De Rasher Counter and Ben Jones wins the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury for trainer Emma Lavelle. 30/11/2019 Pic Steve Davies/

Secret Investor and Potterman Most Interesting In Ladbrokes Trophy Chase

The most interesting race of the day (and most difficult) is potentially the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury on Saturday, which will be run at 3pm.

With the weather forecast set fair this looks likely to be run on good ground which could potentially catch a few of these out.

The Shape Of The Race

Looking at the pace analyser over staying trips at Newbury on good or good to soft ground we can see that those that aren’t too far from the pace are likely to be advantaged.

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We have a fairly small data set here so this information should be taken with a slight pinch of salt. However most of the data points to a pace advantage. It’s not necessarily easy to make all here but front runners do have an IV slightly above 1 and a decent enough place strike rate of 21.05%.

Prominent racers have performed clear best in this sample. They have an outstanding IV of 2.19 and have been profitable to follow blindly producing a WIN PL of 7.25 and an EW PL of 19.56.

Those that race in mid division have performed well and also produced a profitable EW PL of 17.50 when followed blindly. However they have been very unprofitable to follow for win purposes.

What really stands out here is no held up winners from 66 runners. This run style has the largest number of runners and the least amount of success. Even the place strike rate is less than half as strong as that of prominent racers and only slightly better than half as good compared to mid division. It’s very likely that an extreme hold up ride will be a massive negative in this contest.

Looking at the pace map for this race, there looks to be no shortage of pace which will likely compromise the chances of anything that wants to lead exclusively.

It looks highly likely that Two For Gold is going to be the one that leads this field. He’s going to have to go off pretty fast to do so and he’ll be racing over two furlongs further than he’s ever gone before. He’s also jumped and hung right in the past so there are enough question marks here against him. There are a number of runners that look set to try to race prominently here and they include several of the market fancies.

Those nearer the head of the betting who could be more inconvenienced by their race position include the likes of Kildisart, The Conditional and Cloth Cap.

The Angles

Instant Expert

Instant Expert is a great way to gain a huge amount of insight into the field in a short space of time.

We can see from the above place data that several of the market leaders are yet to run here at Newbury. There are also some distance and field size question marks over a few of these, particularly for Two For Gold and Secret Investor who are yet to race over this distance and have never encountered this big a field before.

Black Op is yet place in two outings in 16+ runner fields whilst Copper Head has only manged to place in one run from four in class 1 races which is a worry. Mister Malarkey’s poor record in big fields is another stat that stands out here.

With most of the market leaders generally scoring well enough with their place data we might gain a bit more insight by looking just at the win data.

We’re seeing a few more question marks here now for win purposes. Vinndication remains a solid choice whilst Kildisart and Aye Right look vulnerable in this class. Black Op looked relatively reliable from the place data but now looks a poor choice considering the win data.

Copperhead doesn’t have the best place record in class 1 races but he has previously won a class 1 race and he has a pretty solid record in most of the criteria here.

One at a bigger price who is beginning to look interesting is La Bague Au Roi. She has the joint second best win ratio on this kind of ground, the clear second best win record in this class (only behind the early favourite) and she has won all three starts here at Newbury.

Related Form

One race that could hold the key here is the Ultima Handicap Chase from this year’s Cheltenham Festival. The winner (The Conditional), the third (Vinndication) and the fourth (Kildisart) all reoppose here and are all near the head of the market.

The Conditional stayed on really well up the hill, especially considering he made a mistake two from home. He’s generally been seen to best effect on softer ground although he was runner up in this last year, albeit off a 9lb lower mark. He has previously been withdrawn because of good ground and is conceding race fitness to many of these so could be vulnerable in this.

Vinndication was just over 2.5 lengths behind Kildisart at Cheltenham and is now 3lbs better off. Kildisart had a lovely pipe opener last month over hurdles and will enjoy this ground. He also had the cheekpieces back on that he wore at Cheltenham.

He is arguably a more solid choice than Vinndication who sports first time cheekpieces here. Vinndication’s sire, Vinnie Roe, has a 11.93% strike rate in national hunt races with his offspring and that only drops to 11.76% when running in this combination of cheekpieces and a tongue tie so there is a very good chance he is no worse for it at least.

Vinndication should be better placed in this race though which makes deciding between the pair difficult.

Hot Form

Secret Investor’s winning seasonal debut is working out well.

The third has won since and the runner up (Potterman, who reopposes here) was only a short head away from victory on his next start. Secret Investor won that race comfortably and is only up 6lbs here (due to go up another 3lbs) which underestimates the strength of that form. Potterman runs off the same mark again and is due to go up 5lbs following this race.

Black Op was a 4.75 lengths 4th to Imperial Aura last time out and that runner has since won a Grade 2. He was also less than 2 lengths behind Champ here last season. Aye Right was runner up on his first start of the season in a Kelso handicap and the winner of that race, Nuts Well, has won again since.

Other Angles

Amongst the most in form trainers here are Kim Bailey (Vinndication and Two For Gold) who has a 25.42% win strike rate and 50.85% place strike rate in the past 30 days from 52 runners, Paul Nicholls (Secret Investor and Danny Whizzbang) who has a 28% win strike rate and 52% place strike rate in the same period from 125 runners and Anthony Honeyball (Regal Encore) who has a 27.78% win strike rate and 41.67% place strike rate in the past 30 days from 36 runners.

