Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Wednesday 23/03/22

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 (14/30 day) form, and their longer term course (1yr/5yr) form and can be filtered 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]

Plus we also have our daily selection of 'free' races and they're going to be...

  • 2.30 Ffos Las
  • 2.55 Ludlow
  • 4.15 Ffos Las
  • 5.30 Dundalk

There are only fourteen runners spread across the three UK free races and all three are novice handicaps, so I'll swerve those on focus upon the TS report and the course 5-year handicap angle, where these settings...

...have identified one trainer with two runners at Haydock...

The 6yr old Soldier of Destiny runs in the 1.35 race, a 6-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ Novices limited handicap chase over a left handed 2m4f on good to soft ground, whilst the 8yr old Present Value runs in the 3.55 race, which is a 7-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ handicap hurdle over 3m½f.

Since the start of 2018, trainer Jamie Snowden has 8 winners and 3 further placers from just 23 runners at Haydock and they include of relevance here...

  • 4 wins, 3 places for jockey Gavin Sheehan
  • 5 wins, 3 places from 13 in handicaps, as per the stats above
  • 5 wins, 2 places from 12 in fields of 4-7 runners
  • 5 wins, 3 places from 12 chasers
  • 3 wins, 1 place from 9 hurdlers
  • 3 wins, 2 places from 8 at Class 3
  • 1 win from 3 at Class 4
  • 5 wins, 1 place from 8 at 2m3f to 2m5½f
  • 2 wins, 1 place from 5 at 2m7f to 3m2f
  • 3 wins, 2 places from 8 after a break of 16-25 days
  • 1 win, 1 place from 2 on good to soft

These are pretty reassuring figures to start from, but let's look at each horse in turn, starting with Soldier of Destiny...

The card entry backs up my stat about Jamie Snowden's record here and adds more positivity in the shape of jockey Gavin Sheehan's recent form. The horse has only won once and placed one only time in six starts, but he's 1 from 3 under Gavin, 1 from 4 for the yard, 1 from 3 over fences, 1 from 4 in small (1-7 runner) fields, 1 from 2 going left handed, 1 from 4 in a tongue tie and 1 from 1 on a flat track, so although he hasn't yet set the world alight, conditions are better for him than they could have been.

As for his three runs over fences so far, he set off well on debut (2m good to soft) at Hereford at the start of the year but dropped back from 4out and ended up 5th of 7, beaten by 11 lengths, but then won by eight lengths at Ffos Las next time out, where his jumping was pretty good and he seemed to relish the step up to 2m3½f off a mark of 122.

He then ran well again next/last time out when up 9lbs and another 4f and actually showed much better than 3rd of 5, beaten by nine lengths might suggest. His jockey dropped the whip 2 out and he made a mistake at the last at which point he was finally headed, so the drop back in trip and the return of Gavin Sheehan gives him a chance off the same mark.

Instant Expert pretty much backs up what I've just written...

...so let's look at his pace profile to see if it suits the way Haydock races normally pan out...

...he has certainly liked to get on with things, hasn't he? And off an albeit small sample size, this might not be a bad tactic...

*

As for Present Value, he goes later over hurdles over a longer trip...

Again the same racecard stats as before, but with the added positive about the yard's success with horses trying a significantly different trip to LTO, more on that shortly. The horse has a few more miles under his belt and has already got 2 wins and 2 further places from eight runs over hurdles. He made the frame on his only run at this trip, which is also his only run beyond 3m, he has 2 wins and 2 places from 7 at Class 4 and is 1 from 3 for this yard. He has 2 wins and a place from 6 runs when not the favourite and 2 wins, 2 places from 6 without his cheekpieces.

He was a winner on yard debut over 2m4½f on soft ground at Leicester in mid-December, but hasn't really repeated that level of form since. he was raised 5lbs for the win and was subsequently beaten by almost 10 lengths six weeks later and his most recent effort was an 18 length defeat as 8th of 12 at Carlisle just over three weeks ago. It is hoped that the booking of Gavin Sheehan and the step up (5f) in trip might spark him somewhat.

Instant Expert also tells us that he's now dropped down to a mark of 113, jut 2lbs higher than his 4.5 length win in December, so he's well weighted here for a return to form if handling the step back up in trip. We don't, unfortunately, have masses of pace data regarding this type of race, but the small amount we do have...

...suggests that the further forward we can be, the better. Sadly Present Value isn't a front-runner, but has raced prominently in two of his last three, including that Leicester win...

...so whilst he's not best suited (rival Turning Gold is a straight-4's pacesetter), it could be a far worse pace profile.

Summary

We've got an in-form jockey riding a couple of horses for a yard with a good record at Haydock and we've tried to assess their suitability, but will I be backing both, one or none of them?

Well, the straight fact is that I won't be backing any. Soldier of Destiny has (in my opinion) a better chance of the two, but I can't get involved in a 2/1 bet in such a competitive race where I actually prefer Ubetya at 4/1 and the 7/2 Brief Ambition. The latter seeks a hat-trick and a fifth win in seven, but has been off track for four months, so I've a very marginal preference for Ubetya in this one.

As for Present Value, mid-division is where I have him for this one and I think the bookies have it spot on by proposing that the 9/4 fav Godrevy Point should lead River Walk (7/2) home. 9/4 seems about right to me, too.

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