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Racing Insights, 30th August 2021

Monday's free feature is always the Pace tab, which we make freely available to all readers for all races, including the following free races of the day...

  • 1.10 Downpatrick
  • 1.20 Ripon
  • 3.10 Epsom
  • 3.25 Chepstow
  • 4.10 Roscommon
  • 4.45 Cartmel

There are a couple of UK Class 3 contests above including an interestingly tight little affair at Epsom, but we've not been jumping for a while and I'm currently typing this from about 25 miles away from the track, I thought I'd tackle the 4.45 Cartmel. It's a 7-runner, Class 3, handicap chase for horses aged 4 and over. The trip is 2m5f on good ground (they're watering to keep it good, the weather is glorious up here right now) and these are the contenders for a first prize of £5,882...

Pink Eyed Pedro is a reliable sort, making the frame in 11 of 17 handicap chases, including three places at Grades 2 & 3 in the last 12 months, the most recent being over 2m6f at Market Rasen last month off a mark of 142. He was a runner up at Worcester at Class 2 off today's mark last time out off today's mark, but now wears first time cheekpieces as he drops in class. He goes best on good ground, gets the trip and has a good relationship/record with today's jockey. I expect another decent effort here.

Solar Impulse shouldn't be getting any better at the age of 11 and his overall chase record is decent but not spectacular at 7 wins from 51, but he is 11F1 from his last four and the one he didn't win was a fall at the last fence when three lengths clear! He's up 7lbs for his most recent win and is now some 22lbs higher than the start of this recent resurgence and whilst he could go well again, he hasn't won a race off a 130+ mark since the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. He's a former course and distance winner, who'll definitely give it a go, but he might just be a little too high in the weights now.

Roi de Dubai looks like he might be out of his depth here on just his fourth attempt over fences. He was a reasonable hurdler in Ireland and is currently 221 over these bigger obstacles. They look like good results and you can only beat what's put in front of you, but they were a trio of poor races in Ireland and after he won, he was then only 7th of 15, beaten by over 16 lengths back hurdling last week. Reverting back to fences suggests the plan is unclear for him, so he's best left alone here.

Minella Trump is another reliable/consistent sort, whose recent results suggest he's in good nick and his yard are going well right now too. He has finished in the first three home in 10 of his 12 starts, but many of those were small field affairs, like when he got off the mark over fences LTO, winning a head to head match with Eskendash by 7 lengths, which has earned him a 2lb rise in weight.  That was his first run in over three months after winning over hurdles at Perth and now having had that recent turn over fences, might have more to give/show.

Brelan D'As has the worst looking set of recent results on the form side of the race card and sadly, closer inspections says they're as bad (if not worse) than the bare numbers suggest. He was a runner-up in a Class 3, 3m chase at Ludlow in mid-December on his last run of 2020, but 2021 has been a disappointment with him being pulled up at Wincanton, 16th of 18 at Aintree (beaten by 62L), pulled up at Kelso, 5th of 9 (16L) and last of six (56L) here over course and distance before finishing 6th of 8 , over 40 lengths adrift at Uttoxeter last time out. His mark has gone from 138 to 122 in the process and whilst he's more than capable of such a low mark, he's not for me.

Elmono seems to have lost his way somewhat this year after a good 2020 where his three starts yielded a win and two runner-up finishes. He started with being 2nd of 8, beaten by a neck at this track over 3m1½f, before winning over the same track/trip and then was a runner-up again at Perth over 3m½f, beaten by 7.5 lengths in a higher grade than this one. 2021 however, has seen finishes of 465 and he was beaten by 39 lengths over three miles at Class 4 last time out. He's now up in class and drops back in trip to a distance that looks on the short side for him and there's little I like about his chances doing so.

Brotherly Company also steps up in class after a defeat at Class 4 last time out, but in his defence, he was only beaten by a fraction over half a length in a 3 mile chase at Perth. He'd gone there on a hat-trick after wins at Southwell over 3m1½f and then here at Cartmel over today's course and distance. He has actually won four of his last seven start across chases and bumpers and although he's on a career high chase mark, he is in good form and will receive weight all round. Going and trip work for him, but it's his first crack at Class 3 chasing.

At this point, I'm not too keen on Brelan D'As, Elmono or Roi de Dubai, but I'll keep an open mind before looking at relevant form via Instant Expert...

Of the three I'm not keen on, Roi de Dubai has no relevant experience, Brelan D'As has the only full line of red, but Elmono does at least have that course win from 2020. Of the others, Brotherly Company catches the eye, but he's 8lbs higher than his last win. Minella Trump also has good numbers, bar this being his Cartmel debut and is only 2lbs higher than his last win.

