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Racing Insights, 15th June 2021

The Shortlist report is Tuesday's free feature open to all readers, regardless of Gold status and this report highlights horses running under conditions in which they performed well in the past. We also have a list of free races each day, accessible to all readers and for Tuesday, they are set to be...

  • 1.05 Thirsk
  • 2.20 Stratford
  • 4.20 Ascot
  • 5.55 Sligo
  • 6.40 Beverley

The Ascot race is clearly the best of that selection and although I'm pretty that one (or more) of my more qualified Geegeez colleagues will be previewing the race, I'm still going to look at it from a toolkit perspective. If I end up agreeing with the other previews, that should cement the opinions or it might just be that I find something I like that they don't!

So, without further ado, my race preview for Tuesday is for the 4.20 Ascot, the 13-runner, Group 1, St James's Palace Stakes. It's for 3 yr old colts over a mile on Good ground (firmer in places) and the prize is a cool £198,485. Here's the card for the event...

As it's such a big race at a prestigious meeting, I'm already aware that Poetic Flare is a clear favourite and he'd certainly be high on my list of possibles for this, but I shall try not to let the market cloud my interpretation of the tools.

Often with these big races, I use the tools as a process of elimination before analysing the runners them selves, so things will be ordered slightly differently today and we'll come back to the card itself later, but I want to look at Instant Expert first...

Here I'm drawn to Chindit and Naamoos on the going and Chindit & Poetic Flare at Class 1. I'm not treading too much into prior course form, as we've only three to visit here before and all won, whilst over a mile, only Chindit has scored more than once, although many of this field have clocked up wins at 7f.

At this point, I'm ready to discard Wembley (generally) and Ontario (0/6 at Class 1), as I now look at the draw stats...

This would appear to favour those drawn in the central 6 to 8 stalls, although the widest draws still have 3 wins from 24, but as a three-box cluster six to eight look best, pointing toward Thunder Moon, Poetic Flare and Chindit.

As for running style, I've widened the parameters slightly to give me a more workable sample size and there's a clearly favoured way of winning here...

...and that is to sit just off the pace. Leaders have fared poorly from both a win and place perspective and for winners you want to be on a prominent racer, whilst mid-division horses also tend to come through later to make the frame. The graphic below shows ho they have run on their last three outings...

Naamoos looks like the pace horse here and that's probably not going to do him any favours. On that basis, I'm going to rule him out here along with Bullace and Maximal, as I've just got a feeling they'll get dragged along too quickly.

At this point, I'm also very aware that ruling horses out this way might mean I overlook the winner, but I've now reduced my 13-runner field now to just eight ie...

  • Battleground
  • Chindit
  • Highland Avenue
  • La Barrosa
  • Lucky Vega
  • Mostahdaf
  • Poetic Flare
  • Thunder Moon

A quick check on the market shows I could probably have saved myself some time by just crossing the five longest priced horses off, but I assure that's purely coincidental. Now let's go back and look at the eight runners. Bookies will pay five places here, so whilst I'd like to find the winner, I'm also interested in finding a couple of E/W options if possible.

Our Instant Expert graphic now looks like this...

and whilst Lucky Vega is the sort to make the frame, I don't see him winning and I wouldn't want to be backing him E/W at 7/1, so he goes here leaving me with seven to consider.

Battleground won a 7f Listed contest and a Group 2 race over the same trip in back to back outings last summer, the first of which was the Chesham Stakes at this very meeting. He came back from nine months of to tackle a mile for the first time last month, when 13th of 14 in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. He'd be entitled to come on for that run, but others are more proven on this quicker ground and at this trip.

Chindit was fifth in that 2,000 Guineas race, more than 15 lengths ahead of Battleground, but still a good four lengths behind the re-opposing winner Poetic Flare. There's a suggestion that he raced too far off the pace that day, but he was being riden by his usual jockey and they had won four of his other five starts, so maybe the instructions were wrong. That aside, he's a winner at Listed, Gr3 and Gr2 company, but might have to wait a little longer for a Gr1 prize.

