Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Friday 18/08/23

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 sadly yielded just one Irish 'possible'...

...but I can always fall back upon our daily list of 'free' races...

  • 2.40 Newbury
  • 3.45 Newbury
  • 4.45 Epsom
  • 4.50 Cork
  • 4.55 Newbury
  • 6.43 Tramore

...from which there's not much to excite me, so I'm going to foocus on the day's highest rated handicap race, the 8.05 Newmarket, a 9-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ flat handicap over a straight mile on good ground...

The form horse would appear to be bottom-weight Sudden Ambush who won last time out and is two from three and three from six. As a 3yr old, he's getting a 6lbs weight allowance here as are Finn's Charm and Lose Your Wad.

Bear Force One is two from four, but his recent results look binary (1010) and Finn's Charm, Arqoob, Repertoire & Lose Your Wad have all won at least one of their last five. The entire field have won at least once over this trip, but only Bear Force One has won here at Newmarket, having scored over course and distance way back in July 2020.

LTO winner Sudden Ambush wears a tongue tie for the first time here and is up one class, as is Azano, whilst Repertoire is up two classes despite finishing 8th of 9 at Yarmouth last time out. All bar Arqoob have raced in the last eight weeks or so, but he's been off for 111 days, during which time he has moved from Lucy Wadham's yard and now debuts for William Jarvis.

As well as possibly needing a run, Arqoob is going to have to run better on good ground than he has previously, because Instant Expert highlights the going as one of his weaknesses...

Azano is another with a low win percentage on good ground and he looks very weak right across the board, which isn't too surprising for a horse with just 3 wins from 32 outings. Intellogent and to a lesser extent Lose Your Wad also look pretty weak under these conditions. Sudden Ambush looks decent albeit off a small sample size, whilst Bear Force One looks consistent if unspectacular from a win perspective and he also has decent place stats too...

...where Azano remains weak on class/distance. Bopedro, Bear Force One and Sudden Ambush seem the ones to focus on from Instant Expert and they're all drawn fairly close together in 3, 4 and 6 with Azano the filling in the sandwich in that central cluster that seems to have avoided the lower stalls that our Draw Analyser suggests is a poor place to run from...

...but I'm not entirely convinced by that set of figures, but I wasn't surprised to see that the Pace Analyser show that those races were won by horses keen to get on with things...

...generating the following pace/draw heat map...

...where the mid-drawn hold-up horses aside, the greens are where you'd expect them to be based on the above data, but do we have a mid/high drawn leader in our pack?

This suggests that the pace will come from stalls 3 to 7 with Azano leading the charge, as he has done in ten of his last eleven races. That said, he hasn't really looked like winning any of them and I don't expect that to change here. Finn's Charm looks like the next cab off the rank, but was last of four and 25th of 29 either side of a runner-up finish in the German 2000 Guineas in May and was then beaten by almost 20 lengths last time out, so it's probably not going to be his day either.

My feeling here is that Azano and Finns Charm will tow Sudden Ambush and Bear Force One into the race and that this latter pair will end up being the ones to beat.


Sudden Ambush and Bear Force One now look the ones to be with here and the early (3.10pm friday) market has them at a best-priced 10/3 fav and 7/1 respectively with Hills and I think that's probably the right way round, although there might not be much in it and the latter might well be the value play here, especially if he drifts any and we can go E/W.

As for one for the frame, I can't put Azano, Finn's Charm or Intellogent forward based on the above. Repertoire and Bopedro look to have too much to do from the back, whilst Lose Your Wad is out of sorts and poorly drawn.  This, almost by default, puts Arqoob in the spotlight and if he gets the 'new trainer bounce' that many runners do get, he's only 3lbs higher than his last win and was in good form over hurdles in the winter. And at 17/2 or bigger later, he mightn't be a bad E/W pick here if the return to Team Jarvis works.

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