I had a feeling that Triplicate would struggle at Southwell today and he was indeed last home of seven, beaten by 48 lengths. I also thought it would be tight amongst what I though would be the three best horses, Atlantic Storm, Check My Pulse and Tardree and they were only separated by 2.5 lengths with 14 lengths back to the next horse.
Sadly that's as good as I got, as I didn't foresee the 14/1 outsider Siannes Star breaking a 13 race losing run spread over more than two years to finish 8 lengths clear of my trio. He defied a full line of red on Instant Expert and a poor pace prediction to romp home. As for main pick, Tardree, he led as expected until his jumping started to become sketchy which took its toll and he relinquished the lead 3 out.
So, we were there or thereabouts but without actually winning anything, so we move on to Wednesday. Feature of the day is the Trainer Stats report, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...
- 3.20 Fontwell
- 3.35 Yarmouth
- 4.00 Cork
- 4.35 Cork
- 7.45 Hamilton
And when I look at my qualifiers from the 5yr handicap filter on my Trainer Stats report, I see that I've got a possible runner in the second of our free races...
What I should stress here is that I NEVER back qualifiers from any report blindly, it's just another factor to consider.
The presence of Duke of Prussia above means we should see what chance he might have in the free race, the 3.35 Yarmouth, which is an 8-runner, Class 6 3yo Flat handicap over 1m2f on good ground worth a mere £2,322.
Sir Mark's handicappers are actually 13 from 27 here since the start of the 2017 campaign at a strike rate of 46.15% (A/E 1.54) and under today's conditions he has managed an even better strike rate in the following five areas...
- 71.4 % (5 from 7) at Class 6
- 66.6% (12/18) with male runners
- 57.1% (4/7) in 3yo races
- 54.2% (13/24) with 3 yr olds
- and 50% (3/6) in June
BUT, the following four areas haven't been as successful...
- 41.2% (7/17) for jockey Luke Morris
- 40% (6/15) with runners unplaced LTO
- 33.3% (2/6) over this 1m2f trip
- and 0% (0/9) at odds of 5/1 or bigger, where I suspect the Duke will be.
As for the race itself...
Not much form to write home about, but plenty of stats on offer (red numbers under horse's name), two handicap debutants, three having their second crack and a couple of class droppers. We've a fairly big 17lb handicap spread with the Duke rated the worst here by the assessor and we've plenty of positive trainer/jockey icons.
To be honest, it looks a fairly mediocre race between eight mediocre three year olds with Mustazeed's third place finish the last time out being the only time any of these have made the frame in a combined 34 efforts! Unsurprisingly, the early tissues suggested he'd be a fairly warm favourite, but with a string of unproven runners, we might a decent priced E/W punt. After all that 1 place from 34 (2.94%) will leap to 9.52% (4 from 42) after the race! 😉
Mustazeed unsurprisingly heads the weights as well as the markets after a decent third of twelve on his handicap bow three weeks ago. He ran on well late on shaped as though the extra furlong or so might help today and there are some positive stats to back up his claim...
True Courage was beaten by 36 lengths on handicap debut last October and returned to action at Bath 30 weeks later last month to go down by 14 lengths. There's a glimmer of hope in the stats below, but you'd really need True Courage to back this one!
Knight of Kings has raced just three times to date and has been beaten by 11, 10 then 14 lengths at trips ranging from 7 to 8.6 furlongs for two different trainers. His current yard is 1/48 over the last 50 days, but did win 2 of 9 here last season. This one is probably the worst of a bad bunch.
Stigwood wasn't beaten by far in a pair of higher grade Novice races last term and although well beaten last time out, he does have the benefit of having seen this trip out on similar ground. If he can put last term's Class 4/5 form into this longer trip, he might have a sniff of some money.
Alaskan Lady wasn't disgraced when within 5 lengths of the winner on handicap debut at Bath four weeks ago despite not having raced for six months. Much will depend on how she bounces back and how she copes with an extra quarter mile, but her yard has been amongst the winners of late.
Dubai Emperor never raced as a 2yr old and all three career starts have been in Class 5 contests over 7f in march of this year, where he was beaten by 10.5, 18 and 12 lengths. Big step up in trip, but breeding suggests he'll prefer longer than 7f and he has a stack of positive stats behind him. Like the horse above, if he gets the trip, he might also get a place.
Tinchoo was 4th over a mile and 4th over 1m2f almost three weeks ago either side of a 190-day absence. She stayed on well last time out on soft ground and you'd hope she'd strip fitter for that effort. Quicker ground here makes it less arduous, she's eased a pound and jockey Tom Marquand has already ridden ten winners this month and is 17/88 (19.3%) here since the start of 2019.
Duke of Prussia is our Trainer Stats report horse and is down 2lbs for his second crack at a handicap after finishing well down the field at Carlisle a fortnight ago. He was up in trip from 7 to 11 furlongs that day and hadn't raced for seven months, so it's possible he could kick on today. The yard is in good form and we know about the stable's record here at Yarmouth...
Instant Expert isn't going to tell us anything positive about a field that has made the frame once in 34 attempts, but it might tell who's the least poor by showing which horses have already failed under today's conditions too often!
I said it wouldn't tell us too much!
From a draw perspective, we only had ten 8-runner contests to refer back to, but by expanding the field setting to 7-9 runners, it gave us 21 races to consider, which would be a more reliable benchmark and of those 21 races, you'd want to be in the first three stalls, although stall 8 was easily the best of anything higher than 3...
...whilst the worst pace profile for such a race was to be held up, but at an IV of 0.88, that's really not to bad for worst for four possibles...
Obviously mid-division looks the place to be, but 23 runners is a small sample size that might not be entirely reliable. However, we can only deal with what's in front of us and the inference from above is that if you ran in mid-division from stalls 1-3, you'd surely have a great chance?
Yes, it certainly looks that way! But in fairness, all four running styles have at least 2 green blocks from 3 and all draws have at least 2 greens from 4, so plenty of successful combos here. And when we look at how these eight runners have ran on their last couple of outings...
...it looks like Alaskan lady will set the pace. She's got a good draw in stall 8, but leaders from out wide have fared poorly in the past. If they they break out like the above, then third pace rank Stigwood is actually going find himself as a prominent runner up with Trur Courage and from stall 2, he could get a really handy position.
Based on pace/draw, you wouldn't be rushing to back Mustazeed and you'd probably be even more reluctant when you see him priced as low as even money. He's the most likely to succeed here, but I can't be backing him at Evens.
I also like the chances of both Tinchoo and Stigwood for the places and I don't have that much between them and I also don't have them very far ahead of either Alaskan Lady and Dubai Emperor and it could well be a really tight scrum at the end. Much will depend on whether Alaskan lady gets clear and by how and then if she can hang on. I'd suspect not.
Tinchoo is best priced at 15/2, which id borderline E/W territory for me, but Stigwood is worth a quid or two at 14/1 e/w. Alaskan Lady is also of E/W interest at 12/1. I'll have two small punts there in the hope that at least one makes the frame.
As for featured horse Duke of Prussia. I think he beats Knight of Kings but not many, if any, more.