Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 19/04/22

Easter is now behind us and normal service is set to resume on Tuesday, where the daily free feature is The Shortlist, 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.

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.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

And here's how The Shortlist looks for this Tuesday...

Not much catching my eye if truth be told, so I'm hoping that one of the following 'free' racecards has some meat on its bones for analysis purposes...

  • 2.55 Epsom
  • 4.40 Yarmouth
  • 5.10 Yarmouth
  • 7.20 Worcester

And let's head for the Downs and the 2.55 Epsom, an 8-runner, Class 2, 4yo+, Flat Handicap over a left-handed 1m2f on good ground. The prize is decent enough at almost £26k and it'll go to one of these...

No LTO winners on display today, which is a little unusual at this level, but all bar Love Is Golden, Fairmac and Starry Eyes have won at least once in their last five outings. Lots of class movers here today with onlt Love Is Golden having raced at class 2 LTO, as both Starry Eyes & Vulcan move up two classes and Fairmac, Bad Company & Arenas Del Tiempo are all up one level. Soto Sizzler & Achelois both ran in Listed company when last seen.

Epsom can be quirky, but Soto Sizzler has won here twice over 1m4f, whilst Arenas Del Tiempo is a former course and distance winner. Only Love Is Golden and Starry Eyes are without a win at a similar trip to this one. Vulcan hasn't been seen for 400 days since running over hurdles and it's 18 months since his last Flat outing, so he might be vulnerable on yard debut for Ralph Beckett and Achelois (164 days) is the other coming back from a break. The remainder have all raced in the past 24 days.

SOTO SIZZLER
Has been to Epson four times so far (all at 1m4f) finishing 1122. Rounded off his 2021 campaign with a Class 3 win at this trip off a mark of 94 beating Bad Company by 0.75 lengths, but was only 7th of 8 on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton last month, albeit in a Listed race. A class and 5lb higher than his last win means this is far from a gimme.

ACHELOIS
Three wins and a place in a four-run purple patch last May-July included a win on her first crack at class 2 and/or 1m2f. Not seen since November, when beaten by less than two lengths in a Listed race at Doncaster where she beat a subsequent Listed winner. A similar run puts her right in the mix here.

LOVE IS GOLDEN
No win in seven since scoring at Chester in August and he's still 3lbs higher than that day. Didn't cope with conditions at all at Pontefract earlier this month, but did go well at a lower level on seasonal bow at Doncaster.

VULCAN
No run of any kind for 400 days, no Flat run for 18 months and his best form is at Class 5. Runs off a mark 8lbs higher than his last win and is best left watched in my opinion.

FAIRMAC
Was only third of four at Ripon last week after a break of 183 days. it could have been the layoff, it could have been the heavy ground, but he didn't go well. He'll come on for the run, but I'm not generally keen on horses with a 2 from 17 handicap record.

BAD COMPANY
Has a reasonable 5 wins and 2 places from 14 Flat handicap starts and was only 0.75 lengths behind Soto Sizzler two starts ago and he reacquaints himself 3lbs better off, suggesting he could well overturn the deficit. He ran well for much of his last race, when coming off a 155-day break going down by four lengths after weakening late on. He, too, should improve here and could well make the frame.

ARENAS DEL TIEMPO
Has finished 1172 in four starts under today's jockey Hollie Doyle, who rode her to a course and distance success here back in August. She was then beaten here over C&D by just three quarters of a length four weeks later under a 3lb claimer. Has suffered two narrow defeats on the A/W in her last two starts, but a return to this trip and turf should see her go well again.

STARRY EYES
0 from 3 on the Flat and only 2 from 23 on the A/W, it's hard to make a case for a runner beaten in each of her last dozen outings, no win beyond a mile and runnig from a stone outside of the handicap.

At this stage, I've already seen/heard enough about Vulcan, Fairmac & Starry Eyes to tell me that I won't be backing them, so if they win, they won't be carrying my money. Of the remaining five runners, Instant Expert will quickly show me how they've ran in similar circumstances in the past...

Love Is Golden is the standout horse for me here, but for all the wrong reasons. An first crack at quirky Epsom backed by a line of red blocks isn't the ideal profile for winning here, so I'm crossing that one off to leave me with four to consider, all of whom could easily be involved here from stalls 4, 5, 6 and 7 where the draw stats aren't massively conclusive from a winner finding perspective...

...but horses drawn higher than 6 have made the frame in 25 of 64 (39.1%) starts, which is good news for Achelois bid to make the frame from stall 7, where she'll probably want to get her sefl in a prominent position if her most recent runs are anything to go by...

Bad Company is a confirmed front runner, as is the already discarded Fairmac, so we should have some decent early tempo to the race which in the past has tended to be won by those racing prominently or even leading...

and this data is backed up by the pace/draw heatmap...

Summary

Any of these four could win, of course but somewhat surprisingly, the one of the quartet I'm dropping from the final three is the 2/1 favourite Soto Sizzler. His running style doesn't seem to suit the contest ahead and he's 3lbs worse off with pacemaker Bad Company for a win by just three parts of a length, so I suspect Bad Company could finish ahead of the fav here.

Mind you, I fancy the two "A's" to be the first two home. I have a marginal preference for Achelois on ability, but I fear her 164-day layoff allied to the rebooking of Hollie Doyle on her rival Arenas Del Tiempo might just swing the decision.

So, I think it might be tight, but I'm having the 4/1 Arenas Del Tiempo to beat the 7/2 Achelois in the battle of the 4 yr old fillies with Bad Company a nice 10/1 E/W shot for a place.

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