Highland Avenue has never finished out of the first two home in all five starts since his debut just over six months ago. The hihlights of his short career so far have been his last two races with a win and runner-up berth in Listed contests, the latter being a half length defeat to Mostahdaf on soft ground at Sandown almost four weeks ago, but he was giving the winner 3lbs and they'll now re-oppose on equal terms, so I'd fancy him to overturn that deficit. As for winning this one, I'm doubtful, it's a huge step from losing a Listed contest to winning a Group 1.

La Barrosa has only made four starts before today, but has two wins so far, including a Group 3 last season at Newmarket, which was followed 203 days later by a 0.75 length defeat at the same track when tackling a mile for the first time in the Gr3 Craven Stakes. Since then he has been beaten by almost eight lengths on his Gr1 debut when probably not suited by the pace of the race nor the soft/heavy ground at the Curragh for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but a return to quicker ground should see him closer today.

Mostahdaf is an unbeaten son of Frankel, who backed up a Class 5, 7f Novice success with a Class 2 win over a mile three weeks later. His third and final outing saw him tackle turf for the first time, as he won a 1m Listed contest at Sandown, where he finished stronger than Highland Avenue, but was carrying 3lbs less. After going 3 from 3 inside less than ten weeks and just doing enough in his last couple, it's tough to say what he's likely to be, but I just feel he'll need to step up again to stay ahead of Highland Avenue, never mind win here!

Poetic Flare is certainly the one to beat after winning the 2,000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown (Listed) in April despite coming off a 176-day absence before going on to win the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket less than three weeks later and was only a short head away from completing the Guineas double at the Curragh last time out, denied only by his own stable mate. That was on Soft/Heavy ground and he has won on Good to Firm ground too, showing his versatility, he gets the mile readily enough and you can see why he's the favourite here, especially after seeing these head to head results against today's field over this trip...

Thunder Moon only raced three times as a 2 yr old, but landed a 7f Gr1 at the Curragh last September and was only beaten by 2.5 lengths when 3rd in the Gr1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket four weeks later, also over 7f. At that pint, you'd be thinking that if he got a mile, then similar levels of performance would ut him in the mix, but he was then off track for 203 days and was last home of 14 in the 2,000 Guineas, beaten by 23 lengths on his first crack at a mile and his first run on good to firm ground. He's sure to improve for having that run at trip/going as well as breaking a long absence, but I'm doubtful he can improve enough so quickly to land a real blow here.

Summary

The toolkit pointed to Chindit as the most likely winner here, whilst the form and write-ups point to Poetic Flare and I suspect they'll be the first two home here with the favourite just having too much for Chindit. The fav is 4/1 in places which seems reasonable, whilst the 9/1 about Chindit suggests he'd be worth an E/W bet.

Of the others I was considering, I think that Battleground & Mostahdaf would be the two I'd leave out of the five for the place, leaving me with Highland Avenue, La Barrosa and Thnder Moon to fight it out for minor honours. The first and last of that trio are 8/1 and 10/1 respectively and don't appeal to me as E/W bets, if I can get 9's about Chindit, but La Barrosa is available at 20/1 and I'm definitely interested in him at that sort of price.

Racing Insights, 21st November 2020

Well, Friday's race went rather well for us. The short priced fav was beaten but placed and the other two on my shortlist were first and third. I know of at least two readers who got the 103/1 tricast, hopefully more of you were on it.

And now to Saturday for my final piece of the week, ahead of some weekend "beverages" and our free feature is the utterly marvellous Trainer/Jockey combo report, a firm favourite here at Geegeez, whilst our free racecards cover...

  • 12.35 Lingfield
  • 1.30 Ascot
  • 2.25 Haydock
  • 2.40 Ascot
  • 2.47 Naas
  • 6.00 Wolverhampton

...and whilst the race profiling seems popular and going well, we'll try one more and cover the 1.30 Ascot : an 8 (was 9) runner, Class 3, Mares Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 3m on soft ground. The winner will get £7798 and here's the full card...

