Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 8th December 2021

Wednesday's free feature is the Trainer Statistics (TS) report, which is in fact, four reports in one containnig 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 since 2009, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

[ Please refer to our User Guide for further information ]

We also have a selection of full free racecards for you and they will be...

  • 1.00 Lingfield
  • 2.15 Dundalk
  • 3.00 Lingfield
  • 6.30 Kempton
  • 7.30 Kempton

It has been a while since I profiled an A/W contest at Kempton and the second of the two looks the stronger event, so today's focus is the 7.30 Kempton, a 9-runner, Class 4, 3yo+ A/W handicap over 1m3f. They'll go  right handed on standard to slow polytrack in a bid to win £5,400 and here are the protagonists...

Dream Tale was third over 1m2½f at Dundalk in September and was only beaten by half a length at Leopardstown last time out with the winner having won again since. He has left Andrew Oliver's yard and now makes a debut for Lee Carter. He has been pretty consistent of late and go have enough to make the frame here.

Protected Guest was third here over1m4f at Class 2 four weeks ago and achieved the same result dropped down to today's course and distance at Class 3 last time out. He's down another class and has been eased a pound by the assessor and that should make him really competitive here.

City Tour has won over course and distance, albeit way back in January 2020, but was well beaten here over 1m4f last time out and has only dropped a pound for his troubles. He's often there or thereabouts (6 top 3 finishes in his last 8) but doesn't usually do enough and others will appeal more here.

Charlie Arthur makes a yard debut here after leaving Richard Hughes, but comes here badly out of form. He had three runs in April/May/June and was only 4th of 5, 10th of 12 and 5th of 7 and now needs to bounce back after six months off. He has been lowered by 3lbs, but his 5lb claimer has been replaced by one claiming 3lbs so he's not much better off and is probably best left alone/watched here.

Afkaar is a bit of an unknown quantity on his UK debut after finishing 73215 in French minor events, where he was generally well supported in the market. He was never really outclassed over 1m1f to 1m3f but didn't land his sole win by very far either. This looks a much tougher contest than he's used to and the market might well be the best guide to his chances after seven months away from the track.

Oz Legend won on his second start and last run of 2020, but hasn't won any of 6 since. He has tended be involved in most of his races, going down by just a length or so in his last two since switching yards. Sadly that has pushed his mark up a couple of pounds over those runs and if you're not winning off lower marks, why would you win off higher? He raced here at Kempton on debut 13 months ago, but has no polytrack experience since.

Songkran is just 2 from 15 on the A/W and last won a race 9 months ago and has only made the frame once in eleven starts since. He was last home of six beaten by over 7 lengths at Wolverhampton in his most recent outing and having lost his usual 3lb claimer jockey, he's effectively worse off here and that makes life tough.

Sandyman is another who doesn't inspire confidence on a run of nine straight defeats. he has never made the frame in six attempts on the A/W and I don't see why that would change here.

La Hulotte completes the line-up and not only does this 4 yr old filly receive weight all round, she's also a former course and distance winner from two starts ago. She has since finished third here over 1m4f, beaten by a neck and a short head and although raised another pound for that effort, looks set to go close again here.

We can get a quick overview of relevant past form via Instant Expert...

...where La Hulotte is possibly the pick of an average looking bunch, but City Tour's numbers are decent enough too.

The draw...

...doesn't particularly favour any sector of the stalls, as there's no real pattern to where the best/worst performers are housed, but I suppose the runner in stall 1 might just have marginally the best of it. But if the draw isn't helping us fathom the puzzle (and why should it over 1m3f?), we now need to consider how the race will be run, via...

The pace...

...which shows a distinct advantage from running just off the pace, but not too far off it with mid-division runners edging it over those who race prominently, but prominent runners make the frame most often.

And if we look at pace/draw together...

...we see that high drawn prominence is the favoured approach here. We already know the draw, so to make our own heat map, we need the pace scores for our field, which look like this...

...where some horses run to a consistent pattern, but some appear to have changed tack recently. Obviously this is open to interpretation, but here's how I see this race in terms of pace/draw...

Now if (and it's a big if) I've got this right, then I see Afkaar, Oz Legend and Charlie Arthur attempting to set the pace from the central stalls and I fear this is the wrong tactic and they 'll taker each other on, do too much too soon and fade from contention. City Tour looks like he might be left with too much ground to make up as the only real hold up horse, so I'd want to be backing him either, which now leaves me with five, Dream Tale, La Hulotte, Protected Guest, Sandyman & Songkran to choose from


At this juncture, I move away from the toolkit for a while and try to make a personal judgement and I think the three I like best are Dream Tale, Protected Guest and La Hulotte. They seem the most reliable/consistent of the nine runners and all three show up pretty well on the pace/draw heatmap and if pushed I probably want them in the order I've put them, although I don't think there's much between the three of them.

The bookies wouldn't agree, of course and they have my 1-2-3 at 4-2-3 in the market with my marginal preference Dream Tale a 6/1 shot, which is probably fair, so I'll take a small wager there. The other two are both around the 9/2 mark, which is of no interest to me as E/W possibles, but I hope they make the frame for our exacta/trifecta followers.


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