Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Wednesday 23/02/22

Wednesday's free feature is the 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 the User Guide for further information]

But that's not all the free stuff for Wednesday, there are also the following full racecards...

  • 1.00 Punchestown
  • 3.45 Newcastle
  • 3.50 Punchestown
  • 5.30 Kempton

The free races don't excite me today, but I do have a couple of qualifiers from the course 1 year handicap filter on the TS report, so let's have a look at those, shall we?

Back to back races at Ludlow, starting with the 3.00 race, where Tom George sends the 6yr old French gelding Chaptal into a 9-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ handicap hurdle (9 flights) on a right-handed, soft ground two mile trip...

Ex-French winning hurdler but limited impact in a trio of chase outings for this yard. Hopes rest on switch back to timber.

His UK form consists of just three modest at best efforts over fences and he's now going to be tried over hurdles, where he had plenty of success in France, winning five of his six races, invariably in the mud and at 2m1f/2m2f including the Grade 3 Prix General de Saint-Didier in November 2019, so going and trip shouldn't be an issue, nor should the class of the race if he regains that kind of form.

The downside of course, is that his last four outings have been unspectacular and his "new-ish" yard aren't enjoying as much success as they'd like and they're just 2 from 45 over hurdles in the last 6 months. Both winners were ridden by today's jockey Jonathan Burke (from 27 attempts) but he's riding pretty well right now with two winners and two runner-up finishes from seven rides over the past week. I should also point out that the strength of the yard's numbers here is all built upon their chasers : the George handicap hurdlers are 0 from 20 here!

Instant Expert, of course, tells us very little about him, as most of his form is in France...

The pace stats here at Ludlow say that you need to be up with the pace to succeed in this type of race and front runners do exceptionally well...

...but sadly Chaptal has been held up on each of three starts since coming to the UK...

...which doesn't bode well for him nor Duca de Thaix!

*

The next race on the Ludlow card is the 3.35, where Venetia Williams sends the 9yr old gelding Didero Vallis into action in a another right-handed, soft ground, Class 3 handicap. This one, however, is a three mile chase over 19 fences and features ten runners...

This looks a really wide open race, where you could make a case of several of the runners and whilst Didero's form doesn't look great numerically, but he was a good second here over course and distance just before Christmas on ground that may well have been too quick for him. He's not the horse that made the frame at Gr 2 and Gr 3 back in 2018/19, but with three wins and a place from eight in this grade, he's more than capable of landing this. He's 5lbs lower than that C&D runner-up finish in December and on preferred softer ground, he has every right to be in the mix here.

The Williams' yard is flying as it always seems to do around this time of the season and their soft ground chasers keep on churning out the results. Their soft ground handicap chasers are 25 from 107 (23.4% SR, A/E 1.37) at trips of 2m7f to 3m2f since the start of 2019, including 6 winners from 14 this year so far. Surprisingly only 4 of those 107 chasers have been here at Ludlow, but they've finished 1141!

Instant Expert says that Didero Vallis is proven under expected conditions...

...and could be dangerous here back on his last winning mark if (a) he's up for it and (b) gets the right kind of ride of ride from 3lb claimer Lucy Turner, who rode a chase winner for this yard on her last appearance.

As with the previous race, leaders do very well in this type of contest, but aside from hold-up horses performing really poorly, the other running styles are acceptable too...

...and Didero certainly likes to get on with things...

He'll need to improve upon recent performances, but he's well weighted today and conditions look ideal.

 

Summary

You'd like to think that Chaptal could rediscover his French form and put in a great display here, but the stats suggest otherwise and he might well need the run to get used to hurdles again. Horses priced at 25/1 win rarely and sadly I'm not expecting this to be one of those days. If pushed for a pick here, I'd probably side with Black Poppy at 7/2.

As for Didero Vallis, I think he has a great chance here depending on how things fall and whilst I'm not sure he's a winner today, he should be there or thereabout and at 10/1 with Bet365, I'll be having an E/W bet. I also liked Kilbrook, who's nicely priced for an E/W punt at 8's and I'd imagine the 11/4 fav I K Brunel to be involved.

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