Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 26/05/22

Thursday's free feature, the INSTANT EXPERT Report is by far the most popular tab in 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.

We make this freely available every Thursday for every race, including our 'free' races of the day...

  • 1.40 Haydock
  • 3.10 Haydock
  • 5.50 Carlisle
  • 7.25 Sandown
  • 8.20 Limerick

The last of the four English races is clearly the pick of the pack and despite it looking like Mostahdaf's race to lose, we might find an E/W pick, a forecast or even a reason to lay the fav in the 7.25 Sandown, a six-runner, Group 3 contest for 4yo+ horses over a right handed 1m2f on good to soft (better in places) ground...

As you'd expect for a race of this stature the form lines are littered with the number 1 and likely fav Mostahdaf has won three on the bounce, bettered only by Bay Bridge's four wins on the trot. The latter, however, hasn't been seen for 208 days with only Addeybb (222d) rested for longer. Only Mostahdaf has a UK run under his belt this season, with Lord Glitters, Dubai Future and Passion And Glory's last runs coming at Meydan.

All six have won over today's trip, Addeybb has won here at Sandown over a mile, but Mostahdaf ticks another box as the only course and distance winner. It's a non-handicap race, but based on weight to OR marks, Addeybb would effectively be 5lbs to 11lbs well in with the field, but our neural SR figures put the 4-timer Bay Bridge on top.

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LORD GLITTERS Won the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot almost three years ago and hasn't won any of 13 races in this country since, admittedly mainly at higher levels than today. He did finish 2nd of 7 in a York Group 3 last August and has won at Gr 2 and Gr 3 in the UAE over the winter, but was disappointing last time out and he's not getting any younger at 9.

MOSTAHDAF Had a great debut season as a 3yo last term, winning 6 of 7 starts with the only blip coming in the Gr 1 St James Palace at Ascot in June when not getting the run of the race. Has landed back to back Gr 3 races in his last two outings either side of a 195 day break, the latter of which was a course and distance win here five weeks ago.

ADDEYBB Returns from a lengthy break, but was the runner-up in the Eclipse here Top-notch operator who was runner-up in the Gr 1 Eclipse here over C&D after a 259-day absence last July having won the Champion Stakes in the previous October. He was, however, disappointing in his bid to retain that Champion Stakes crown last time out when probably setting off too sharply and will need to bounce back here.

BAY BRIDGE Had a couple of six lengths defeats in October/November 2020 as a 2yo, but was four from four last season progressing nicely from Class 4 to Class 2 to a Listed class win last time out. This is tougher, of course, and he hasn't raced since October and only got home by half a length that day, so he'll need to continue that progression.

DUBAI FUTURE His best UK effort was probably his last run on these shores, when 3rd of 10 in a 1m4f Listed race on the A/W at Kempton in early November, beaten by little more than a length, but the form of that race hasn't really panned out to be much of note. He did then win next time out (1m4f, Meydan, mid-Jan), but hasn't impressed on his last three runs in the UAE. This trip is possibly a little sharp for him too, so I'd not be too keen on his chances here.

PASSION AND GLORY Hasn't raced in the UK since completing a four-timer in a 1m4f Gr 3 contest at Goodwood at the end of last July, but hasn't lived up to that level in five subsequent runs in Germany and the UAE with his 5th of 13 in the Gr 2 Dubai Gold Cup last time out being his best effort since he last won and others are more backable here.

At this point, I'd want to split the field in half and say that I'm only really interested in Mostahdaf, Addeybb and Bay Bridge, but let's use Instant Expert to assess the entire field's past form under this race's expected conditions...

So, whilst this doesn't exactly help very much today in deciding who to back, it does put another nail in the coffin for Lord Glitters, who doesn't appear to 'get' good to soft ground. Elsewhere, we have huge swathes of green, but notably the fav hasn't ran on good to soft before. We shouldn't get too carried away, though, as he's 2 from 2 on good and 2 from 2 on soft, so he should be fine!

The draw stats from previous small-field contests over this trip/going suggest that Mostahdaf has the best starting point from the highest draw....

...whilst the pace stats in isolation say that you don't want to be held-up here...

...which is yet more bad news for Lord Glitters...

...and when we align pace with draw, we're advised that highly drawn leaders fare best here...

...but the pace is here is Addeybb, but he's inside at stall 2, where he'd be advised to hang back a little in the hope that Passion And Glory takes it on. If we overlay our six runners onto that heatmap...

...then Mostahdaf again looks the pick of my preferred three.

Summary

Try as I might, I just can't get away from Mostahdaf here. He's the form pick, has won over C&D very recently, has the best of the draw and probably just about shades it on the pace/draw heatmap, so I don't envisage him losing here. We're not getting rich at a best price of 11/8, but even that might offer some value as I thought he might be a bit shorter.

The challenge, then, is to get the forecast and it's between Addeybb and Bay Bridge. Both come off long breaks, but both appear to go well fresh. Both scored well on Instant Expert, but the latter had better percentage figures, albeit off a smaller sample size. Bay Bridge has a marginally better draw, but neither fared well on the heatmap.

I don't think there'll be much between them, so the unquantifiable 'gut feeling' comes into play and it's a choice between a proven, experienced runner and the progressive form horse and I'm just slightly more keen on the latter, so it's the younger Bay bridge that I expect to pose the bigger problem (if any) to Mostahdaf.

 

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