Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Monday 02/05/22

Every Sunday & Monday, we make the PACE tab on the race cards open to ALL readers for ALL races, including of course, our races of the day, which for Monday are set to be...

  • 2.41 Beverley
  • 2.45 Kempton
  • 3.30 Curragh
  • 4.40 Curragh
  • 4.55 Down Royal
  • 5.20 Warwick

...from which, I'm going to have a quick look at the last of them, the 5.20 Warwick, a 13-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ handicap hurdle (just 8 flights) over a left handed two mile trip on good ground...

Honestlyntrufully is our only LTO winner, but five of his rivals (Galata Bridge, El Borracho, Onehundredpercent, Illico des Places and Nye Bevan) have also won at least one of their last five. We have four class movers, as Art Man & Honestlyntrufully step up a grade with Dinsdale up two classes, but Galata Bridge is down two.

Illico des Places and Valirann Gold are handicap debutants, Galata Bridge & Art Man are on their second attempt and El Borracho makes a yard debut. The days since last run range goes from 14 days to 291 days with five runners not having raced this year.

Thirteen runners is pretty much at the edge of my comfort zone, so I want to start crossing names off as quickly as I can, so let's look at race suitability via Instant Expert...

...where we have far more red than (a) we'd like and (b) there is green! A rudimentary way of crossing names of for me is to look for those with red after a decent number of runs ie 0 from 2 is still OK but 1 from 9 isn't, so on that basis alone, Long Call fails on going, class and trip, Nye Bevan fails on trip and Eva's Diva also fails on going, class and trip. This means that when we look at place form, we've only ten runners to consider...

...where Onehundredpercent catches the eye from a place or E/W possibility, as do Galata Bridge, Iron Heart and Honestlyntrufully, although the latter is some 12lbs higher than his LTO success at a lower grade 25 days ago. El Borracho has some decent numbers too and now runs off 8lbs lower than his last win. No more discards at this point.

PACE is today's free feature and our pace analyser says...

...that we really want to be backing a horse that likes to lead or at least be up with the pace and by logging how every horse runs every race, we can make an informed judgement as to how they'll run here, based off their most recent efforts...

Honestlyntrufully made all to win LTO, but it was a fairly modest pace in a contest that nobody else wanted to take on, so I'm not yet convinced he'll try to set the fractions here, especially after being held up in his previous three but we'll not discount him on pace just yet. The three that interest me most from a pace perspective are the top three : Galata Bridge, Dinsdale and El Borracho and it is these three on pace, along with Onehundredpercent from place form and Honestlyntrufully from his LTO run that I want to focus on in my bid to quickly establish if there's a bet to be had.

GALATA BRIDGE
Was decent on the A/W with 3 wins and a place from 7 and has made the frame in two of three over hurdles, including a win at Plumpton second time out, before running out of steam after a mistake at the last on his final attempt. He now drops back in trip, which should help and if not hindered by a 173-day absence, should go well here.

DINSDALE
Not the horse he used to be and hasn't won over hurdles since July 2018. Has had a series of wind ops to try and get him back to his old levels, but I doubt he's good enough for this and I'd discard him here.

EL BORRACHO
Generally very consistent over both sizes of obstacles, but in truth his best form has been over fences with 3 wins and a place from five starts. He didn't go well on his last outing at Ludlow, but that that was his 11th run in 33 weeks during a busy 2021 and that might have just been one run too many. Now rested for 208 days, we might see the spark return, as he did finish third after 252 days off in July 2020.

ONEHUNDREDPERCENT
Won a novice event at Sedgefield last August on his third start and then placed in each of his first three handicap runs, but was only 7th of 11 last time out and has been beaten by 15L and 14L in his last two runs off a mark of 110. he's only 2lbs lower than that here and 14 lengths is a lot to make up, although he does drop considerably in trip here.

HONESTLYNTRUFULLY
Hadn't really shown much in seven defeats prior to a change of tactics at Taunton last time out. The usual hold-up approach was ditched and he set the pace from start to finish and romped home by fifteen lengths. If truth be told, it was a poor race with no other front-running rivals and this will be much tougher, up in class and up 12lbs and where he might not get a soft lead, but if he runs prominently, he'll have a chance.

I didn't like Dinsdale once I had a closer look and that left me with four possibles, the weakest of which is probably Onehundredpercent, so if I omit him here, I've got my three vs the field.

Summary

Galata Bridge, El Borracho and Honestlyntrufully are my final three and I think this could be a decent contest between the three. I think the latter might find the extras 12lbs difficult as he steps up in class, but I think he'll still beat El Borracho, who is consistent but doesn't win often enough and is better over fences.

All of which leaves me with Galata Bridge, the lightly raced and still unexposed 5yr old, who I think is the one to beat here. He'll be up with the pace and his A/W form suggests he's quick between the hurdles and that just about swings it for me. Galata Bridge at a current (3.45pm) 5/1 is my pick to see off Honestlyntrufully and El Borracho.

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