Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 07/06/22

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

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 – and 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 recent form - and its odds - imply.

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Tuesday's Shortlist is fairly sparse...

...but the free stuff doesn't end there, as we've also got the following racecards open to all readers...

  • 1.00 Brighton
  • 2.45 Salisbury
  • 6.45 Chelmsford
  • 7.35 Wetherby

The bookies seem to think Sharpcliff is in a two-horse race and I'd probably agree with them, but I feel he has a slight edge over his main rival Peter The Great, as he seeks a 4-timer, so he could be worth backing if the price is right., but I'm going to focus on the race immediately before that clash, the 6.45 Chelmsford, a 7-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a left handed 7f on standard polytrack...

It's an interestingly open-looking contest with runners deemed good enough to be Class 3 runners, but not coming here in the greatest of form, as none won last time out, but the likes of Sir Oliver and Natural Path did at least make the frame in each of their last two outings, so put a tick by their names for now.

Lalania drops down in class from a Listed race, whilst both Mehmento and Revolutionise were in Class 2 action last month, with Mehmento probably running the best of the three. All the field have won over today's trip and both Karibana and Revolutionise have won over 7f here.

Lalania has also won here in the past, but that was over 5f and she now returns to action after some 256 days, so may well need the run. Light And Dark last raced back in February, but the others have all been sighted in the last couple of months.

MEHMENTO
Better on the A/W (3 from 7) than on the Flat (1 from 6) and is a class lower and a pound lower than when beaten by 3.25 lengths at Thirsk last month. The return toi the A/W is a plus, but it has to be pointed that on the A/W, he is 3/3 at Southwell and 0/4 elsewhere. Likes to lead/race prominently.

LIGHT AND DARK
Hasn't raced in the UK since winning on his debut at Kempton over 7f back in October 2020. He's had three fairly mediocre runs at Meydan during this time, but hasn't featured since mid-February and although he's only a pound higher than that Kempton win, I think he's going to need the run.

SIR OLIVER
Won three of four starts from the end of August to the end of 2021 and was 5 from 13 for the year. Has been in good nick of late too, beaten by less than a length at Lingfield before going down by just a head over course and distance last time out. he's up 1lb, so will need to find a little more, but every chance here

KARIBANA
Class, course and distance just over a year ago, but that's his sole win in a dozen A/W outings, although he does have a 50% place strike rate and his C&D record reads 2133. He's probably not quite at the level of some of these here and his more recent A/W form (5886) is a little disappointing if truth be told.

LALANIA
Was a winner here over 5f way back in Nov '19 and hasn't raced on Polytrack since she was a Class 4 runner-up over a mile at Lingfield in November 2020. She did win over 7f at Newmarket on quick ground in July of last year, but was 6th of 8and 11th of 12 in two runs since and now returns from over eight months off.

NATURAL PATH
Won back to back Class 3 handicaps over 6f on turf last August/September and ran well enough to finish third in a Class 2 at Newmarket last month despite coming off a 30-week break. He followed that up with an A/W debut two weeks later when third of nine here over course and distance and should benefit from the experience.

REVOLUTIONISE
Has won over course and distance, but that was at the start of last year. Has made the frame in half of his 26 A/W races, winning five times, but has only made the frame once in eight starts this year. That was over course and distance here in April, but his two runs since have seen him finish 10th of 11 and 7th of 10 over C&D, so he's probably not one to hang your hat on.

Instant Expert doesn't tell us a great deal on this occasion...

...and the green boxes are self-explanatory. Lalania's A/W form isn't exciting at 2/15 and the 7yo mare is better on turf, but Mehmento has gone well on standard going, albeit on the old Fibresand at Southwell. No real news on the class front: three Class 3 winners but the others have hardly ran that often to be deemed failures and Mehmento has won at Class 2 on the A/W. Lalania's poor A/W form seems to be centred around this track and that 1 from 10 record isn't good and the same goes for Karibana's 1 from 8 over this trip. What Instant Expert has done for us here is highlight some deficiencies, even if it hasn't pointed us towards a winner.

The draw seems to favour those drawn centrally in similar past races here...

...with stalls 4 (Natural Path) and 5 (Light And Dark) coming out on top. Matt once mentioned to me that Chelmsford is like a speedway track in so much that those getting out quickest often held on to win. Now we know that could just be hearsay or one person's opinion, so let's check the pace stats from those 28 races above...

...and yes, those setting the pace win far more often than any other running style and although hold-up horses have done OK from a win perspective, they haven't fared very well from a place point of view and I think the further forward you can run the better and when we combine pace with draw, this heatmap isn't too surprising...

Now, we know how they're drawn, but how will they run? Well, we're not 100% certain, but horses tend to run to a set tactic and we can look back and see how they've gone in each of their last four races...

...with Natural Path looking like the mid-draw prominent runner chasing the higher drawn Sir Oliver, as they both seek to wear down the early pacesetters drawn inside them.

Summary

For me, based on the above, how they've raced recently and a little gut feeling, I've got this between Sir Oliver and Natural Path with the class-dropper Mehmento the possible danger. Of my two principals, Sir Oliver is in slightly better form and will probably start a little quicker than Natural Path and that's where the edge is for me. The bookies agree with my two against the field, but they've installed Natural path as the 5/2 fav ahead of my pick Sir Oliver at 11/4. If either falters, then Mehmento's 7/1 odds might be a nice E/W option.

P.S. Sharpcliff from The Shortlist is 9/4 in the earlier race and I fancy him to overturn the 2/1 fav Peter The Great.

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