Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 02/03/23

Thursday's free feature, the Instant Expert racecard tab is one of Geegeez readers' most popular tools because it has the unique ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view covering the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size.

It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

We make this feature freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday for ALL races, including, naturally, our selection of 'free' races as follows...

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  • 2.50 Taunton
  • 3.00 Ludlow
  • 4.45 Ludlow
  • 4.55 Clonmel

...and purely based on feature of the day, Instant Expert, I'm going to look at the 3.00 Ludlow, a 6-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ handicap chase over a right handed three miles on good ground where the Instant Expert looks like this...

...suggesting a two-way battle between the two at the top of the weights, although Java Point (who won this race last year) would prefer it a little softer. He does however, have a good place record on good ground, so it's not a case of him not acting on it...

...and again it's the top two generating the most interest, so let's look at the card...

Quoi de Neuf and top weight Hidden Heroics both won last time out and the latter is three from four and seeks a hat-trick here, whilst only Flagrant Delitiep is without a win in five. Quoi du Neuf actually won over hurdles last time so, he's a class and 4lbs higher than that win, but Fuji Flight is down a class and Java Point's sixth place finish a month ago was in a Class 1 handicap. He's the only course and distance winner, courtesy of winning this race last year, Quoi de Neuf has won a 2m5½f hurdle contest here, Hidden Heroics won over 3m½f at Exeter whilst Fuji Flight has chase successes at both 2m7½f and 3m1f. Top weight and 'form' horse Hidden Heroics runs for the first time in twelve weeks, but the others  have all raced in the last month or so.

HIDDEN HEROICS had two wins and a runner-up finish from his last four over hurdles and is now two from two over fences winning by 23 and 45 lengths over longer trips than this, suggesting an 8lb hike in weight might not anchor him.

JAVA POINT has finished 21311326 in handicap chases so far and the only blot on that run was the unoplaced effort LTO, but that was in a tough £57k Class 1 contest. Has made the frame in a pair of Class 2's this year so far, so this is easier on paper, but he hasn't won in 11 months and is still 2lbs higher than that win on April Fool's Day.

LE CAMELEON is three from eight over fences in the last thirteen months, but since his last win (Warwick, 5 months ago) he fell at Fontwell and was 7th of 12 at Chepstow and last of five at Taunton. Still 1lb higher than that win and now asked to go further than ever before.

FUJI FLIGHT won two on the bounce around this time last year, but that moved his mark from 122 to 132 which held him back for a while, but he took advantage of a ratings drop to 128 to finish 3rd at Uttoxeter recently with a 5lb claimer on his back. No claimer today, but another pound off from the assessor puts him back to his last winning mark, so he'd hope to be competitive.

QUOI DE NEUF has won just one of ten over fences and that was on 9th December 2021, but did win by ten lengths at Ludlow over hurdles just eight days ago ending a run of seven defeats (5 over fences). Now 4lbs higher than that hurdles success and up in class.

FLAGRANT DELITIEP has 3 wins and 4 furher places from 15 over fences, which is reasonable enough, but virtually all his good from comes at Wincanton and over 2m4f-2m5f and since winning at Wincanton a year ago, he has been beaten by 45L, been pulled up and then beaten by 27, 15, 33 and 16 lengths.

Recent pace profiles suggest that the in-form Hidden Heroics might try to win this from the front, whilst Fuji Flight is a confirmed hold-up horse...

...but the leader might not have it all his own way, as only Java Point of the others doesn't have a tendency to take races on early and even when he won this race last year, he raced in snatches. Past similar small field contests here at Ludlow have gone the way of those setting the pace... not entirely great for Java Point and not good at all for Fuji Point.


There's no getting away from Hidden Heroics. He's in great form, scores well on Instant Expert and has the ideal pace profile for this race. Yes, he's up 8lbs, but he did win by 45 lengths despite jumping to the right on a left-handed track. They go right handed here, so that might also help. He has to be the one to beat and the only surprise approaching 5pm is that he's not shorter than his current 13/8 price with Bet365.

We're not getting rich backing him at that price, though so we might need an E/W bet or one for forecast/exacta and from the other five, I really don't like Flagrant Delitiep for lots of reasons above and I'm not over enamoured with Le Cameleon, leaving me with three to choose from...

Java Point won this race last year and is running OK this year, he scored well on IE too but might get left for pace and would prefer the ground to be softer. Fuji Flight isn't in the best of form, didn't score too well on IE and as the only hold-up type could have too much to do later in the contest. That said, he gets the trip, he's on a workable mark and is down in class, whilst Quoi de Neuf will be up with the pace, but just doesn't win/place often enough over fences.

There's probably not much between the three and the tentative pick as my runner-up goes to last year's winner Java Point. He just seems to edge the others on all bar pace, but his yard know what's required here and the market know he's proven over track and trip, typified by his 4/1 ticket. I'm not really into backing the top two in the market, but there are times when it's the right thing and I think that's the case here.

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