Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Friday 17/05/24

Friday's free feature, the Horses for Courses (H4C) report does exactly what it says on the tin ie it shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track and is 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 as ever please refer to our User Guide for further information!

My own settings (you get to choose your own parameters) for the H4C report...

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...are quite restrictive and have generated no runners for me to consider but thankfully, this daily feature is, as always, supplemented by a number of 'free' racecards...

  • 2.15 York
  • 3.53 Newmarket
  • 4.25 Newmarket
  • 4.55 Newmarket
  • 6.10 Kilbeggan
  • 6.30 Leopardstown

...from which, I'll take a look at the 4.25 Newmarket, an 8-runner (fingers crossed for E/W bettors), Class 3, 4yo+ flat handicap over a right-handed 1m4f on the good to firm Rowley course...

Iron Lion and true Courage both won last time out and the latter has won two of his last three, as has Composite. Most of the field have won at least once in their last five but The Whipmaster and Moktasaab are on losing runs of seven and twelve races respectively whilst Swiss Money has been beaten in all seven UK starts.

It also looks like he's up two classes here, but that's from a hurdles run, his last Flat race was at this level, but Iron Lion, Composite (second handicap run today), The Whipmaster (new trainer licence name, NOT new trainer but does wear first-time tongue-tie) and Moktasaab are all up one class for this one.

Most of the field have raced in the last five weeks, so should be race fit and Moktasaab should also be OK after an eight-week rest, but top-weight Fox Journey might well need a run, having not raced since October 2023. That said, he did win here at Newmarket (1m2f) this time last year on his combeack from a 190-day absence, so maybe 205 days won't be an issue.

He's the only previous course winner in the field and like Iron Lion, Composite, Vaynor and True courage, he has already won over today's trip elsewhere...

Instant Expert doesn't give us too much assistance on the win front today, but it does suggest that The Whipmaster might be up against it having failed at class and distance half a dozen times. Vaynor prefers good ground or an artificial surface, whilst Iron Lion and Fox Journey are both a fair bit higher than their last winning marks. The corresponding place stats from those races above show that both The Whipmaster and True Courage usually go pretty well on good to firm ground...

...but the doubts about the former's ability at this trip remain.

Similar past races here at HQ suggest that stalls 2 to 5 might be the place to be, although there's not a great deal in it...

...and I suspect that race tactics/positioning might be more important today, as those races above show a distinct advantage for those willing to take it on...

...and this is reinforced by the pace/draw heat map...

We already know the draw, so let's look at how these runners normally approach their races to see if there's a pattern...

To be honest, it doesn't look like there's much pace in the race at all and this could lead to a falsely-run affair, which would play into the hands of those who come here in the best form and those who would normally struggle if there's early pace. Vaynor has led a couple of times recently and he's probably going to end up doing so again today, but he wouldn't normally feature too high on my list of 'possibles'

Summary

In card order, I'd be quite surprised if the first three home didn't come from Fox Journey, Iron Lion, Composite and True Courage, from which I think I'd side with the returning Fox Journey. I expect a tight battle, though and of the other three runners, I suspect Iron Lion will offer least value.

I'd no odds available at 3.20pm on Thursday, but I'd hope for 3/1 or bigger about Fox Journey, but I doubt I'll get viable E/W odds about any of the other three.

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