Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 05/04/22

The Shortlist is Tuesday's free feature and it's a simple and usually brief colour-coded report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing, where...

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is/has always been that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than its recent form/current odds might imply.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

Here's how Tuesday's Shortlist looks...

..and the top two are the most interesting with four greens for the four areas they've actually scored in. Mack the Man has never raced on Good to Firm, whilst Hardy du Seuil is making a Southwell debut. In addition to the The Shortlist we, do of course, have the following selection of fully functional free racecards...

  • 3.00 Exeter
  • 3.35 Exeter
  • 3.50 Pontefract

The three 'free' races only have a total of thirteen runners between them and the two most interesting Shortlist runners run in fields of four runners and three runners respectively! So, I think I'll swerve full race profiling today and just focus on those two from The Shortlist, starting with Hardy du Seuil in the 2.15 Southwell, a 3-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ Novices Limited Handicap Chase (13 fences) over 2m on Good ground...

There's a certain symmetry about his form in the UK over fences since coming over from France, where he won one of his two hurdles contests (2m1.5f, soft). Since arriving on these shores, he has two wins, two runner-up finishes and two incompletions from his six starts.

He was a decent enough second of six in a Haydock grade 2 in January, before achieving the same result in a Class 3 contest at Kelso LTO a month ago, finishing 2.5 lengths behind Dubai Days, who has since won again by further. he could probably handle further than this, but in his 6 UK runs to date, he...

  • has never raced here at Southwell (as per The Shortlist)
  • is 2 from 4 on Good ground
  • is 1 from 1 over 2m
  • is 2 from 6 under jockey Gavin Sheehan
  • is 2 from 5 at Class 3

...but is 0 from 3 going left handed, 0 from 3 after more than 30 days rest and 0 from 2 this calendar year (2 x runner-up, though).

Instant Expert verifies some of my stats...

...and also notifies us that he's currently rated some 6lbs higher than his last win. Aside from him never having been here before, a line of green is encouraging.  He tends to race prominently in his races, but his two rivals here also like to take it on if possible...

...but the pace analysis from previous similar events suggests that he'd be advised to let his two rivals fight it out upfront...

*

Just ten minutes later, Mack the Man makes a first run on good to firm ground in the 2.25 Exeter, a 4-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ Handicap Hurdle (8 flights) over a right-handed 2m½f...

As you can see, he's already won over course and distance and that was four starts ago on good to soft ground off a mark 3lbs higher than today. He was raised from 127 to 130 for that win, but it's a sign of how poor his three runs since have been, that he's already dropped 6lbs.

His win here in November came after a break of 242 days (most of his best runs come after breaks), but was only 5th of 8 (9L) two months later. he was then quickly (13 days) turned back out at Lingfield finishing 7th of 12 (40L) before coming home last of five (55L) at Carlisle next/last time out a month later (six weeks ago) and his recent form allied to never having raced on such quick ground is an obvious concern.

His 4 wins and 3 places from 14 over hurdles is decent enough and he's 1 from 1 here at Exeter. All his best form has been on ground softer than good and he was unplaced on his only good ground run. He's 4 from 12 at 1m7½f to 2m1f, so the shorter trips suit him and today's jockey, Adam Wedge, has been on board for all four wins (from 12 rides).

He's 2 from 3 at Class 3 and 2 from 3 in fields of 4-7 runners (although last of 5 LTO), he's 3 from 7 going right handed, but hasn't won any of three races in 2022...

He has tended to be waited with in recent outings...

... and was held-up when winning here in November "held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, challenged 2 out, led flat, stayed on well", but the stats say that's not going to be the best course of action on quicker ground...

*

Summary

Hardy du Seuil is pretty closely matched with Sir Tivo in my book and both should beat Stepney Causeway. Sir Tivo is 5lbs higher than his LTO win and not having raced for 130 days, I feel he's slightly disadvantaged, giving the edge to Hardy du Seuil, who is a fairly-priced 6/4 with Hills.

As for Mack The Man, you'd say on first glance that conditions were ideal, other than the untried going hence his inclusion on The Shortlist, but closer inspection says he's out of form and his usual pace profile is going to leave him with too much to do here. He's not for me today, even off a mark of 124. In fairness, there's no outstanding horse in the race, all hace pros and cons, but I'll be leaving the Mack alone, reminding myself that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself!

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