Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 20/06/23

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.

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.

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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...

...which, as you'd expect, is heavily Ascot-oriented. We do still also have our daily list of 'free' racecards, which are as follows...

  • 2.20 Thirsk
  • 2.55 Thirsk
  • 3.40 Ascot
  • 7.00 Brighton
  • 7.15 Beverley

The 3.40 Ascot is on the 'free' list and is the second richest race of the day. It also features three runners from The Shortlist, but at 19-runners, it's not for me, even if SkyBet are paying 6 places! Instead, I'll take the last of the 'free' races, a decent standard sprint at one of my favourite tracks; the 7.15 Beverley is an 8-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ flat handicap over a straight 5f on good ground and here's how they'll line up for the "Beverley Speedy Handicap"...

No LTO winners here, but top weight Hiya Maite was third after winning his penultimate race, whilst Embour, California Gem and Manila Scouse have all won inside five runs and Embour is denoted as a fast finsher, ideal for this kind of contest! Only Spring Is Sprung and Ventura Flame are winless in seven (8 & 13 respectively if anyone's counting). All eight have at least one 5f win under thier belts and both California Gem and bottom weight Ventura Flame are former course and distance winners.

Only half of the field ran at Class 3 last time out; Spring Is Sprung was 4th of 14 at Class 2, beaten by a length at 33/1, whilst Manila Scouse (3rd of 7), Dandy Dinmont (5th of 9) and Ventura Flame (5th of 17 over C&D) all step up from Class 4 and it's hard to see any of that trio improving for a step up. Most of them do have the benefit of a recent run; half a dozen have raced in the last month, Calfornia Gem was seen six weeks ago, but Embour hasn't raced for nearly 16 weeks now and might well need the run.

Embour has, however, won three Class 2 contests on the Flat, according to Instant Expert, whilst under today's conditions, we see that he's the only previous Class 3 winner too. Just four of the field have won on good ground and in what looks a fairly modest set of numbers, California Gem probably makes most appeal...

Embour looks weak across the board, but is now 8lbs lower than his last win. Devil's Angel's numbers are steady, aside from being a Class 4 horse, Dandy Dinmont hasn't shone over the minimum trip and has fared little better (1 from 6) at 6f and is still 7lbs higher than his last win, whilst Ventura Flame has a good record on good to firm ground and also on soft/heayy, but has shown very little in between the two extremes! I'll consult the place stats, in case any of these have been 'unlucky' in their defeats...

...which does, in fairness, put some of these in a better light, but Spring Is Sprung isn't great over 5f and Ventura Flame still hasn't performed on good ground, but several of these are still in it, as we turn to draw and pace, where I suspect the emphasis will be on the latter over a straight 5f! Now, I wouldn't normally expect the draw to have too much of an influence over a straight five, but stalls 1 and 2 have done better than par here...

...albeit off a fairly small sample size. The 'perceived' (I remain to be persuaded) bias is less pronounced when it comes to making the frame, though and that data is possibly more reliable. I am, however, pretty confident that those races used for the draw data will tell me that the "Speedy Handicap" is likely to be won by a front runner, but I'm not always right, so let's check...

...and I think that's fairly conclusive. Leaders win most often, they place most often and they convert the highest percentage of places into wins, so we want a horse that'll be sharply away and based on the field's most recent efforts...

...the consistent Hiya Maite looks like he might well try to win this from the front. Embour was, of course, noted on the card as a fast finisher, but you'd have to be from where's he's going to be halfway!

Summary

Easy call for me here, as I'm with Hiya Maite. He's in good consistent (3 wins and 4 places from his last 8) form, runs off the same mark as a narrow defeat over 6f LTO when headed late on and looks like grabbing an easy lead here. he could prove difficult to peg back and at 7/2, there could still be a bit of value in the price.

As for the places, I don't like Embour, Dandy Dinmont nor Devil's Angel, but any two from the other four could get in here. None will be at what I'd want for an E/W bet, so I won't be backing them, but if pushed for one for the forecast etc, recent C&D winner Ventura Flame receives weight all round and might be the answer.

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