Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Wednesday 30/03/22

Midweek beckons already and we 'celebrate' Wednesdays by opening up the Trainer Stats (TS) report to all readers.

But this 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!

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

But wait! We can make Wednesdays even more wonderful with the following fully functional free racecards...

  • 2.35 Lingfield
  • 3.30 Market Rasen
  • 5.05 Wincanton
  • 6.00 Kempton

My settings for the TS report have actually generated a handful of possibles for me to consider, but the second of the free races looks an interestingly competitive affair, so let's have a quick look at the 3.30 Market Rasen, a 9-runner (was 10), Class 3, 4yo+ Handicap Hurdle (10 flights) over a right-handed 2m5f on good ground. The prize of just over £11,100 is worth winning and will go to one of...

Feivel is our only LTO winner today, but all bar Calico, Boreham Bill and Shantou Express have won at least one of their last six outings. LTO winner Feivel is one of two stepping up a class, along with The Street, whilst Ornua and Mackelduff are down a class, whilst Calico last ran (unsuccessfully) in a Grade 3 16 days ago.

No former course and distance winners today, although Boreham Bill, Ornua, A Distant Place, Shantou Express, Mackelduff and Feivel have won elsewhere at similar trips, whilst Boreham Bill won here over 2m1½f in a bumper.

Mackelduff returns fromn a two-month break and Ornua last raced 16 weeks ago, but the others have all raced in the last five weeks with Guernesey maintaining his good form just nine days ago. Lots of trainer/jockey positives on show here : easier to point out those not highlighted ie Ornua and A Distant Place.

So, a competitive looking line-up, I've not formed an opinion of who I like just yet, but I'm not keen on the likes of Boreham Bill (age/form), Ornua (age/form) or Shantou Express (form), but let's have a look at each in turn...

CALICO
Started his career by finishing 121 during Jan to March 2021 and went well in couple of races either side of New Year before finding the Imperial Cup at Sandown a bit too much. Useful type but a big step up in trip and probably wants it softer.

BOREHAM BILL
Had a good winter in 2020, culminating in winning the Lanzarote at 66/1 in early January 2021, but hasn't kicked on since then. The weights are in his favour here based on past form, but he's not getting any younger and he too would like a bit of rain.

ORNUA
Won an Aintree Festival Grade 1 hurdle almost three years ago, but certainly isn't that horse now at 11yrs of old. His better recent performances have been over fences, but in three runs since a win in early July, he has been 3rd of 4 (21L), 8th of 9 (23L) and last of 9 (115L) : the last two of which were for his new handlers.

A DISTANT PLACE
A win and a place from three PTP events before going hurdling. Since finishing 4th of 9 on debut, he has been in the first two home in all four starts, winning over 2m4f at Hereford two starts ago, despite being off track for 333 days. 2m was probably a bit sharp for him at Ludlow LTO, but defied a last hurdle error to hang on for another runner-up finish. You'd expect him to be involved.

SHANTOU EXPRESS
Beaten by just a neck at Wetherby over 2m a little more than a year ago, but has regressed since, finishing last of 7 (49L), 5th of 6 (37L), pulled up before 5 out over 2m½f, last of 14 (53L) and although he stayed on for third LTO, he was 18 lengths behind the leading pair and never in the race. I'll be surprised if he's in this one, especially up in trip.

GUERNESEY
One win in twelve doesn't tell the full story about this 6yr old other than he doesn't win often enough. His only win came at Exeter last October and since then he has five top three finishes on the bounce and not beaten by more than a length and a quarter in any of them. A model of consistency, whoever beats him normally wins the race.

THE STREET
Just five starts to date and got off the mark two starts ago on soft ground at Chepstow, before finishing as runner-up at Hereford a month ago, 2.5 lengths behind the re-opposing Feivel. He's no better off at the weights here and probably wants softer ground, but could well be in the shake-up.

MACKELDUFF
Returned from a 14 weeks absence to win a Class 2 at Aintree in October, picking up from an earlier Class 4 at Southwell and although he ran creditably for third in two races after the Aintree win, he was disappointingly beaten by 20 lengths at Uttoxeter at the end of January, when sent off as a 5/2 favourite. Probably too high in the weights.

FEIVEL
Has won two of his five starts since the start of December, and caused a bit of a shock when landing the spoils at 22/1 at Hereford a month ago, beating The Street in the process. He's up in weight and class here, but so is The Street and he's every chance of maintaining that advantage if the ground isn't too quick for him.

So, we've started to build up a picture of their recent history and I've suggested that some might not be suited by class/going/trip/weight etc, but the easiest way to spot such inadequacies is via Instant Expert, of course...

Now, we prefer green to red, of course, but some of the reds need closer analysis. For example, Shantou Express' 0% on good ground (0 from 1) is arguably better than Boreham Bill's 11% from one win in nine, as Boreham has more failures on his record and Shantou could possibly win two of his next eight? So, with that in mind, we don't like Boreham Bill on going/class/distance and then next worse is apparently Guernesey, but if we remember about his consistency in handicap hurdles...

...we probably shouldn't write him off so soon, even if he is 11lbs higher than his last win. Sadly that what happens when you regularly make the frame without winning. Mackelduff's numbers are interesting, but he's badly out of sorts/form right now, whilst A Distant Place has few qualifying runs, but has done well in them.

The pace stats for this type of race says that in the past, only hold-up horses have fared worse than expected...

...and based on their most recent outings, that's probably the final nail in the coffin for Boreham Bill and Shantou Express, who I haven't really liked from the start...

Nothing has made me warm to Ornua either and as a confirmed but unsuccessful front-runner, he'll be the target they all aim for. I think Calico wants it softer and Mackelduff is too high in the weights and out of form, leaving me with four to pick from.

Summary

I've whittled the field down to four now and they are (alphabetically) A Distant Place, Feivel, Guernesey and The Street. I think if things go to a similar pattern as last time out that Feivel holds The Street and I think they're battling each other for bronze here.

All of which says that I think either A Distant Place or Guernesey is the winner and I think it's a close call. Bet365 have them at 3/1 and 4/1 respectively, but Hills go the other way at 9/2 and 10/3. I'd like to think Guernesey's consistency will see him home here, so I'll have small 4/1 bet there and do the reverse forecast!

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