Racing Insights, 2nd December 2020

Tuesday's race ended up being too competitive for my liking and I signed off without putting my neck on the block, which is perfectly acceptable. Nobody should be betting for the sake of it, if there's nothing there - walk away. What it did highlight was the need for shortlisting. I discarded half of the 12-runner field, confident that the winner was in my final six. That six contained the first three home and four of the six to actually finish the race. It was a no bet from me, but some sort of moral victory, I suppose.

And now to Wednesday, where "Feature of the Day" is the excellent Trainer Stats report, whilst our "Races of the Day" are...

  • 1.40 Lingfield
  • 2.20 Haydock
  • 5.00 Kempton
  • 5.15 Dundalk
  • 8.00 Kempton

And I think I'll take a break from full race profiling today to turn my attention towards the Trainer Stats report. I've selected the course one-year handicap form and I've asked for decent win and place percentages, profit at both win & E/W bets plus fairly demanding A/E and IV figures. Three trainers fit the bill, two at Kempton and one, John Ryan, at Lingfield.

Some of you might remember that I didn't fancy John Ryan's Pistoletto for Saturday's piece (see here) as the yard was 0/24 over the previous five weeks, but that one ran better than expected in a 1.5 length defeat and since then, the Ryan horses are two from four, so his string might just be coming into a bit of form.

His 1-year Lingfield handicap record is shown below, along with his two runners...

His two runners here go in the 2.10 Lingfield, a 10-runner, Class 6, A/W Nursery for 2yo over 7f on Polytrack, where the gelding Arthur's Angel will be looking to scoop the £2,782, whilst the 3.20 Lingfield is a 6-runner, Class 4 A/W Handicap for 3yo+ over 2m where the 8yr old gelding Battle of Marathon competes for £5,208.

Of John's 5/20 record here over the last year, he is...

  • 3 from 5 in fields of 5-6 runners, 5 from 11 with 5-10 runners, but 0/3 in 10-runner contests
  • 2 from 4 at Class 4, but 0 from 5 at Class 6
  • 4 from 8 with 8 yr olds, but hasn't ran a 2yo here in the last year
  • 0 from 3 over 7f and no runners at 2m
  • 4 from 9 at odds of 5/1 and shorter
  • 4 from 15 using jockey Darragh Keenan
  • 3 from 6 with horses who ran 5 to 10 days earlier
  • 3 from 8 from runners placed LTO and 1 from 4 with LTO winners...

...and now to the races, starting with Arthur's Angel in the 2.10 Lingfield...

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...where Arthur's Angel brings the best form to the table having gone down by less than a length at Wolverhampton in mid-November before winning by a length and a half at Chelmsford five days ago. The cheekpieces will be on again, as they allied to a drop to 7f seem to have worked of late, whilst jockey Darragh Keenan's 3lb claim negates half of the penalty for last week's win and Darragh is riding well again right now with three wins and three further places from his last ten rides.

Our runner is well positioned on the Geegeez ratings in third spot although several rivals have yet to prove themselves. Pre-jockey claims, he is joint top weight, but that's not a problem in my eyes, as since the start of 2017 top/joint top rated runners in Lingfield A/W nurseries are 14 from 50 (28% SR & 1.32 A/E), producing 25.5pts profit at Industry SP at an ROI of 51% and who backs at ISP? Incidentally of that 14/50 record, LTO winners are 5 from 13 (38.5%).

A look at Instant Expert shows him in a pretty good light from both a win and place perspective, despite only having a total of five previous starts...

He's 1 from 5 so far ,but 1 win and 1 place from 3 on the A/W in a field of runners that aside from him are 1 from 46! Pace and draw are always important, so let's see how he stacks up here drawn in 9...

To be honest, when the winners come from stalls 6, 9, 5, 3, 4, 7, 2, 8, 1, 10, you have to say that 10-runner contests here haven't shown any real draw bias with all 10 stalls winning at least 10 of the 128 races, but in our favour is the fact that stall 9 is the second highest figure. If pushed to suggest the best draw, you'd probably want to be in the 3 to 6 zone based on the data above.

But what about pace? Well, I do know that this runner is generally held up and the pace draw heatmap isn't favourable...

...but we all know the danger of taking any single stat/piece of data in isolation, don't we? This is the first negative we've found about this runner and if we look closer at the figures that produce the heat map...

...we see that hold-up horses have won 15 of the 64 races (23.4%), which isn't disastrous and he did win with these tactics last time out. I expect he'll be a short price, but we'll check that in the summary shortly, as I now need to look at Battle of Marathon in the 3.20 Lingfield...

Another last time out winner, having scored at Chelmsford six days ago in a higher grade, yet only raised 2lbs here. He's a former course winner and depending on how you view the numbers, he is joint third on the Geegeez ratings or he's joint second worst!

He has certainly been around the block a few times as this will be his 66th start. Eight wins from the previous sixty-five is a reasonable 12.3% strike rate, but that becomes 5 from 31 (16.1%) on the A/W, where he has 5 wins (22.7% SR) and 5 further places from 22 handicap runs on standard going and those 22 include...

  • 4 wins, 2 places from 14 on Polytrack
  • 4 wins, 3 places from 13 under Darragh Keenan
  • 4 wins and a place from 11 as an 8 yr old
  • 4 wins and a place from 11 in fields of 1-7 runners
  • 3 wins, 2 places from 9 here at Lingfield
  • 2 wins, 2 places from 7 at Class 4 and has won at Class 2
  • 4 wins, 2 places from 6 within a week of his last run
  • a placed finish from a sole run at 2m0.5f, but he has won at 1m6f before

Of course, much of the above is covered by Instant Expert (profiler tab will show you the rest)...

Not much green to show, but to have so much amber from a large number of runs is pretty good going. Like his stablemate who we looked at earlier, he has a high draw and tends to be held up, so we need to check pace and first draw to see if that will adversely affect his chances...

...and this suggests that stall 6 isn't a bad place to be. To be honest, I personally feel that we can get a bit too hung up on the draw and I believe that over a two mile trip, being drawn 20 feet away from the rail isn't going to make much difference, whereas the racing style might...

Hold-up horses have won 9 of 23 (39.1%) of similar contests and so I'd expect Battle of Marathon to virtually amble across to the rail to sit at the back of the pack after stalls 4 & 5 take off to hit the front. There's a danger that the 11/10 favourite gets embroiled in a tussle for the lead, making himself vulnerable late on.


Lots to like about both John Ryan runners on Wednesday and at 5/2 and 3/1 respectively, I'm happy to back both of Arthur's Angel and Battle of Marathon.