Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 8th September 2021

Not only is the Trainer Stats report our free offering on Wednesdays, but it is actually four reports in one, containing 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 years, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. In addition to this report, we also have our usual selection of free races, which are set to be...

  • 1.30 Uttoxeter
  • 2.30 Uttoxeter
  • 4.00 Doncaster
  • 5.05 Cork
  • 7.05 Cork

My settings for the Trainer Stats report  have thrown up some interesting qualifiers, especially on the course one year handicap filter and these could well be worth a second look, but the free races include a Class 1 affair, so I'm going to focus on the 4.00 Doncaster aka the Scarbrough Stakes, a 7-runner Listed contest over 5f on good to firm ground. The winner will receive just over £25,500 in a race where Arecibo is expected to be a fairly warm favourite and has two wins from seven starts this term, but plenty of others have some good results behind them with only Khaadem winless in seven.

The pair of them raced at Class 1 last time out, as did Tarboosh but the other four are all up in class :  Live In The Moment and Twilight Calls are up from Class 2, Blackberry steps up two classes here, whilst Duke of Firenze ran (and failed to make the frame) in a Class 5 handicap!

Khaadem is the only one yet to savour a victory over 5f, mind you he's never tackled the trip before, but he has won at Doncaster before as has Twilight Calls. Blackberry & Tarboosh are former course and distance winners with the latter winning this very race last year. All have ran in the last 11-25 days and on positive trainer/jockey form Khaadem and Live In the Moment catch the eye. All of this is shown on your racecard as follows...

It is at this point I've noticed that Twilight Calls won't run, so we're down to six runners and the expected favourite Arecibo is our starting point. He tops the Geegeez SR scores and he won a pair of Class 2/3 handicaps over 5f at Newmarket either side of a 3.75 length defeat at Group 3 over the same course and distance before two fantastic runs in June/July that saw him finish as a runner-up at both Gr1 and Gr3. He hasn't been quite as good in his last two runs, but this is nowhere near as tough.

Duke of Firenze is a useful Class 3/4 handicapper at best nowadays and at the ripe old age of 12, his best days are long behind him and he has a terrible record here at Doncaster. One to avoid.

Khaadem hasn't won any of his nine races over the last twenty-five months since a 6f, Class 2 handicap win at Goodwood. His problem is that he does too much too soon and ends up fading in the closing stages of 6f races that he usually contests. That said, he is rarely beaten by far and the drop to 5f for the first time might be the key to regaining some form.

Live In The Moment is ultra consistent and has racked up nine top three finishes on the bounce since June of last year, winning five times in the process and he only went down by three parts of a length as runner-up in a big (22) field Class 2 handicap last time out. This is clearly tougher up in quality, but he's in better form than most and his jockey has 4 wins and 4 places from 14 here at Doncaster this year.

Tarboosh won this race last year beating subsequent Group 3 winners Urban beat and Dakota Gold in the process, but whilst they've flourished, Tarboosh is 0 from 6 without even making the frame and was beaten by 7.5 lengths as 9th of 11 in a Listed race at Beverley last time out. I doubt this will be his day despite his 2 wins and a runner-up finish from three previous runs here.

Blackberry completes the line-up and this 3 yr old filly was a course and distance winner back in July 2020 on her second start. She's now 4 from 8 on turf, but she's probably a Class 3/4 handicapper right now and was beaten by almost three lengths at Class 3 here over course and distance last time out. Admittedly, she gets weight all round, but probably not enough of it to make any difference.

At this point, it's probably Arecibo's race to win/lose, whilst I'm not keen on the Duke or Blackberry right now. The drop in trip is Khaadem's hope, whilst a return to the Doncaster 5f might get more out of Tarboosh, but Live In The Moment is probably the danger to the fav so far.

Several have won here at Doncaster already and a few are previous 5f winners. We can see all relevant form in Instant Expert...

Blackberry looks strong here, but that's all Class 3/4 form. neither of the first two have enjoyed this quicker ground, which might upset the favourite, who hasn't exactly been the best at this trip. Live In The Moment certainly loves the 5f sprints and Tarboosh's past record here now comes to the fore.

The draw here favours the inside pair of stalls...

...which is certainly good news for the fav in box 1 and Khaadem alongside in #2, whilst unusually the pace stats suggest that hold-up horses do really well coming late from off the pace. That's not to say the usual 5f tactics of get out, stay out can't/won't work, because both leaders and prominent runners win almost as often as you'd expect...

I suppose, basically, it's a case of get up with the pace or sit at the back, don't get caught between two stools. The pace tab shows the running styles of the four races...

...and on that evidence Duke of Firenze and Arecibo look best placed. Arecibo is a low drawn, hold up horse based on the above and here's  what our pace/draw heatmap says about such runners...

...eight wins from 14 runners at a strike rate of over 57% and an A/E of 4.14 speaks for itself. Arecibo must be in the box seat here. We now sort our runners into draw order and superimpose the pace/draw heatmap onto them as follows...

Arecibo & Khaadem do look well set with the former seeming best off. Live In The Moment's best chance might well be to try and set the pace and then hold on as long as possible and he has led races in the past. Tarboosh and Duke of Firenze don't appear well suited here, whilst Blackberry has actually got the best running style she could have for her draw, but she's surely just going to be a pacemaking target for the others.


As much as it pains me to suggest a horse priced at 5/4, it's got to be Arecibo's race to win/lose, hasn't it? He has run very well in far better races than this, has the best draw, has the best pace/draw set-up and providing he doesn't leave too much to do late on, he should win.

If, however, Live In The Moment sets off and takes the the race on, he'd be the one most likely to upset the applecart at 6/1. That's a bit short for an E/W bet for me, but I'll probably have a couple of quid on him winning at those odds. There's no value in the fav for me, but reverse forecasts will be the order of the day.

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