Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Thursday 30/06/22

The Instant Expert tab is Thursday's free feature and it is by far the most popular tab in the Geegeez racecards, 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.

This feature is available to all readers for all races on Thursdays, including our free races of the day, which are...

  • 1.00 Haydock
  • 2.50 Yarmouth
  • 4.35 Bellewstown
  • 5.45 Bellewstown
  • 7.20 Tipperary
  • 8.40 Newbury

...from which I'll take the first of them, the 1.00 Haydock, a 10-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ flat handicap over a straight 5f on good to soft ground...

Van Gerwen and Lotus Rose won last time out and with So Smart having been the runner-up in each of his last three outings, they're the 'form' horses here, although Holbache and Boudica Bay both ran well two starts ago and have won over course and distance. None of the others have won here before and this will be reflected in feature of the day Instant Expert...

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...which typifies a Class 5 handicap by its lack of green, but Holbache is interesting, I suppose, having won here over 5f already. Van Gerwen's profile is mainly non-red, as is Lotus Rose, so they're positives too. Negatives for me on Instant Expert are red blocks from 10 or more races, which applies to First Company (trip), Not On Your Nellie (trip) and Boudica Bay (going & class). Perhaps this quartet of red will disappear when we look at place form...

...which unusually for a Class 5 handicap isn't over-run with red. So Smart and Lotus Rose look the pick of the pack on past outings under similar conditions and the only one I still have concerns about so far is Boudica Bay and I think that with just 2 wins and 2 places from 18 at Class 5, this confirmed C6 runner can be crossed off my list.

The discard is berthed in stall 1, which based on past similar contests here at Haydock is not a good place to run from! 0/20 is another red mark against Boudica Bay...

...and those drawn higher than stall 8 have just 2 wins and 5 further places from 36 attempts, so that's bad news for May Blossom and Evasive Power, as we really want to be in the 2 to 8 area of the stalls, although over a straight five at Haydock, I always feel the emphasis is on pace and I've always though that those setting the pace at this track are the most successful, so we should check the pace data from those 20 races above and sure enough... we want a horse drawn in stalls 2 to 8 with an average pace score North of 2.0, preferably kicking towards 3.5 or even higher and what we actually have is...

...So Smart, Van Gerwen and Lotus Rose with both the 2-8 draw and the pace score of 3 and above. And with these three being the highlighted 'form' horses and also catching the eye on Instant Expert along with Holbache, this seems like a no-brainer.


Without even delving into the runners' history, I'm pretty sure that So Smart, Van Gerwen and Lotus Rose (in no particular order) should be filling the first three places with Holbache a possible E/W danger, BUT I suspect the market will be onto this and there might not be an angle for us, but we'll cross that bridge shortly after I've had a closer look at our four possibles...

VAN GERWEN won by a neck at Redcar last October at Class 4 off a mark of 69 and was raised 3lbs for the win. he then failed to even make the frame in eight starts before taking advantage of a drop in OR to 66 at Nottingham 17 days ago, where he was quite comfortable in a 1.5 length success and although up 5lbs again, the booking of a 5lb claimer takes care of that and a similar effort here puts in in the mix. My concern is that his jockey has just 1 win and 4 places from 31 rides over the last six months.

LOTUS ROSE won over this trip at Ripon back in August in what was just her fourth start, but she lost her way somewhat after that run. A return to Ripon a month ago seemed to do her a world of good, as she finished 3rd of 8, beaten by just a head and a neck of a mark of 68. She then continued her improvement by winning by three quarters of a length at Redcar, always doing enough off the same mark and although she's up 5lbs here, the winner of the Ripon race has since won off an elevated mark.

SO SMART hadn't really shown much of note in six starts for Tom Dascombe or Hugo Palmer, but a switch to David Evans' yard in April of this year has given this 3yo son of Dandy Man a real boost and he has finished in the frame (3222) in all four starts for his latest handler. He likes to make the pace, is in good nick and today might just be the day he gets off the mark.

HOLBACHE has already won four times on the flat and is 3/12 at this trip including a course and distance success on his only previous visit back in October 2020. Has seemed to run out of steam in races of late, so a drop back down to this minimum trip might be just the ticket for horse who seems to act on all going. His pace profile is a mixed bag, but his best runs have come when he's been up with or setting the pace and his yard will know that's the key at Haydock and if the price is right, he could be a cheeky E/W play.

Holbache is the most likely of the four to miss out on a place in the frame, but at 14/1 from bet365 (the only book open at 4.55pm), he's worth a small E/W saver. Of my preferred trio, I'd rather be on So Smart as the least exposed and most progressive. Van Gerwen has raced 79 times now and you know what you're getting and I expect Lotus Rose to finish between them.

The market agrees with my three, but has my 1-2 the other way around, enabling me to get 7/2 about So Smart, who I thought might be favourite.

NOTE :  Skybet are paying 4 places here, so if you can get 12's about Holbache and 4 places, that would be a smart call, I feel.

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