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Racing Insights, 6th May 2021

Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo are now in the rear view mirror, so what does Thursday have in store for us? Well, something even better in the shape of free access for all users to Instant Expert for all races, including our races of the day, which I'm told will be...

  • 12.50 Huntingdon
  • 2.15 Chester
  • 4.00 Huntingdon
  • 4.55 Tipperary
  • 7.50 Chelmsford

And I think I'll use Instant Expert to help me assess the fortunes of Murhib, a 9yr old gelding, who runs in the 6.50 at Chelmsford, a 6-runner, Class 4, A/W Handicap over 1m6f for 4yo+ on Standard going Polytrack worth £4,347. And here's the Instant Expert entry that caught my eye when I was skimming through earlier.

That, of course, is his overall record and very impressive it is too, but if we wanted to be more selective, we could just look at how he has performed under today's conditions in A/W handicaps over the last year...

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...figures which are, if anything, even more impressive and self explanatory.

His racecard entry looks like this...

He comes here in sparkling form, having won (4 times) or been runner-up (4 times) in each of his eight starts so far this year. His worst defeat in that run was by 1.75 lengths and his last two runs were both course and distance successes here at Chelmsford and that Geegeez Speed Rating of 80 is the best of the six runners here..

Oisin Murphy rides him for the first time, but that could well be seen as a positive move, as not many ride this track better. Oisin is 37 from 145 (25.5% SR, A/E 1.15) in handicaps here since the start of 2018 and they include...

  • 33/91 (36.3%) at odds shorter than 5/1
  • 26/89 (29.2%) in fields of fewer than 10 runners
  • 23/57 (40.4%) in sub-10 runner fields shorter than 5/1
  • and 16 from 34 (47.1%) on horses sent off shorter than 5/1 in Class 3 to 5 handicaps of no more than 9 runners.

Murhib is up again in weight to a career high mark, but has proven difficult to stop here at Chelmsford, especially as he's likely to get out quickly from stall 1 and use the rail for guidance.

He does tend to lead or race prominently and that's definitely the best plan of attack here at Chelmsford over this trip in a small field. That graphic might not make it obvious that he'll try to lead, but none of the other five usually race as prominently as he does and he may well be afforded a soft/easy lead and as he proved with a 3 length win last time out, he's not easy to rein in once he gets going.

Summary

Bang in form, but up in weight to a career-high mark. Regular rider replaced by one who has never ridden him before, but just happens to be a track specialist. Stall 1 isn't the best in this type of race, but leaders do well here and leading is the best tactic from stall 1.

There's plenty to like about him here and before I delved into the race, I imagined it'd be a 3-horse race between Blow Your Horn, Murhib and Pearl Beach. If only three could win and they were all equal, then 2/1 would be a fair price about him. I actually think that he's better than both of them and it's only the added weight that's a minor issue to me, so let's see if the market is open.

We have two books open at 4.20pm, Hills go 9/4 and Bet365 go 5/2. I think 5/2 is more than fair and if you're still able to get on with Stoke's premier bookmaker, then Murhib might just be the one for you today/tomorrow.

Forecast backers won't be getting rich if things go to plan, as I prefer Blow Your Horn to Pearl Beach for the minor honours.

 

Racing Insights, 29th April 2021

Wednesday's focus was on the two Kevin Ryan runners at Pontefract, where I felt Bergerac was well worth backing at 4/1 and Tiny Danser was capable of making the frame but might just fall short. As it was, Bergerac was an easy 6-lengths winner at 5/4 and the race collapsed somewhat, allowing Tiny Danser to take advantage and finish as runner-up.

I was happy to have got on the winner, but was left a little annoyed at missing a near-17/1 forecast.

Thursday's free feature is full access to the intuitive Instant Expert feature and that's offered to all readers for all races, including our races of the day, which are...

  • 3.35 Lingfield
  • 5.00 Redcar
  • 5.20 Southwell
  • 6.35 Punchestown
  • 7.15 Chelmsford

And I think we'll take a look at the last of those, the 7.15 Chelmsford, which on paper at least, looks the best of the free UK races. It's a 7-runner, Class 2, 4yo+ A/W handicap over 1m2f on Polytrack worth a cool £10,260 to one of the following...

There might only be seven runners here, but my initial thoughts are that at least three or four of them of them are in with a good chance and I wouldn't rule any of them out based purely on looking at the card. I've concerns about Pivoine's 232 day absence from a run of form that doesn't look inspiring, but let's come to that in turn.

Dawaam is three from four on the A/W so far, including a class, course and distance win here last time out. He beat the 102-rated What's The Story by three quarters of a length that day and the latter has since been a runner-up again, but in a Listed contest at Doncaster a month ago. A repeat of that LTO effort would surely make Dawaam a leading contender here, but that's slightly tempered by a 4lb weight rise and the fact that he hasn't raced for 175 days, but both yard and jockey do well here normally.

Tritonic is also technically coming back from a long break since finishing 4th of 17 over 1m4f at Newmarket back in early October, but this 4 yr old has kept fit with three efforts over hurdles since then, winning at Class 3 and then a Grade 2 contest, both over two miles prior to a fifth place finish in the JCB Triumph hurdle at Cheltenham last month. Like Dawaam above, Tritonic has to be respected here, but the caveat with this one is that this will be his all-weather debut and his two Flat wins have been over shorter trips than today.

Pivoine is the one I was most wary of before getting stuck in to the race properly, as he didn't have a good season last time around and he hasn't raced since early September. That said, he has won 2 of 6 A/W starts and won the 2019 John Smiths Cup at York off 8lbs higher. Theoretically, this race is well within him, but my initial fears have dissuaded me.

Rhythmic Intent is another making an A/W debut and comes here with a 3 from 17 record on the Flat, which isn't totally inspiring. All his wins have been at Class 3 or lower and at longer trips than today, sparking a fear that they'll be too good and too sharp for him here. In the right race, he's certainly be one to consider (he's 3 from 4 at 1m2.5f to 1m5.5f at Class 3/4 on the Flat), but I don't think this is the one for him, up 2lbs for an A/W debut with no run in 173 days.

Satono Japan is another coming off a fairly lengthy break and although this 4 yr old steps down from Listed class to run here, he was soundly (8.5 lengths) beaten on Lingfield's polytrack. That was 166 days ago and his only other two outings were a narrow win and a three lengths third in a pair of Class 5 Novice contests. He's hardly been thrown in with a mark of 95 for his handicap debut and as the form from his last novice race has been poor from runners racing off marks of 72 to 89, I think he's going to struggle here.

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Arij has certainly been kept busy through the winter with eight runs on the A/W since his last turf run back in August of last year. He has made the frame in 6 of those 8 runs, winning twice. He won here over course and distance (Class 4) off a mark of 73 in early December and was also a winner over slightly shorter at Wolverhampton (also Class 4) off 86, when clear by almost 4.5 lengths 40 days ago. He's up another 8lbs and two classes here and whilst he has been running consistently well, it's a big ask here. That said, he does get a little bit of weight from most of the field and Team Crisford have a good record when sending just one runner to a meeting.

Habit Rouge makes up the field, but shouldn't be here just to make up the numbers. Receiving 4 to 9lbs from tightly bunched field, he's well weighted and comes here in good nick. He was beaten by 4 lengths over a mile at Newcastle after being eased down once the race was lost upon his return from a three month break in February and has ran here at Chelmsford twice since at this class, course and distance, winning by a neck off a mark of 88 before going down by 4.5 lengths off 90. He goes off 90 again, which makes this tough, but his yard do well here and he is 3 from 6 on the A/W. He could well threaten the places, but we'd need the run from two starts ago rather than last time out.

For a quick overview of all relevant past form, Thursday's free feature, Instant Expert, is your friend...

...and highlights Dawaam's apparent suitability for the task (it doesn't, of course, account for any lay-off) and also shows Habit Rouge in a good light. We'll get less data when we look solely at A/W handicap form, but it's important to assess how the field have performed under today's conditions...

...where we get a similar, if trimmed down picture. We seen that Dawaam and Habit Rouge still feature strongly, but both are racing off higher marks than they last won off (+4lbs and +2lbs respectively), but both Pivoine and Arij are even worse off.

There's not actually a massive draw bias here today...