The free feature is the pace tab and this is what it tells me about this race...

Basically, don't hold back, as you'll struggle to win here from off the pace. All three other racing styles do as well or better than expected and they're also the best for making the frame. Our pace prediction suggests possible contested speed, because over their last three races, these are the averaged racing styles of our seven runners...

I don't see Roi De Dubai living with the other two and providing they don't go too hard at it early door, then it's possible that Minella Trump and Brotherly Company could end up creating themselves a 2-horse race.

Summary

Of the four I felt had the best chances, Minella Trump & Brotherly Company looks best placed to kick on from a pace perspective and I think I'd want to be with these two against the field based on the pace angle.

Brotherly Company is up 8lbs and tackles Class 3 for the first time, but Minella Trump has made the frame at Class 2 over hurdles, gets the trip readily enough and is only up 2lbs for his last win. His yard are in fine form with 7 winners and a runner-up from 14 runners over fences since the start of July and these include 6 from 8 at Class 3, 5 from 10 for jockey Brian Hughes and 5 from 7 for Brian at Class 3.

So, it's Minella Trump (currently 11/4) for me ahead of Brotherly Love (4/1). If I'm to play the tricast/trifecta bets here, then Pink Eyed Pedro completes my top three.

 

 

Racing Insights, 19th July 2021

In Chris's absence, and giving Sam a day off, it's Matt here for the Sunday evening shift, looking at Monday's racing.

Monday’s free feature of the day is the Pace tab for all races, and it is available in its entirety to all registered users of Geegeez. It's a fundamental cornerstone of my betting research and, frankly, I NEVER place a bet without considering the likely shape of the race via this tab. Nor should you.

Moving on to Monday's free Races of the Day for registered users, they are as follows:

2.45 Ayr
4.10 Cartmel
5.55 Ballinrobe
8.20 Beverley

Perversely, perhaps, for the time of year and weather, I'm going to have a rummage through the Cartmel race form. It's a 2m 1 1/2f handicap chase and most of the six runners have shown their hand fully to Mr Handicapper. Indeed, the most lightly raced of the sextet has come under orders 16 times previously.

Pace wise, they should be a formation not dissimilar to the below, with Sword Of Fate and Tonto's Spirit very likely to be front rank. Lermoos Legend meanwhile will be waited with, as he has been in two of his three recent wins.

Here's what we can quickly deduce about the form of the runners from Instant Expert, win view (handicap chases only) then place view beneath.

WIN ^^              PLACE vv

 

And here's what a deeper inspection into the book suggests...

Tonto's Spirit

A veteran of 58 races, he's spun his wheels around Cartmel ten times winning an outstanding six of them (two handicap chases, a novice chase, a beginners' chase, and two handicap hurdles)... and all of them over this 2m 1f (ish) trip. Five of those wins were on good ground, the same as Monday's race is expected to be. His highest winning mark was 132 two years ago making his current 123 perfectly feasible. On his most recent start, over the longer Cartmel 2m5f trip, he fought a contested lead - something which could happen here too - before only giving best by half a length. That was a Class 2 event and he looks to have everything in his favour aside from an easy lead. Remarkably for one that likes to be front rank, he's 0 from 7 in small fields (seven or fewer runners), which is another slight niggle.

Trainer Dianne Sayer is in great form:

Ballyvic Boru

Brian Ellison's entry is a six time winner, all at this sort of distance and five on this type of ground (also won a jumpers' bumper). Prior to an uncharacteristic blip last time where he unseated at the first, he'd been consistent in defeat, making the podium in five of six starts. A solitary win in that sequence suggests he's handicapped to the hilt, however. Expect him to track the leaders in the middle of the group.

Check My Pulse

A more occasional winner, Check My Pulse is having just his second start in handicap chase company. So, while he's less exposed in that regard, his one-from-seven hurdle record and one-from-12 flat career don't scream win machine. Rated 119 after his Uttoxeter novice hurdle score - a rise of 10 pounds - he's gradually dropping to a more credible handicap peg. The pick of his two chase starts was a fast finishing third over course and distance in a beginners' event in May but he beat nothing of note there.

Ardera Cross

The old man of the party at ten, Ardera Cross is dropping to a viable mark once more. He's been an incredibly game horse, winning 13 times in his career:

But all bar one of those scores was with either soft or heavy in the going description. These young whippersnappers are likely to be a bit too quick for the wily veteran. Trip and field size are positives, though.

