Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Monday 04/04/22

The PACE tab on our racecards allows us to quickly make an intuitive guess as how to how a field might approach a given race, based on their past efforts. It's a fact of race profiling often under-used or even ignored by UK bettors, but we believe it's so important that we make this feature totally free to all readers for all races, every Sunday and Monday, including of course the following free racecards for Monday's racing...

  • 3.35 Kelso
  • 4.10 Kelso
  • 5.00 Windsor
  • 5.15 Kelso

I'm still not quite ready to take on the Flat, so I'm going to have a quick look at the best of the the Scottish NH races, the 3.35 Kelso, an 8-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ Handicap Chase (17 Fences) over a Left Handed 2m7½f on Good To Soft ground...

Form : Bavington Bob has won six of his last eight and comes here on a four-timer, and Broadway Joe has been 1st or 2nd (3 of each) in each of his last six races. Of the other six runners, only Cash To Ash has completed all of his last five. Choungaya is probably the worst based on results alone.

Class : Marown, Get Out The Gate and Cash to Ash all drop from Class 2, whilst Crixus's Escape and Broadway Joe both step up a class.

Course/Distance form : Crixus's Escape (2m6½f) and Broadway Joe (2m1f) are the only previous course winners, whilst all the field bar Choungaya and Broadway Joe have won at similar trips to today.

Days Since Run : Amalfi Doug hasn't been seen for almost five months, but the others have all raced at least once in the past two to seven weeks.

And now, runner-by-runner overviews...

MAROWN
Won his sole bumper just over three years ago and was 2 from 2 over hurdles before winning two from six over fences. He was then off the track for ten months and returned to action on Valentine's Day, but was pulled up at Catterick and will need to improve to get close here.

BAVINGTON BOB
Looks like he's getting better race by race and over the last year or so, he has won three of four over hurdles and then finished 2111 over fences, winning on heavy ground LTO despite an 8lb rise. Up another 5lbs here, but in top form.

GET OUT THE GATE
Won back to back contests over fences at Perth last July, but toiled upon his return to action at the same venue a month ago, when pulled up in a 2m5f hurdles event. He possibly/probably needed the run and now very well fare better back over the larger obstacles.

AMALFI DOUG
His decent enough career record of 7 wins from 35 is sadly reduced to 0 from 17 away from Perth and has failed to even make the frame on three previous visits to Kelso. Hasn't raced since being pulled up here over 2m6f in early November and isn't for me, based on (a) the layoff, (b) his last three runs before the layoff and (c) it's not Perth!

CASH TO ASH
Out and out stayer, who has won over today's trip but also 'gets' four miles and beyond, although he was well beaten over 4m1½f at Newcastle in February on his last run. Prior to that he had been the runner-up in each of his other four starts this season and he's probably best judged on that.

CRIXUS'S ESCAPE
Won a couple of chases in 2020 either side of being pulled up at Aintree, but hasn't won any of his last seven , failing to complete four of them. he was a runner-up at Newcastle two starts ago, but if you consider the four non-completions and a 6th of 7 (37L) and a 6th of 8 (29L), then the runner-up run looks like a rare event.

CHOUNGAYA
1 from 19 over fences tells its story and that win came at Fairyhouse 14 months ago, but that field are just 3 from 35 since, including Choungaya's 11 failures to even make the frame and he has been last home in two of his last four.

BROADWAY JOE
A modest Class 5 hurdler who won just one of nine starts, but after winning each of his first three over fences, has been the runner-up in his second three, making him one of those to watch here today.

Instant Expert again gives us the quick low-down on how the field have performed under similar circumstances so far...

...and Cash To Ash doesn't come out of this too well at all. Marown has good numbers across the board, as does short-priced favourite Bavington Bob, whilst both Get Out The Gate and Broadway Joe have to be considered. I don't really fancy the chances of Crixus's Escape & Choungaya and their recent poor form is highlighted by them now being rated some 12 & 17 lbs lower than their last wins.

Today feature is, of course, pace and that doesn't mean we're looking for the fastest horse as such, it's the one overall pace profile will suit this contest best. Usain Bolt is far quicker than Mo Farah, but Mo Farah's pace would see him beat Bolt over a longer distance and vice versa, so we're actually looking to see which horse's running style will suit this contest best. From their last four outings...

...my intuitive guess that I mentioned in my opening line would be that the veteran Amalfi Doug will be the one at the front of the pack and the likes of Bavington Bob, Choungaya and Broadway Joe will be towards the rear. Instant Expert also showed the current live odds for the race and two of those three at the rear of the pack head the market, so perhaps a hold-up approach is best? Thankfully we can also check this via our Pace Analyser, which tells us how previous similar contests have unfolded...

...which actually says that hold-up horses don't do that well after all!

Summary

I think I'd agree with the market that this is probably Bavington Bob's race to lose, but he's up in weight and may have too much to do if the front-runners go off hard. 13/8 might be a realistic assessment of his chances and whilst he probably does win, I'm not really interested at that price. As for Broadway Joe, I had him as a 9/2 shot and I think the generally available 7/2 is a little mean, so I won't even had a small cheeky flyer there either.

I will, however, do the reverse forecast for small change and if I was to try and find a suitably priced E/W punt, I think the 10/1 about Get Out The Gate is the most attractive option of the four priced high enough.

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