Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 20/06/24

Apologies for the lack of a post for Wednesday's racing, I was up in the Troodos mountains all day/evening with no signal. There'll also be no column for Friday's racing, as I'll be making my way back home from Cyprus on Thursday.

As for Thursday's racing, did you know that the Instant Expert tab is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards?

That's because 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.

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This GOLD feature is so important that we make freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday alongside our usual selection of FREE races which, for this Thursday are...

  • 3.20 Ripon
  • 3.45 Ascot
  • 4.10 Chelmsford
  • 6.00 Wolverhampton
  • 7.50 Leopardstown

Obviously the Ribblesdale at Ascot is the ‘best’ race on that list, but there are others here on Geegeez better qualified to assess a race of such magnitude (and I’m sure they already have or are about to!), so I’ll switch my focus to Essex, where there’s a reasonable-looking (on paper, at least) handicap in the shape of the 4.10 Chelmsford, an 8-runner (fingers crossed!), Class 3, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a left-handed 1m2f on standard polytrack …

We have two LTO winners in this field today, Wadacre Gomez who has won 4 of his last 8 on the A/W and Sniper’s Eye, who is actually up two classes for just his second handicap appearance and wears a hood for the first time upon his comeback from a lengthy (266 days) absence. Stay Well was the only other runner to make the frame on their last run, but he’s also the only runner in this race without a win in six, having been beaten in fourteen straight contests since his last win in October 2021.

In addition to the Sniper’s Eye, bottom-weight and sole female Roxanne is our only other class riser as she steps up one class and also sports a hood for the first time, whilst top-weight Enfjaar is our only class dropper, down one level from Class 2. He has, however, not raced for 229 days and has been gelded during his layoff. Like Sniper’s Eye, Tarjeeh also makes just a second handicap run.

We’re a bit shy on course/distance success here, but both Wadacre Gomez and Zealot are former course and distance winners, whilst Enfjaar won here over a mile thirteen months ago, interestingly after another long (236 days) absence, so the break might not rule him out today. Stay Well has also won over today’s trip, albeit on quick ground at Windsor, way back in April 2021.

Feature of the day Instant Expert shows how the field have performed under similar conditions over 2yrs, 5yrs or all-time and this is the 2-year snapshot…

...where Zealot and Wadacre Gomez have clearly had the most recent success even if Zealot has struggled over the last year, losing five on the bounce since winning seven of eight races in a four month period from December 2022 to March 2023. That raised his mark from 59 to 99, but he's now running off 84, some 12lbs below his last win, which could make him dangerous. As for Wadacre Gomez, he has four wins and a place from five efforts over course and distance and is only up 2lbs from his win here two weeks ago. Enfjaar probably shades the role of third best on those numbers above.

Quite a few of those have swathes of red next to their name, especially Diamond Ranger who looks the most vulnerable of the eight, but maybe he has just been unlucky not to win. The place stats will tell us quickly enough...

...and they suggest that he's not as bad as his win record would suggest, but that he's clearly not at this best at Class 3 and/or over 1m2f. Stay Well's place stats are also poor and I think I'd rule these two out here. Top of our speed ratings, Roxanne, is unexposed under these condition and could be a dark horse.

Course and distance specialist Wadacre Gomez is drawn widet of all here, out in stall 8, but I don't think that will make or break his race, as there's no huge draw bias over 1m2f here at Chelmsford in 8-runner contests, if truth be told...

Stalls 3 to 5 may have a slight edge in terms of wins and those in 4 & 5 have clearly better place returns and whilst this is encouraging news for the likes of Tarjeeh, Sniper's Eye and Diamond Ranger, they are among the weaker runners here and might need all the help we can get.

Pace, however, is generally a different kettle of fish here at Chelmsford and regular readers of this column and/or users of our pace stats won't be surprised to learn that the further forward you race, the greater the chance of a win or place! (not the best poetry you'll ever read, but it's true!)...

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So, where is the pace going to come from? Well, we don't know for sure, but by looking at the field's recent runs, we can usually make an informed guess...

There's a possibility that this might be a falsely run affair, which would play into the hands (hooves) of Wadacre Gomez on his favoured track/trip, but then again he also has the highest average pace score. Zealot was looking like an E/W possible, but having to come from the back is never easy here and that might be an issue and I think this opens the door for Enfjaar and Roxanne.


Pace wins the race they say in Chelmsford and with Wadacre Gomez heading the averages above alongside his excellent course and distance record, I'm not sure a 2lb rise here will stop him from going in again and this is probably why he's the 5/2 favourite with Bet365 (only book open at 3.45pm Wednesday) I was hoping he'd be more like 10/3 for this, but either way he's the one I think should win here.

I did like Zealot as an E/W option, but the pace might count against him. That said, if it's a falsely run race that might well suit him, as he's used to doing all his best work late on. Enfjaar was third best on Instant Expert and was handily placed in the pace profiler, as was the filly Roxanne who was a one-length runner-up over course and distance two months ago and should go well again here.

Enfjaar currently trades at 9/2, which again is a little shorter than I expected and too short for an E/W bet, but from that angle 16/1 might be generous about Zealot and/or Roxanne if things fall their way.

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