Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Tuesday 28/06/22

Tuesday's free feature, The Shortlist, is 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, but as ever, please refer to our User Guide for further information.

And here is Tuesday's Shortlist...

...where Calva D'Auge might be a worth a second glance, as could the 6.50 race at Stratford once I've looked at the list of free racecards for Tuesday...

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  • 2.45 Hamilton
  • 4.55 Chepstow
  • 6.30 Chepstow
  • 8.10 Roscommon

Calva D'Auge looks like the marginal favourite in a two-horse race and with the other two of interest competing in a 6-runner event, it might be an idea for us to have a look at the 6.50 Stratford after all. It's a Class 3, 5yo+, 12-fence handicap chase, where Sir Tivo and Larch Hill will face four other rivals over a left-handed 2m1f on good ground...

It's an interesting looking contest despite the small field and half of them (Larch Hill, Texard, Atlantic Storm)come here on the back of a win last time out, whilst only Dino's Velvet is winless in five wheras Larch Hill is 3 from 5 and Sir Tivo/Texard are 2 from 5.

Bottom weights Atlantic Storm and Admiral's Sunset step up a class here, but Texard's LTO win was at Class 2. That win was just two days ago and this might come a bit soon for him, as the others have all been rested for 18-57 days.

The assessor suggests a tight race too, with the top four in the weights separated by just 2lbs with all six runners having already won over a similar trip to today and all bar Texard are former Stratford winners. Dino Velvet's win here was a hurdles contest over a slightly shorter 2m½f, but the only four course winners have all landed 2m1f chases here.

DINO VELVET is 4 from 32 over hurdles, which is much better than his 1 from 11 over fences. His chasing record looks even worse when you consider he won on debut at Uttoxeter almost a year and has ten straight losses since and his form line of 3223224424 in those ten defeats is flattering as the average field size of those races is 4!

SIR TIVO came here just over a year ago having failed to win any of five starts over fences, but managed to win here over course and distance and has since won five times from nine including a pair of runner-up finishes including at Aintree last time out, when beaten by just two lengths off today's mark.

LARCH HILL moved to the Pogson yard ten months ago and seems to be thriving. He'd been decent enough for the Twiston-Davies team, but since the switch he has finished 11551 over fences culminating in a course and distance success here just over five weeks ago, when finishing 2.5 lengths clear of the re-opposing Atlantic Storm and a 4lb rise in weight might not anchor him here.

TEXARD has finished 341 in his three efforts over fences in the UK, but also ran in six French chases during 2020/21, finishing 121112 admittedly mainly in low-grade soft (or worse!) ground affairs. His form over fences in the UK is a little strange, he was 3rd of 4 at Aintree 18 days ago and then well beaten by almost 60 lengths at Worcester six days ago. he was then sent back out four days later and gamely hung on to win a Class 2 and I'm not sure which was the real Texard: the low-grade struggler or the higher class winner. Either way, a second race in three days and a third in a week might be a bit much and he's up 7lbs despite a drop in class.

ATLANTIC STORM was a runner-up here over course and distance behind Larch Hill recently, beaten by just 2.5 lengths despite some issues with a slippery saddle. He was raised 1lb for that effort, but has gone on to win at Southwell since after dropping down in class. He was comfortably (6.5L) clear that day, but is now up 5lbs, back up in class and re-opposes Larch hill some 2lbs worse off, so I'm struggling to see him overturning that result.

ADMIRAL'S SUNSET got better and better from around this time of year in 2021 finishing 33211 over a 9-week or so period taking her mark from 96 to 113 before the handicapper finally got a grip of her and she saw the year out with defeats of 46L, 10L and 33L, beating just 3 rivals in the process. She then too 163 days off before returning to action over 2m3f here at Stratford last month but was hampered by a faller at the sixth fence and unseated her rider James Davies. Chances should be improved by the refitting of her usual cheekpieces and the re-booking of her regular jockey, but I still think she'll struggle here.

Instant Expert doesn't show Texard's French form, but it does suggest...

...that this might well be a shootout between our two runners from The Shortlist and Sir Tivo is interestingly 2lbs lower than his last win. Dino Velvet has struggled across the board and Admiral's Sunset has been well tried on good ground and here at Stratford without much success,.

There's also very little to separate Sir Tivo and Larch Hill on pace either, as both like to be upfront throughout...

...meaning that this really could become a shootout. Heading the field is probably just about the best tactic in this type of race based on previous fixtures...

...although prominent and hold-up horses have done as well as they'd expect. There's not enough data yet to suggest mid-div runners do poorly, but there is just enough evidence above for me to say that the further forward you race here, the better.


For me, there's no getting away from the two horses identified by The Shortlist and to be honest, either of them could win here. If pushed, however, I think I just about prefer Larch Hill to Sir Tivo.

The bookies don't agree, though and they've got Atlantic Storm as a 9/4 favourite, meaning I can take 4/1 from Bet365 about Larch Hill when I'd probably have settled on 3's!

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