Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Monday 11/04/22

The PACE tab on the Geegeez racecards helps us to form an educated opinion on how a race might unfold tactically based on the runners' previous outings. This often-overlooked facet of race analysis is so important that we make it freely available to all readers for all races on two days (Sunday & Monday), irrespective of how many races that might cover. This includes Monday's free racecards, of course, which cover...

  • 1.00 Hexham
  • 3.05 Pontefract
  • 3.15 Hexham
  • 4.30 Tramore

From which I'm going to look at the 3.15 Hexham, an 8-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ Handicap Hurdle (10 flights) over a left handed 2m4f on soft ground...

Eternally Yours and Taxmeifyoucan are the only two without a win in their last five outings and High Moon is the only LTO winner in the field and comes here seeking a hat-trick, but ateps up a class to do so. Eternally Yours and Has Troke also step up one class here, whilst Sherfiff Garrett drops down one and top weight Hystery Bere is down two levels.

None of them come here from a long absence, with Foster's Island having resrted longest at 65 days, but Taxmeifyoucan ran just 10 days ago. Hystery Bere & East Street are the only two yet to win a t a similar trip, whilst both Sheriff Garrett and Taxmeifyouccan have done it here.

HYSTERY BERE
Five successive top three finishes from his first five starts including two wins at Fontwell before being pulled up at Sandown last time out. That, however, was a Listed race and he'd gone OK until 2 out, so this should be easier.

HIGH MOON
Two from two this year after back to back soft ground, Class 4, 2m3½f, Catterick wins in Jan/Feb. This is another step forward back in handicap company, but he's the form horse here.

FOSTER'S ISLAND
Completed a hat-trick of wins in Nov/Dec '21 at Kelso and Ayr (2) and although he struggled in a Listed race at Kempton, went well enough again at this class/distance at Wetherby last time out, beaten by just over 5 lengths.

SHERIFF GARRETT
Has 3 wins over course and distance, but has only completed one of four runs this year, but in fairness that was a good win (9.5L) at Sedgefield five weeks ago. He wasn't great at Kelso LTO and does seem to blow hot and cold.

ETERNALLY YOURS
No wins in nine runs since mid-December 2018 for this one and although he invariably runs his race, it's not generally good enough. Has been running over longer trips than today and I think he's capable of winning ability-wise, but I'm not sure about mentally.

TAXMEIFYOUCAN
Won by just a neck over 3¼m at Musselburgh 14 months ago and has been pretty poor since, failing to make the frame in all 11 starts and it's hard to make out much of a case for him.

HAS TROKE
Won a novice hurdle at Fontwell two starts ago before a handicap debut at Sandown last month which saw him finish 6th of 8, beaten by 53 lengths off a mark of 115. Up in class here off just 3lbs lower, it's hard to see him broaching that gap.

EAST STREET
Lightly raced 6 yr old with one win (debut) and two other top three finishes from four starts. Was only beaten by four lengths last time out on his first crack at Class 3 action and if handling the extra distance, could get involved off a pound lower.

Instant Expert tells us...

...that Foster's Island should really enjoy the underfoot conditions, but that they won't suit Eternally Yours. Taxmeifyoucan has tried Class 3 racing extensively and has largely failed, whilst Sheriff Garrett seems to love it here. As for the trip, it's another tick for Foster's Island and another remark against Eternally Yours, whilst Taxmeifyoucan is the only one running off a mark lower than his last win, but that's probably more down to 11 unplaced runs.

Pace is our free feature today and past 2m4f hurdle races here at Hexham...

...have favoured those racing prominently or even leading, which based on this field's most recent runs...

...would suggest that the winner is most likely going to come from the first five on that pace graphic. Of those five, I'm not happy with Sheriff Garrett's inconsistency and I've serious doubts about Eternally Yours on soft ground and at the trip, so they're not for me, leaving me with just three.

Summary

So, I've very quickly (and that's how quick it should be!) narrowed the field to three ie East Street, Foster's Island and High Moon and I think there's not a great deal between them but based on Instant Expert and a propensity to sit in a handy position, I'm siding with Foster's Island. He loves the soft ground and gets the trip readily. He's 2lbs lower than a decent run LTO and at 13/2 with Bet365 looks a nice price.

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