...although there has historically been an advantage in the far reaches of the stalls ie boxes 1 and 7, which is more good news for Dawaam and Tritonic, but Chelmsford races are more often decided by race tactics/pace. So much so, that somebody higher up the Geegeez chain of command has dubbed it the Chelmsford Speedway! Front runners traditionally do well here, as seen by the following data...

...and when we ally draw stats with the pace stats, we learn that the best way to attack such a contest is to lead from a high draw...

Low drawn-horses also do well when leading, but fare even better from mid-division. The danger zone is getting caught in no-man's land from a high draw and ending up being pushed wide on the turn.

We said that Dawaam and Tritonic had the "plum" draws in 1 and 7, so if Dawaam is a mid-div horse or a leader, he's in with a great chance, as would Tritonic be if he's a front runner. Thankfully, we know how these have raced in the past and we can overlay their running styles onto that heat map and arranged in stall order, here's how we think the race might unfold...

Dawaam is indeed ideally placed for his draw and must have a real opportunity from that position. Tritonic would need to step forward, whilst the consistent Arij looked really well suited if handling the step up in class.

Summary

Three horses leap out at me here for different reasons, so let's go alphabetically with them...

Arij is in great form, has been very busy and consistent over the winter, so he's race ready and has a great pace/draw make-up. On the down side, he's on a career high mark and steps up in class, notwithstanding the fact that he's till only 4 yrs old and could well have improvement to come.

Dawaam is also well suited by the pace/draw stats, has the plum draw in stall 1, he showed up really well on Instant Expert but he's up in weight and hasn't raced for almost six months and might need to blow some cobwebs away.

Tritonic is almost equally well drawn at the other end of the stalls in box 7, but hasn't previously raced at the pace you'd want at Chelmsford. Having raced really well over hurdles during the winter, he's fit and won't want for stamina, but I am concerned at this lack of previous all-weather experience.

Those are definitely the ones I'd want to be choosing rom here and you can make a strong case for/against all three and I suspect that when I look at the market in a moment, there's be some agreement (unless I've read it wrong!). So who do I want to be with more than the other two? On evidence of past form and the graphics thrown up by the Geegeez toolbox, I'm going to have to say Dawaam, even if it means taking his fitness for granted. He's had a wind op whilst off track and loves the A/W.

As for Arif and Tritonic, I think I've got them in that order, just! There probably won't be much between them, but Arif is a progressive sort on the A/W and past experience might just see him home.

Market-watch... only Hills are open at 5.15pm and they've got Dawaam as the 3/1 favourite which is probably fair and the fact that Arif and Tritonic are both 7/2 would appear to back up my assessment of the race. With just two places available, it's hard to make a case for an E/W bet here, but the 9/1 about Habit Rouge might be attractive.

 

Racing Insights, 6th April 2021

My top rated pick for Monday, Before Midnight, was a well backed 6/4 winner from an overnight 10/3 price, whilst my E/W fancy Zoffee was third at 9/1. Sadly, there was a non-runner, meaning there was no payout for the placer.

Now to Tuesday, where 'feature of the day' is The Shortlist, whilst our free 'races of the day' are as follows...

  • 1.00 Pontefract
  • 2.00 Pontefract
  • 3.10 Bath
  • 8.00 Chelmsford

I think I might hang fire before diving straight into the new Flat season, so we'll assess the last of our four free races, the 8.00 Chelmsford, a 6-runner, Class 5 handicap over 1m2f on the Essex Polytrack and here's how they line up...

Only six are set to go to post, but it looks a fairly open contest as many of these low grade handicaps are, especially when most of the runners have got some fairly recent winning form. The Geegeez ratings' top three are fairly closely matched on score, so it could well be a tight affair with the likes of Morlaix and Eaglesglen probably heading market in the 5/2 to 11/4 type of pricing.

Nawafeth is the only filly in the race. She won on her last start in Ireland, when winning over a mile at Dundalk, but has struggled in three UK runs for her new yard since, albeit in a higher grade than this. She looks the weakest of the six here.

Morlaix has two wins and a place from his last three runs and looks more than capable of going well again if continuing to improve. He's on a career-high mark of 72 here, however and he was beaten by 4.5 lengths over 1m3f at Southwell off 68 and has also failed to make the frame in any of his five previous runs on polytrack.

Bayston Hill certainly loves coming to Chelmsford, having won five times here and also making the frame on four occasions, all from just ten visits and all over course and distance! He did, however struggle off this mark last time out and it is hoped that the return of Dan Muscutt to the saddle will inspire a return to winning ways. Dan is 5 from 18 on the horse and he's riding well right now with two wins and a runner-up finish from his last four rides and it should be noted that the horse also drops in class here.

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Bad Attitude is another with favourable conditions here. He has 2 wins and 2 places from 6 here at Chelmsford and has won three of the five races in which he has been ridden by Kieran O'Neill, plus he's two from three in cheekpieces. That said, he was beaten by just under three lengths last time out (also over C&D), but has been eased a pound for his yard debut for Alice Haynes.

Le Magnifique is difficult to assess based on UK form so far, as all five runs have been over hurdles where in fairness he has acquitted himself quite well. he own a Class 4 contest, finished mid-division in a Listed race and made the frame at Class 2 last time out. He did race on the Flat three times in Germany during 2019/20, sent off three times as favourite, but generally disappointed. He could be something, he could be nothing, best watched I suppose.

Eaglesglen makes up the field carrying bottom weight and is looking quite well treated off a mark of 63, the same as when only beaten by three quarters of a length over course and distance last time out. That was a decent effort coming some 145 days after his previous run, when he won here also over course and distance off 59. He's up in class here, but is entitled to improve for having had that run on Thursday.

A few of these have won inside their last few runs, but Instant Expert is the best guide to relevant form...

Bayston Hill and Bad Attitude certainly show up well there, but only Le Magnifique (with no relevant runs) and Nawafeth look out of contention from that graphic, but the latter does at least run off a mark 5lbs lower than his last win.

In similar 6-runner handicaps, stall 2 seems to have produced more than it's fair share of winners, but I'm not entirely convinced there's a discernible draw bioas here...

...but there is a definite/distinctive pace bias here. The plan has to be to get out and stay out as leaders win far more often than they'd be expected to...

...and this is, of course, reflected in our unique pace/draw heat map...

...which says lead if you can, but if you've not got a low draw and you can't lead, then it's best to hold back for a late run to try and overhaul a tiring pacesetter. As you know by now, we log how every horse runs every race and we can then make an informed assumption of how they might run next time out and we can then overlay this predicted running style onto that heat map above, like this...

...where we expect Eaglesglen to set the fractions, but Bayston Hill in stall 1 has an equally good pace/draw setup, meaning the pace maker won't have all his own way, but will have the opportunity to control the race from the front. Neither Bad Attitude nor Morlaix look particularly well positioned.

Summary

When I started writing the piece, the race tissues suggested a tight affair with Morlaix and Eaglesglen likely to be very closely matched at the head of the market. Based on the write-ups, Eaglesglen at 5/2 was going to be the suggestion, but I've now discovered that he's not going to run after all, which leaves me a little frustrated if I'm honest.

Morlaix is the likely winner, but I really don't want to be backing him at 13/8 and Le Magnifique is already as low as 5/2 in places with no relevant form to rely on, so I can't go there either (not that I was going to!). Nawafeth looks out fo his depth and carries too much weight, which leaves us with Bad Attitude and Bayston Hill. Both love it here, but weren't at their best last out, the latter has a great course and distance record and has abetter pace/draw make-up, so if I was to get involved here, I'd want to be on Bayston Hill. He's 11/2 in places and that's pretty big for him in a 5-runner contest.

 

Racing Insights, 12th February 2021

Friday's feature of the day is the Horses for Courses report , whilst the free racecards will cover the following...

  • 7.15 Chelmsford
  • 7.30 Dundalk
  • 7.45 Chelmsford

Once again, it's an all-weather only day, as the cold spell continues to wreak havoc with the racing programme, so let's take a look at the two qualifiers from my Horses for Courses settings of 30% win and 50% place off at least 10 course handicap runs...

We start with Luscifer in the 3.45 Southwell...

Luscifer has finished 11265 in his last five runs, all here at Southwell. He won back to back Class 6 handicaps over a mile off marks of 51 and 57 in November/December of last year. He was then raised to a mark of 62, resulting in a near-two length defeat in another C6, 1m hcp on 20th December.