As you can see, we've greyed out the non-runner, something you can do easily by clicking the X on the row of icons. This is particularly useful when a race has a going change and several runners pull out. You can quickly de-clutter the card this way and the same applies if you work like I do and discard runners at each step of your process.

I then work through the card from left to right making notes on the pros and cons of each column, something like...

FORM
Positive : Yeavering Belle, Same Circus, Dame de Ruban & Robin Gold
Negative : Printing Dollars

CLASS :
Positive : Hotter than Hell & Midnightreflection both drop down from Class 2
Negative : Dame de Ruban (2nd hcp start) & Coillte Eile (1st run for new yard) both step up from defeats at a lower grade

COURSE/DISTANCE
Just one previous course and distance winner Coilte Eile, whilst Yeavering Belle, Printing Dollars & Same Circus have won at this trip

TRAINER FORM
Positive : Yeavering Belle (30) Hotter Than Hell (14) and Midnightreflection (14) come from in-form yards, whilst HTH's yard also has a good recent record here at Ascot (C1)
Negative : Printing Dollar's yard are misfiring at present (14 30) and Robin Gold's yard haven't had a good year here at Ascot (C1), but they are a top yard not to be underestimated.

JOCKEY FORM
Positive : Yeavering Belle (30)
Negative : Hotter Than Hell (14)

GEEGEEZ RATINGS
Positive : Midnightreflection, Same Circus, Hotter Than Hell
Negative : Dame de Ruban, Coillte Eile, Printing Dollars

It's a fairly simplistic way of analysing what's in front of you, but you'll find certain names cropping up all the time and after reading the above back to myself, I'm going to get brutal very quickly and jettison Dame de Ruban, Coillte Eile and Printing Dollars from my considerations, despite Coillte winning this race last year. She just hasn't been the same horse since (889945 and beaten by 70 lengths LTO). This will leave me with just five to look at as I move towards Instant Expert...

... where my thoughts are that aside from not having raced on ground worse than good other than in a bumper, Yeavering Belle looks well suited here, Hotter Than Hell hasn't managed to turn places into wins and Same Circus should be very used to conditions. She likes some cut in the ground, is a solid Class 3 horse, gets the trip and runs off the same mark as her last win.

Midnightreflection looks the weakest of the five based on the above, so despite her being a daughter of Midnight Legend, she leaves at this stage, whilst Robin Gold has the best record on this type of ground. All of which means I'm just taking four runners into the final data analysis, the Pace tab...

Same Circus and Yeavering Belle have ticked boxes as we've gone along and the pace graphic just cements their place in my shortlist. I do like to end up with three, so from Hotter Than Hell and Robin Gold, it's like this...

HTH is 0 from 7 since landing a Class 5 maiden in May 2019, including 0/4 in handicaps off marks of 118 to 121, yet still has to race off 121 today. That mark is too high, I'd say, as the claimer who takes 5lbs off her was on board for the last three defeats anyway, whilst RG won back to back handicaps at Class 5 then Class 4 in September/October and then was third at this grade over 2m7f on soft ground when only half a length behind Storm Arising & Potters Hedger, who were rated (OR) at 131 and 125 respectively, yet Robin Gold races off just 108 here and receives stacks of weight from her rivals.

And then there were three...

Robin Gold (as above) is 113 in her last three starts and is progressing nicely this autumn, she was only caught late in the proceedings last time out by two highly-rated runners and has only been raised a pound for that run. The ground should be slightly less testing here, so s similar level of performance puts her right in the mix.

My only concern is that she was pretty much hard at it from 2 out last time and 11 days might not be enough rest. She also might find herself with too much to do from a hold-up position if Same Circus & Yeavering Belle force the pace as predicted.

