Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Monday 28/02/22

Nice winner/exacta/trifecta on Saturday, where we nailed the first four home, but Monday is fast approaching and our free races for the day are...

  • 1.35 Carlisle
  • 1.50 Plumpton
  • 6.00 Wolverhampton

Our daily free feature is the PACE tab on the racecards, enabling you to see how the race might pan out before it even starts and this is available for every race every Sunday & Monday, including those 'free' races above, from which I'm going to have a quick look at the A/W contest, the 6.00 Wolverhampton, a modest-looking, 9-runner, Class 5, 3yo A/W handicap over a left handed 5f on standard tapeta.

It's a pretty mediocre day of racing again and we shouldn't be spending an eternity analysing poor racing, so let's quickly use the tools at our disposal to see if we can't find something worth backing or whether we should walk away : both outcomes are, of course, perfectly fine as we should never have a bet for the sake of it or to justify time spent looking at a card.

The obvious place to start is the racecard itself...

None of these come here in great form and Fair And Square's trio of runner-up finishes is probably the best on offer, whilst both Poet and Hot Diggety Dog were placed last time out. Conversely, Sherdil is 0 from 7, Coast is 0 from 11 and Dusky Prince is winless in nine since scoring on debut.

Dora Penny, Lovely Mana, Poet, Resilience and Coast all drop in class here (by 1, 4, 1, 3 and 1 class respectively), but both Hot Diggety Dog and Fair And Square step up a level. Two of the class droppers, Lovely Mana and Resilience are making debuts for their new yards and the former, along with Dora Penny might well need a run after breaks of 122 and 114 days respectively.

The left-handed five at Wolverhampton is quirky due to the bend, but aside from stall 7 having poor results (surely an anomaly in 9-runner races), there doesn't appear to be a massive draw bias in similar races since 2015...

...even if the sector-by sector analysis suggests the higher third of the draw fare worst...

The pace stats, however, offer a little more clarity...

...suggesting we avoid hold-up horses and try to back those who run prominently or lead, but how do we know how they'll run? By looking at the pace tab, which says that over their last four races...

...that Sherdil, Resilience and Fair And Square are the ones likeliest to set the pace with the likes of Dora Penny downwards being the ones playing catch-up. That's how the pace & draw stats pan out in isolation, but when we combine them into the unique Geegeez Pace/Draw heatmap, we see that the favoured combo is the highly-drawn leader...

...and as we now know the draw and how these horses have tended to run, we can slot them onto that heat map as follows...

...seemingly to favour the likes of Resilience, Fair And Square, Sherdil, Dusky Prince and Dora Penny, but not good news for Coast or Poet.

We now know how they're drawn, how they're likely to run and how those factors may affect the outcome, but to find out how well they've ran previously in similar contests, we have Instant Expert to help us...

This shows you that we're dealing with "serial losers" here, but somebody has to win. Thankfully the place stats tell us a bit more...

...and show several of these in a different light, although Dusky Prince, Sherdil and Coast make least appeal.

Summary

Dora Penny has only one A/W run, but won here over 6f in that sole effort and she's now running off a mark 5lbs lower than that. She's good on pace/draw and drops in class, but might well need the run after a 16-week break.

Lovely Mana looked good on Instant Expert, but doesn't fare well on pace/draw. She might also need the run, but is a former course and distance winner and drops in class from a Listed run last time out.

Poet is lightly raced so far, doesn't score well on pace/draw but has gone well in similar A/W contests. Down in class and with a chance, but a win would be a surprise especially with his trainer and jockey not having good records here.

Resilience was well beaten last time out, but does drop three classes here for his yard debut. This mark of 75 has been beyond him in four handicap runs to date, but he does score well on both Instant Expert and pace/draw, could make the frame.

Dusky Prince hasn't won any of nine starts since scoring on debut, but hasn't gone down by far in his last two outings. Doesn't make the frame often enough for my liking, but has a decent pace/draw make-up

Sherdil is 0 from 7 so far and goes here off the same mark as when defeated on tapeta debut almost a fortnight ago. He's "all red" on Instant Expert, but gives himself an outside chance by setting the pace, although I'd not be keen on backing him.

Hot Diggity Dog is likely to be the back marker and that could be fatal to his chances from a low draw, as he's probably going to have to go quite wide to get home and if you consider that he's now 3lbs higher than when beaten here at a lower grade last time out, that has to make him vulnerable.

Fair And Square has been knocking on the door of late and he wouldn't be winning out of turn after three "silvers" in a row, but despite making the frame in 6 of 8 A/W starts, he's still a 13-race maiden and his mark keeps going up. You'd fancy him to make the frame at worst here, but I'd not want to risk too much on him finally winning a race even if he does have a favourable pace/draw make-up.

Coast is 0 from 11 so far and she has only made the frame once in 8 A/W runs. She shows poorly on pace/draw and although down a class and 3lbs, I don't see this as her breakthrough.

The upshot of all this is that I'm not having a bet! The top two on the card would have been of interest (Dora Penny & Lovely Mana) as E/W bets at 12/1 & 9/1 respectively, if they weren't coming off lengthy absences. The one I like most is probably Fair And Square, but there are too many negatives to justify his 4/1 price tag, other than it being a case of the least worst runners topping the market. Resilience also interested me from an E/W perspective at 9/1, but still carries too much weight in my opinion.

I knew it was a poor race when i set out, so no complaints here. Often in such races, one will jump out at you and make it worthwhile, but sadly I don't fancy any here. I'll keep my powder dry for a day, but for those wanting an opinion from me, my tentative pick would be Fair And Square, but do keep an eye on Dora Penny & Lovely Mana.

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