but could only manage 9th of 13 and 7th of 10 in his next starts. He did. however show signs of improvement next/last time out, when a decent third back at Ripon when beaten by just a neck and a head. He's up 1lb here, though, making this a little tougher for a horse whose only real UK form is at Ripon.
It Must Be Faith is an 11yr old veteran of some 93 races and was a course and distance winner here back in May off a mark 1lb higher than today. That alone looks promising, but in four races since he has been beaten by 5, 14, 3 and 7 lengths respectively and has been 4th of 5 and last of nine in his most recent two outings. Second time blinkers are applied today, but I fear the old boy will need help than that.
Fossos has won two of his last four, but ran out of steam in a big-field (18 ran) handicap at Redcar ten days ago, possibly doing too much too soon. If he doesn't get too keen, then he's still in decent enough form to land a blow here.
Maeve's Memory is a 3yr old filly yet to win in ten starts (5 x AW, 5 x flat). Beaten by the best part of 7 lengths here over 5f last time out, she's only eased a pound by the assessor and has a near 20-week absence to overcome. Hard to make much of a case for her today.
Newgate Angel is 1 from 30 so far and that win came ten starts and just over a year ago but she did run well enough to grab a place at Beverley last time out over 5f but she was fading at the end and lost a place close tot he line, so an extra furlong won't necessarily suit.
I'll Be Good is even more of a veteran at the age of 12 and 111 races than It Must Be Faith, but having won just 10 of those races isn't a good stat. No wins in 22 races over the last 2 years and three weeks tells its own story and even though he's now 2lbs lower than when third at Thirsk last time out, he was actually beaten by five lengths in a poor race that day and the runner-up has since reappeared but failed to make the frame.
Partly thanks to the two old-timers, these nine runners have already raced 358 times, but a paltry 34 wins (9.5% SR) explains why they're running at Class 6, but some of them have run well under similar conditions to today, surely?
Well, not great, but any win percentage of 10 or higher is better than the field's overall average, but the non-red blocks are a useful pointer for going/class/track/trip. It's interesting that the two veterans are now lower than their last winning marks, but none are massively higher suggesting this is their normal level.
I've looked at the draw stats and aside from stall two (the fabled Catterick golden corridor?) doing really well...
...I don't think there's a huge draw bias, if any at all, for this type of contest, which means it might well boil down to race strategy aka pace, where I'm told that racing as far forward as you can is the best policy for win % and IV perspective...
...although prominent runners seem the profitable ones to back and whilst they are fairly small sample sizes, those who lead from a middling draw fare best of all...
...and when we add our draw for this race to how how runners have raced in their last three outings, we can generate a fair estimate of how we feel they'll break out and run...
I should add that Morty's two runs before the fiasco LTO (blindfold still on after stalls opened) were both scored at 3, so I expect him to sit nicely in that little block of green!
When you take my overview of the runners into consideration along with form, Instant Expert stats, draw and pace, you can make a case for most of these in one or two areas, but the ones I'm interested in most are...
- Fossos, who has won 2 of his last 4, is still on a relatively low mark and looks well positioned for pace/draw
- Morty, who should sit in the green on pace/draw, but for a poor error by an inexperienced rider LTO, has good results at class/going and has won in the last month or so
- Sfumato, the course and distance specialist, who ran close to horse now rated 10lbs higher LTO and will have pace either side of him to tow him along.
And I think I'm going to side with Fossos, not only for the above reasons but also for his propensity to bounce back recently after a below-par effort. he's a 6/1 shot here and I like the look of him at those odds. I'd probably not be interested in him any lower.
Sfumato is my next best, because if he doesn't follow the pace either side of him, then he might have two much to do late on with possibly five runners ahead of him, but his record here over track and trip makes him easy back, hence the 11/4 favourites tag, that I think is a little skinny.
That, I suppose, leaves Morty to grab the final place. I don't think he'll be far away at all and it's probably only the OR of 61 putting me off, he needs to drop a couple of pounds to remain in the hunt for me. He's a frustrating 7/1 here, which whilst fair, isn't attractive enough for an E/W punt.