He struggled in January though, firstly beaten by 22.5 lengths over a mile at Class 4 off 63 and then beaten by just over 10 lengths at Class 5 over this 7f course and distance last time out, also off 63. He now drops back to Class 6, but is only eased 1lb and is still some 5lbs higher than that last win.

With regards to his suitability for today's contest, Instant Expert tells us that he has achieved the following...

He's 0/4 on Std-Slow going, as all his best A/W form on been on Standard, where he is 4 from 16 (25%), he has done well in this grade and at this track, of course. He's more of a 1m horse in my opinion, where he has 2 wins and 2 places from 7 efforts,  What the above doesn't tell you is that he is 3 from 9 after 16-30 days rest and 1 from 3 over course and distance.

He's drawn in stall 5, which is neither here nor there, based on eight recent contests...

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...and here's how that draw translates into running styles...

When we overlay Luscifer's last four runs, it's not really a favourable picture

...but if he was to ditch the hold-up tactics employed in the two recent heavy defeats and revert back to his previous prominent running style, I think that would suit him better.

*

And now to Nonios in the 6.45 Chelmsford...

Nonios was a winner over 1m on a Class 3 at Lingfield and was subsequently a decent third over 1m0.5f at Wolverhampton stepped up to Class 2, but has lost his way of late, finishing 770006 in six runs since. He was beaten by nearly nine lengths her at Chelmsford over a mile at Class 3 and now drops in class, weight (down 5lbs). He's stepping back up to what I think is his best trip and he's now some 8lbs lower than his last winning mark. Some of these details are replicated in Instant Expert below...

...and for a horse likely to be a fairly long price, those numbers are good. And if he's a decent price, then an E/W bet might come into play. It's worth adding to the above stats that he has made the frame in exactly half of his 22 runs on Polytrack, winning six times and he has 4 wins and 3 places from a dozen runs over course and distance.

With the E/W bet a current possibility, here's his numbers from the place element of Instant Expert...

...and they make excellent reading. He's not got the best of draws out in box 8, but stalls 5 to 7 get the fair share of winners, so he's not entirely out of it and I'm always wary of one stall having freakishly low returns compared with all the others...

Being drawn high, we ideally need Nonios to run prominently or in mid-division. Trying to lead or being held-up will harm his chances according to the pace/draw heatmap...

Sadly, Nonios has been held up in each of his last four runs documented by our pace tab. In fact, that's pretty much how he always runs, so there's not much scope/hope for change here, but it's tough to win from being held up off a high draw here....

...and this is backed up by the graphic above, showing the extent to which hold-up horses have struggled.

Summary

Two horses with good course records, but I don't see either of them winning to be honest.

Luscifer has finished 6th of 8 and 5th of 6 in his last two runs and if he's any better than 6th of 7 here, he'll have exceeded my expectations. He's out of sorts right now, as is his yard (1 from 41 in the last fortnight), he's too high in the weights for me, he probably needs quicker ground and he's better off over a mile. Other than all that, he's fine.

Currently priced as 9/1 sixth favourite of seven, the bookies probably have it right and Luscifer is to be avoided. Palazzo probably wins here, but at 5/1 Iva Reflection is interesting.

As for Nonios, there's no doubting his place credentials, but he's not winning this race in my eyes : I quite like Baystom Hill & My Target at 5/1 and 7/1 respectively here, but I disagree with the 18/1 offered about Nonios by Bet365. I've got in equal fourth on my own notes and wouldn't have to perform much better than I'm anticipating for him to grab a place. It's a bit of a punt, but at 18/1, I think the potential reward justifies the risk for a small E/W flutter.

 

Racing Insights, 7th December 2020

We were right not to get involved with Saturday's two highlighted runners, as both faded out of contention late on. Both had started well, racing prominently but both ran out of steam in the closing stages, getting beat by around four lengths in each case.

Monday heralds the start of the new week and "feature of the day"is access to the pace tab for all races, whilst the full free racecards are available for the following...

  • 12.45 Musselburgh
  • 1.00 Plumpton
  • 2.05 Plumpton
  • 5.25 Chelmsford

And it's the last of those four that I'm going to focus upon today, the 5.25 Chelmsford : a 10-runner, Class 6, A/W handicap fpr 3yo+ over 1m6f on Polytrack worth £3,040...

Mizen Master won two starts ago at Wolverhampton before going down by just over two lengths at the same venue having been raised 2lbs for the win. He's back down by a pound for this run today. he'll be partnered by Luke Morris who hasn't been on the best of form lately, but did break a long losing run on Saturday. Fingers crossed for him that it's the start of an upturn.

Archippos' recent form shows a couple of runner-up finishes, but the reality is that he hasn't won any of his last 25 outings in a run stretching back to March 2018 and although his yard have a decent record at this track, they too are woefully out of form with just 1 winner from 55 over the last four months. I'll pass on this one immediately.

Aldrich Bay ran well on handicap debut last time out, finishing second of ten and well clear of the pack. It was a good effort after more than 15 months off the track and provided there are no ill effects, she should come on for the run. A 5lb weight for age allowance allied to a 5lb jockey claim means she's effectively well in at the weight and she'll be fancied to add to her yard recent good form both generally (5 from 18 in the last month) and at this track (3 wins and a second from the last four sent here).

Heron is a former C&D winner (20 months ago) but has disappointed since his last win back in May 2019, losing a dozen contests since. Showed some signs of a return to form last time out when fifth of 13 in another C6 handicap over C&D 39 days ago, where he was going well late on, but had been waited with a little too long.

Fulbeck Girl will be looking to step up to the winners' enclosure after going down by three quarters of a length over C&D here 25 days ago and then third (by a neck twice) over this trip at Wolverhampton a week ago. She's knocking on the door of a first win and she too will be aided by a 5lb weight for age allowance here. Jockey Jason Hart is riding well, winning four of his last ten races and has also won 10 of 35 at this track this calendar year, whilst trainer Ian Williams' horses are 28 from 146 (19.2% SR) here since 2015.

Cinzento was a Class 6 A/W handicap winner over 1m4f last time out, but that was 294 days ago at Kempton and we'll have to take his fitness on trust here. Prior to that, he was fourth of fourteen over course and distance here on his first start for trainer Roger Teal who has three winners and a place from his last eight runners and despite not coming here often, is 4 from 16 at Chelmsford over the last two years. We should also note that his partnership with jockey Jack Mitchell stands at 13 from 51 (25.5% SR) over that same period including 3 from 7 here.

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Fool To Cry won a 2m4.5f handicap hurdle two starts ago, but hasn't raced on the A/W for almost a year. She was second of twelve in a maiden at Wolverhampton on A/W debut back in August 2015, but has failed to make the frame in seven subsequent efforts and has been beaten by a collective 81 lengths in her last four A/W runs. She won't be carrying my money and she's out of my considerations here.

Dolphin Village's strike rate on the Flat is double his A/W ratio, but he did win here over course and distance four starts ago. Sadly he's unreliable and goes on long losing streaks. he hasn't been sent off shorter than 18/1 in any of his last ten outings and although the market does get things wrong, they're not consistently wide of the mark. He's getting crossed off my list here.

Murat Asset is lightly raced and makes just  sixth start today and will need to improve dramatically upon his handicap debut when he failed to see out 1m4f at Wolverhampton, so I'm not sure why he's stepping up in trip here. Hasn't looked like winning any of his previous five starts, hasn't made the frame either at at expected odds of 25/1 and bigger, I'm not interested.

And finally, Star of St Louis, who might appeal to the Chinese (they consider 7 to be a lucky number) but a recent form line of 7777 won't endear him to many punters, I'd have thought. A closer look at him shows he's had plenty of opportunities to go out and prove himself, but no wins from nineteen and just two third place finishes doesn't scream "back me", does it? If it's screaming that, I'm not hearing it and I'm not backing him.

So, after a fairly brutal scything, I've reduced the 10runner field to a more waorkable five, which includes the geegeez speed ratings top three. Let's see how their past efforts measure up against today's conditions on the Instant Expert tab...

...dreadfully, I'd say! A little bit of amber and Heron's win off a mark of 60 are the highlights here. Hopefully the place tab will provide me with some more encouragement...

