Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Saturday 30/12/23

My last column of the year focuses on Saturday's racing, where our free feature is the Trainer/Jockey Combo (TJC) report, which works by bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report that has produced excellent results for users.

Basically, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’ and this report quickly identifies the most profitable of those combinations. Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing whilst 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 and as ever, please refer to our User Guide for further information.

My own settings for the TJC Report look like this...

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...but they have sadly generated no qualifiers for me to consider, but I can at least call upon our selection of daily 'free' races...

  • 12.15 Haydock
  • 2.25 Newbury
  • 3.10 Haydock
  • 4.45 Wolverhampton

...a list that contains a couple of Class 3 handicaps, the most valuable of which is the 2.25 Newbury, a 12-runner, 4yo+ handicap chase over a left-handed 3m2f on good to soft ground that will be softer in places...

Only Surrey Quest managed to win last time out, but Certainly Red, Bowtogreatness, Fantastikas, Atlanta Brave and Striking A Pose all had top three finishes, although it has been 259 days since Bowtogreatness was last seen with all his rivals having had at least one run in the last two months.

He does however drop down two classes to run here, as does Bangers and Cash with the other two of the top four in the weights, Certainly Red and Docpickedme dropping down one class. Conversely, Surrey Quest and bottom-weight Striking A Pose are both up a level here.

Bangers and Cash will be wearing cheekpieces for the first time today, whilst this will be Surrey Quest's first outing since having had wind surgery during a two month break following his LTO win at Huntingdon.

Notachance's Class 4, 3m½f handicap hurdle success back in March 2019 is the only previous Newbury win from this dozen runners, but Certainly Red, Docpickedme, Laskalin and Shanty Alley have all won at least once over a similar trip to this one. The field lacks success under similar conditions to those expected here, but Instant Expert does highlight a couple of runners who might be well suited...

...with Certainly Red and Bangers And Cash the immediate eyecatchers there. Causes for concern above include Shanty Alley, Yes Indeed and Striking A Pose at Class 3 and Fantastikas over this trip. The rest of the field seem pretty unexposed under these parameters, but many of them are regular placers...

Fairly strangely for a stayers' chase on soft-ish ground, past similar races here at Newbury have tended to suit front-runners those chasing the leader(s) with those racing further back having less success...

...which based on this field's most recent outings would appear to benefit Bangers And Cash, Docpickedme and Shanty Alley... to a slightly lesser extent Laskalin (although if he leads?), Surrey Quest and Notachance.


Bangers And Cash caught the eye on Instant Expert, despite never having raced here at Newbury. He also has no run at 3m2f, but has won at 3m, 3m3½f and even 3m5f, so he has stamina to boot. He will also be expected to be up with the pace and would normally be under serious consideration here as a bet, but after winning three of his last four last season, he has run poorly twice at Cheltenham this term and will need to improve massively to get involved.

I'd be backing him here if he'd had a decent run under his belt this season, but whilst I think he's much better than his current 16/1 odds, he's not my idea of a winner here. That said, he is more than capable of making the frame and with firms paying four places, he might be of interest.

Whilst we're looking at E/W possibles, Shanty Alley might be the answer at 10/1. He's a regular placer on Instant Expert and has a decent pace profile for this race. He was the runner-up in this contest last year and is 5lbs better off this time and probably needed the run last time out after nearly seven months off.

If pushed for a winner, I'd struggle here; there are no standouts for me, but I do like the look of the two at the top of the weights, who both drop in class. Both Certainly Red and Bowtogreatness have chances here and with the former currently trading at 11/1, that could also be an E/W route.

The one I have largely ignored is the favourite Atlanta Brave who is still relatively unexposed and gets weight from most of his rivals, but 4/1 looks mightily short to me about a horse whose best form is at Class 4, has never gone beyond 3m and hasn't won beyond 2m6f, but who knows?

Happy New Year, everyone; I'll see you on the other side of Hogmanay in '24.


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