Friday's free feature is the Horses For Courses (H4C) report, showing the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the 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.
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Here's how my H4C report looks this Friday...
...giving me four possibles to consider and they're supplemented by the following full free racecards...
- 2.00 Newcastle
- 2.20 Lingfield
- 2.45 Chelmsford
Seeing as one of my H4C possibles runs in one of the day's free races, I suppose it makes sense to focus on the 2.45 Chelmsford, an 8-runner (hopefully staying that way), Class 3, 4yo+ A/W Handicap over a left-handed 7f on standard polytrack and at £10,800 it's worth winning, so here are the contenders...
Only three of these (Red Mirage, Hieronymus & Revolutionise) have failed to win any of their last five outings, although Hieronymus has certainly been banging on the door and Revolutionise certianly likes it here as the H4C horse. Conversely, both Aramis Grey & Hello Zabeel both won last time out with the latter bringing the best set of bare results to the table.
Both LTO winners are up in class here with Aramis Grey moving up one level, whilst Hello Zabeel steps up two classes for his second handicap outing, whilst Hieronymus, Revolutionise and Ostilio all ran at Class 2 last time around. All eight runners are past winners at this trip and Aramis Grey has won here at Chelmsford over 6f, whilst Red Mirage, Revolutionise and Bobby On The Beat have all won over this 7f course and distance.
Half of the field have raced in the last month (Ostilio ran 3 days ago), but the other half haven't been seen for 175 days or more (Hieronymus ran 223 days ago!)
Is one of those coming back from a break (195 days to be precise) and having left Mark Johnston's yard, he now makes a debut for Team Balding hoping to recapture his early career form which saw him win each of his first three starts including a course and distance success just over a year ago after a 204 day absence. That season pretty much petered out, though and he was last home of ten and then seven on his final two runs of 2021.
Banging hard on the door when last seen, finishing as runner-up in each of his last three starts including a couple of pretty big fields and was only denied by a head over a mile at Kempton in a Class 2 contest last time out. That was back in early September, though and fitness will have to be taken on trust. If he's ready, then the drop in class and trip puts him right in the mix.
Finished third here over 6f before four runs over C&D that saw him finish 1721. Had a good winter over 20/21, but since winning at Wolverhampton in February of last year, hasn't won any of 12 starts. In fairness, all 12 have been away from Chelmsford and four of his last six have been over longer trips. A return to 7f here could suit him far better, allied to a drop in class and a lower handicap mark than his last win. Good place chance at least.
0 from 5 on the A/W but was a narrowly-defeated runner-up over 6f at Lingfield on his last effort, but that was way back in November 2020. Since then he has 9 top 3 finishes from 12 starts on turf, winning twice, but ran a poor race at Newbury when last seen and now needs to transfer his better form to this sphere having not raced for six months.
Won a 7f, Class 6 claimer for his first win for nearly 16 months, but hasn't kicked on in four handicap starts since finishing 5th of 7, last of 11, 8th of 9 and last of 12 at Newmarket just three days ago. I'd be surprised if he was better than 7th or 8th here.
The only mare in the race might prove to be the one to beat. She has made the frame in 16 of her 23 starts overall and has 5 A/W wins from 19. Has been kept really busy over the last year, racing 15 times in which she has been in the first three home 12 times (5 x 1st, 5 x 2nd, 2 x 3rd). Did just enough to win over 6f at Wolverhampton last time out and despite being up in trip, class and weight, she should be amongst the principals here.
Just five runs to date and on the face of it, his form line of 20221 says he's one of the more likely ones to succeed here, but I'm not entirely convinced. Four of five starts have been at Class 5, including his win last time out in a maiden. He was only 2nd of 4 on handicap debut off a mark of 77 at Class 4 and now goers off 79 at class 3, so this will be tougher. The other three runners from his handicap debut are a combined 0 from 14 since and he has a 31 week break to overcome. I expect the market to like him, but I'm not keen right now.
BOBBY ON THE BEAT
Hardly prolific, but his 3 wins and 4 further places from 15 A/W starts easily outweighs his 0 from 11 (3 places) turf form and one of his wins came over this course and distance in February. In fact, in the last four months his results read 196112942, admittedly mainly at classes 5 & 6. He did run at this grade last time out, mind, when a 3 lengths runner-up of 12 over 6f at Kempton a month ago and could go well again here off the same mark.
That's an overview of the runners, but for more specific data on race suitability, we turn once again to Instant Expert...
...where unsurprisingly H4C horse Revolutionise has some good numbers across the board and he's 3lbs lower than his last win. Most of the red blocks cause very little concern to me as 0 from 2 or 3 is no disaster, but Aramis Grey's 0/6 and Bobby On The Beat's 1/7 at this trip need further analysis. The latter is also a concern at 6lbs higher than his last relevant win, as is Hieronymus' 12lb rise. that said, he has been in great form. We can look a little deeper into those distance figures by posting up the Instant Expert place stats...
...which certainly alleviate some of concerns about Aramis Grey with 4 placed efforts from 6, whilst H4C runner Revolutionise certainly catches the eye for at least a place.
A left handed 7f here has often favoured those drawn in the lower half of the draw, so those in stalls 1 to 4...
...might take some heart from the following...
...but a good draw is only worth anything if utilised properly and that's where we also need to look at pace analysis. Don't be fooled by the word 'pace', we're not just looking for the fastest runner, we're after the one whose racing tempo/positioning suits the contest best and our pace stats tell us that those races above have been won most often by horses who have set/dictated the pace of the race...
Prominent/mid-division runners have fared slightly worse/better than expected, but not noticeably so, but hold-up horses have really struggled. This data would appear to be better news for Hieronymus and Revolutionise than it would for Spanish Star and Aramis Grey, although the latter has raced fairly prominently in her three previous visits to this track...
And when we combine the pace stats with the draw stats, we can compose our unique pace/draw heatmap...
...where the ideal position would seem to be a low drawn leader. Revolutionise in stall 4 probably comes closest to fitting the bill, but the pace is likely to come from stall 7 and Hieronymus might not find it too difficult getting across to assume the lead. Previously fancied Aramis Grey could well step forward, based on her past runs here and also because Revolutionise will set off quickly next to her.
Aside from the pace angle, I've liked Aramis Grey all the way through the process. Hieronymus is the one I expect to set the pace and leaders do really well here and he's certianly not overdue a win based on his last few results, whilst Horses for Courses runner Revolutionise has almost the perfect pace/draw make-up along with a great set of instant Expert numbers and I think that these are my three against the field
To be honest, any of the three could win and we might get a decent race out of it, but if you were to push me for a prediction I think I prefer the 4/1 Aramis Grey.
Hieronymus looks destined to play bridesmaid again and if he was a little longer than 13/2, I'd be backing him E/W. I will, however, be placing an E/W bet on Revolutionise, because I think bet365 have him wrong at 11/1, so fingers crossed.