Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Wednesday 22/02/23

Wednesday's free GOLD feature, the Trainer Statistics (TS) report 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! And as ever, we ask you to please refer to our User Guide for further information.

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

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  • 3.00 Doncaster
  • 4.20 Ludlow
  • 4.35 Punchestown
  • 6.30 Kempton

My own personal settings for the TS report ...

...have actually generated the following...

...but as Sod's Law often prevails, none of my TS qualifiers are in a 'free' race so I'm going to see how trainers Henry Daly and Venetia Williams get on again each other in the first of their two duels, as a small but competitive field is assembled for the 3.45 Ludlow, a 6-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ handicap chase (amateur jockeys) over a right handed three miles on good ground...

HEAD TO THE STARS has only won 3 of 22 over fences to date, but that includes 3 from 10 here at Ludlow and more specifically 3 from 8 over course and distance, but hasn't performed well since a runner-up finish here almost a year. He was beaten here by 27 lengths in late March and beaten by 34 lengths at Aintree in mid-May. After a break, he hit the 2nd fence at Aintree and unseated at the third in mid-November and made a bad mistake here almost seven weeks ago and finished th of 6. Conditions will suit him, but he needs to pick his jumping back up.

ONE TRUE KING won a bumper here on debut just over three years ago, won over 2m7f at Market Rasen (hurdles) and over 2m6½f in a Class 3 chase at the same venue last September, but has struggled since, going down by 49, 46, 21 and 21 lengths. His last run was just four days ago in a Class 1 race at Ascot, so he's down two classes here, but possibly still too high in the weights.

THE BIG LENSE ran his best race for some time when a runner-up over 2m4f at Leicester last time out, but since winning over 3m1f at Kilbeggan in July 2021, his record at this kind of trip reads FPP and he has failed to complete five of his last ten outings.

COO STAR SIVOLA certainly isn't the same horse that won the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018 but did run well back at HQ in April 2021, when only a length and a half behind the winner of a Class 2, 3m2f chase. He was then off track for 20 months, during which time he moved yards, but has shown very little in two starts for Venetia Williams, going down by 64 lengths in November and by 35 lengths last month, but down in class and weight here, could he have one more decent run in him?

VOLCANO was a runner-up here over course and distance two starts/nine weeks ago when held off by just a neck well clear of the rest of the field and ran better than the bare result suggests last time out. He was, indeed, only 5th of 13 and beaten by some 16 lengths but was running from 10lbs out of the weightin a Class 1 handicap. He's that 10lbs better off here and down two classes, so could be the one to beat.

SEIGNEUR DES AS has yet to win in the UK after 2 efforts over hurdles and 3 over fences and he was 0 from 8 in France, but ran his best race to date last time out. He was rununing for the first time since a wind op and managed to finish 2nd of 4, denied on the line by a nose when 6lb out of the weights. He's 3lbs out here, but that should hap him be more competitive and another decent effort is expected.

Composite relevant chase form is highlighted by Instant Expert...

...where doubts are raised about Head To The Stars on good ground, as he'd definitely prefer it softer, but is excellent here at Ludlow. The Big Lense hasn't won at the trip yet, but he is 1 from 4 at 3m1f, but is much better at 2m4f and Volcano's record at Class 3 isn't great, but he's too good for Class 4, he's in decent form and will have no issues with the trip.

Small fields can be a bit cagey when it comes to pace, but if they all run as they have been doing of late...

...I'd suggest that Volcano will be the one leading them along with possibly/probably Coo Star Sivola next in line. The rest of the field generally seem content to sit things out until later, but I think such tactics might well play into Volcano's hands...

Summary

I've liked Volcano all the way through the process and there's only his poor record at this grade that could possibly be an issue. That said, he's in great form and is too good for Class 4. Only Hills have priced this up, but he's available at 10/3 and that's fair enough, I think. 11/4 or 3/1 is where I'd have been, so he's the one I'd prefer to be with at the expense of  Seigneur D'As who is ready to win, but always seems to find one (or more) just too good on the day.

Mind you, any of these could win here, but the lack of pace amongst the pack might be their undoing, unless one of them is brave is enough to put it to Volcano.

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