Thursday’s free feature of the day is Instant Expert for all races. Instant Expert is one of the most popular features of Geegeez Gold, perhaps because it’s one of the biggest time savers available to the community. Each runner’s suitability to conditions across a number of key criteria can be examined in just seconds. In addition, those same criteria can be checked for jockeys, trainers and sires too.
As usual there are several free races of the day too, available to registered free users of Geegeez. There are five completely free racecards on Thursday, for the following races:
1.00 Market Rasen
3.40 Market Rasen
The race at Lingfield is quite compelling and competitive but with it being a 3yo only race, at this time of year there is only limited form on offer. The classiest of those above races is the 6.35 Chelmsford. It’s a class 2 handicap, set to be run over 10f, but there is a disappointing turnout of just 4 runners. Considering the lack of runners, the early betting is surprisingly (relatively) competitive so this is the race I’m going to concentrate on.
The draw can have almost no impact here given the field size but there could still be a pace bias on display.
There is no clear pace bias. The win percentage data suggests mid division is best, followed by being an early leader, but with prominent doing worst of all that doesn’t really make sense. There is no clear trend with the place percentage either so it’s probably best to concentrate on the runners and riding tactics.
In such a small field it’s worth noting that those patiently ridden tend to be closer to the early pace than they would be in a bigger field, meaning they have less ground to make up. So being held up off a slow gallop in a small field can be better than being held up off the same slow gallop in a bigger field.
More important than race position in this race though could be tactical speed. Given the likelihood of a very steadily run race they’ll surely end in a dash for home and the speedier types in the field could be the ones to come to the fore, even if they are the ones that are held up early. This will be a major consideration for each runner, as well as their relative form.
The top weight is returning from a wind op. Andrew Balding has a PRB of 0.51 with runners having their first run since a wind op so no clear indication there of whether improvement can necessarily be expected. He sets a fair standard on form, being a listed scorer at Kempton and having won the John Smith’s Cup last season. He does have a split handicap mark and his all weather rating is currently 107, which means it will be a stiff ask to win a handicap. He’s 4 from 6 on artificial surfaces but the level of form shown doesn’t suggest he can win off 107 and although he can lead, so could be well positioned, all his all weather successes have come over further and he’s struggled to run to form over 10f at Lingfield so speed tests probably aren’t his thing.
A recent course and distance winner in a small field, leading early but happy to settle in behind when pressed before getting back up to win comfortably. That effort seemed to suggest the 4yo had improved for a gelding operation and he wasn’t doing a whole lot in front, despite winning by over 2 lengths, so could have plenty more to come. That’s especially the case given he’s 2 from 2 on the all weather and it’s unlikely they’ve got to the bottom of this horse on this surface. A 6lb rise makes life tougher but it’s difficult to say he won’t run well here with so much seemingly in his favour.
Peter The Great
A largely disappointing runner who promised to progress quicker than he has done. He’s probably been slightly better on the all weather to date, or at least more consistent across his two runs at Newcastle to date, finishing runner up in both. The first of those was when just behind Nagano off level weights and that horse was rated 102 when last seen on these shores whilst his last run also saw him finish 2nd, this time to a fairly lightly raced Sir Michael Stoute runner.
The fact he now sports first time cheekpieces again backs up the impression that he’s been disappointing and without them you’d expect him to run well in defeat again. With the addition of the headgear it’s a bit more of a guessing game. If they improve him and allow him to reach his full potential he could be the best handicapped runner in the field. If he doesn’t take to them he could be beaten before the race even begins.
He can travel well and is on the speedier side for a 10f horse so the small field setup might end up suiting him.
Has enjoyed a fruitful 2022 so far winning the Spring Mile at Doncaster (three of the next four home where 1st or 2nd on a subsequent start) and also here over a mile on his latest outing. The fact that he’s proven over shorter trips should mean he has the speed required for this sort of test but he can be quite keen and wouldn’t be guaranteed to get home if he pulls in behind with a slow gallop likely. The race last time didn’t look particularly strong but a 4lb rise is probably fair given the style in which he was successful so he certainly has a fair chance on form but that keenness would be a major concern in this.
Without the headgear on Peter The Great, Greatgadian would have been a relatively confident pick at a relatively poor price, with Peter The Great a confident second choice and potential forecast horse. The cheekpieces could have a positive or negative effect on John Gosden’s runner which certainly complicates things and produces more unknowns. Preference would still be Greatgadian, but with a degree of caution.
Johnny Drama could find this a bit sharp on his return from an absence and a wind op whilst Arthur’s Realm’s finishing effort will be massively compromised if he’s keen, which seems likely. That means Peter The Great is still probably the choice to come 2nd still but with the doubts over the headgear it’s probably not worth backing what would have been a fairly short priced forecast anyway between the two market leaders.