Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 24/05/22

Hi everyone, Chris here and "back in the saddle" so to speak. Many thanks to Sam for looking after you whilst I was away, but now I'm home we're going to look at Tuesday's racing, where The Shortlist is our free feature and these are our free races of the day...

  • 1.20 Punchestown
  • 3.55 Punchestown
  • 5.00 Newcastle
  • 5.50 Gowran Park
  • 7.40 Lingfield
  • 8.20 Gowran Park

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, viewable 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 this is how Tuesday's Shortlist looks...

The two Bangor runners at the top of that list are the ones that interest me most. I suspect both will be pretty short in the market come race time and having had a quick look at the early markets, the bookies suggest both races a 2-horse races with the Shortlist horses 2nd fav in each. I'm going to ease myself back in by looking at both to see if I fancy backing none, one or both of them, starting with Could Be Trouble in the 1.40 Bangor, a 5-runner, Class 3, 5yo+, Novices Limited Handicap Chase (15 Fences) over a Left Handed 2m4½f on Good ground...

As you can see Could Be Trouble won last time out 17 days ago and has already won at both track and trip, although not at the same time. She's top weight here, but aided by an in-form 3lb claimer who also rides this track well and the yard also have a good record here. She's the only runner not stepping up in class for this race and on results alone, fellow LTO winner Mortlach looks the danger and the bookies have that one as favourite.

She's a useful mare who has 5 wins and 2 further places from 12 efforts over hurdles/fences and her record since moving to the McCain yard reads 111P03221. She was pulled up here at Bangor on chase debut last November, where she found a Listed contest a little hard to handle, but has gone well back over hurdles this spring, before a second crack at fences saw her win another small field contest at Warwick earlier this month, where she stayed on well to land a Class 3 contest over this trip and she's expected to kick on in handicap company.

She's decent enough on most going, has won here and 2m4f/2m4½f seems her preferred trip, plus she has a good record at Class 3 : all of which is documented in the win/place figures on Instant Expert below. In addition, she has finished 1321 in four starts under today's jockey, 111 in the month of May and 111P21 going left handed, so conditions should suit...

She's a confirmed front runner, but didn't lead last time out after being bumped at the first fence, but that didn't stop her winning, but the rest of her pace profile suggests she'll be wanting to set the fractions again here...

...and this approach has proved successful in previous small field chases over this track/trip in the past...

Her main rival here Mortlach is up in class after winning on handicap debut, is raised 7lbs and might well be turned back out too quickly just a week after that win, especially with an extra half mile to find here.

Next up, but remaining at Bangor, is Butler's Brief, who is set to contest the 4.11 Bangor, which is a 6-runner, Class 4, 4yo+, Handicap hurdle (12 flights) over 2m7½f (after rail movements) on good ground...

Butler's Brief doesn't look to have been in great form of late, but a recent wind op saw him run a very creditable 3rd of 9 over this trip at Uttoxeter ten days ago and he now drops two pounds and two classes. Both his yard and his rider have been going well lately and the yard have a good record at this track. The horse himself is the only former course and distance winner in this field and it is hoped that the recent surgery gets him back to the form that saw him win three handicap hurdles on the bounce over 2m7f to 3m last spring, culminating in him winning this very race off 2lbs higher than today.

Instant Expert will show his aptitude at going/class/course/distance, but I'd also like to mention that he's 3 from 6 under today's jockey, 4 from 10 going left handed and 2 from 3 in May...

Previous similar races have favoured runners who lead or those waited with in mid-division...

...and if you look back throughout his career so far, you'll see that his best efforts have come from as mid-divisional position and that most recent run where he looked like he was getting back to his best, the race report says he was held up in 5th (of 9) on the inside, so a repeat of those tactics should serve him well here.

Summary

Two fairly short runners in small field contests at Bangor and I like them both.

In the opener over fences, Could Be Trouble is 13/8 second fav with Hills behind Mortlach at 6/5, whilst later over hurdles in the last on the card, Hills also have Butler's Brief as 9/4 2nd fav behind the 2/1 Lelantos.

Mortlach is up in weight, trip and class with just a week's rest and could be vulnerable, whereas it's the opposite for Lelantos, who hasn't been seen since a week before Christmas and may need a run. I'm happy to back both and whilst we're not getting rich at 13/8 and 9/4, there could be a nice 15/2 double on the horizon, plus forecasts for those that way inclined?

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