Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Saturday 05/02/22

Saturday's free GOLD feature is the rather excellent Trainer/Jockey Combo (TJC) report and it works by bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report that has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’ and this report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations. Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing. And clicking on the entry will open the race in a new tab.

HINT: Look for a good sample size – ideally five or more – combined with a decent win percentage (30%+), and a positive figure in the profit column.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

But that's all the free stuff for Saturday, oh no! We also have the following full interactive racecards...

  • 1.05 Leopardstown
  • 2.20 Sandown
  • 2.40 Musselburgh
  • 3.00 Wetherby
  • 5.25 Kempton

My settings for the TJC report are as follows...

...pretty restrictive/almost prohibitive, as I'm interested in quality over quantity, but it does mean that sometimes (like Saturday), I have no runners to look at. But not to worry, we've still got our five free races!

Whilst the races at both Leopardstown & Sandown are at a higher class, the race at Musselburgh should give us more to aim at. The 2.40 Musselburgh is a competitive-looking, 8-runner (good for E/W punters), Class 2, 4yo+ handicap hurdle on Good (softer in places) ground. The trip is a right-handed 1m7½f over nine flights and here's your card...

Highly Prized hasn't been seen for over nine months, since finishing as a runner-up on his chase debut in a Class 4 beginners contest (only 3 ran) and it's almost 16 months since he last raced over hurdles. I'd probably want him to have a run under his belt to see if he's anything like the horse from 2020 that won 4 races from 7 when on top form. The market might be a better indicator of his chances, but the Trainer/Jockey combo is decent...

Wild Max commands respect because he's a Paul Nicholls horse, but that probably means he goes off shorter than he should, especially for a horse that has failed to complete three of his last four and was 10th of 14, beaten by 45 lengths in the other, admittedly at Listed class. All of which is a shame for a horse who won back to back handicaps immediately before loss of form/ability to jump. He'll have been prepped well and his yard do well here, but I have reservations at this point and stepping up in class won't help...

Anna Bunina is one of three mares (two Irish) in the race and she drops down in class after being well beaten (24 lengths, 4th of 5) in a Grade 2 mares event last Saturday. Prior to that she had been beaten by twenty lengths here over the same class/course/distance as today and I think she'll probably need to be a bit lower in the weights to make her presence felt here, as she's still 10lbs higher than her last win ten races and eighteen months ago.

Pearl Of The West is Anna's stablemate as the other Irish mare in the contest and she's in similar, if not worse, form than Anna above. No win in nine races over 33 months and defeats of 26, 15 , 19 and 33 lengths in her last four runs suggests she's not suddenly winning on her first race in the UK for almost three years. Eighth is her highest finishing position in her last six outings, she might well match that here and only eight run!

Diocletian is relatively unexposed after just four efforts over hurdles, winning once and has made just one handicap run when 6th of 10 (17 lengths) at Kempton almost a year ago. He hasn't raced for ten months since racing over 1m6f on the Flat here last April, but has had a wind op and moved yards during his downtime. I'm thinking he'll need the run, even if he should be better than a 124 rating and he does have the benefit of some helpful stats behind him...

Fiveandtwenty is the last and probably the best of the three mares and she set off like a house on fire when launching her hurdling career in December 2020, winning each of her first three starts in a nine-week period, all here over course and distance. Wins at Class 2, Class 4 and Listed company saddled her with a mark of 132 which became a struggle and she's finished 3774 since, but she's down another 4lbs here to 4lbs lower than her last winning mark and on familiar territory could well be involved again, especially based on the following..

Glory And Honour is better than his season's 02F5 results might suggest. He was 10th in a big-field Grade 3 over 2m4f at Chepstow in October after six months off, only weakening from 2 out and was then a good second down in class/trip at Taunton. He was going well before falling at Ffos Las and gave a good account of himself in a really competitive Class 2 at Cheltenham last Saturday despite a 10-week absence. Should strip fitter here and this doesn't look quite as tough and yard/rider are going well...

Socialist Agenda is the only LTO winner in the pack and has won four of six so far, after going 3 from 3 in bumpers. He was a length and a quarter off the winner as runner-up on his hurdling debut back in November and went down by less than four lengths at Cheltenham three weeks later prior to a first hurdles win on New Year's Day. Still very unexposed and an opening handicap mark of 118 looks pretty lenient to me, especially for runner from a yard with a good record with LTO winners...

Instant Expert gives us an overview of how the field have performed in similar contests over the last couple of years...

...and you can see that bottom weight Socialist Agenda will like the ground and runs off 2lbs lower than he was rated when winning last time out. Fiveandtwenty has little experience of good ground, but ticks all the other boxes and is 4lbs lower than her last win, too. Anna Bunina looks very vulnerable here and could challenge stablemate Pearl of the West for the wooden spoon.

The afore-mentioned Fiveandtwenty is the one I'd expect to lead them out here, as she's a confirmed front-runner as shown here...

...whilst it looks like there could be three or four others wanting to get on with it. And getting on with it looks the best tactic, based on historical pace stats for similar races...

...all of which means I'm now only really interested in the first five on the pace charts.

Summary

Of the five at the head of the pace charts, I'm not wildly keen on the two top weights, Highly Prized and Wild Max. The former is up in class and will probably need the run, whilst the latter is bang out of form and has adopted a habit of not finishing races, so I'm not having either of those.

That, by process of elimination, leaves me with (alphabetically)...

  • Fiveandtwenty, proven at class, course and distance and ow dangerous off a mark of 124, having won a Listed race here off 128.
  • Glory And Honour, who's probably the weakest of the three, but is game/gutsy and that might well be needed here and went well last time out.
  • Socialist Agenda, the form horse and carrying no weight who'll love the going.

Glory And Honour isn't up to the standard of the other two, so he's my third choice, so to speak, but 6/1 isn't long enough (for me, anyway : it's your call) for an E/W bet. As for the winner, there's arguably little between the two remaining. Fiveandtwenty is proven and has won a Listed race, Socialist Agenda is on the up and looks very well treated off 118. The market has them best priced at 15/4 and 7/1 respectively, so I've a marginal preference for Socialist Agenda at 7's for some value. If he drifts any, he could be a cracking E/W punt.

 

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