Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 13/01/22

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...

  • 12.40 Catterick
  • 1.10 Catterick
  • 3.20 Newcastle
  • 6.30 Chelmsford

And I think I'll swerve the NH contests and focus on the last of those four races, the 6.30 Chelmsford. It's interesting on paper because you don't often see three LTO winners in a 7-runner Class 6 contest. Add in the fact that the handicapper rates them all within 6lbs of each other and we might have ourselves a trappy little bargain basement tear-up. So, yes, 7 go in this Class 6, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a left-handed 1m2f on standard polytrack, the prize is just over £3,000 which might just cover the horsebox diesel prices at today's prices and here's the card...

My initial thoughts here were that the three heading the Geegeez Speed ratings were the three to focus on, but not necessarily in that order.

Copake, Captain St Lucifer and Bella Colorosa are our three LTO winners, but James Park Woods was a runner-up a fortnight ago, so they've the best of recent form. Channel Packet has won over an extended 1m2f at Nottingham and has scored twice here over a mile, whilst Captain St Lucifer's sole career win was here over course and distance five weeks ago. That five week break is the longest any of these have been off the track and Bella Colorosa actually ran (and won) last Wednesday over 1m3f at Kempton.

James Park Woods is 1 from 30 across all codes, last won 19 races and almost 28 months ago and has made the frame just once in seven A/W starts, when a runner-up at Wolverhampton last time out. He goes off the same mark here, but whether he can back it up is debatable.

Channel Packet was 4th of 9, beaten by 5 lengths at Wolverhampton last time out and is eased a pound in the weights here. Winless since scoring here over a mile just over 11 months ago, the best of those ten defeats since have been here at Chelmsford where he has 2 wins and 7 places from 16.

Diamonds At Dusk has made the frame just once in nine starts so far and probably will extend that to ten here. She had looked like the penny was dropping late last year with some handy efforts both here and at Kempton but she was a disappointing seven length fourth of ten at Wolverhampton LTO and will need a considerable upshift here even off 2lbs lower.

Copake won/placed for the first time LTO as he got up by a neck at Wolverhampton in his tenth start a month ago after seeing his mark plummet from 69 to 52 in the space of six defeats. He's only a pound higher here which should, I suppose, give him a chance, but he's hardly reliable.

Dubai Emperor has raced three times on turf and three times on the A/W but has yet to make the frame. He did, however, get to within just over a quarter of a length of the winner LTO, when 5th of 12 in a race where the first eight home were within half a length of each other. He was running on well there despite coming off a six month layoff and off the same mark here might welcome the 120 yards or so.

Captain St Lucifer was only beaten by a head and a nose over this trip at Beverley back in September when a surprise 25/1 placer off a lowly mark of 48, before running even better next/last time out to win here by three quarters of a length over course and distance off 1lb higher. He's only up 2lbs for that win and with his yard going pretty well right now, he's a contender here.

Bella Colorosa failed to make the frame in seven starts for trainer Mark Pattinson, but defied a 163 day absence to score over 1m3f at Kempton last Wednesday on her debut for new handler Richard Kingscote. She won quite readily there on her first effort beyond a mile and she looks well treated under a 5lb penalty here, providing a second run in just over a week isn't too much. That said, she is a 6/4 fav in Wednesday's 7.00 race over1m4f at Kempton, so she might not come here after all.

Channel Packet has made the frame in 14 of his 40 starts (35% SR), winning 5 times (12.5%) along the way. These aren't exactly exceptional figures, but the rest of the field combined have just 18 places from 78 (23.%) including a mere 4 wins (5.1%) and this means that the win side of Instant Expert probably won't tell us much at all...

...so we'll consider the place percentages...

...which tell us a little bit more, but only really rule out Diamonds at Dusk who I already thought was the weakest in the field. The most experienced of them, Channel Packet is drawn 6th of 7 here and whilst that's not a bad to run to a place from, as Instant Expert suggests he might...

...it's not great on the win stats where low seems best : good news for the Captain! However, it's not all about the draw over such a long trip here at Chelmsford, it's generally more about pace, positioning and race tactics and as you're probably sick of myself, Matt, Sam et al telling you, upfront is the place to be here at Chelmo...

But we have no out and out leader in our pack, based on their last four outings...

...but Diamonds will race prominently, as should James Park Woods, but Channel Packet actually set the pace at Wolverhampton last time out and similar tactics back on his favoured track with his preferred jockey, he might well be the one to take it on.

Summary

I don't like Diamonds at Dusk, even though she might take it on and I think Bella Colorosa will miss this race in favour of a run at Kempton, where her hold-up won't be as much of a hindrance, so I'm left with five. I like Captain St Lucifer, as he's in good form, he won over C&D LTO and his yard are doing well and all things considered, he's the one to beat for me. 4/1 is neither generous nor punitive, so I'll have a nibble at that.

I also liked the way Dubai Emperor ran last time out, but he might need to show his hand a little earlier than usual and he's 8/1 with 888Sport, so could be a nice E/W bet, as could Channel Packet, who's more than capable here and with Hills going 17/2 and 3 places, I might throw a couple of shillings that way.

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