Same Circus is easily the most experienced of the three having run more races than the other two shortlisters combined (30 vs 18 & 10) but with 11 places including 6 wins (3 over hurdles, 3 over fences), she's no mug. She likes the soft ground, stays further than this (2 wins at 3m1.5f) and has a better than 25% strike rate at this grade (4/15)

She won off this mark of 120 at Aintree at this class over slightly further on soft ground just over a year ago and returned from a 225-day absence to run in the very same race at Aintree off this mark four weeks ago. Not disgraced there, as she finished second just 5 lengths behind Dell Arca who has since landed the Class 2 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle just a fortnight ago.

And finally, we have Yeavering Belle, another daughter of Midnight Legend. She was, admittedly disappointing last time out in a big-field handicap at Cheltenham, but prior to that run she had four wins and a runner-up finish from six over hurdles. Add in her bumper record of a win and a place from three starts and it's safe to say that she's generally there or thereabouts.

She's game, gets on great with jockey David Bass (5 wins and a place from 8 together), gets the trip, has won at this grade and she's 2 from 2 going right handed. So what's the catch? The issue is just one soft ground run from her ten starts and that was in a bumper 20 months ago. her other nine runs have been on Good ground (8 times) and good to firm (once). She's on a career high mark of 128 and that might just be too much on this ground.

Summary

I ended up with three on my shortlist and I like them all for different reasons. I can see Same Circus and Yeavering Belle setting the pace with the latter fading in the closing stages. the questions will be (a) how far clear will they be, so that Yeavering can stay in the frame and (b) will Robin Gold have been kept close enough for a run to make the frame?

I think Same Circus wins the race and it's hopefully tight between Robin Gold & Yeavering Belle for second, but I wouldn't be surprised if we fill the frame again, regardless of finishing positions.

From a betting perspective, Same Circus is probably about right at 7/2 (I thought 4's would be the play), Robin Gold was expected to be sub-3/1 and a clear favourite, so 7/2 looks fair, whilst 10/1 from Bet365 about Yeavering Gold looks generous for the E/W punters amongst us.

Ideally Yeavering wins at a big price with the other two just behind and we land a massive tricast. We can but dream... 😉

Stat of the Day, 4th September 2020

Thursday's pick was...

4.30 Southwell : Classic Escape @ 5/2 BOG UR at 5/2 (Mid-division, travelled well at halfway, mistake and unseated rider 11th)

Friday's pick runs in the...

4.50 Ascot :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Gin Palace @ 5/1 BOG

...in an 9-runner, Class 2,  Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m on Good To Soft ground worth £15,562 to the winner...

Why?...

First port of call is our racecard...

and then The Shortlist report...

...which all tells us that our jockey has a good record at this track, especially with today's trainer and that our horse should be well suited by conditions.

This 4 yr old gelding was only held off by a neck when headed late on over this trip at Sandown 13 days ago, off the same mark as today. He'd had to race wide in a 15 runner contest that day, so this smaller field will hopefully help him stay closer to the action, as it has in the past.

He has won 5 of 12 Flat handicaps to date, a decent enough record that includes of relevance today...

  • 5 from 8 over a mile
  • 4 from 7 at odds of 3/1 to 8/1
  • 4 from 5 in fields of 7 to 10 runners
  • 3 from 5 after 11-20 days rest
  • 3 from 5 on a straight run
  • and 1 from 1 in sub-£20k Class 2 contests

And now we'll look at that trainer/jockey/course snippet from above, because I find this rather interesting today. Quite often, a jockey relies on a certain trainer for "good rides", but here at Ascot, it seems that it's the other way round and our trainer Eve Johnson Houghton can't seem to buy a winner here at Ascot, unless Charlie Bishop is available.

Let me explain this theory. We start with Eve's pretty poor record here at Ascot, which currently reads...

with the Betfair SP profits of 31.03pts skewed by a winner at 60.00. In the last six years, she has had six winners here, all ridden by Charlie Bishop, who only started riding for her three years ago, meaning she'd gone three years without an Ascot winner until Charlie's appearance. In fact, without Charlie, her Ascot numbers are...

and that's fairly dismal stuff, isn't it? Yet, in the last three years, the trainer/jockey/track stats are...

