Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 9th July 2021

England duly won last night and then Sir Ron Priestley made all as expected today in the the Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes and the 1/2 fav (yes, 1/2!) Al Aasy just couldn't quite reel him in, giving us a very nice 11/2 success. Those who followed the summary and went for the exacta made another winning bet at 5.7/1, but the value of course was in the straight win bet. I think Sir Ron had been underestimated by plenty of people, but he beat Pyledriver and the Geegeez tools made him hard to ignore : hats off the remarkably powerful tools suite Matt has put together, I'm merely showing you how to use them!

Anyway, Chris, you're already a few hours behind schedule, so stop waffling and crack on with Friday's preview, where feature of the day is the fabulous Horses For Courses (H4C) report, which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is initially sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting.

As well as the feature of the day, we have the following six free races of the day...

  • 1.40 Ascot
  • 2.15 Ascot
  • 2.25 Newmarket
  • 4.10 Newmarket
  • 7.15 Chepstow
  • 8.05 Kilbeggan

And although I've actually got four qualifiers on my H4C) report,

...we've got another Group 2 contest on the free list, so it makes sense to stay at HQ for the 2.25 Newmarket aka the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes, which is a Group 2 race for 2yo fillies over 6f on Good to Firm ground. There's another decent pot on offer, as £51,039 will wing its way to one of the following...

Now, I'm not making excuses, but I normally shy away from 2yo races, because I rely heavily on data for my betting and there's often very little to work on with juvies. In fact, these eight have only raced 21 times between them, but having only missed the frame four times between them, they've a place strike of almost 81% and have won twelve times (57.1%). All have won at least once and none have raced more than four times. Only Ellade (C2) and Sadmah (C5) didn't race in a Class 1 last time out, whilst all bar Honey Sweet have already tasted success over this 6f trip. Sandrine's OR of 105 makes her best off at the weights from those with a mark, whilst both Ellade and Honey Sweet are both rated some 23lbs lower.

We've plenty of in-form and/or course specialist trainers and jockeys, check the green icons and even Frankie's here with his impressive Class 1 record!

Desert Dreamer started her career with back to back Class 4 ins over 5f and then 6f on the Rowley here at HQ, before finishing 10th of 21, beaten by six lengths in the Gr2 Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot last month. She bounced back well though, to only go down by a neck here over course and distance in a Listed race last time out and a similar run gives her an outside chance of making the frame.

Ellade had two wins and a 4th of 6 in three Class 5 contests before being beaten by a head as the runner-up in a Class 2 contest last time out. Neither of her wins were convincing and this is a tough task up in trip.

Flotus won a Class 4 maiden on debut and her only other run was a 13 length defeat in the Gr 3 Albany Stakes where she was 13th home of 15. She's probably better than that and has Frankie Dettori on board, but this is another small step up and she's never raced on ground quicker than soft, so I'll give her a wide berth today.

Hello You is, like Flotus, a twice-raced filly whose last outing was in the Albany, but she was the runner-up at Ascot, headed inside the final furlong, whilst her maiden outing saw her stroll to a 6.5 length success at Wolverhampton in May. She's one to consider here.

Honey Sweet won a 5f soft ground maiden at Nottingham to kick off her career, but could only manage 7th of 15 (bt by 3.5L) here over course and distance in the same Listed race as Desert Dreamer was the half-length runner-up.

Oscula was only headed late into her debut at Kempton in May, but won her next two races at Class 5, then Class 2 before becoming another of this field (four in total) to run in the Albany at Ascot three weeks ago. She was third that day, two lengths behind Sandrine, half a length behind Hello You and 11 lengths clear of Flotus. She's got a bit of ground to make up here, but stands every chance of another podium finish.

Sadmah will win races, but I suspect this won't be one of them. She looked pretty green on debut at Haydock a month ago and the fact that she won that Class 5 Novice race by 0.75 lengths probably says more about that race than it does about her. It was a poor race that she struggled to get to grips with. The penny dropped late on, suggesting better times are ahead, but this looks a giant leap in terms of quality.

Sandrine is, on what little form we have to go off, the one to beat here. She stuck to her task when winning a Class 5 A/W novice race on debut, before going on to land the Albany last time out. She won by a length and a half and you sensed she had more to give and the only fly in the ointment for is whether she handles quicker ground, but you could say that about most of these here.


At this point, it's a 4-horse race in my head already. I don't like Ellade (unconvincing wins and up in class/trip), Flotus (well behind the re-opposing 1-2-3 from the Albany), Honey Sweet (behind Desert Dreamer LTO) nor Sadmah (not ready for this yet), leaving me with Desert Dreamer, Hello You, Oscula and Sandrine.

Instant Expert shows the past form under today's conditions and whether they've actually faced these conditions before...

Of the four, only Desert Dreamer has raced on Good to Firm before and she's 0 from 2 (runner-up once), but both she and Oscula are 2 from 2 on good ground. Sandrine's win in the Albany makes her the only Class 1 winner, but the other three have all been placed at this level. Desert Dreamer's 2 from 3 at HQ includes 2 from 2 on the Rowley, but she was a runner-up here on the July course and they've all won at this trip with all four of them having a 10% place record over 6f.

To be honest, we've not learned much new there, but Sandrine's win in the Albany continues to stick out, whilst a quick look at sire data told me that both Hello You & Oscula are by stallions whose offspring have gone well on good to firm ground.

From the draw, stall 2 has done OK, but the place to be in similar 8-runner contests is in the higher half (5-8) of the draw... that half has 23 wins to the low half's 11 and the place stats go the same way, making it better news for Sandrine & Hello You over Oscula & Desert Dreamer, whilst the pace stats are also very clear...

...get out quick, grab the lead and hold on. If you can't get the lead, get as close to the lead as you can and hope the leader can't hold on. Leaders make the frame almost half of the time and the further back you race, the harder it is to place. So, if you already like Sandrine or Hello You from the high draw, you'll be wanting them to get out sharpish, because...

and here's how my quartet have tended to race in their short careers so far...

Oscula looks set to attempt to make all and that's her best strategy from a poor draw, but you suspect Sandrine will run her down. Hello You will probably get towed along by Sandrine, whilst Desert Dreamer looks worst off of the four.


I've just seen the market for the race and I'm a little disappointed. Not disappointed in my process or the outcome I've arrived, but because the market agrees with me and we've not got one over on them.

The Albany finished Sandrine / Hello You / Oscula and I think those three finish that way again today. The question was going to be if Desert Dreamer could gatecrash the party, but all things being equal, I fear she just misses out. The best market prices for my 1-2-3-4 are currently (8.15pm)  9/4, 11/4, 11/2 and 12/1.

I'm happy that that's the order I want, but I still think that Desert Dreamer might just be worth a small E/W tickle at 12's, it only takes one of the other three to not get the speed of the ground 😉


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