Regal Encore also has some other trainer stats in his favour. Anthony Honeyball has a 2.07 IV here at Newbury over the past 5 years and an IV of 1.98 in handicaps.

There is concerning trainer form from Warren Greatrex (La Bague Au Roi) who has had no wins and just three places from 32 runners in the past 30 days.

Aye Right is interesting from a sire snippet perspective. His sire has a strong record in marathon races (21.35% win strike rate, 15.18 WIN PL). The same goes for Copperhead and Potterman whose sire has a 27.59% win strike rate and 15.0 WIN PL over this distance range.

The Conditional’s trainer, David Bridgewater, does well in both handicaps in general and handicaps in this distance range with an IV of 1.68 for both. Danny Whizzbang goes here for Paul Nicholls and Sean Bowen who have a 27.27% win strike rate here as a combination over the past 5 years.

The Verdict

The hot form and related form of Secret Investor (10/1) and Potterman (18/1) make the pair extremely interesting. Secret Investor does have to prove himself in very big fields but he has finished 1st and 2nd in 13 and 14 runner fields in the past so it really shouldn’t be an issue. His trainer is in excellent form and he’s likely to be very well placed, just off the lead. He did jump right last time though which is a slight concern but he’ll love the ground.

Potterman might not be so well placed, although if not prominent he shouldn’t be too far off the pace. He’s extremely consistent and seems well suited by marathon races on good ground, in line with his sire stats. He’s a bigger price than Secret Investor and is a bit more proven from a stamina perspective so is preferred and fancied to reverse form with Secret Investor this time around.

Vinndication and Kildisart should run well and La Bague Au Roi may have been interesting but her trainer’s form is a concern.

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15 replies
  1. innercirclebet
    innercirclebet says:

    Very interesting but shallow for me

    Just one example: Mister Malarky

    12 chase starts
    9 in Grade but only 5 of those on good to soft or better

    In those 5 starts he finished: 11260 with 2 and 6 coming in 18 and 24 runner fields as a 6 year old

    Instant expert makes him appear to have a poor chance but noting:

    1) marked preference for good ground
    2) blinkers on first time
    3) better prep run than last year
    4) smaller field than last year
    5) year older than last year – now 7

    Looks a stonking each way bet at 16/1 with SIX places at SkyBet

    • samdarby
      samdarby says:

      Instant Expert does have limitations but no tool can give you a fully accurate snapshot of a race in seconds and no one will ever suggest you back anything based simply on what you see in Instant Expert. The idea is that you are instantly handed POSSIBLE angles that should always be investigated further. There will always be occasions where runs on certain ground types or in certain class types or field sizes should be forgiven but it’s impossible to highlight those on Instant Expert, you have to use the rest of the racecard offerings for that.

      Good luck with Mister Malarky.

      • innercirclebet
        innercirclebet says:

        You dismissed him out of hand based on the Instant Expert though ‘record in large fields’ you say

        He’s been 2nd in a Grade 3 hcp with 18 runners and won a Grade 3 hcp with 14 runners over 3 mile 1 furlong and 3 miles and was 6th of 24 in this very race last year – all on good to soft or better

        This is what I mean by shallow. Instant expert tells you he has won 50% of 12 starts on good ground which instantly should raise the questions:

        How many were in the grade, at the trip, in the field size… on good ground

        Anyway, very superficial for me your piece. You should be doing that analusis for all runners

        • samdarby
          samdarby says:

          He wasn’t dismissed out of hand at all.

          What was stated was a fact – “Mister Malarkey’s poor record in big fields is another stat that stands out here.”

          Based on those selected races he had a ‘poor’ record in terms of place strike rate.

          Several other runners weren’t given detailed form analysis, that doesn’t mean they were dismissed out of hand either.

          The aim of these articles is to highlight some of the angles that are easily obtainable on the Geegeez Gold racecards, which hopefully it does. It is not intended to do every single bit of homework for readers as the whole point of Geegeez Gold is that it allows users to analyse data and quite often form different conclusions. This article takes a look at several angles and the selection was based on the angle I personally prefer.

          Hope this helps.

  2. Adrian Rigby
    Adrian Rigby says:

    Gotta love someone getting worked up because their own hope doesn’t get enough limelight.
    Must be dreadful trawling round all these sites trying to find someone to agree with you and make yourself feel better about your selection.

  3. Ian
    Ian says:

    I love analysis like this and it’s a great article. if you pick out one I like it gives me the confidence to back it, if you don’t it makes me look again at the race and try and be even more objective. As with all analysis there’s always a point when you have to use a few key points to narrow down the field. for the record I like cloth cap. purely because of the ground and it’s weight. it should at least run into a place and as has been pointed out some bookies are paying first 6.

  4. Mike Andrew
    Mike Andrew says:

    Sam – thanks for your efforts. Not sure how anyone can knock a free race pointer especially one that has produced reasonable success. Ideal when you need a little help sifting through a big handicap field and are time limited. Keep up the good work.

  5. Darren Jackman
    Darren Jackman says:

    Agree completely with the above comments sam thanks for your well reasoned insights & analysis of these ultra competitive bid field handicaps i have followed some of your tips on the flat this season which have been spot on so keep up the good work!

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