Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Saturday 26/02/22

Saturday's free Gold feature is the multi-faceted Trainer/Jockey Combo stats (TJC) report, bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report has produced excellent results for users. Essentially, 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]

In addition to the free feature, we also full card/functionality for the following races...

  • 2.00 Fairyhouse
  • 2.05 Lingfield
  • 3.50 Newcastle
  • 4.00 Chepstow
  • 4.25 Newcastle
  • 4.35 Chepstow

On this occasion, my fairly stringent settings for the TJC report...

...have yielded no potential bets, so I'm going to take a look at the free list. The two Newcastle races look decent competitive affairs, but the earliest of the free UK races is the Winter Derby aka the 2.05 Lingfield,  an 8-runner (hopefully staying that way for E/W bettors), Group 3, 4yo+ contest over a left handed 1m2f on standard polytrack and it's worth a cool £62,381 to one of these...

You might notice that I've not gone with racecard nor draw order here, but with their official ratings, because they'll all carry 9 stone despite varying OR figures, meaning that Lord North is best off at the weights. All eight have won at the trip before, Fancy Man and Forest of Dean are course and distance winners (the latter won this race last year!), whilst Al Zaraqaan and Pistoletto have won here before too, albeit at 1m4f Polytrack and 1m turf respectively.

Son of Frankel, Barn Owl step up two classes for his yard debut for team Moore, but the change for Lord North is only in the name of the training licence, he's always been with the Gosdens, who have won each of the last three renewals of this race.

Lord North is six from 11 here in the UK (1/1 on A/W) and has already won Group 1 and Group 3 contests, which will make him a pretty warm favourite here. He was a winner at Meydan last time out, landing the Gr 1 Dubai Turf, but that was 11 months ago and he now tackles polytrack for the first time.

Alenquer won a C5, 7f maiden on debut in August 2020 and progressed quickly to a group 3 success over this trip at Sandown 10 months ago via a Listed class runner-up finish on soft ground (isn't it usually?) at Haydock. He then landed the King Edward VII (Gr 2) over a sapping heavy ground 1m4f at Ascot in June before signing off his UK season with a decent runner-up finish in York's Gr 1 Juddmonte just a year on from debut. He has run once more since and despite finishing ninth, he was far from disgraced 6.5 lengths behind the winner of the Arc in October and now makes an A/W debut.

Fancy Man has progressed nicely so far and in his last three runs of 2021 was a narrowly beaten runner-up in back to back Gr 3 contests over similar trips to today, before making his A/W debut here over 1m4f last September, going on to land a Class 3 handicap by half a length at odds of 4/11. He was then put back in the shed for 21 weeks, before emerging back here at Lingfield to comfortably land a Listed race over course and distance three weeks ago with the re-opposing Al Zaraqaan in fourth, some 2.5 lengths back. A similar run puts him right in the mix.

Forest of Dean went 1214110 in 2019, but then didn't race again until January 2021 after 478 days off the track, but managed to win this contest last year on just this third run back, enabling his yard to land a hat-trick of wins in this race from 2019. He didn't seem "at it" when second to last of twelve in the Wolferton at Ascot in June and it looks like he's second string to stable mate Lord North here, but would still hold hopes of being involved.

King of the South's A/W results have been impressive, with 6 wins from 13 do far, including 5 from 8 in handicaps under today's jockey, but here lies the danger of just looking at form numbers, because although his figures are good, he's 0 from 4 on Polytrack with all his best form coming on Tapeta, but he did finish second here over course and distance last time out. That was a 2.25 length defeat behind the re-opposing Fancy Man and although KOTS holds valid place claims, he's not expected (by me, anyway!) to reverse the placings from LTO.

Al Zaraqaan was also in that race, of course and was two places and a further quarter length back, but that was his first defeat in five A/W contests having already won here over 1m4f, at Kempton (over 1m3f twice) and Newcastle over 1m2f, In a lesser race, you'd be all over this lad, but he looks to be held by both Fancy Man and KOTS from the last race and if the former is his yard's second string, then Al Zaraqaan isn't winning this by that crude logic!

Barn Owl looks a decent handicap horse on the turf, but his record on the A/W isn't good yet at 0 from 3 and was only third of five at Kempton last time out, beaten by 3.5 lengths over 1m3f at Class 3. This is a much tougher ask up two classes and his yard debut could well be a baptism of fire. The assessor suggests he's far inferior to most of the others and I'd probably agree with his assertion.

Pistoletto completes the line-up and with 31 runs under his belt, he's easily the most experienced in the pack. he has finished a neat 141414 in his last six runs in the UK, landing handicaps at Classes 4, then 3, then 2 with the latter here over a mile back in November. He was then 4th of 10 on Class 1 debut in a Listed race at Kempton the same month and hasn't raced in the UK since, but has been seen three times at Sakhir, Bahrain finishing 12th of 14, 7th of 13 and most recently 10th of 11 in a Listed race. One of the weaker runners here for me.

This group have won an impressive 36 of 105 combined starts (34.3% SR) across their careers, but what about relevant (class/distance/course etc) form on the A/W? Instant Expert has the answers...

...where only Barn Owl has failed to win a race on standard going, although he has only had one attempt (Alenquer is on A/W debut). Forest of Dean won this race last year, but Fancy Man is also a Gr 3 winner and has a 100% record here : Al Zaraqaan and Pistioletto are former track winners, whilst all five to tackled the trip on the A/W have won at it, whilst Alenquer, Barn Owl and Lord North are 1m2f winners on turf, though.

Al Zaraqaan has stall 1 and King Of the South stall eight and whilst I'm not massively sold on draw bias in races of this length, it does no harm to check!

Based on the above, I'd be inclined to stick with my original thoughts, but would suggest that the numbers for stalls 2 and 6 were more down to luck than a bias. Stall 2 has easily the best numbers, but stall 6's poor win record is covered by the excellent place stats, which would tend to back up my erroneous theory. It's probably the case that pace will be far more informative...

...and what we want here is a horse happy to take the race on and set the tempo or sit in just behind but handy and based on recent efforts...

...that's going to suit last year's winner Forest of Dean more than his fancied stablemate, Lord North.

Summary

All decent horses, but some are decent Class 1 horses, some are just decent handicappers. There's nothing wrong with being one of the latter, but that doesn't win you Group 3 races and I think I agree with the handicappers that the winner should come from the top half of the card as I arranged it (in OR ranking).

I don't dispute that Lord North is as good, if not better than the rest, but for a horse unraced in 11 months and making a Polytrack debut, an odds range of 5/6 to 11/10 doesn't set my pulse racing and I think I prefer the claims of the 3/1 shot Alenquer. He had a really good UK season last time around and went well in the Arc. He hasn't been off the track as liong as the fav and he could well turn Lord North over here.

That leaves Fancy Man and Forest of Dean. Based on collateral form above and the latter's poor run last time out, I'd be leaning towards Fancy Man, but at 4/1 vs Forest of Dean's 12/1 ticket, I'm going to have a small E/W wager on last year's winner.

 

 

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