Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Wednesday 08/06/22

Wednesday's free GOLD feature is the excellent Trainer Stats (TS) report, which is in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

In addition to the TS report, we also have the following fully functional free racecards for all readers...

  • 1.00 Fontwell
  • 1.18 Yarmouth
  • 2.35 Wexford
  • 3.30 Haydock
  • 4.28 Fontwell
  • 7.40 Cork

My settings for the TS report...

...haven't generated much that interests me today, so I'm going to take a look at the 3.30 Haydock, which is a 9-runner, Class 4, 3yo Flat Handicap over a left-handed 7f on good ground...

The form horse here is clearly the first on the card, the filly Queen Aminatu, who arives here seeking a hat-trick after winning on handicap debut nine week ago, but Elsals also won last time out and now makes a handicap debut off a mark of 78, whilst Tothenines is also a handicap debutant off 1lb higher and Emperor Caradoc makes a second handicap appearance.

All four horses named above are stepping up in class from Class 5 to run here, as is bottom weight Cloch Nua. The likely fav Queen Aminatu is one of just three (Elsals & Barneys Gift) who've already scored at this trip and none of should be rusty as they've all raced inside the last nine weeks.

QUEEN AMINATU
Had two narrow defeats as a runner-up in her of her first two starts before landing a 7f novice race at Wolverhampton in March. That earned her an opening mark of 75, which she made light work in a 2.5 length success at Lingfield on handicap debut in April and now seeks a hat-trick off 7lbs higher. She looks the one to beat if handling turf as well as she has the A/W.

ARISTOBULUS
Won two of his first three starts including a near four length success on handicap nursery debut in August 2021. Ran well enough to only lose by 1.75 lengths over 6f at Nottingham last time out, despite overcoming a 219 day break. Should strip fitter for the run and is sure to be involved here.

TOTHENINES
Just three starts to date, including runner-up finishes in each of his first two, but could only finish fifth of nine at Newcastle recently. An opening handicap mark of 79 leaves little room for error and he's probably best watched.

ELSALS
Took to turf racing on debut at York when 3rd of 13, beaten by just over half a length and after an average run on the A/W at Lingfield in April after a break, he returned to "Leafy" seven weeks later to land a 7f maiden and could very well be up there again today.

BARNEYS GIFT
Started off well, finishing third and then first in his first two starts, but has struggled in two handicap runs off a mark of 78, finishing last of 7 and last of 10, beaten by 31L and 13L and I don't see a 3lb drop in weight changing his fortunes here.

ZULU TRACKER
A couple of indifferent runs over 6f were followed by a narrow defeat over 7f at Salisbury is September giving him a mark of 76, off which he was 3rd of 13 here at Haydock over a mile, before stepping up in class and down to 7f for a 6th of 17 finish at York last time out. There's potential there, but I think others are better placed.

EMPEROR CARADOC
Got off the mark at the third time of asking as a 2yo after dropping down to Class 5 to win by a head over 6f at Redcar last October. A break of 171 days followed before he was 3rd of 10 off a mark of 75 on handicap debut at Ripon in mid-April. he's up in trip here and was beaten by nine lengths that day, so has some ground to make up on his first run since being gelded.

KENTUCKY ROSE
Won a 4-runner maiden at Ayr last August and was then only beaten by a nose on handicap nursery debut three weeks later. She looked sluggish at the start at Pontefract last time out coming back from an eight month break, but grew into the race late on. More needed here, you'd think.

CLOCH NUA
Receiving bundles of weight all round as bottom weight is about the only positive I've got about this one. Already dropping down the ratings after three fifth place finishes in handicap fields of 7, 13 and 10 runners, I'm not sure that a step up in class is going to help much!

Not the most experienced bunch with just 40 runs (but 22 places = 55% inc 8 wins = 20%), but Instant Expert might steer us towards/away from one or two here...

The win graphic doesn't shine too much lights on them, so I've also included the pace stats and the trip shouldn't pose too many problems for any of them. Emperor Caradoc has one unsuccessful attempt and Kentucky Rose tackles seven for the first time, but the others have done well. Aristobolus and Elsals have good ground form and the latter is proven at this grade, unlike Zulu Tracker whilst today represents a first visit to Haydock for most of the field, although Zulu Tracker has placed here.

The draw over 7f here at Haydock has tended to favour those drawn on the low side, which is good news for the likely fav Queen Animatu, even if her actual stall (#2) has a surprisingly poor stat...

...whilst those drawn higher than eight ie Zulu Tracker have also done more than OK, but the draw is often of secondary importance here at Haydock, where pace is often the key to success. Even when the going is good, the ground often seems tackier here and it makes it really difficult for horses to come from the pack or further back to win and it's well known up North that you want to be "geddin' on wi' it" ie up with the pace and this isn't just Northern hearsay, the proof is in the stats from those races above...

Prominent runners win and place more than any others with leaders a very close second whilst hold up horses really have struggled here. The question is...where is the pace?

Well, based on their most recent outings...

Strangely, three unfancied (by me!) runners head that list, but further down Elsals' last two outings suggest that he might well be the one to take it on here and drawn high, that could be a good tactic, considering the pace/draw heat map...

Now Barney's Gift and Emperor Caradoc are both low drawn leader types, but I really don't fancy them on the strength of past efforts. Queen Animatu has raced prominently before and that would be her best bet from stall 2. In the mid-section of the draw, Aristobolus' best run to date came when racing prominently at Goodwood two starts ago, so a similar approach would work wonders here, whilst Elsals' high draw and recent pace scores make him of interest too.

Summary

All along the journey, Queen Animatu has stood out and the only two questions I have about her are (a) whether she'll be able to transfer her A/W form to turf and (b) can I get her at a backable price? I think she's the likely winner here, but a 7lb rise and a turf debut up in class leaves me a little hesitant about backing here at 6/4 or 7/4. There's not much in it but I was rather hoping for 2/1 or even 9/4, but getting the right price is almost as if not equally important  to picking the winner, so I'll hand fire in the hope she drifts slightly.

So, who might challenge here? Well, I think that both Aristobolus and Elsals have really good chances here and I think I want them in that order. The former is proven in handicap company with the latter on debut and although Elsals has the promise to be decent, I'm siding with Aristobolus to be the main danger to the fav.

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