Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 9th December 2021

Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab on the racecards. This is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards.

The reason? It has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...

  • 1.25 Warwick
  • 2.30 Warwick
  • 3.20 Newcastle
  • 4.00 Chelmsford
  • 5.30 Chelmsford

The last of that handful of free races looks the best on paper and as a Class 2 contest, the 5.30 Chelmsford should have some workable data on the Instant Expert tab. As for the race details, it's a 7-runner, 3yo+, A/W handicap over a left handed mile on standard polytrack with £10,260 heading home with one of these...

All seven have won at least one of their last five outings, whilst United Front won last time out, as did Mobashr and You're Hired who both come here seeking a hat-trick. The former of the hat-trick seekers makes a handicap debut here, as does bottom weight Seventh Kingdom, who is also making a first start for his new handler, dropping down a class as he does so.

Keyser Soze, on the other hand, moves up a class, Headingley moves up two and Mobashr goes from Class 6 to Class 2 here. All bar the afore mentioned Seventh Kingdom have won over the 1m trip, whilst Goddess of Fire and United Front both have course victories too, but over 1m2f. You're Hired and Headingley, however, are both previous course and distance winners.

Just 4lbs separates the top four in the weights, but the Geegeez SR figures have the bottom three on the card as joint best on 82, but with others on 79 and 76, this could well be an interesting tussle. Keyser Soze and Seventh Kingdom return from breaks of 154 and 195 days respectively, which might be an issue, You're Hired raced five weeks ago and the other four have all been seen in the last 19 days.

United Front has won here over 1m2f and his course figures read 221. He was denied by a neck over1m at Kempton two starts ago, but won by 3 lengths over 1m2f at Lingfield at the start of the month and could probably have won by further. A 5lb rise is probably fair and might not be enough to stop a horse with a good A/W record (4 wins, 4 places from 11) with the yard and jockey in decent touch, The jockey incidentally more than negates the weight rise with his 7lb claim...

Seventh Kingdom was last seen in the UK on 21st August 2020 when 4th of 7 , beaten by eight lengths over a mile in a Listed contest for the Gosdens at Salisbury, six weeks after finishing 3rd of 10 in 7f Group 2 race at Newmarket. This son of Frankel was then shipped out to France, where he raced twice for Edouard Monfort finishing 3rd of 7 twice over a mile at Toulouse and then at Angers in April/May of this year. Since then, he has been gelded, rested and sent back to the UK where he now makes a handicap and yard debut for Jamie Osborne. He clearly has ability, but might need the run and I suspect the market might hold the clue to his chances, but the yard does well with handicap debutants...

You're Hired comes here on a hat-trick after winning here over 1m and then 1m2f in October/November, despite giving himself a lot of work to do last time out. he's up 2lbs for the win and will probably need to get going a little sooner here, but with a record of 3 wins and 2 places from 7 over 7f/1m, he should have the speed required and although his yard doesn't come here often, they do tend to take some prize money home...

Keyser Soze has been off the track for five months since finishing 7th of 14 over 1m at Newmarket in July and although he had a decent enough record on the A/W from 2017 to early 2019, he has only made the frame once in his last ten attempts and his record here reads 11th of 15, 4th of 9 and 4th of 14. Hard to see him involved here on that data, even if his jockey is riding well right now...

Headingley can be a bit hit and miss on the Flat, but his A/W record is excellent after five starts all here at Chelmsford where he has finished 1181 over course and distance before finishing 2nd of 7 over 1m2f a week ago. he was 6lbs higher than the previous win/run that day and is dropped 3lbs here. All of which makes him look an attractive proposition back over a mile, but the caveat here is that all those races were at Class 4 and he's up two grades here, but in addition to his own excellent course record, his trainer, jockey & trainer/jockey are all in good form too...

Mobashr makes just his fourth start and his handicap debut. He raced twice at Windsor in June, finishing 5th of 7 on debut over 1m2f at Class 5, before landing a Class 4, 1m novice race by a neck. He was then rested for 21 weeks prior to an A/W debut at Lingfield 19 days ago, where he comfortably landed another 1m novice contest by the best part of four lengths. That, however, was only a Class 6 affair and whilst the runner-up has since won, he's only rated 78 making Mobashr's opening mark of 88 not exactly lenient, but he is representing a trainer/jockey combo that have had a good year...

Goddess of Fire has certainly been kept busy, running 20 times in the last 8 months and managing to make the frame in 11 of them, winning twice. She hasn't, however, won on the A/W for over 21 months and runs here from out of the handicap. All her best form has come at classes 5 and 6 and she's probably going to find this a bit too tough, but she's generally reliable to at least give it a shot.

*

That's an overview of each of the runners, but if we wanted to isolate their past form to just look at similar races to today's then that's where feature of the day, Instant Expert, comes in...

The above should be fairly explanatory, Seventh Kingdom has no relevant past form, Mobashr is lightly raced, Keyser Soze's numbers are so-so but better than Goddess of Fire, whilst United Front, You're Hired and Headingley catch the eye, not withstanding the latter's lack of experience at this level. Weight-wise, Keyser Soze's last win was off 5lbs higher, but the other four past handicap winners are all racing off marks 2 to 5lbs higher than their own last wins.

In races over a mile here at Chelmsford, the draw has tended to suit those drawn lowest with the shortest run to the bend and the chances of winning from higher draws decreases on an almost linear pattern, barring a probably anomalous figure for those drawn widest of all (perhaps the slingshot effect?)...

This would tend to suggest the likes of United Front and Headingley (who both fared well on Instant Expert) would be best suited by the draw in stalls 1 & 2 with those in 5 or 6, Goddess of Fire and Seventh Kingdom least well off. That said, the difference between stall 2's figures and those from stall 5 aren't massive, so you could win from anywhere here, the key is actually how you approach the race and the pace stats tell us that mid-division runners hold their own when it comes to winning their fair share of races, but leading is easily the best tactic here...

...with leaders' win percentage actually equating well to the place returns of the other three styles. We can then put pace and draw together to produce the following 12-sector (4 styles x 3 draws) heat map...

...to give us an idea of how the race might unfold.

Summary

Only Keyser Soze and Mobashr seem unsuited by the pace/draw analysis and I'm going to rule them out of my calculations as the winner here. Not just because of the heat map, but also because of the former's time off the track and his poor run of form on the A/W whilst the latter makes a big step forward in class and hasn't been too leniently treated by the assessor, not that he can't/won't run well here.

Goddess of Fire scores really well on that heatmap, but everything else about her says that she's not winning this, she's not a Class 2 horse in my opinion and she'll get caught and beaten. Seventh Kingdom clearly has some ability, but after such a long time away from the UK scene and the A/W, a watching brief is best advised, but do keep an eye out for money coming for him.

That's leaves us with three, the same three identified by feature of the day, Instant Expert: United Front, Headingley & You're Hired. Of that trio, I think that Headingley is the most vulnerable up in class, but won't be far adrift and with United Front having the plum draw and tending to race further advanced than You're Hired, I'm going for a United Front/You're Hired 1-2.

Headingley looks the best of the rest of those with experience but he might have to fight/beat Mobashr for third.

My 1-2 are the 4/1 and 7/2 3rd and 2nd favourites respectively with Mobashr leading the market at what looks a measly 11/8.

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