Sword Of Fate

Winner of a mere nine races (!), Sword Of Fate is another that is a credit to connections. His five chase victories include two over course and distance. Aged eight, he can hardly be considered on the down slope just yet and, given a historical high rating of 135, his mark of 106 for this looks enticing. A recent fourth place can be forgiven on account of the soft ground - never won on it - and he looks booked for a bold showing from the first wave.

Lermoos Legend

The joker in the pack who has rattled off a facile hat-trick at Ffos Las. Cartmel is very different from that West Wales venue, and he's up nine pounds for his most recent triumph. Trainer Peter Bowen is back in his traditionally rich summer vein after a couple of years in the doldrums, but Lermoos might need them to go mad up front in order to get into the race: he's looked a horse that stays quite well. Still, he's ascendant and one certainly couldn't say he's done improving. This is a two grade class jump.

Summary

A fascinating race given the small field. The pace looks pretty cut and dried: Sword Of Fate and Tonto's Spirit to contest it. Tonto's Cartmel record is exemplary but he's not met as deep a field as this for a while and, for whatever reason, he has proved vulnerable in shorter fields. The Sword is still well below his highest winning mark and was on a hat-trick before meeting the mud at Perth last time (over a longer trip also, though he stays well enough).

Of the midfielders, Ballyvic Boru may find this too hot and Ardera Cross may find it too dry. Check My Pulse is the dark horse though his best chase finishing position was probably in a far weaker race.

The rising star is Lermoos Legend but that line of grey zeros on Instant Expert tells us that he's trying a bunch of new things here. He might handle the rise in class and the very different topography, but he's unexciting odds to my eye.

At the prices, Tonto's Spirit is no value - though he can readily win - and the same is true of Lermoos Legend, with those questions to answer. SWORD OF FATE, at 11/2 in a place - 9/2 generally - looks some value: he'll presumably at least share the lead, will relish the return to quicker terrain and has back class to carry these home. Tonto's Spirit and possibly Ballyvic Boru could make for a fair combination exacta, though there are credible threats elsewhere in a terrific little race.

Racing Insights, 31st May 2021

Confession time and definitely not after-timing as I didn't back it, but the winner of Saturday's John of Gaunt Stakes, Kinross, was in my original three against the field and I talked myself out of him in favour of With Thanks, who finished 7th. To be honest, aside from Glorious Journey making the frame, it wasn't my best race preview!

That said, Bank Holiday Monday offers me another chance to have another go and it's my last piece of what has been a reasonable enough month. The Pace tab is free to all readers for all races on Mondays, whilst our free 'races of the day' are set to be...

  • 2.20 Redcar
  • 2.45 Windsor
  • 3.00 Cartmel
  • 5.45 Roscommon
  • 6.00 Punchestown
  • 7.45 Roscommon

I'm not a huge fan of Irish racing, mainly because I don't spend enough time watching/studying it and I rarely get involved with maiden or 2yo novice races on the Flat, so today's preview almost picks itself.

That said, it's a decent enough race at a cracking little venue. Regrettably I won't be there in person this year as I usually am, so it's from a distance that I'll be watching the 3.00 Cartmel, which is a 10-runner, Class 3, Veterans Handicap Chase for 10yo+ horses over 3m5½f on Good ground. And these are the ones chasing a pot of £5,882...

Rock On Fruity has won three of his last nine runs since the start of March 2020, with all three wins coming at this grade. He acts on most ground from Good downwards, is 4 from 11 with today's jockey and is only 4lbs higher than when winning at Newcastle last time out, 2 months ago. Has a real chance if he gets the trip.

William of Orange is also up in weight (+3lbs) after a win LTO, as he landed a Class 3 handicap over 3m2.5f at Southwell less than a fortnight ago. That took his record for 2021 to 3 wins and a place from six starts and he's clearly in excellent form despite his age. He's 7 from 25 on Good ground and 3 from 5 under today's jockey and like the runner above, he's definitely in the mix if he gets the trip.

Dawson City, on the other hand, should have no problem with the trip, having won over 3m7f in the past. He was in good form from mid-November onwards, but disappointed last time out when beaten by 53 lengths at Ffos Las at the start of April. That run aside, he's still be a contender here but for the ground, I think. His best form comes in the mud and I fear this will be too quick for him.

Aaron Lad is 2 from 5 on Good ground but has never gone beyond 3m2f so far. He won at Exeter in January of 2020, but fell next time out. After a break of some 391 days, he has struggled this year and was beaten by 32 lengths two starts ago and was pulled up before the last three weeks ago. Has potential but I can't see him winning here.

