Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 10/02/22

The Instant Expert tab on the race cards is by far the most popular amongst our readers, 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...

  • 3.20 Doncaster
  • 3.45 Huntingdon
  • 4.30 Thurles
  • 6.30 Newcastle

Of the above, the 6.30 Newcastle probably lends itself best to the Racing Insights scrutiny, so let's crack on. It is a 6-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a straight 6f on standard to slow tapeta. First prize is just shy of £6.5k and here are the contenders...

The top two of the card look the weakest on bare results, but both drop in class, whilst the ones in best form seem to be the bottom two, but they both step up in class. All six have won over this trip, Devil's Angel and Asadjumeirah (the only LTO runner in the contest) have won over 6f here, whilst Ballyare has also won here previously, but over 5f last October.

Rathbone and Devil's Angel have been off the track a good while at 16 and 23 weeks respectively, but the other four all raced in January. Not much to go on for trainer/jockey stats, but Devil's Angel's yard is in good nick as is the rider on board Astro Jakk, whilst those saddling up on Aberama Gold and Rathbone would appear to have good track stats.

Feature of the day is, of course, the mighty Instant Expert, and it tells us at a glance that...

...all bar Ballyare and Aberama Gold  have a reasonable record over this trip and that the latter is 10lbs below his last win, but doesn't appear suited by Going/Class so far, whilst the former's 2 from 17 here at Newcastle is his strongest stat. Rathbone's record at Newcastle is 0/5, but he has actually made the frame three times. Astro Jakk, Devil's Angel and Asdajumeirah all look solid if unspectacular at this set of conditions, not withstanding Devil's Angel being 9lb higher than his last win, of course!

It's a straight 6 furlongs and the logical side (yes, there is one!) of my brain (yes, I do have one!) tells me that aside from one horse having the rail available to keep him straight, the draw should have little/no bearing on the result and the stats for this type of race do show that stall 1 has benefited from the rail, but those drawn higher than 5 in a small field have done just as well as stall 2...

This might well mean that pace/race tactics is/are the key here and over a straight 6f, you'd almost expect one who blasts from the stalls and take it on from the front to be the one most likeliest to win and if that's what's in your mind, stick with it, because...

...leaders have done brilliantly and the advice here seems to be "lead if you can, but hang back if you can't and don't chase it", as hold up horses also have a decent record and based on recent runs...

...I'd expect Aberama Gold to try and set the pace here. We can plot all six pace/draw make-ups onto our unique heat map to give us an idea of how the race might pan out based on past stats, with the obvious caveat that they are past stats and things do change...

Rathbone and Asadjumeirah might well end up being the hold up horses with Devil's Angel the one possibly to break ranks and chase the leader.


At 111 days and 159 days off track respectively, Rathbone and Devil's Angel will probably need the run here and Rathbone hasn't run a decent race since last August. He's 0/7 on the A/W and I don't see him going 1/8 here. Devil's Angel hasn't run on the A/W since early April of 2021 when completing a four-race C&D sequence reading 3112 that took his mark from 72 to 78, making today's 83 look tough.

So, I'm discarding them at this point, leaving me with four who I believe will be closely matched. Asadjumeirah & Ballyare have the recent form, Aberama Gold might try and nick it from the front and Astro Jakk is 6 from 17 on the A/W including 2 from 4 over course and distance. He did, however, toil off this mark LTO, so he's not making my top 3.

As for my top 3, I'm going to rely on the unquantifiable "gut feeling" and I think that the two form horses will both catch and pass the pacemaker, leaving Aberama Gold in third and I suspect that having dead-heated here LTO and now raised 2lbs that Asadjumeirah is (very) marginally a better option than Ballyare who is also up 2lbs for losing by a neck here LTO. And if that neck margin of defeat tipped my opinion, it could be quite apt, becasuse I wouldn't be surprised if that's all that separates them in the race.

Sadly, my 1-2-3 is the bookies 1-2-3 (I promise I didn't look at the market until just now - 4.57pm) at 5/2, 3/1 and 9/2 : prices that are about right in my mind.



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