Mizen Master and Fulbeck Girl's A/W records are appealing as are the latter's numbers (albeit from small samples) over both course and distance. Heron's numbers look good, but we should remember that those course and distance figures aren't all that recent (Aug '19 for track & May '19 for distance), but plenty of amber around. Cinzento is better than the red line would suggest.

Other than Aldrich Bay drawn in stall 9, out other four occupy the low draws 1 to 4. To see if that would have any bearing on the outcome we need to check the Draw & Pace tabs and the draw would suggest that the low draw is more beneficial than the high draw...

The blue line drops off dramatically just off after the mid-draw point, which isn't great news for Aldrich Bay, whilst the pace tab...

...tells us that in similar contests, hold-up horses have won 13 of 31 races (41.9%) which would normally be good news for the likes of Heron and Aldrich Bay, BUT... the pace prediction is of a possible falsely run contest and why's that, you might ask? Well, there are no obvious front runners or even prominent runners amongst our five, so who knows what will happen.

They could well stay closely grouped and it develop into a short distance sprint OR one of my five discards might set the pace for them. I'll tackle the latter situation by showing you the full pace/draw heatmap for all ten runners...

...which I think muddies the waters further.

At this point, I need to get myself to a shortlist of three, so Aldrich Bay's draw stats and the possbility of after effects from last time count her out here and I'll also remove Heron, purely for his unpredictability/unreliability. Both could very well win here, but I wouldn't be happy backing them today.

Summary

I'm happy with my three Fulbeck Girl, Mizen Master and Cinzento and I'd probably have them in that order. I'm happy that the winner should come from those three, but I'm unhappy when I look at the market to see that my three are numbers 1,2 and 4 in the market (Aldrich is 3rd fav).

I'm unhappy, because I've not found something the market isn't aware of, so there might be no angle/value for us here. I'm not sure how I'll play this one now after seeing the odds, but I'm sticking with those three to include the winner.

 

 

Racing Insights, 26th November 2020

Well, today's race went very well for us as we highlighted a 4/1 winner sent off at 13/8 and got the 6 runners in the right order including a near 13/1 trifecta for those brave enough to play the exotics.

Hopefully, we can find something of note for Thursday, where "free feature of the day" is the Instant Expert tab on all races, not just the free ones which are...

  • 12.25 Thurles
  • 12.50 Southwell
  • 1.03 Lingfield
  • 5.00 Chelmsford

...and in the spirit of trying to tackle competitive-looking contests, we'll try to unravel the last of that quartet : the 5.00 Chelmsford : a 7 runner, Class 2, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 7f on Polytrack worth a more than useful £11,828 to the winner and as ever, we'll start with the racecard itself, which I've organised purely on alphabetical order...

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

FORM
Positive : Ghalyoon, Firmament & Lincoln Park
Negative : Intuitive & Mohareb

CLASS
Positive : N/A, no class droppers
Negative : Intuitive & Mohareb are both up 1 class after finishing unplaced LTO, whilst Lincoln Park is up two grades.

COURSE/DISTANCE
Three horses (Firmament, Intuitive & Mohareb) have won at this course and over this distance, but NOT over course and distance, whilst both Ghalyoon & Lincoln Park have won over today's 7f trip.

TRAINER FORM
Team Crisford (Intuitive) have a 42% strike rate over the last month and are 25 from 133 (18.8% SR) over the last five years here at Chelmsford, but have gone more than a year and 18 attempts since their last success. John Ryan (Pistoletto) is 0 from 24 over the last five weeks and has a poor record here at Chelmsford with just 8 winners from 118 (6.8% SR) since the start of 2017

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JOCKEY FORM
Positive : James Doyle (Firmament) & William Buick (Huraiz) are in good form, whilst both have decent records at this venue, as do Jim Crowley (Ghalyyon) and Richard Kingscote (Lincoln Park)
Negative : Ali Rawlinson (Mohareb) has struggled for winners of late, whilst Daragh Keenan (Pistoletto) has just one win from his last 41 rides on this track.

GEEGEEZ RATINGS
Positive : Firmament & Intuitive
Negative : Huraiz & Pistoletto

From the above, I don't fancy Pistoletto at all, so he's the first for the chop ahead of us visiting the Instant Expert tab...

 

...where all bar Firmament have plenty of green on the place setting. In his defence, his amber numbers show real consistency across the board, particualrly from so many runs at this grade.

The win side of Instant Expert doesn't really give us too many positive pointers, but here it is anyway...

At Chelmsford, the draw, the pace make-up of the race and they way the two mix can easily make or break a horse's chances and in such contests as this one, I'd say you want to be drawn in stalls 1 to 5, as demonstrated below...

...whilst the pace/draw heatmap looks like this...

and when we overlay with the running styles of our competitors here...

...it looks good for Lincoln Park, who might well try to make all from what has been an unlucky stall 3 with Firmament also looking well placed on the rail to maybe pick the leader off late on.

So, where does this leave us? Well, theoretically, we've still six runners in play, but I'm only really interested in three now. Mohareb is out of form and his jockey has a poor record here, Huraiz was last of nine off today's mark in a similar contest last time out and Intuitive's pair of duck eggs this season (10th of 10 and 11th of 11 at Meydan) don't fill me with confidence ahead of a first UK run in almost 13 months.

Now, we're down to the three I'm interested in : Firmament, Ghalyoon and Lincoln Park...

Firmament was only headed very late on last time out going down by just a nose in a big-field contest at Doncaster. That was another £12k Class 2 contest, but on soft ground. He hung badly right that day conceding plenty of ground, so it is hoped that cheek pieces will help here. Aside from the cross-track drift, he was every bit a winner and a similar effort here could well be enough, provided he doesn't let Lincoln Park get too far clear.

Ghalyoon is likely to go off as favourite, thanks to some eyecatching runs, a big price tag and plenty of winners in his family. Sadly, he does seem to tend to find at least one too good for him, possibly down to the hold-up tactics generally employed. On paper, he should be the best in the field, but normal tactics will mean he has lots of ground to make up late on and the fact that he has lost his three runs this season by a neck twice and by half a length says he doesn't get going quick enough. He has has gone up a pound each time he has run, so he's getting penalised for not winning!

Lincoln Park will probably try to get out and stay out and that's probably his best chance of winning here, as he has gone a long time between drinks. That said, he has just produced two really good efforts in horrible conditions at Haydock and Nottingham. He has been eased a pound in the official ratings and receives weight all round, carrying just 8 stone 8lbs. He fares well on our Speed ratings and could spring a surprise if holding on.

Summary

I expect Lincoln Park to attempt to win the race from the front, but I'd hope Firmament doesn't give him too much slack. LP has tended to fade late on over 7f and Firmament should catch him. Whether LP finishes second or third will depend on the tactics employed by Ghalyoon. If he is held back fr as long as he has been so far this season, he finishes third. If he sets off earlier, he overhauls Lincoln Park, but I don't think he'll beat Firmament.

So, it's Firmament for me for me at 4/1, whilst you can get 6's about Lincoln Park a rather skinny-looking 7/4 for Ghalyoon.

Racing Insights, 19th November 2020

I wasn't surprised to see Exploiteur land the spoils at Ffos Las earlier, but his task was made considerably easier by Sirop de Menthe falling 2 out when "giving it a right good go" as they say up here in Lancashire. SdM was running a big race as indeed I hoped he would before coming down.

On now to Thursday where the feature of the day is the informative Instant Expert, whilst our free racecards cover...

  • 12.10 Wincanton
  • 12.50 Thurles
  • 1.50 Newcastle
  • 2.20 Newcastle
  • 3.50 Newcastle

None of those races really float my boat, but a quick flick through Instant Expert alerted me to the 5.30 Chelmsford, a 10-runner, Class 2 A/W Handicap for 3yo+ over 6f worth £12,291 to the winner. My interest was aroused by the possibility of a short priced favourite making only his second appearance on the A/W and his first on Polytrack, despite having raced 16 times on the flat and I wondered if others might be better suited here.

It was the place section of Instant Expert that I looked at first...

...where all bar the likely favourite Aberama Gold and the debutant Lipsink have a least one block of green. Tropics has fared consistently well on the A/W , especially at this venue, whilst Merhoob is another regular placer on the A/W, at this grade and over this trip, whilst both of these runners are now rated 9lbs lower than their last win.