Fact of the Matter is well past his best, if truth be told. He was a runner-up and then a winner in two Class 2 Cross Country events at Cheltenham in late 2018, but that was the last time he won. Since then he has been well beaten in five outings. If he turns up here, this will be just his fifth run in almost 26 months.

Red Giant has ability but is rather inconsistent. He won a Class 2 contest back in October and was a runner-up next time out despite a 7lb hike in the weights, but he then rounded off his 2020 campaign with a 25-length defeat at Market Rasen off the same mark. He went back to Market Rasen for his reappearance 128 days later/24 days ago and struggled to see out three miles, pulling up before the third last. But good ground, the step up in trip and his 5 from 24 record under today's jockey are all positives. Place potential here if coming on for the run.

Gangster won a 4-mile soft ground chase at Hexham by 14 lengths two starts ago, taking advantage of a mark that had dropped to a career-low 107, but in the four races before that win, he had been 6th of 7 and then pulled up three times. After that win, he was raised 8lbs and subsequently finished almost 50 lengths off the pace and he goes off that mark again here. He's not one I'd be keen on.

Dr Robin had a real purple patch from late June to late August 2019, where he won four on the bounce (2 x hurdle, 2 x chase), including three here at Cartmel. He was pulled up a month after that last win and then wasn't seen for 559 days. On his return last month, he was pulled up again and was then beaten by 53 lengths last time out. He looks up against it here, even off 5lbs lower. He's 3 from 6 here, 5 from 21 on good ground and 6 from 24 for his jockey, but hasn't won beyond 4 furlongs shorter than today.

Nakadam should get the trip, but would prefer it softer and he hasn't been running well of late either. His three runs this year have seen him pulled up and then beaten by 42L and 34L and he now steps up in class from 6lbs out of the handicap. I'd be very surprised to see him involved here.

So Satisfied races from even further out of the handicap, a whopping 22lbs and that alone should be enough to put you off. If it isn't, then defeats of 16L, 38L, 33L, 41L, 9L, 36L and 28L in seven starts since the start of 2020 should do the trick. I'd also add that those seven races were at a lower class (2 x C4, 5 x C5) than today and I'm struggling to find a positive thing to say. Hang on, her yard is 5 from 18 here at Cartmel since the start of 2017, so it's nice to end on a positive.

These runners are all 10-12 yrs old, so when we look at relevant win/place form on Instant Expert in a moment, I think that we should stick to 2yr form, as there's no point leaning on very old data. That said most haven't run/won too often in that time, so the place stats might tell us a bit more than the win data...

As it happens, the figures aren't massively different showing a propensity of these horses to either win or not make the frame at all. Red Giant has raced on good ground more than the others, but hasn't fared too well on it over fences in the last two years, but has won 6 times on Good overall. We've plenty who have made the frame at this grade, but not many with relevant course experience.

Dawson City might well be 0 from 7 at the trip, but he has made the frame twice and has only failed to complete 2 of 12 races beyond 3m5f, so if it comes to just completing the course to be involved, he's an interesting sort, having also made the frame three times at this level.

We don't really have enough pace data from similar contests over the last couple of years, as there's only one race of this distance per year at Cartmel (and only one over 3m6f), but from my own experiences of visiting Cartmel, I recall that leaders often struggle to hang on and that prominent runners fare best. In longer contests like today, several have also been won by hold up horses who have conserved their energy for the run in.

I know this is anecdotal evidence, but it's a track I visit quite often and I'd generally look for prominent or hold up horses here. With that in mind, here's how these bunch have raced in recent races...

This would suggest that Aaron Lad and Red Giant will lead them along with Dr Robin maybe also getting involved. Fact of the Matter and William of Orange would look to be the prominent followers. The above graphic also suggests that the bottom two will be held up for run, but I suspect they'll be more tailed off than held up and maybe the likes of Rock On Fruity (held-up in 2 of his last 3) and Dawson City (held up LTO) will be he actual hold up horses here.

Summary

Before I looked at the race positioning of these horses in their last few races, my favoured four here would have been (in alphabetical order) Dawson City, Red Giant, Rock On Fruity and William of Orange. The pace data hasn't really swayed me away from those four, as I've more reservations about the other six in the contest.

However, to end up with my three for trifecta/tricast purposes, Red Giant is the one to miss out. He might just do too much too early and I'm still not entirely convinced he gets the trip.

Of the three others, I like William of Orange best. yes, I've doubts about him getting the trip, but I think he's best suited here. Dawson City & Rock On Fruity could run him close, but I'm in agreement about the 7/2 fav William of Orange here. Rock On Fruity is currently 9/2 and Dawson City is 11/1, so I'll probably have a small E/W on him too.