Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 12/09/23

Tuesday's free offering from the GOLD service is the The Shortlist feature, a simple – and usually brief – 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.

GREENis good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBERis quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
REDis 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.

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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. As ever, please refer to our User Guide for further information!

And this how The Shortlist looks for this Tuesday...

...where all those rated at 10 or higher are at least worth a second glance and we do still also have our daily list of 'free' racecards, which are as follows...

  • 1.40 Leicester
  • 4.15 Catterick
  • 5.15 Laytown
  • 5.25 Galway
  • 7.25 Galway

I do, where possible, try to 'marry up' the daily free feature with the free racecard list and that's actually possible today, as 11-rated on The Shortlist Vadamiah runs in the 4.15 Catterick (as does 9-rated Texas Man of course), a 9-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ flat handicap over a straight 5f on good/good to soft ground...

Despite the disparity on the SR figures, this looks a tight, competitive affair, where our feature horse Vadamiah (one of two females in the race) carries top weight, but she does drop three classes here after finishing well down the field (although only 3.5 lengths down) in a £50k Class 2 handicap at the Ebor meeting three weeks ago. Fellow female Havagomecca drops down one class here, as do Castin and Albegone.

Birkenhead steps up a class after back to back runner-up finishes, a pair of results matched by Murbih and with no LTO winners in the field, these two bring the best form to the table, but Papa Don't Preach, Murbih and Jojo Rabbit are winless in 8, 13 and 12 respectively and all three have pretty dismal win records on turf.

Castan is the sole 3 yr old in the field and gets a 1lb allowance for that and he's one of five previous course and distance winners here. All nine have won at least once at this trip and only Havagomecca, Papa Don't Preach, Murbih and Jojo Rabbit have yet to win here at Catterick. Mind you, that last trio who are on long losing runs are 0 from 10, 0 from 13 and 1 from 17 respectively on the Flat, so a win here would be a surprise!

No fitness issues with them all having raced in the last month or so, but Murbih did run on Saturday and although it's a short turnaround, that was his best effort for some time. Instant Expert highlights the poor Flat win records of this trio and also shows why Vadamiah and Texas Man are on The Shortlist...

There's really not a great deal to write home about there with possibly only the two shortlisted runners and Castan emerging with much credit and even the latter has struggled on the going. When i said this might be tight/competitive, I didn't actually say that it was a decent quality, though! Perhaps the place stats will show some of these in a better light...

Well, they say that Castan is better on the going than at first suggested, but the others who looked best on the win stats haven't really enhanced their positions and have been caught up by some of the others. I've seen enough about Papa Don't Preach and Jojo Rabbit to discount them from my thoughts now, though. They're both drawn middle to high here in a race that doesn't (in my opinion) display any real bias or advantage from a stalls positioning...

..but it's one where the emphasis is clearly on early speed as this illustrates only too well...

...and with this field's recent efforts looking like this...'d have to think that Vadamiah would have an excellent chance of grabbing the lead and therefore running on for at least a place and I think if we just look at the field's last two outings we'll get a more realistic view of how they might break...


It's probably easier if I start by saying who I don't really fancy here! I already ruled out Papa Don't Preach and Jojo Rabbit at an early point and I think that pace will be the undoing for Texas Man and Havagomecca's chances of landing this and that's probably the same for Birkenhead. He's in good nick, but doesn't win often enough and with more than half the field setting off quicker than him, a place is his best shot.

Of the five ahead of him, none are really prolific, but Vadamiah loves it here. Murbih doesn't win on grass and I think Castan is the most interesting of all of them. He may only be 2 from 12 on Turf, but has made the frame seven times, all his best runs have been at this trip and the going will suit him. He has one win and one place from three efforts over course and distance and at 10/1 looks a decent E/W punt for me.

As for a winner? Stick a pin in the card! If pushed Vadamiah's course record and his all-out pace profile probably tip the balance his way, but is he a 10/3 shot here? I'd expected double that, so I'll leave the win bet alone on value, but I expect him to go well.

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