...which despite still containing that 60.00 winner are very good figures indeed.

So now we've established the success of the partnership, we can how they've performed in similar conditions to today, so from that 6/25 record here, Eve & Charlie are...

  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 83.7pts (+440.6%) with 2-4 yr olds
  • 5/19 (26.3%) for 80.1pts (+421.4%) with male runners
  • 4/14 (28.6%) for 23.9pts (+170.5%) with runners placed LTO
  • 4/12 (33.3%) for 12.72pts (+106%) in races worth less than £16,500
  • 4/4 (100%) for 20.72pts (+518%) with runners sent off at odds of 9/4 to 6/1
  • 2/5 (40%) for 23.4pts (+468%) with LTO runners-up
  • and 2/4 (50%) for 24.4pts (+610%) with horses rested for just 11-15 days...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Gin Palace @ 5/1 BOG as was available at 8.00am Friday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 4.50 Ascot

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 8th August 2020

Friday's pick was...

1.45 Sandown : Garsman @ 11/2 BOG 2nd at 4/1 (Tracked leader, pushed along over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, headed post) 

Saturday's pick runs in the...

3.35 Ascot :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Jeremiah @ 13/2 BOG

...in a 12-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 4yo+ over 1m4f on Good to Firm ground worth £12,938 to the winner... 

Why?...

As is often the case, the Geegeez racecard contains an absolute stack of supporting evidence...

...which briefly tells us that we've an LTO winner (same class, course, distance, jockey 13 days ago), who is regarded by our ratings to have a good chance and whose jockey has a good record at this track (C1) (and he beat us yesterday by a head). Our trainer is in good recent form (14, 30) and has also been amongst the winners at this venue (C1, C5) and has a good record with both LTO winners and Flat Stayers.

Is there enough there to hang a bet on? At 13/2, probably yes, as the above would suggest a better than 1 in 7 chance, but I do like to offer you something else that isn't already staring you in the face, so let's consider why trainer Charlie Fellowes appears in another of my unimaginatively named microsystems : Late Summer FHC, shall we?

Esssentially it's a group of trainers that I look out for in Flat Handicaps during July to August, from which Charlie Fellowes' runners sent off at 8/1 or shorter are...

He does have some good numbers in the 12/1 to 16/1 range too, but we'll focus on those in the general SotD price bracket today, as a 27% strike rate and a return of over 62p in the pound at Betfair SP is perfect for our needs and of those 100 runners, the following are relevant today...

  • 26/85 (30.6%) for 69.9pts (+82.2%) with horses aged 3-5 yrs old
  • 23/67 (34.3%) for 72pts (+107.4%) over 1m to 1m6f
  • 17/53 (32.1%) for 63pts (+118.8%) at 11-25 dslr
  • 18/52 (34.6%) for 48.5pts (+93.3%) from runners in the frame LTO
  • 12/41 (29.3%) for 16.6pts (+40.4%) in August
  • 11/28 (39.3%) for 28.4pts (+101.4%) with LTO winners
  • 5/14 (35.7%) for 28pts (+200%) at Class 2
  • 7/13 (53.9%) for 42.2pts (+324.4%) in races worth £12-20k
  • 6/13 (46.2%) for 22.2pts (+170.6%) in 4yo+ handicaps
  • 2/7 (28.6%) for 7.3pts (+104.3%) here at Ascot
  • and 2/2 (100%) for 13.5pts (+675%) with Jim Crowley in the saddle

100 bets isn't a massive sample size, but more than adequate and I'm mindful of over diluting the dataset, but from the above, we could make a mental note that 3-5 yr olds placed LTO 11-25 days earlier now racing over 1m-1m6f are 9 from 21 (42.9% SR) for 37.2pts (+177.2% ROI) including 5/11 (45.5% SR) with LTO winners and 3 from 6 (50%) in August...

...pointing to... a 1pt win bet on Jeremiah @ 13/2 BOG as was quite widely available (inc at least three BOGs) at 8.05 am Saturday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.35 Ascot

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!