Funny race at Leicester this afternoon, Wolflet disappointed but my second best, Cruyff Turn, made all to win pretty comfortably by 3.5 lengths. He's not nornally one to set the pace, but our pace/draw heatmap for this race suggested mid-drawn runners who led were the most successful runners and from stall 5 of 8, Cruyff Turn validated the data.
The Shortlist report is Tuesday's free feature, highlighting horses known to perform well under the conditions they'll face next, whilst our free races of the day are...
- 1.50 Roscommon
- 2.00 Southwell
- 2.20 Wolverhampton
- 3.00 Roscommon
- 4.30 Salisbury
- 5.30 Wetherby
The first of the UK races on that list is the best of the four, it also contains a runner from The Shortlist report...
...who we backed successfully last time out, so we can tie it all together by analysing the 2.00 Southwell. Sadly, only 7 are set to run, so just two places available for this Class 4, 5yo+ Handicap Chase over 2m on Good ground. The prize is £3,594 and here are our runners...
Form : Four of the field (Sarasota Star, Candy Burg, Tardree & Atlantic Storm) have won at least once in their last five starts with Tardree & Atlantic Storm winning LTO.
Course/Distance form : All bar Sarasota Star have won over this trip with Atlantic Storm the only course & distance winner and also the only previous Southwell winner.
Last Ran : Triplicate returns from four months off, but the others have all raced in the past 23 days.
Weight Spread : Just 11lbs separate top and bottom weight here.
Trainer/Jockey Form : Trainers of Triplicate, Tardree, Sarasota Star and Candy Burg all have positive recent form indicators (14 and/or 30) with the former also having a good last 12 months here at Southwell (C1) whilst the latter hasn't fared quite so well (C1). We've in-form jockeys on Siannes Star, Tardree and Candy Burg with the first one also having a good short and long term record here (C1 C5) and the latter struggling like his trainer (C1)
Triplicate is joint top rated here off 122 and now makes a UK debut and yard debut after 19 previous runs for a couple of the O'Brien clan in Ireland. He won a couple over hurdles back on Aug/Sept 2018, but is now on a run of 13 defeats and in 8 efforts over fences, the nearest he has come to winning is 12.5 lengths off the pace, when 7th of 10 at Galway in October!
Tardree is The Shortlist horse that we backed five days ago as he became the latest Laura Morgan Class 4 chase winner. Two wins and two places from five so far, one from one over fences after last week's Uttoxeter success at this class/trip/going and the manner in which he won by 6.5 lengths suggests a 7lb rise in weight might not be enough to stop him.
Sarasota Star won back to back 2m1f handicap hurdle races at Carlisle in the autumn, but struggled in four runs at higher grades after those successes. He was beaten by 18.5 lengths last time out, but drops markedly in trip (-5.5f) and is down a class and eased 2lbs for his chase debut. His last win was only off 2lbs higher than today, so if taking to fences first time out, he could well get involved.
Siannes Star is also on a 13-race losing streak that now stretches back over two years and has yet to win over fences after eight efforts. Results have improved as his mark has tumbled this year, but he was still only third of four here over course and distance last time, beaten by 8.5 lengths and I don't think taking another pound off his mark will help much.
Atlantic Storm won a class 3 chase over this trip at Hereford off a mark of 111 last October and was a winner here over 2m1f on soft ground last time out, beating Larch Hill by three quarters of a length off a mark of 109. He was running well enough between those two wins, but a mark of 113 would be a career-high win.
Check My Pulse was only beaten by just over a length and a half off today's mark of 112 on his chase debut at Cartmel ten days ago and the drop back in trip should help. The two horses that beat him were 17lbs and 18lbs better off at the weights and he should come on for the run.
Candy Burg carries bottom weight here and runs off a mark of just 113, but closer inspection shows that's just 2lbs lower than his last two runs that have seen him defeated by 46 lengths and 6 lengths and he's still 9lbs higher than his win at Ffos Las three starts ago. That said, he did win by 14 lengths that day and is 4 from 11 over fences. The problem with him is that he seems to either win or gets beaten by a long way. That last win came after 9 straight losses over almost 18 months by a combined 374 lengths. So if it's either win or lose by 40 lengths, he's not to be trusted.
To date, this field have made the frame in 53 of their 153 combined starts (34.6%), going on to win 23 of them (15%) and here's how those figures stack up under today's conditions...
From the above general stats, the only real alarm bells come for Siannes Star with a line of red, whilst our Shortlist runner, Tardree looks well suited but for his 12lb weight rise. With those numbers above in mind, we can now be a little more specific and look solely at chase handicaps...
Again, Tardree looks good based on that debut run alone, but the past form of Candy Burg also catches the eye as long as you remember his inconsistency.
We've no stalls and therefore no draw data to deal with, but pace is often overlooked in NH contests. People often think pace = speed and the name can be misleading and tempo might be a better way of describing it. Some TV commentators talk about a "pozzy" and they're really referring to pace/tempo as it's all relating to race positioning ie where you put yourself in the pack.
And in 47 previous 6-8 runner handicaps here under similar conditions, the inference is very clear to me...
...grab the lead and hold on to it. If you can't lead, get up with the pace, otherwise it's going to be tough and based on our runners last four runs, this is how we think the race will unfold...
Tardree is an out and out pace setter with pace score of 4 in each of his last four runs, whilst Atlantic Storm has 4 x 1's. Tardree is massively up in weight, but won so convincing from the front last time out under the in-form Adam Wedge that you'd expect similar tactics today. In fact Adam's record on Laura Morgan's chasers since New Year's Eve reads 1112151!
After my first view of the card, I was most drawn towards Atlantic Storm, Tardree and Check My Pulse in that order, but I'm not sure about Atlantic Storm having gone through my process. I know a 4lb rise isn't huge, but he'd need a career best to win here and at the age of 9 with 43 races under his belt, that's not something you'd expect to happen. Plus he's a hold up horse nowadays and that'll make it tough if Tardree pours it on early. I'm doubtful whether Atlantic Storm even beats Check My Pulse now, that could be tight.
Tardree, of course, is up the thick end of a stone, but is unexposed and looked to have plenty in hand when winning by 6.5 lengths on chasing debut last week. He'd be entitled to come on for the run and overcome the huge penalty, so at 2/1 (was 3 earlier!) I'm with Tardree again.