Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Saturday 16/04/22

This is Sam filling in for Chris this Saturday. Chris will be back with his Racing Insights thoughts on Easter Monday.

Saturday’s free feature of the day for free registered users is The Trainer/Jockey combo report, an ideal resource for finding runners that perhaps have a far better chance than the formbook suggests. As usual there are a number of free races for registered users too, in total there are six completely free races allowing full access to all tools and data and they are as follows:

Musselburgh - 2.04
Haydock - 2.09
Cork - 4.35
Fairyhouse - 4.50
Newbury - 5.55
Lingfield - 6.30

For me the most interesting of those contests is the 5.55 at Newbury as it’s a big field, middle distance handicap.

There is a maximum field of 20 declared and they race over 10f in this class 4 handicap and they are likely to race on good ground, perhaps just a little on softer side given they’ve been watering this week and it’s hardly quick drying conditions even if the sun has finally come out.

I’m first going to look at pace in this race and I’m not going to use the data view rather than the pace map view. The pace map looks great and is based on the same data you’ll see below but it uses an average whereas this data view breaks down run style in each of the last four runs. This makes identifying changes in run style and most common run styles a little easier.

Using the data view is particularly handy as we can see that three runners led early last time out, but none of those three runners had led early in any of their previous three runs. That means none of them are habitual front runners. Four runners led early on their penultimate start and two of those led early on at least one of their previous two runs so it is that pair that look the most likely pace angles - Rival and Beautiful Crown. You’d expect a fair pace in this contest but perhaps not a complete pace burn up.

This course and distance seems pretty fair based on the historical pace data. Runners that are held up have a slightly worse place percentage than the other three run styles but front runners, prominent racers and those that race in mid division all have similar place strike rates. So if backing something likely to be held up at the back of the field you might want them to be a really stand out pick as they might need an extra few pounds in hand over those that will be ridden slightly more aggressively but overall you shouldn’t be put off any run style and in terms of pace, this could be a pretty fair race.

What about draw in this big field?

This also looks very fair with the PRB figures for low, middle and high all very evenly matched. There is perhaps a slight drop off with very high drawn runners (18+) but stalls 13 and 14 are amongst the best performers so there certainly isn’t a bias towards those drawn low as can often be the case around a bend.

So not much in the way of course biases meaning I’ll rely solely on form chances to decide the best bets.I’m not going to delve into every single runner as there are 20 of them, I’ll just run through some of the main contenders in this and ones I give a decent chance to.

Random Harvest

Likely to be one of the market leaders given her lightly raced profile. She hardly looks thrown in based on her three runs to date and all her turf form is on soft ground so she could find conditions a little lively here. The main hope seems to be the likelihood that she’ll improve over this extra two furlongs (her sire has a middle distance IV of 1.85). Ed Walker hasn’t had a winner from 6 horses returning from a 60+ day break in the past 3 months, all priced up at 9/1 or lower.

Carp Kid

Ran well last time out at Windsor having been well placed. He has a decent record here at Newbury having finished no worse than 6th (generally raced in big fields) from 7 runs here. He’d probably be better suited by faster ground but underfoot conditions will be similar to Windsor last time out. The biggest worry would be that all his wins have come from marks in the mid to high 60s and he’s rated 71 here but he looks surely to be around the places.


A bit of a course specialist - last three wins have come here. Ran well in a really strong renewal of this race last year when a close 4th and that came off a 6lb higher mark. That was a seasonal reappearance too and he’s often gone well fresh. This distance is very much the minimum for him and he’s now an 8yo but leading chance on form having won on his final start last season.


Runner up on final start last year and still lightly raced. Improved for a gelding operation last season and versatile with regards to the going and William Knight has a good record with horses moving from other stables - he’s had two winners and three runners up from his last seven runners that have switched trainers. Not the most consistent but definite claims.

I’m not convinced there is much strength in depth in this race outside of the above runners with several factors seemingly against the rest of the field. Eleven of the remaining sixteen runners are making their seasonal reappearances and any of those could have improved significantly from that break and/or could bounce back to form here but it’s not easy to pinpoint reasons why they’ll do so and I think the market leaders might dominate this finish.


Random Harvest and Moktasaab are the two who could yet prove a fair bit better than their current marks, especially the former, but they come with their own risks. The two more solid propositions in this are probably Carp Kid and Frontispiece. Carp Kid has the fewest question marks of any of these runners and should finish around 2nd or 3rd but off this mark he’s just a little vulnerable. A repeat of Frontispiece’s seasonal reappearance last year could be enough to win this and assuming he returns in form like he normally does he should be able to get into the places once again. 

I’d prefer to play things pretty safe in this race and back both Carp Kid and Frontispiece place only with a Tote Swinger bet on the pair as well as they are likely to find an improve just slightly too good.

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2 replies
  1. 10 Things You Didn't Know about Geegeez Racecards
  2. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Well done Sam, great picks. Trifecta & Exacta returns more than make up for the recent “near misses”.
    Many Thanks – Bob S.

    • samdarby
      samdarby says:

      Thanks! I’ll take that result!

      Bit disappointed by the swinger return but nice to see things go to plan. Look out for Frontispiece over 12f at Newbury on good or worse ground.


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