Speaking of wins, here's the win section of the same Instant Expert settings...

...where we have fewer stand-outs, but Tawny Port, Spirit of May and Nigel Nott instantly catch they eye, whilst Tropics' 7 placed finishes from 12 here at Chelmsford actually includes 5 wins.

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Pace and draw are often key in these contests, so that's where we'll go next. Draw is easier to show/explain, so we'll look at that first...

...and there doesn't appear to be any discernible draw bias at play for us here, so what about the pace of the race?

Well, none of them really seem aided or hindered by their own running styles/draw other than you'd preferably be on one of the first four listed., so that's not telling us much other than the leaders are likely to come from stalls 2-4. As yet, I've no hard and fast evidence to back or dismiss the likely favourite, nor am I yet in a position who might be best placed to land a blow at a decent price.

This means I need more information, so we now head to the main racecard itself in descending Speed Rating Order...

Firstly, we should ignore the lack of rating for Lipsink, who makes a UK debut and we shouldn't read too much in to the favourite's rating of 35. Aberama Gold's only previous run on the A/W was on tapeta and he was well beaten. Mind you, it was a Group 3 race and he was coming back off a seven-month absence.

Form-wise, Aberama, Poets Dance and Lipsink lead the way and we've five course and distance winners and one with a win at course and also at this trip. Nothing to write home about re: trainer and jockey form other than Robert Cowell sending out a few winners recently, so let's take brief look at each in turn...

Poets Dance has improved in each of her last three runs and although she's up in class here, her mark is only a pound higher than last month's runner-up finish whe beaten by just half a length despite not getting a clear run. Newscaster was three places and two lengths further back that day, but she has since won. If PD continues her improvement, she should be there or thereabouts today.

Rathbone is on a long losing run and aside from 2 wins from 13 at this trip, there's little else to suggest he'll go well here. He's still too high in the weights for my liking and his only hope has to be that he really takes to the Polytrack on debut.

Spirit of May looked good on Instant Expert, but since ending 2019 with back to back course and distance wins here, he has struggled this autumn finishing 6868. A return to Chelmsford where he is 3111 over course and distance might just be the spark he needs, having been eased 5lbs by the assessor. He'll need things to fall right for him, but if he tracks the favourite, that could work.

Nigel Nott was a course and distance winner here two starts ago, but didn't see out an extra furlong last time out. He's now back to a more favoured trip and down a pound in the ratings and I'd expect him to be in contention again here.

Tawny Port is a bit of an enigma really. He's proven on the A/W, at this track, in this grade, over this trip etc etc, but he's unreliable and I think he's a 5f (5.5f) horse personally. If you look at this record, he can run really well followed by a poor effort and then back to going well. It might sound stupid, but on his day he could win this with plenty in hand, but he could also come home last. Too many variables for me, so it's a no here.

Katheefa is probably going to come home last (if Tawny Port doesn't, of course) and has been poor in two runs since returning from a long break. 11th of 11 was followed by 11th of 12, both at Class 3 and beaten by a combined 20 lengths, it's hard to see how a step up to Class 2 would bring about a win, even if he is 7 from 36 over 6f on the A/W. The truth is that he's better suited to Fibresand.

Merhoob is another who looked half decent further up the page, but is struggling for form. Seven losses since winning in mid-January and he's still on too high a mark for me. He's 6 from 25 over this trip on the A/W and he's 2 from 9 here overall (2/7 over C&D). It wouldn't actually take too much improvement for him to get into the places, but others appeal more today.

Tropics is the old man of the race at 12 yrs old and has a great career record of 14 wins from 69 (20.3% SR), but the reality is that he's not the force he was. He has beaten in each of his lest eleven runs and is 2 from 26 over the last 29 months, but both wins did come here at Chelmsford where he is 5/12, but better known as a 5f sprinter. The sentimental side of me would love him to win here and then retire, but I can't see the former happening.

And finally we have the two who might be falsely placed on the Geegeez speed ratings, starting with likely favourite Aberama Gold. He's the form horse, the class horse and the horse to beat here in my opinion. He won a Class 2 handicap over 6f on soft ground at Doncaster in October and followed it up by finishing as runner-up just three quarters of a length behind the excellent Dakota Gold in a Listed contest 12 days ago (also 6f, soft, Doncaster). Untouchable on form by these rivals, the only doubt is the fact that he has only one A/W ruin to his name and nine on Polytrack.

Lastly we have French import, Lipsink. No UK form to analyse, but he was 2 from 3 over 6.5f on the A/W at Chantilly & Deauville and is an interesting addition to a yard best known for their sprinters.

Summary

Aberama Gold clearly sets the standard here, but I'm not keen on backing runners at 13/8 or so with no prior experience of conditions. I dare say he'll go on to win, but I can't put money on him at that kind of price. Of the remainder, I'm interested in Nigel Nott, Poets Dance and possibly Spirit of May. At current odds of 9/2, 13/2 ad 13/2, it's hardly conducive for E/W betting, so I'd have to leave that alone.

It's not going to be a big betting race for me, but if I was to have a couple of quid for interest, I might just side with Poets Dance at 13/2 and if you wanted a double digit E/W punt, you can get 16/1 about which version of Tawny Port shows up!

 

Racing Insights, 5th November 2020

Thursday's feature of the day is the Instant Expert tab on the racecards, often a very quick way of assessing a runner's suitability for the task ahead, whilst our free racecards cover the following half dozen contests...

  • 12.40 Sedgefield
  • 2.00 Newbury
  • 2.15 Sedgefield
  • 4.45 Chelmsford
  • 6.45 Chelmsford
  • 8.30 Kempton

...and I've decided to tackle the 6.45 Chelmsford : a 10-runner, Class 2, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 1m2f on polytrack with the winner receiving £11,972, so let's take a look at the racecard in descending Geegeez Speed Rating Order...

...where we see lots of positive green icons, a few red ones and some good speed ratings at the top of the list. Visinari is a lightly raced 3 yr old with no A/W experience, hence no rating.

At this first elimination stage, I'm going to discount just Data Protection so far. He has looked out of sorts lately (a mark of 89 is possibly beyond him) and jockey Nicola Currie is also struggling for form and hasn't performed particularly well here recently either.

The next step is the feature of the day, the Instant Expert tab, which looks like this for our nine runners...

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As with most things here at Geegeez, the above is pretty self explanatory and based on the naked data above, I'm now going to exclude Home Before Dusk (too much red), What's The Story (no green at all) and Morisco/Visinari for a lack of data to work with.

I should at this point make it clear that I'm aware that I might have eradicated the winner already. I'm merely whittling down to see who stands at the end and then I'll decide if I want to back them.

That leaves the IE tab looking like this...

Next up is pace/draw and we have runners drawn in stalls 2,4,6,9 and 10...

...and the draw data tells us that you don't want a high draw in this type of contest, which isn't great news for Assimilation or The Gill Brothers in stalls 9 and 10, but the picture may change when we overlay our horses' running styles onto that draw data in our unique pace/draw heatmap...

...which very quickly leads me to just two of interest here : Red October in stall 2 and Solid Stone in stall 6, so let's dig a little deeper to see if either, both or none are worth backing, starting with Red October, whose form this year of 1010 reeks of inconsistency, but the two defeats were in big-field (18/19 runners) turf handicaps and his overall A/W record is excellent at 211. he is 2 from 2 here at Chelmsford including a win over course and distance the last time he visited (just over 10 weeks ago).

He has finished 3101 at today's trip, he's 2 from 4 going left handed and 2 from 4 in cheekpieces and has won once from two under today's jockey. He does go well in these smaller fields, but has no Class 2 win to date, that said his only previous run in this grade was on turf back in July. An interesting (to me, anyway) stat about him is that since the start of 2016, his trainer, Hugo Palmer is 11 from 40 (27.5% SR & A/E of 1.22) in Class 2-5 handicaps over 7 to 14 furlongs here at Chelmsford with horses sent off in the evens to 9/1 price range. Those winners have generated 17.5pts profit at Industry SP at an ROI of 43.8%.

And now to Solid Stone : an in-form ( 7 top 3 finish in his last 8 starts) 4 yr old gelding who was a winner here over C&D two starts ago and only found one too good for him when dropped back to a mile in the Balmoral handicap at Ascot last time out. That run at Ascot was arguably better than the C&D win the time before and he seems to be still on the up.

