Our free feature on Thursdays is The Shortlist, a simple – and, as the name would suggest, usually brief – report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day, covering win or place stats and visible for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing.
GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points
The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.
HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.
N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is – and has always been – that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form - and its odds - imply.
[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]
And with all that in mind, here is Thursday's Shortlist...
...which is, of course, complemented by our daily selection of fully functional free racecards for the following...
- 2.20 Southwell
- 3.55 Carlisle
- 4.45 Thurles
- 6.00 Newcastle
And I think I'll take a look at our pair of "fifteens" from The Shortlist, starting in the 2.00 Wincanton, where Favori De Sivola will take on 8 rivals in a bid to land a Class 3, 5yo+ Handicap Chase consisting of 21 fences over a right-handed 3m1½f (after a +95yd rail movement) on Good To Soft ground and here is his racecard entry, his Instant Expert stats that link closely to The Shortlist and we've also got his pace scores for his last four outings...
So, we've a 7yr old gelding with two wins from three prominent runs this season so far since a wind op in the summer. He's a former course and distance winner having won both previous attempts over track and trip. the latest of which was two starts ago on Boxing Day. He didn't, however, go well at all when last seen finishing 4th of 8, beaten by some 44 lengths here seven weeks ago, but he was up 6lbs to a mark of 121 and up in trip to 3m3f. The drop back to his favoured trip should help, but the handicapper has only eased him by a pound for that defeat leaving him at +5lbs from his last win.
He's 1 from 3 on good to soft and although he won his only heavy ground chase, I think he'd prefer it faster/firmer here, as he's 2/3 on good ground. he has 2 wins at this level and 2 more at Class 4 and whilst the record above shows he's 4 from 8 at this range of race distances, he's 2 from 3 at 3m1½f. All of which says that conditions look good for him, but he'll need to bounce back after that poor run and the stats say that his best form is usually in the November to January first half of the season where he's 4 from 5.
He's not likely to have it his own way either as both Edeiffs Elton and Putdecashonthedash are former C&D winners, the former doing so LTO 19 days ago, whilst the latter also won LTO, but over 3m2f at Plumpton 38 days back. Favori is a confirmed prominently-running horse and that looks the ideal pace make-up here...
...but danger horses Edeiffs Elton and Putdecashonthedash also like to race prominently and with two others showing as definite front runners, we might get pace on here which might not suit Favori who only just sees races out.
We then head North to Dunstall Park for the 6.30 Newcastle, a 12-runner, Class 6, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a straight 6f on Standard to Slow Tapeta, where Tell 'Em Nowt will seek to return to winning ways. Once again we start with racecard entry, Instant Expert stats and pace scores from recent outings...
He's a 4yr old gelding with three wins from his last five on the form guide, but has actually won four of his last seven, all on tapeta. His four wins were all at Class 6 like today with three of them over today's 6f trip (1 at 7f) and two came here at Newcastle over course and distance with the other two at Southwell.
After completing a hat-trick of Class 6 wins over this trip from 18th Jan to 4th Feb, he then raced over 5f at Southwell at Class 5 off 8lbs higher and could only manage 7th of 11, beaten by 7.5 lengths before stepping back up to 6f here at Newcastle a week later. He was eased 5lbs for that run, but remained at Class 5 and although nearer to the winner in a 2.5 length defeat, he was still only 7th of 11. he's down in class again now and down another pound, but he's going have to up his game from those last two runs, especially up against four other former C&D winners.
That said, he's got his optimum conditions here and his jockey is not only in good form right now but also has a good record at this venue. They've been positioned in the centre of the stalls in box 7, which doesn't look ideal if truth be told...
...although the way those graphs reverse themselves give a bit more fuel to my "the draw shouldn't make a massive difference on a straight run" theories. Surely, it has to be about how you approach the race and this runner tends to be a 3 (prominent), which isn't the best, but should still be workable...
...but this suggests hold-up horses win more often, but leaders hang on for the places, sort of leaving prominent & mid-division horses in a no-man's land scenario and when we put Tell 'Em Nowt's prominence from a mid-draw onto our pace/draw heat maps, they don't paint a great picture of his chances either...
At the start, I copied and pasted the blurb from the page hosting The Shortlist, which says..."it should be a starting point rather than an end in itself"...and so that's the case here. Whilst both runners look fantastic on the report and also on Instant Expert, I don't see either winning if I'm honest and I'm not sure they'll even make the frame.
I said that the main dangers in Favori de Sivola's race were Edeiffs Elton and Putdecashonthedash and they'd be the two I'd want to be with here and they're 7/2 and 8/1 respectively and I'd be more interested in the latter as an E/W bet, of course. Favori looks a little short at 9/2 or 5/1 in my opinion.
As for Tell 'Em Nowt, he could sneak into the places if you go with a bookie paying four places at 8/1 or bigger, but I did prefer the likes of Desert Lime at 7's and the 4/1 fav Ginato here.