The Instant Expert tab on the race cards 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...
- 2.30 Ludlow
- 4.30 Newcastle
- 5.30 Newcastle
And it's the latter of those that I'll be tackling, partly because it has 8 runners (the other have fewer) for E/W purposes and also because there's some good data in the Instant Expert. So, it's the 5.30 Newcastle, an 8-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a straight 5f on the tapeta and it's worth £4,995 to one of these...
Look Out Louis brings the best set of recent results to the table, but all bar Outrage and Ornate have won at least once in the last five starts and not only does Louis bring the best form here, he also drops two classes today. Night On Earth and Ballyare also both drop in class (-1).
All bar Look Out Louis and Melodic Charm have won at this trip before, whilst the latter is the only one of the eight yet to score here at Newcastle. In fairness to the 5yr old mare, she's never tried track nor trip! She's one of four (her plus Outrage, Ornate and Ballyare) to have raced in the last three weeks, whilst Miss Nay Never and Look Out Louis haven't raced since last September.
Melodic Charm has at least raced/won on tapeta, albeit at Wolverhampton where all her best form has been, landing 2 wins and 2 third place finishes from four efforts, mainly over 6f. She drops to 5f for the first time and is on her lowest mark, but she'll need to improve from her last outing. That said, James Tate's 5f runners have 4 wins and 2 places from 9 here over the last two years.
Night On Earth landed back to back Class 3, 5f sprints on the tapeta (Wolves, then here over C&D) in November taking his mark from 80 to 89 and he struggled under that weight at Southwell last time out after stumbling at the start. He is, however, down in class, down 4lbs (now just 2lbs higher than his last win) and has a 7lb claimer on board, so don't be surprised if he goes well here.
Miss Nay Never is 21114 on the A/W, finishing 4th of 10 at Chelmsford 112 days ago on her last run. She ran better than the result suggests, beaten by little more than half a length. She's 2111 over 5f on tapeta including 211 over course and distance. She might need the run and a mark of 85 isn't lenient, but she's interesting.
Outrage is the veteran of the field at 10 yrs of age and comes here on a 12-race losing streak after winning 2 from 3 in Jan/Feb '20 and is now 2lbs lower than his last win. He has 4 wins and 4 places from 12 races over C&D, but I don't see him troubling the judges here, he's on the wane now.
Look Out Louis won here over 6f at the start of December 2020 and has made the frame in each of his seven starts since, winning twice more. He wasn't at his best in a Class 2 good to soft ground handicap over 5f when last seen, finishing as a 3.5-length runner-up, but now drops two classes, has a 3lb claimer on his back effectively putting him back to his last wining mark and he's one that always runs his race. Very likeable, but hasn't raced for a while.
Ornate won a Class 2, 5f handicap at Lingfield off a mark of 97 at the start of last March, but is winless in thirteen races that has brought his mark down by some 18lbs, which makes him dangerous. Closer inspection of his thirteen defeats show 3 Class 1 races, 6 at Class 2 and 3 at Class 3 before finally dropping down to this level last time out, resulting in a runner-up finish by half a length at Wolverhampton. a similar run puts him right in the mix.
Ballyare has two wins and two places from his last six outings, including a course and distance win here in October. He won over 6f at Wolverhampton two starts ago, but laboured when upped in class and weight over the same track/trip last time out. He's back down in class and trip and has been eased a pound by the assessor and all three minor tweaks might just get him back going again.
Buniann was 8th of 11 over C&D, 4.5 lengths behind Ballyare when last seen three months ago and going off the same career-high mark here suggests improvement will be needed. That said, he has 5 wins and 4 places from 11 efforts over course and distance and could get closer to the action if avoiding traffic this time around.
So, plenty, if not all with chances (beginning to rue the race choice here! 😉 ) and quite a few with good relevant form as shown on 'feature of the day', Instant Expert...
In fact, they've pretty much all got decent all-weather/class/course/distance records with the only 'reds' appearing when there's a really small sample size. Miss Nay Never is the standout with a line of green and Ornate's 18lbs below his last win is really eyecatching.
If I was a subscriber and I'd just read the resumés and looked at Instant Expert, I'd probably not have any real opinion on the race and I think I'd need more help. It's not an NH race, so we do have stalls and it's a 5f sprint, so pace will be all-important too, arguably more so than the draw on a 'straight five', but we don't ignore the draw stats, just in case anything is highlighted.
So, we'll start with the draw stats, which are more interesting than I thought they'd be...
...showing that those drawn lowest of all have fared quite badly, which won't be good news for Look Out Louis or Outrage, whilst the pace stats pretty unsurprisingly...
...say that it's best to lead over 5f, but that's probably a given. That said, hold-up horses have done pretty well from wide draws, as they've had a clear run to the line as the others gravitate towards the rail possibly getting in each others way. This high draw/hold-up success is best demonstrated when we combine the pace/draw stats into our unique heatmap, as follows...
and as we know that this field has raced like this in their recent outings...
...we can sort them into draw order and give ourselves an overview of how the race might pan out...
Look Out Louis has led in three of his last four, so he might step further forward. Outrage and Melodic Charm look worst off here, so I'd probably discount them at this point, but there are still half a dozen with real chances.
This is a race where I'd probably advise you to walk away. It might only be a Class 4 affair, but these are all pretty evenly matched, al proven at Class/Course/Distance etc. If this was a tipping service and I had to make a selection, I'd probably look at Ornate or Night On Earth to win it with any of the other four to make the frame, but the only one that's priced long enough to tempt me into a small E/W bet would be Buniann at 11/1, but it's not a race I'd want to invest heavily into and that attitude really is OK, never bet for the sake of it.