He is 4 from 14 (28.6%) to date and that includes 4 wins and 2 places from the six occasions he has been sent off as favourite (as I suspect he might be today), he has 2 wins and a place from 5 over this 1m2f trip, 2 wins and a place from 3 in Class 2 races worth less than £20k and he's 2 from 3 on the All-Weather. His only previous visit to Chelmsford was that C&D success here two starts ago.

He is trained by the evergreen Sir Michael Stoute, who has a fantastic record here since 2015 with his handicappers sent off at 6/1 or shorter winning 24 of 69 (34.8% SR, A/E 1.12) for 11.65pts (+16.9% ROI) profit at ISP and they include (10/21 (47.6%) over this 1m2f C&D, 8/22 (36.4%) at Class 2 and 3/6 (50%) in Class 2 contests at C&D.

Summary

Quite simply, I like them both. I fancy Solid Stone to go on and win, whilst Red October is more than capable of at least making the frame. A quick glance at the market tells me that they're available at 9/4 and 9/1 respectively. Personally I would have liked a little more juice at 5/2 and 10/1, so I suppose it's a case of whether you're OK with taking a 10% cut in expected prices or not.

Racing Insights, 24th October 2020

Galvin was a worthy favourite at Cheltenham on Friday, with my two initial possibles finishing second and third. At an SP of 10/1, the runner-up would have been a great pick, but as you know, I ended up swerving the race. Nothing risked, nothing lost.

And now to my final piece of the week, where the feature of the day is the generally excellent Trainer / Jockey combo report, whilst our free races of the day are....

  • 2.47 Galway
  • 3.15 Cheltenham
  • 3.50 Cheltenham
  • 3.57 Galway
  • 5.07 Galway
  • 7.15 Chelmsford

...and I've decided to base today's piece on the Trainer / Jockey, Course 5 year stats from the following report...

Here, my win & place strike criteria are set at 25% & 50% respectively with A/E & IV at 1.25 and 1.50. I've chosen to look at the Quinn/Hart/Chelmsford combo, purely because they're the highest on the strike rate list with more than one runner for Saturday and I'll hope to assess each of their chances in turn, starting with Indian Pursuit in 5.15 Chelmsford, which I've sorted in Geegeez Speed Rating order...

...which tells us that our interest here sits at the top of those ratings and unsurprisingly, both trainer and jockey have the C1 and C5 icons by their names, instantly highlighting their course success.

Next up is Instant Expert...

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...which is actually largely inconclusive/uninspiring, but Indian Pursuit does at least have some amber in a sea of red.

Here at Chelmsford over 5f, pace positioning seems to have more bearing on the result than the draw, but you still wouldn't want to be left behind and a quick look at the Pace/Draw heatmap suggests...

...runners in stalls 2,3, 6, 7 & 10 seem most likely to race prominently with Rocketeer in #2 looking like trying to make all as he always does and invariably gets caught, hence a formline of 988626, which could leave the door open for Indian Pursuit, provided Rocketeer isn't allowed to get too far ahead, of course.

As for Indian Pursuit himself, he was a very creditable 5th here a fortnight over six furlongs on his first all-weather run for seventeen months and now with the benefit of having had that run he drops down to 5f off the same mark as LTO.

He's a former course winner, all eight career wins have been a 5-6f at Class 6, five of which have seen him ridden by Jason Hart. He has six wins in 8-11 runner contests, six wins going left handed and four in a visor which is reapplied here.

In what looks a pretty average race, Indian Pursuit's consistency might well be enough here.

But what of stablemate Mr Wagyu's chances an hour later in the 6.15 Chelmsford? Well to start, it's back to the racecard in speed rating order, the Instant Expert and the pace/draw details, as follows...

...ninth of fourteen doesn't initially fill me with confidence, but one set of data should never make or break a bet for you, so let's move on to IE, shall we?

Once again, Mr Wagyu doesn't really scream "back me!" here, does he and there are at least four on that report who would look  better option, so what about the pace/draw, where over the 6f trip here at Chelmsford, you don't want to be drawn centrally...

Sadly, our boy is drawn right in the middle and if he goes off quickly with Rock Sound and My Kinda Day doing the same either side of him, there's a worry those two will overhaul him late on.

As for past performances, he has no previous run on Polytrack, so that's a concern although Messrs Quinn & Hart did team with a winning Polytrack debutant here a fortnight ago. He has, however, won eight times on the Flat, all over this 6f trip including 6 in a visor, 4 under Jason Hart, 4 at Class 4 or better, 4 off marks in the 70's and twice this year.

All of the above show he has ability and the potential to go on and upset the odds to win here, but I do have that nagging doubt about him needing a run on a non-Tapeta A/W surface (he's also 0 from 2 on the Tapeta, having finished 11th of 11th and 4th of 13).

Summary

Messrs Quinn and Hart team up with two runners here, one with clearly better chances than the other. I do like Indian Pursuit's chances here and I'd be happy to back him at 3/1, which is probably just about the right price, I'd not want to be taking much less that that.

Mr Wagyu on the other hand is a strange one, the racecard and associated data suggest he's a bit of a no hoper, but with the obvious caveat of being inexperienced on the A/W, his career stats suggest he could do better than expected. He's currently priced at 12/1 and if you could get that kind of price or bigger from a bookie paying four places, then you might just have a squeak with a small E/W punt, if he takes to the surface, especially as many of his rivals are equally out of form.

Racing Insights, 15th October 2020

Thursday's "free to all users" racecards are as follows...

  • 2.05 Curragh
  • 3.36 Carlisle
  • 5.35 Wincanton
  • 6.15 Southwell
  • 6.30 Chelmsford
  • 7.30 Chelmsford

...whilst free feature of the day is Instant Expert.

I'm going to focus on the latest of the free races for today's piece...

This is now a 9-runner contest where eight of them have won over today's 1m trip, six of them have won here at Chelmsford, four of them have won over course and distance, two of them are stepped up two classes and two others are moved up one grade.

Johan and Lord Neidin are the form horses with the former hailing from an in-form (30) yard. All of Pactolus, Home Before Dusk, Johan and Pinnata's yards have a good five-year record at this venue (C5), whilst of the jockeys, those on Assimilation and Lord Neidin look in best form (30 & 14 respectively) with both jockeys riding this track well (C1 & C5), as do the pilots of  Pactolus, Gallipoli and Auchterader, who heads the Speed ratings.

As today's free feature is Instant Expert, it would be rude not to have a look at it immediately after considering the Shortlist report which is often seen as "IE Light".

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Again Lord Neidin & Johan feature prominently, but the stand out here is Assimilation with a whole bank of green. Other highlights from the above table include War Glory's record at this track at 4 wins from 10, plus another 4 placed efforts for a place strike rate of 80%, whilst Pinnata has made the frame in 13 of 19 starts at this trip, winning six times.

Next up, we need to consider the draw, as in 9-runners contests here at Chelmsford, you ideally want to be drawn in the lowest third of the field, as this provides 43.6% of all the winners (24 of 55), so that's a tick in the box for Pactolus, Assimilation and Lord Neidin.

And then we need to see how running style is reflected in this type of race via the pace heatmap...

...which is actually more informative when you overlay it with the horse silks and the draw as follows...

...where Auchterarder looks easily best placed, despite coming from a wider draw than you'd initially think was ideal. Basically, you want to be drawn low and ridden just off the pace or held up completely, but from a middle draw, you've a good chance if you for it from the off. There's a distinct possibility that those drawn in 1,2 and 3 will shift towards prominent racing if Auchterarder looks like nicking a soft lead and if any of the three do follow him, it should enhance their chances.

And that's pretty much how I'd normally mentally whizz through a race to see if one or two names keep cropping up. The process is done far quicker than it has taken me to put it together visually and it's done far quicker than the time taken to read it, but it is a really quick and often very effective way of scanning for possible bets.

If you do this and nothing stands out, leave it and move on. If something does stand out, jot the name down on a daily shortlist of possibles and then move on.

