Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab on the racecards. This is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards.
The reason? It has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers 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.
And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...
- 12.05 Chepstow
- 2.00 Newcastle
- 3.50 Chepstow
- 5.00 Chelmsford
...and with heavy ground forecast for Chepstow, let's have a look at the first of the free races because we've got a short priced favourite, some unexposed types and last year's winner who scores well on feature of the day Instant Expert.
So that's the 12.05 Chepstow, which is a 9-runner heavy ground, two-mile, Class 4, 4yo+ Mares Handicap Hurdle worth £5,664 and these are the runners who'll go left handed over seven flights...
So, from the initial preview, I said..."we've got a short priced favourite, some unexposed types and last year's winner who scores well on feature of the day Instant Expert"... and Lady Tremaine is likely to go off shorter than 2/1 and she's one of a trio of unexposed runners along with Heure de Gloire and Lettie Lutz who have just ten UK starts between them. Top weight Dame du Soir won this race last year off 2lbs higher and she has a good Instant Expert score, as you'll see shortly.
FORM : Only Dame du Soir, Heure de Gloire, Lady Tremaine and bottom weight Astra Via have a win in their recent form line, but that wouldn't necessarily be recent in time.
CLASS : We've class movers everywhere with only Lettie Lutz and Jaunty Freyja having run at Class 4 last time out. Astra Via, Lady Tremaine, Llantara & Sarceaux are all stepping up one class, Dame du Soir & Ruby Yeats are dropping down a class, whilst Heure de Gloire comes down two levels.
HANDICAP RUNS : Jaunty Freyja is on handicap debut, whilst Lady Tremaine and Lettie Lutz are having their second crack.
COURSE/DISTANCE FORM : Dame du Soir is the only true course and distance winner in the field, but Astra Via did win here over 2m½f last time out. Lady Tremaine, Ruby Yeats and Llantara have all also won at similar trips to today.
DAYS SINCE RUN : Astra Via has had just over ten weeks rest, but the other eight have all raced in the last two to four weeks, so all should be race-ready here.
TRAINER/JOCKEY POSITIVES : Not much of note, sadly, but trainers of Lady Tremaine and Ruby Yeats seem to be in good form, whilst Heure de Gloire's yard have a good record on this track, whilst I've got it in my head that Llantara's yard has done well in the mud in the past.
Feature of the day is, of course, the Instant Expert tab, so let's head straight there...
...where as I suggested, last year's winner, Dame du Soir looks very good. In fact she's certainly the standout in terms of wins with Ruby Yeats probably next best and Llantara worth a second glance and her chances are enhanced by some excellent numbers on the place stats...
Again, Dame du Soir is strong but off a small number of runs, but Llantara is the persistent placer here and could be a danger off a mark 11lbs lower than her last win, even if it was nearly three years ago. She'll get the ground and the trip and is a proven Class 4 runner, she's suddenly quite interesting! She has a pace profile of 2112 which suggests that she's generally towards the rear or held up and further digging shows that she has indeed been held up in 20 of her 27 runs, but is that a good tactic here over a short trip on heavy ground?
Sadly for Llantara and any other hold up horses, the answer is a resounding no...
...and based over those stats from the last five years, I think I only want to be interested in horses with a recent average pace score of over 2.50 and here are the scores...
...where the average score is based on the last three runs, because Lettie Lutz only has three to compare. With that 2.50 score in mind, Lettie Lutz fails on pace, as does Ruby Yeats, Astra Via and Llantara. I know Astra Via won here LTO from a hold-up position, but there was no pace in the race that day, so she didn't have a great deal of ground to make up and she only won by a short head and is now up 4lbs.
All of which leaves us with Dame du Soir, Heure de Gloire, Jaunty Freyja, Lady Tremaine and Sarceaux.
Of the five I've got it down to, last year's winner Dame du Soir and the likely fav Lady Tremaine have ticked the most boxes, but I've a narrow preference for the former. I know Lady Tremaine's yard are in good nick and that she won last time out, but she didn't win by far, she's up in class, raised 5lbs and switches from soft ground to heavy and although she's possibly the best in the race, I don't see her as a sub-2/1 runner : she's currently 2/1 with Bet365 and 13/8 with Hills and will probably end up closer to the latter.
If you're OK backing at those odds, then the 2/1 might be a value price, but the 5/1 about Dame du Soir is more appealing to me. Conditions are ideal for her here, she's down in class and reverts back to hurdling and it could be a tight call, but I'm with the Dame over the Lady.
As for a placer, I'll take 11/1 E/W about Heure de Gloire, she's down two classes here, her yard go well at this track and she's likely to be setting the fractions and could be difficult for many to catch. She ran well to be runner-up in this grade on debut and her other two UK runs have been at Listed class and Class 2, so she could fare better here.