Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 24/03/22

The INSTANT EXPERT Report is our free offering every Thursday and it is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards.

The reason? Its 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.

In addition to this excellent feature, we also offer the following racecards...

  • 1.00 Huntingdon
  • 2.12 Sedgefield
  • 3.17 Sedgefield
  • 4.05 Chepstow

The best (on paper) of those four races above is the 3.17 Sedgefield, a 5-runner, Class 2, 4yo+ Handicap Hurdle (10 flights) over a left handed 2m4f on good ground...

I'm expecting Desaray Girl to be a fairly short favourite based on recent form, as she's the form horse here, the only LTO winner and she has actually won her last three. That said, all five have at least one win in the recent formline.

One possible negative about Desaray Girl is the fact that she's up three classes here, as is top weight Lord Torranaga, whilst Zafar is up two grades. Blakeney Point (82d) and Ashington (49d) are the two without a run in the last three weeks, but th e latter won this event last year and is one of two (along with Desaray Girl) course and distance winners on show. Lord Torranaga has won here too, but over 2m1f.

LORD TORRANAGA
Has raced just four times over hurdles (142F), including a win here over 2m1f on hurdling debut in October 2020. Hasn't tackled a hurdle competitively since falling when leading 3 out at Catterick just after Christmas 2020, but has 14 Flat/AW runs under his belt in that time, winning three times. He should be fit/sharp after finishing third over 1m1½f last time out, but he's up 3 classes, goes off the same mark as when falling and might be rusty over the hurdles.

ASHINGTON
Is now 2lbs lower than when he won this race last year, pretty much making all in a 3.25 length success. he also won over fences at Hexham last summer and although only fourth of six last time out, he was only three lengths behind the winner. Since then the winner and runner-up from that race have both made the frame in better races than this and the third placed horse has won over hurdles at Newcastle.

BLAKENEY POINT
Would appear to be the pick of the two McCain runners, based purely on jockey bookings, but looked like something wasn't right with him when last home of seven, beaten by 27 lengths at Musselburgh on New Year's Day, a performance that came less than four weeks after a 28 length defeat at Huntingdon, so although his overall record hints at ability, he seems off the boil right now.

ZAFAR
Is the other McCain runner here and will be ridden by claimer Abie McCain, who has appeared to get a good tune out of him over the last 8 months finishing 121323352. In fact she has missed one of his races since mid-July and that was another in early January, scoring by a length over this trip at Musselburgh. Based on form, you'd want to give him a chance here, but he never seems to have much in hand and he's now up 2 classes. If you consider that he's 0 from 3 at Class 3, you'd have to think Class 2 was beyond him?

DESARAY GIRL
Interesting return to form of late. She was 0/4 in bumpers, 0/2 over fences and just 3/14 over hurdles until partnered up with today's jockey, 5lb claimer Emma Smith-Chaston just over a month ago. Since then the pair are three from three, having won over 2m5f at Ayr (C5, heavy) off 99 (6), then over 2m5½f at Market Rasen (C4, heavy) off 95 (7) and then over 2m3½f here LTO (C5, gd to soft) off 105 (5). All well and good, but she's now up another 7lbs, up 3 classes and on ground that might be too quick for her, but she is 2 from 3 at this track.

Feature of the Day, Instant Expert, looks like this...

This is based solely on handicap hurdle runs, of course and Desaray Girl shows well for course/distance as you'd expect, but that 0/2 on good ground, 0/2 at the class and 7lb rise is a concern. Ashington, on the other hand might be the threat and based on their most recent efforts, these two look likely to slug it out at the head of affairs, as both like to set the tempo of the race...

...and that's probably the prefect way to approach the contest based on...

Summary

Ashington won this race last year off 2lbs higher and looks like he 's being prepared for another crack. He ran well in defeat last time out, likes to be upfront from the start and scored well on Instant Expert and has to be the main rival to obvious form horse/favourite Desaray Girl.

She'll go off shorter than she should, purely because non-savvy punters (not Geegeez readers, of course) will be sidetracked by her 111 form line. They won't look at the rise in class and weight and the quicker ground and come to the conclusion that she might deserve to be the fav, but perhaps more of a  5/2 shot than here current 7/4.

I can't/won't back her at that price, as I think Ashington might well beat here here and as such, I'm happy to see Hills offering 10/3 about one I had at 5/2 or 11/4, so I'm going with Ashington to beat Desaray Girl.

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