Summary

Racecard positives : Assimilation, Aucterarder, Johan, Lord Neidin

Speed Rating Positives : Auchterarder, Home Before Dusk, Lord Neidin

Shortlist/Instant Expert positives : Assimilation, Johan, Lord Neidin

Draw Positives : Assimilation, Lord Neidin, Pactolus

Pace/Draw Positives : Assimilation, Aucterarder, Lord Neidin, Pactolus

Lord Neidin ticks all five boxes above with Asssimilation only falling down is the speed ratings, whilst Auchterarder would make up my potential three to consider.

It's then only at this point do I even take a first look at the market, as it's too easy to let the odds make your decisions for you. And I expected Lord Neidin to be the favourite, but not at 6/4. I expect he'll go on to win, but there's no value in him at 6/4 for my own risk/reward criteria, so I'd not be getting my money out there.

If I was pushed to place a bet, then Assimilation would be a relatively attractive E/W or place only proposition. If you agree with the way I process the card and you also think Lord Neidin wins, then the bet on Assimilation should be a place only, as not to waste the win side of the stake.

 

Racing Insights, 8th October 2020

We looked at two runners at Sedgefield on Wednesday and we'd hoped Snookered would go well if his jumping was decent. Sadly we never really found out how good/bad he was as he was never in the race. The leader and subsequent winner was allowed to dictate and got home comfortably/unchallenged. As for Snookered's jumping, it was largely decent, but a couple of mistakes late on put paid to any hope of getting near the winner.

I wasn't too bullish about Crackdeloust later on the card and he finished 6th of 11 starters (8 finished) at 12/1.

Next up is...

Thursday 8th October

Feature of the Day is the Instant Expert option for all races, which is free on Thursdays to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

And the free races of the day are as follows...

4.40 Southwell
4.45 Thurles
5.00 Exeter
6.15 Southwell
7.00 Chelmsford
8.30 Chelmsford

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And I think we'll take a look at the 7.00 Chelmsford : a 12-runner, Class 3, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on the Polytrack, worth £7,439 to the winner which looks very competitive, but let's see if we can find a way in, starting with the racecard...

...which tells us Grandfather Tom's yard is in good nick and he's top of our ratings, whilst Daschas, Jack The Truth and Top Breeze hail from yards with good records at this venue. Jockey-wise, Firepower and Amomentofmadness are ridden by in-form jocks with good course records and the riders on Benny And The Jets and Daschas have also fared well here.

Amomentofmadness and Firepower are the only class droppers here today, whilst seven of their rivals (Nos 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 & 12) are all stepping up a grade or even two in Moonraker's case.

Feature of the Day is the Instant Expert option, so I've taken a snippet of the Best of Instant Expert report, showing some of the runners from this race...

and here's how it translates to the Instant Expert tab on the card...

...where Lancelot du Lac is a standout. Overall we have six with 30%+ strike rates on the A/W, although ideally you want more than 1 win as proof, whilst Jack the Truth clearly likes coming here and with 3 wins and a place from 7 visits here, he shares an identical course record with Lancelot du Lac with both of them featuring on the Horses for Courses report.

Now I just want to set the data aside for a moment and share where my mind was at before I started cutting bits from the site. An initial glance at the racecard allied with what I've already seen or knew about these runners, I had four in mind (alphabetically Grandfather Tom, Jack The Truth, Lancelot du Lac & Top Breeze). Nothing I've quoted above has put me off any of them and I still think the winner will come from that quartet, so let's have a look at each...

Grandfather Tom won at Yarmouth over this trip last time out, but this is tougher at 5lbs and one class higher. He has won seven times at this trip and 3 times on the A/W, but has no A/W win in over two and a half years and has never scored beyond Class 4. A positive note is that jockey Hollie Doyle rides for the first time and she's 4 from 10 on Robert Cowell's runners over the last year and as a confirmed front runner heading our ratings has to be in the mix from the inside draw.

Jack The Truth comes here seeking a hat-trick of course and distance wins, but has to carry a 5lb penalty for those two wins, the latest of which was a week ago where he looked like 5lbs might not anchor him. His record on the A/W and at sprint trips is very good but he does tend to fare better with a longer rest than that and this might just come too quickly for him after his best ever effort.

Lancelot Du Lac is clearly not the horse he used to be when competing in Group 1 contests and it's some 17 races and almost two and a half years since he last won, but this very likeable 10 yr old ran well a fortnight ago at Kempton considering he'd been off the track for eight months. He has two wins and a runner-up finish from three efforts over this track and trip, he's drawn right next to Grandfather Tom and if encouraged to get on with it could easily make the frame off his lowest mark (OR) in over seven years.

Top Breeze has been a bit up and down since winning a Class 2 handicap over this trip at Lingfield just before lockdown and struggled for consistency finishing 67492. That said, he's an A/W runner in my eyes and four of those five defeats were on turf. He did, however, go well on the concrete at Bath last time out finishing second, 0.75 lengths behind a horse winning back to back contests. Jockey Tyler Heard takes 7lbs off today, effectively putting this one on his lowest ever mark.

Summary

I think the winner of this this competitive handicap comes from Grandfather Tom, Jack The Truth, Lancelot du Lac & Top Breeze and I can find pros and cons about all four without selecting or disregarding any in particular. It's at this point that I take a look at the market and it seems that others agree with me, as I've named four of the top five in the market. The only minor surprise is how relatively short the old boy Lancelot du Lac is.

A watching brief for me, but hopefully there's something of value above.

 

Racing Insights, 1st October 2020

Yesterday's piece focused around trainer Saeed bin Suroor's record at Nottingham which showed a five year place strike rate of almost 60% with half of his runners going on to win and we didn't have to wait long for the advice to bear fruit as Late Morning made the frame (only beaten by a length) at 10/1 in the 1.45 race.

Global Hero was fifth (a place ahead of the SotD pick) and just a length out of the money in the warm Class 3 handicap, whilst in the last, Arabian Warrior was very popular with the punters, being backed down into 7/4 favouritism, before drifting out to an SP of 5/2. He was quite well beaten in the end, so the money was spot on, sadly.

And that's the story from Wednesday, now we move onto...

Thursday 1st October

Feature of the Day is Instant Expert for all races, which is free to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

Thursday's free Races of the Day are

Your first 30 days for just £1

12:50:00 Salisbury
13:00:00 Clonmel
14:55:00 Warwick
17:10:00 Fairyhouse
18:30:00 Chelmsford

Of the five free races, only the latter holds any appeal from an Instant Expert point of view and what I want to look for is runners with plenty of green. So I start with the place tab and I'm looking for at least two greens from my four preferred place criteria, namely Going / Class / Course / Distance...

This helps me reduce a 12-runner contest down to 8 and then if we click the win tab, we then drop to five runners to examine more closely...

I've sorted them into draw order, as my next port of call would be the pace/draw tab, with both being very important in a 5f dash on the Chelmsford track, so we go to the Pace/Draw heat map, which looks a little (well, a lot actually) like this...

The sharper eyed amongst you will notice that I'm not even looking at prices, as I find the odds can be an unreliable influence in the decision making process. How many times have we swerved a horse, because the market didn't fancy it or how often have we been sucked into a short priced runner because "surely everyone can't be wrong" ?

So, without looking at odds, but using a logical process of elimination, I want to look at two horses now : He's A Laddie and Drakefell.

He's A Laddie hasn't been seen for almost 11 months, but this 3 yr old gelding does have 2 wins and a place from 4 A/W runs and was only beaten by half a length as a runner-up at class, track and trip under today's jockey on handicap debut whilst without going all SotD on you, trainer Archie Watson has excellent numbers with horses coming off a break, has good numbers with Hollie Doyle in the saddle and has more than his fair share of winners over the minimum trip.

As for Drakefell, he was a runner-up here over course and distance in a higher grade when last seen three weeks ago behind a wily old campaigner (Watchable) dropping down in both class and weight, so he's in good nick and is familiar with the task ahead of him. If allowed an easy early lead he could be difficult to dislodge.

Summary

Do I think either of my two featured runners will win?

Probably not, but you could make a case of backing either or both of them on an each way basis. I'd want high single-digit odds about Drakefell and double-digits for He's A Laddie, as I'm concerned that the two may take each other on up front and both get beaten by a finisher, whilst the latter's layoff is still a factor, despite his handler's obvious ability at getting one ready for a run.

It's also not one for those of a nervous disposition and you'd need to be quick, but there is always the potential of a back to lay here too. Not my chosen cup of tea, but it doesn't suit us all liking the same thing, does it?

