Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Friday 05/05/23

Friday is Horses For Courses (H4C) report day at Geegeez and this feature does exactly what you'd expect, as it shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at that track, sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at your 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. And as with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track, but please refer to our User Guide for further information.

My chosen settings for the report...

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...have yielded just one qualifier for Friday...

...but I can, of course, also fall back upon our daily list of 'free' races...

  • 1.50 Newmarket
  • 3.00 Newmarket
  • 3.20 Musselburgh
  • 4.45 Newmarket
  • 7.10 Cheltenham
  • 7.55 Newcastle

The first of those is the 'best' on paper as a Group 2 race, but with a small field and a likely short favourite, I'll take the next on the list, the competitive-looking 3.00 Newmarket, an 8-runner (fingers crossed for E/W bettors), Class 2, 4yo+ flat handicap over a straight 7f on good to firm ground...

None of these managed to win last time out, which is unusual at this level and more surprisingly, only bottom weight Lord Rapscallion made thframe, but even that was at Class 4, as he now steps up two classes. Persuasion and Darkness are both also up from Class 3.

The Gatekeeper did win three races ago and Final Watch won four starts back, but the rest are winless in five. They have all, however, previously won at a trip similar to this one and three have won here at HQ; Accidental Agent scored over course and distance just over a year ago and Final Watch did so almost two years ago (and has won over 7f on the July course), whilst Star Of Orion won here over 6f on debut almost three years ago and has since scored over this trip on the July course.

The bottom three on the card could be excused for needing a run, as Bass Player, Accidental Agent and Star of Orion return from breaks of 22 to 27 weeks. Top weight Persuasion is back from a two-month rest and the other four have all raced in the past four weeks with Darkness & Lord Rapscallion out as recently as last week.

Instant Expert tells us that we have four previous good to firm ground winners, one trying it for the first time and one with a really poor win record! As for Class 2 racing, just two have wins under their belt and two have really toiled...

And with a  0 from 11 record on good to firm and an even worse 0/25 at Class 2, I won't be rushing out to back Lord Rapscallion. He's not great at this trip either, nor is Star of Orion who also has a dismal Class 2 record. I'm fairly sure neither of these would be winning this one. Elsewhere. Persuasion has struggled at the trip, but those 2 wins from 15 are his only two wins in a 21-race career, so I doubt he wins this either.

Yet, his place record at the trip is pretty good and only Accidental Agent's poor place record on good to firm ground stands out as being unwanted...

...he does seem to either win or not make the frame on good to firm!

Unusually for a straight seven furlongs, we do have a slight draw bias and similarly surprisingly, it seems to favour those drawn highest in eight runner contests...

...although the advantage isn't huge. Pace, however, is a totally different kettle of fish...

Those setting the pace make the frame in half of the races, but tend to only win 1 in 14 or so, leaving the door open for the stalking horses to come in and snatch the race late on, even to the extent that hold-up horses can often watch the leaders take each other on, do too much and be left vulnerable to a late run, but for now, a prominent position looks the best option, which based on recent runs...

...might make connections of The Gatekeeper a little wary of his ability to make all from the front. The pace/draw heat map...

...suggests we should focus on...

  • the mid-drawn to high prominent runners
  • or the low drawn leaders.

Summary

Our race pace/draw combinations look like this

...where the Bass Player looks the nearest thing to a mid/high drawn prominent runner, but he has been in such poor form that we might want to wait and see how his recent wind op has changed him. The Gatekeeper, however, does seem to the low drawn leader role and based on his winning run at the start of March, he's probably the one to beat here.

He's currently available at 4/1 with Hills, which I think is more than fair and the one who might cause him most bother is probably Final Watch. The rest are a fairly mediocre bunch for a Class 2 contest and it might well be Accidental Agent or Darkness who complete the frame here.

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