Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 16/06/2022

Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab, 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...

  • 3.40 Ascot
  • 4.00 Ripon
  • 4.30 Chelmsford
  • 5.10 Ripon
  • 5.25 Ffos Las

...and I think we'll head to Yorkshire for the 4.00 Ripon, a 7-runner (pity), Class 2, 4yo+ flat handicap over a straight 6f on good ground. Ideally we'd have had eight runners for a crack at three places, but beggars can't be choosers...

Both Emperor Spirit and Tinto come here on the back of a win last time out, with the latter seeking a hat-trick. Elsewhere, only Intrinsic Bond made the frame on their last run, as he was a 1.75 length runner-up to Tinto over course and distance.

Justanotherbottle has also won over 6f here at Ripon, whilst Ava Go Joe has won here over 5f, but has scored elsewhere over 6f, as have the rest of the field bar Zargun.

Four runners move class today, as Tinto, Intrinsic Bond and Emperor Spirit all move up from Class 3, but Nomadic Empire was last seen in a Listed contest. Both Tinto and Justanotherbottle represent yards with good trainer/jockey records at Ripon, whilst the trainer of Emperor Spirit is in fine form. We shouldn't have any excuses of rustiness either, as all seven have raced in the last 12 to 25 days.

JUSTANOTHERBOTTLE won two of his last three runs of 2021, culminating in a class/course/distance success here in late September and having looking needing the run in a Listed race six months later, he was back at it when beaten by less than a length as a runner-up over 5f at Musselburgh in mid-April off just a pound lower than here, so the ability is there and I'd be inclined to ignore his no-show in the Epsom Dash earlier this month.

NOMADIC EMPIRE won back to back handicaps inside four days in September and then suffered 1.25 length defeats either side of a 196-day break, but has failed to impress in two runs since. he was 19th of 22 at this level in York five weeks ago and only 5th of 9 albeit in Listed company last time out.

TINTO has certainly been around the block with 59 races already under his belt at the age of 6 and comes here in great form this season in three runs. He was beaten by less than a length at Thirsk (C3, 6f) on his comeback from 206 days off in April before winning there by a short head at the same class/trip 19 days later. That was backed up by another Class 3, 6f win 18 days later here over course and distance, beating Intrinsic Bond by 1¾ lengths despite a 3lb weight race. He now re-appears 15 days later, 5lbs and one class higher in a bid to land the hat-trick.

ZARGUN has only won one of eighteen so far, which hardly inspires confidence and although a really good 2nd of 21 (beaten by half a length) at York just over three weeks ago, he hasn't kicked on, finishing in midfield on two subsequent runs.

EMPEROR SPIRIT is a lightly raced 4 yr old building a good reputation on the A/W, where he has finished 3211 in four starts. Not quite as good on turf yet (202), but certainly no mug and was beaten here by just ¾ lengths two month ago, when caught late on over a mile. The drop in trip will help and he comes here after scoring on his debut for his new yard a fortnight ago, despite a near 11 month absence.

INTRINSIC BOND last won in mid-July of last year, when landing a Class 4 contest over 6f at Catterick off a mark of 85. A subsequent 10lb hike in weight put paid to any progression and it has taken ten defeats to get his mark down to today's 87, a workable mark from which he chased Tinto home last time out and I think he'll get beaten by the same horse again here.

AVA GO JOE has made the frame in over half (9) of his 16 starts and has already won here over 5f. That was at this grade three starts ago, albeit almost two months back. He seemed to have more in the tank, but has finished 9th of 14 and 7th of 21 recently, so he appears to be up against it today.

Feature of the day, Instant Expert, highlights how the horses have fared in similar past races, so let's check that out right now...

And it's bottom weight Ava Go Joe who catches the eye, whilst I've marks against...

  • Justanotherbottle on class/distance
  • Tinto on going/class
  • Zargun on class
  • Intrinsic Bond on going/distance

*this is based on a dislike of red blocks after double-digit numbers of races and when the IE looks like it does above, i always look at the place form, because they could be consistent, but just not quite good enough...

Again Ava Go Joe looks good, as you'd expect, but it's generally a better looking picture. Tinto, however really hasn't performed well at this level and is up 5lbs. He does have the inside stall, which can help over a straight 6f, but is it the best place to be drawn? Let's find out...

Well, yes, but not exceptional and if we analyse the draw in thirds, then the low draw hasn't achieved the same results as those further out...

So, if Tinto is going win, it's going to be down to tactics and in those races highlighted above, up top has been the place to be...

...with high drawn leaders faring best of all...

But if Tinto likes to lead, he could still land the hat-trick, but if the likes of Emperor Spirit and Zargun are pacemakers, then they could well be involved. Thankfully, we don't have to guess, because we log the running styles of every horse in every race and in the last three runs, this field has run like this...

Emperor Spirit and Zargun are indeed expected to be up with the pace, as is Tinto, which could make it interesting. Not such good news for Instant Expert star Ava Go Joe, who is now likley to struggle, with low drawn hold-up horses faring worst of all.

Summary

Three look likely to battle it out up front, Emperor Spirit, Tinto and Zargun, but I doubt Zargun will be around in the closing stages, as most of his race reports say "weakened in final furlong" or "kept on same pace". This leaves me with Emperor Spirit and Tinto and I'll take those two in that order. The bookies agree about them being the two to follow but they prefer Tinto at 5/2 over Emperor Spirit at 11/4.

Of the rest, Justanotherbottle or Intrinsic Bond might make up the tricast/trifecta at 7/1 and 8/1 respectively, but I think the market has this at the moment. Note, however, some firms paying 3 places.

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