Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 09/11/23

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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  • 12.50 Ludlow
  • 1.05 Clonmel
  • 3.10 Ludlow
  • 3.45 Ludlow
  • 3.55 Sedgefield

Those races above don't really grab my attention, so I'm going to have a look at the day's highest rated handicap hurdle in the UK, the 2.25 Newbury, a 12-runner, Class 2 affair over a left-handed 3m 52yds (+138 yds) on good to soft/soft ground...

Emitom, Young Butler and bottom-weight Equinus all won last time out, whilst Hititi has won his last three with Fifty Ball the only one without a 'recent' win, having lost eight on the bounce.

LTO winners Hititi, Emitom and Equinus are all up one class here, as are Zanza, Only the Bold and regular runner-up Martha Brae whilst another LTO winner Young Butler is up two classes for his yard debut for Paul O'Brien.

Conversely Our Power, Dolphin Square and Grumpy Charley all drop down from Class 1 action. Equinus and Fifty Ball last ran 11 and 33 days ago respectively, but the rest of the field have been off the track for six to nine months, during which time Only The Bold had wind surgery.

Only four of these (Bold Endeavour, Grumpy Charley, Martha Brae and Fifty Ball) have yet to win over a similar trip, whilst Dolphin Square and Emitom have won over course and distance. Our Power (2m1f hurdle), Zanza (2m½f, 2m6½f & 2m7½f chases) and Grumpy Charley (2m6½f & 3m2½f chases) are also former Newbury winners, as shown below on Instant Expert...

That's overall NH form, of course, so we now need to remove the chasing stats from the above, as follows...

...where only Fifty Ball has struggled to win with these underfoot conditions. We're a bit shy on Class 2 experience/wins, but Dolphin Square's 3 from 8 is decent enough. Zanza and Emitom are the pick on course hurdle wins, whilst the field's record at 3m+ looks a bit patchy in the main with Martha Brae's 1 from 11 looking particularly poor, although as you can see below, she did make the frame in four of her ten defeats...

From the above, Dolphin Square looks like being a candidate for an E/W bet with a solid line of green off a decent sample size of races and off a mark 4lbs lower than his last win back in December. He's also had 10 wins and 5 places from the 19 starts under today's jockey. If he runs like he has in his last four races and the rest of the field do the same, then I'd expect him to be quite prominent in the upper half of the field and he did win five races ago from a prominent position...

Bold Endeavour looks like being the one to set the tempo here, with likely favourite Equinus towards the rear along with Zanza and Young Butler, but our Pace Analyser of past similar races suggests that the back of the field might not be the place to run from...


Equinus is the current fav at a generally available 15/8, although Bet365 do offer 9/4. I think this is a bit skinny about a horse who is likely to have to pass most of the field late on. That said, he's unexposed at the trip and won well at Aintree last time out. He gets weight all round and isn't penalised for his LTO win and might well be the one to beat, but I can't be backing him at 15/8.

I'm not sure who'd beat him, though, if I'm honest. Front runner Bold Endeavour might try to put enough distance between himself and the fav, but he's carrying 12-0 which will be tough here and 13/2 isn't E/W territory for me. Sadly the same applies to 7/1 shot Hititi, who also comes here in great form and has a good pace profile for this race. he'd need a career best to win, but I think he's in with a great shout of making the frame (4 places) and I'd certainly be interested at 8's or bigger.

All of which brings me back to prolific placer Dolphin Square. He too has a good pace profile for this contest, his IE place stats are the best on offer and he gets on really well with today's jockey.

He's 4lbs below his last win and at 10/1 (generally), he's my E/W fancy, whilst at bigger (18's) odds, Our Power is an interest as he switches back to hurdles. He went into this year's Grand National off the back of consecutive Class 1 handicap chase wins over 3m and ran really well for a long way in the national before finishing 11th. he runs off 4lbs lower here and the drop in trip and easier jumping might just be his ticket.

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