Tag Archive for: African Dance horse

Racing Insights, 16th November 2021

The Shortlist is a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing.

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is (and has always been) that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form - and its odds - imply and here's The Shortlist for Tuesday 16/11...

In addition to this report, we also have the following free races for all readers...

  • 12.15 Limerick
  • 12.40 Fakenham
  • 3.00 Fakenham
  • 3.15 Lingfield

Of the two on The Shortlist report, African Dance is of more interest to me than Crixus's Escape based on the scores and as his race looks better than any of our four freebies, I'm going to focus on African Dance, who runs in the 2.50 Ayr, a 9-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ Novices Limited Handicap Chase over 2m4½f on Good to Soft (soft in places) ground...

So, to African Dance, a 6 yr old gelding who has only been out of the frame once in six career starts, but that was, unfortunately, last out when he could only manage fourth of six in a soft ground, Class 3 contest over hurdles at Plumpton at this trip back in early April. He was beaten by the best part of 30 lengths whilst wearing a first time tongue tie. The tie is still in place, but he is dropping in class here.

He arrives here some 226 days later to make not only a handicap debut, but also his chasing bow, but after finishing 3rd of 8 in a bumper on debut on Valentine's Day 2020, his record over hurdles reads 31314. He's 1 from 1 on Good to Soft and has finished 331 on soft. His record at 2m3½f to 2m5f reads 1314 and he's 3131 at Class 4. He's 1 from 1 in November, acquired when winning a 2m4f maiden hurdle (C4) over 2m4f on good to soft ground at Sedgefield a year and 4 days ago and he's 31314 going left handed.

Here's the above stats as seen on Instant Expert...

As he has no jumps form yet, it's worth looking at his sire, Shirocco (GER), whose handicap chasers are 22 from 101 (21.8% SR) since the start of 2020 and those include...

  • 21 from 78 (26.9%) at trips ranging from 2m3½f to 3m½f
  • 12 from 43 (27.9%) at Class 4
  • 10 from 46 (21.7%) in Novice races
  • and 10 from 39 (25.6%) on Good to Soft/Soft ground

...suggesting he should take to chasing well enough, whilst his yard is also in fine form with their last 20 winners coming from just 59 runners (33.9% SR) and with 16 of the 39 "losers" also making the frame, that's a place strike rate of some 61%, all promising stuff.

The pace stats from his last four races...

...say he likes to be prominent and his other two starts were mid-division/prominent type runs, but with others in this field also liking to get on with it, the average scores suggest he's likely to be in the second grouping behind probable leaders Animore and Bellaney Gem. A quick glance at the past results for similar races here...

...suggests that second ranking is definitely the place to be for win and place percentages.


As per The Shortlist report, conditions are set to suit African Dance, but that's all based on hurdling form and he's never tackled a fence for real yet. However, his yard is in great form, it's a good jumpers' yard and the sire stats for chasers are very promising. I actually think if ready after a lay-off, he has an excellent chance here, but will have to catch and pass Animore to do so.

I've just (5.10pm) taken my first look at the market and Animore is indeed the 7/4 favourite, which is no surprise as he's 3212 in his last four over fences and our inexperienced chaser African Dance is as big as 9/2 right now.

There's every possibility that local mare Animore sets the tempo of the race and holds on, but was caught and passed over C&D LTO, made a few jumping errors and is now a pound heavier. On that basis, I'd not want to be lumping on at 7/4, but I will have a small wager on African Dance at 9/2 who surely isn't on a 650-mile round trip for nothing, whilst E/W backers might look at the other front-runner Bellaney Gem to cling on to a place at 8/1.