 

Stat of the Day, 17th June 2020

Tuesday's pick was...

4.00 Chelmsford : Seneca Chief @ 11/4 BOG (2.34/1 after 15p Rule 4) WON at 6/4 (Tracked leader, pushed into lead over 1f out, pulled clear final furlong to win by three and a half lengths)

Wednesday's pick runs in the...

6.50 Chelmsford :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, 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?

Huraiz @ 4/1 BOG

Your first 30 days for just £1

...in a 6-runner, Class 3, A/W handicap for 3yo over 7f on Polytrack worth £6,728 to the winner...

Why?...

Well, as usual, the racecard should be your starting point...

...and we can instantly see a 3yr old horse dropping in class for his second run in a handicap and trained by someone with a good record at this venue. He's priced at odds we can get some reasonable value from, is the top rated (OR) runner in the race and also is top of our SR ratings.

Starting with that green C5 icon denoting that Mark Johnston has a good record here at Chelmsford. This is, of course, true, but for terms of relevance today, this is what's interesting about this runner...

An excellent recent course and distance record with horses deemed to have at least a chance by the market, and of those 50 runners...

  • 12/29 (41.4%) for 5.77pts (+19.9%) in races worth £4k to £8k
  • 10/22 (45.5%) for 24.13pts (+109.7%) in fields of 5-8 runners
  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 5.96pts (+31.4%) were unplaced last time out
  • and 4/10 (40%) with Franny Norton in the saddle...

...whilst in 5-8 runner contests worth less than £8k, they are 7 from 14 (50% SR) for 7.69pts (+54.9% ROI).

And now onto that HC2  icon denoting a second run in a handicap and in particular this Mark Johnston angle...


...and those 51 runners include the following ten profitable angles...

  • 11/35 (31.4%) for 19.78pts (+56.5%) from male runners
  • 9/29 (31%) for 12.69pts (+43.8%) over 6 to 8 furlongs
  • 8/30 (26.7%) for 14.07pts (+46.9%) were unplaced last time out
  • 8/22 (36.4%) for 10.86pts (+49.4%) on Polytrack
  • 7/17 (41.2%) for 17.01pts (+100.1%) in races worth £4k to £8k
  • 7/15 (46.7%) for 34.3pts (+228.7%) in fields of 5-6 runners
  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 19.9pts (+104.7%) after a break of just 11-20 days
  • 5/25 (20%) for 13.3pts (+53.2%) in 3 yo races
  • 4/14 (28.6%) for 15.17pts (+108.3%) for jockey Franny Norton
  • and 3/6 (50%) for 6.27pts (+104.5%) here at Chelmsford

...steering us towards...a 1pt win bet on Huraiz @ 4/1 BOG as was offered by Bet365, Coral & Ladbrokes amongst others at 8.15am Wednesday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 6.50 Chelmsford

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, 16th June 2020

Monday's pick was...

3.25 Pontefract : My Girl Maggie @ 11/4 BOG 2nd at 5/4 (Chased leader, led 2f out, ridden inside final furlong, headed close home and beaten by a neck)

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

4.00 Chelmsford :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, 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?

Seneca Chief @ 11/4 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 6, A/W handicap for 4yo+ over 5f on Polytrack worth £2,782 to the winner...

Your first 30 days for just £1

Why?...

With two wins (inc a C&D here) and a runner-up finish from his last four starts on the all-weather, this 6yr old gelding clearly brings the best form to the table today, compared to his rivals. He won well at Wolverhampton at this class/trip four days ago despite coming off a four-month break and should hopefully improve for having had the run.

Much of the above is quite clear on the racecard entry...

...and a quick look at his record on the all-weather tells us that he is...

  • 2 from 6 over 5f
  • 2 from 5 at Class 6
  • 2 from 4 in handicaps
  • 2 from 4 in a hood
  • 2 from 4 in May/June
  • 2 from 3 in 9-runner contests
  • 1 from 2 here at Chelmsford
  • and 1 from 2 over course and distance

You'll also notice a blue number 1 on that racecard snippet, denoting that this horse is flagged up on my query tool reports and clicking that "1" shows...

...which tells me that this horse is trained by one of the trainers I look out for in 5f sprints on the A/W. And indeed, that's the case today, as trainer Daniel Kubler's record increases dramatically in such races, transforming an overall record of...

...to the following in 5f A/W contests...

These 40 runners include the following of note/relevance today...

  • 11/32 (34.4%) for 72.04pts (+225.1%) in handicaps
  • 8/21 (38.1%) for 65.37pts (+311.3%) from male runners
  • 7/22 (31.8%) for 38.36pts (+174.4%) since the start of 2018
  • 7/21 (33.3%) for 49pts (+233.4%) in races worth less than £4k
  • 7/20 (35%) for 60.44pts (+302.2%) in fields of 9/10 runners
  • 7/14 (50%) for 30.37pts (+216.9%) within 15 days of their last run
  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 24.97pts (+131.4%) on Polytrack
  • 5/13 (38.5%) for 48.93pts (+376.4%) at Class 6
  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 12.79pts (+142.1%) from those placed 1st or 2nd LTO
  • and 3 from 5 (60%) for 45.79pts (+915.8%) in May/June

And with the above suggesting that he does well in handicaps, does well with quick returning horses and does well with those who had a good race last time out, you'll probably not be too surprised to see...


With that excellent 12/20 record including of interest today...

  • 10/15 (66.6%) for 29.05pts (+193.7%) in races worth less than £4k
  • 8/14 (57.1%) for 23.91pts (+170.8%) on the A/W
  • 8/13 (61.5%) for 28.61pts (+220.1%) since the start of 2016
  • 7/11 (63.6%) for 20.24pts (+184%) at Class 6
  • 4/10 (40%) for 3.89pts (+38.9%) from LTO winners
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 21.29pts (+354.9%) on Polytrack
  • 4/4 (100%) for 18.8pts (+470%) within 5 days of their last run
  • and 3 from 4 (75%) for 11.47pts (+286.8%) over 5 furlongs...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Seneca Chief @ 11/4 BOG as was widely available at 8.05am Tuesday (3/1 available at 9.00am if you're not already on), but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 4.00 Chelmsford

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 June 2020

Saturday's pick was...

4.30 Newcastle : Astrozone @ 9/1 BOG WON at 9/2 (Made all, ridden and hung left entering final furlong, stayed on to win by a length and a quarter)

Monday's pick runs in the...

1.00 Chelmsford :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, 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?

Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG

Your first 30 days for just £1

...in an 11-runner, Class 6, A/W handicap for 4yo+ over 6f on polytrack worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

Last week, Matt did a series of videos around the racecards and the report suite and today, I'm going to use that data to suggest a runner that should give us a run for our money, so let's just open the whole card first...

As you can see, that aside from jockey PJ McDonald's C5 icon, the only positive form for trainers and jockey comes for our runner.

The blue zeroes say that none of the field appear in any of my saved query tool angles, but two horses (ours and A Place to Dream) have a Red Report Angles number and with our pick featuring 7 times on my report angles, that's my way in for today, as opening that box up shows the following...

So, we see that the horse is 3 from 7 at this track : she's actually 2 from 4 over course and distance. We'll ignore trainer 30-day form, as we've only a week of results to rely upon, but it's clear that Richard Hughes had a decent week last week and he does well with horses coming back from a break.

Jockey Finley Marsh rides the course well and has a good record here when riding for Mr Hughes. Other than the horses for courses angles which doesn't carry the relevant figures, the A/E is over 1.4 for all my angles and the IV is 2.1 and above, these are excellent stats.

As for the race itself, this type of contest lends itself to horses drawn low that "like to get out" and the two horses that look most likely to lead are ours in stall 1 and a runner in stall 4. This is best illustrated by the Geegeez pace/draw heat map for the contest as follows...

So, all of the above considered, I think we're in a pretty strong position today. What I haven't touched upon is that although our mare was only fourth last time out, that was a Class 4 contest and she drops two classes to run here today She was bumped at the start of the contest and lost ground and as it was her fifth effort in less than seven weeks, it might also have been one race too many at the time and this graphic might also be of interest here...

More pictures than words today, but still plenty of numbers to consider...

...as I recommend...a 1pt win bet on Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG as was offered by BetVictor and Hills at 8.05am Monday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 1.00 Chelmsford

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!