Pace is an often overlooked weapon in the bettor's armoury, but by using the Pace tab on our racecards you can see how the race is likely to unfold even before it happens! We feel that this is so important that we make access to the Pace tab totally free to all readers for all races every Sunday & Monday, including of course, Monday's free races of the day...
- 2.45 Cartmel
- 3.15 Cartmel
- 4.05 Redcar
- 5.25 Ayr
- 5.45 Ballinrobe
- 7.50 Ballinrobe
The best of those six appears to be the second on the list, the 3.15 Cartmel, a veteran's staying handicap. It's a five-runner, Class 3, 10yo+ handicap chase (20 fences) over 3m5½f on good ground...
Coup de Pinceau won last time, but likely fav Via Dolorosa has back to back runner-up finishes under his belt. The former, however, now steps up in class, as does Ballyrath, who at 44 days rested is the one away from the track the longest of these five. Ballyrath is also the sole 12 yr old in a field otherwise 10yo's, whilst LTO winner Coup de Pinceau is the only one to have won a race at a similar trip to this, after scoring at Taunton over 3m4½f in March 2021...
A five-time winner in France who got off the mark in this country by back to back 3m/3m1f handicap chases in March. He then struggled in three grade 3 contests before dropping back to Class 3 where he been runner-up in both races and goes off the same mark here as when beaten by just half a length 12 days ago.
COUP DE PINCEAU
Has won 5 of 22 over fences, so no mug but had run poorly in nine races since a soft ground 3m4½f win at Taunton last March. He then suddenly put all that behind when winning at 100/1 at Cheltenham last time out, landing a 4m½f hunter chase by a neck. Up in class but down in trip, he might well perform here too.
Just 17 runs since debut in Jan 2017 and was 2 from 2 over hurdles before going chasing. Has placed in 6 of 16 over fences, but has won just once and his jumping has let him down more than once, which leads me to believe that he'd been better off reverting to hurdling.
The oldest here at 12, but has hardly been put around the block, having had breaks of 1126 days and 960 days either side of 4th place at Stratford in May 2019. He'd been a runner-up at Uttoxeter in April 2016 before the 1126 day break, then 4th at Stratford and then he won at Wetherby in mid-January this year some 960 days later. He was pulled up in a couple of races in February and March, before a return to Wetherby saw him finish as a runner-up, but all his form is soft ground and this is likely to be too "quick" for him.
Ran in my featured race at Newton Abbot five days ago where I didn't fancy his chances, yet he came 2nd of 5 eventual runners, beaten by 27 lengths mind you! Prior to that run, he had failed to complete two of his last four and was 5th of 6 (46L) and last of 4 (102L) in the other two and I don't see him challenging here either.
To me, it looks like a 2-horse shootout between the first two on the card, but let's compare all five via Instant Expert...
So, from a win perspective Coup de Pinceau looks the safest bet, avoiding any blocks of red, but most of the red on the win chart are from just 2 or 3 races, so they're not exactly numbers to lean on too heavily. From a place point of view, Via Dolorosa looks great, Coup de Pinceau is proven at the grade and Flying Verse has good numbers but not from recently! Of the two I thought might go best, Via Dolorosa is 5lbs higher than his last win, but Coup de Pinceau is a pound lower.
No stalls to deal with in NH racing, so let's look at the PACE tab...
Initially we have the pace scores (4=led, 3=prominent, 2=mid-div, 1=held-up) from each runner's last four races...
...and based on their two most recent efforts, I expect them to break out as follows...
...with Via Dolorosa trying to win the race from the front and only Ballyrath attempting to keep him company, but are those the right tactics here? Well, based on previous similar events...
Leaders & Hold-up horses fare slightly worse than expected and there's not enough data about mid-division runners to formulate an opinion. Prominent runners have picked the shortfalls from leaders/hold-up horses and have easily got the best place figures. Leaders seem to win if they can make the frame, but tend not to finish second too often.
I still think it's a two-horse race between Via Dolorosa and Coup de Pinceau and I was rather hoping that the latter might have a better pace profile to make it more of a contest, but it looks like it's Via Doloroso's race to lose. We're not getting rich at 11/10, but I thought he might have been odds on and with bet365 offerinmg 9/2 about my second choice, there could be a decent priced forecast.