Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 23/04/24

The Shortlist is Tuesday's free Geegeez GOLD feature and it's a simple (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 for both the current and the next day'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 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 might imply.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information] and here is Tuesday's Shortlist...

...and whilst none are perfect, the 7.30 Wolverhampton has two representatives above and might be interesting. As ever, the daily feature is complemented by a selection of fully functional racecards opened up to all readers and for Tuesday they cover...

  • 1.45 Southwell
  • 3.20 Epsom
  • 3.30 Southwell
  • 5.10 Gowran Park
  • 5.20 Tipperary

...and from all of those above, the highest-rated race is the 3.20 Epsom. It might only have seven runners, but it looks like a really competitive Class 2, 4yo+ flat handicap over a left-handed 1m2f on good ground...

Qitaal is the only LTO winner in the field and has won two of his last three starts, whilst both Felix and Ziggy had top three finishes on their last outings. Ziggy has won two of his last five, but Felix has lost fifteen on the bounce in a run stretching back to January 2021. Silent Film has also failed to win since 2021 (June in this case), suffering eight losses on the spin despite the card denoted him as being a fast finisher. Crystal Delight has lost ten on the bounce since December 2022 and Western Soldier makes a UK turf debut after a win and a place in five hurdle contests, although his last three runs have been poor.

It's new yard debut day Crystal Delight and Western Soldier with the latter also wearing a tongue tie for the first time on his handicap debut as he returns to action following a wind op. Qitaal runs in a handicap for just the second time, a month after scoring at Doncaster on handicap debut defying a 687-day layoff! At 30 days since his last run, Qitaal is actually the quickest turned back out of the field, with none of his rivals being seen for over 9 weeks. Ziggy hasn't raced for 15 months!

Silent Film and Dual Identity have both ran here at Epsom before, but neither have won here and the former is one of just two, along with Western Soldier, yet to win over today's trip. From the limited amount of information carried by Instant Expert for this field...

...I have concerns over the win percentages of Silent Film and Dual Identity at this grade, whilst Crystal Delight looks generally weak. Qitaal's mark is now 6lbs higher than his LTO win, but that looks quite reasonable when you see that Dual Identity, Silent Film, Ziggy and Felix are all 7 to 15lbs higher than their own last winning marks on the Flat. Qitaal has never raced on good ground, but with a good to soft win and a good to firm place, there's no reason why he shouldn't 'get' the going here.

If we then look at the place stats...

...Silent Film's record at this level is unchanged, but Dual Identity has at least got himself out of the red on class. Ziggy' place form at going/distance is really interesting, but Felix seems to prefer 1m on turf, although he has a good place record at 1m1½f/1m2f on the A/W.

The draw stats are interesting here with those drawn in stalls 1-3 looking like they'd have the best of it...

...but the PRB3 figures also suggest that those drawn highest also have a great chance of making the frame, but I suspect that with only seven runners over a fair distance that the pace of the race will have a greater bearing on the outcome and of those 50-odd races above, it's clear to see what tactics have worked best...

Essentially, if you can lead, do so. If you can't get as close in as you can! Leaders and prominent runners make up approx 46% of the runners (171/372), but account for over 64% (34/53) of the winners and almost 55% (68/124) of the placers with those racing further back much less likely to succeed, which based on this field's most recent outings...

...suggests that the likes of Qitaal and Ziggy might be the ones setting the pace, but Felix looks well up against it, if he's going to race in the rear.


At the start, I said this looked competitive and it still looks that way, although not especially in a good sense. In-form Qitaal is the stand-out for me based on the 'evidence' above, but the others are all much of a muchness, if truth be told and you can make cases for and against all of them. The 4.30pm market looked like this...

...and the 11/4 about Qitaal seems fair (I had him at around 5/2). Western Soldier does look the least likely, but he's a 14/1 to 16/1 shot in my eyes, but I wouldn't entertain an E/W bet on him. there's no E/W pick from me here, but if pushed to pick one for the forecast, I think Dual Identity has the fewest negatives about him.

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