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Racing Insights, 26th November 2021

My Friday's Horses for Courses (H4C) report looks like this...

...and I'm showing you that because this report is free to all readers every Friday, along with these free races...

  • 11.50 Lingfield
  • 12.40 Newbury
  • 5.15 Chelmsford
  • 6.30 Dundalk

And I suppose I really should look at the three H4C runners...

Kentucky Kingdom's record here is all over course and distance with finishes of 2145113 which includes form of...

  • 2136 under today's jockey
  • 4513 at Class 5
  • Highest winning mark of 67, 3rd of 13 (4 lengths) on his last visit off 71 and runs off 70 here

Bayston Hill's 12 Chelmsford runs have also all been over course and distance (inc this race last year) finishing 312311112828, including...

  • 3123122 at Class 5
  • 3111228 under today's jockey
  • Highest win mark 67, 8th of 11 (7.5 lengths) off 71 last visit, now runs off 70

Central City has just seven previous visits finishing 4214613, including...

  • 14613 over course and distance
  • 461 at Class 5 (has won here at Class 4)
  • Highest win here off 74 (twice), 3rd of 9 (1 length) off 77 on last visit and now off 69 with a 7lb claimer who hasn't ridden him here before.

All of the above results are contained in their overall A/W handicap form, which is documented in Instant Expert...

...where Central City looks weakest on standard going, but strongest on Class 5 form (and has a Class 4 success here). Kentucky Kingdom has a poor Class 5 record on the A/W and is closely matched with Bayston Hill on going, track and distance. In fact there's very little between the three of them on distance. Central City is now 5lb lower than his last win and has a 7lb claimer on board, but the other pair are 3lbs above their last win.

They're all drawn in the upper 36% of the draw with Kentucky/Central side by side in 9/10 and Bayston runs second widest of the field out in box 13. The draw stats don't actually show a massive bias here, which isn't a great surprise as 1m2f is a decent enough trip for a horse to overcome whatever draw he/she gets...

I suppose, ideally, you wouldn't want that high sector draw based on the above, but an IV of 0.84 isn't disastrous although it's worse news for Bayston Hill than the other two. He might need to ensure his rce tactics are spot on to get involved and we're advised that...

...hold=up horses struggle, but other than that it's actually better to sit back off the pace, so let's check how our trio have been running of late...

...which says Kentucky Kingdom might struggle from the back of the field and that Central City is probably best positioned of the other two.

Summary

Nice and quick today and based purely on what's above, I'd want these three in the following order...

Central City / Kentucky Kingdom / Bayston Hill

I actually think that all three could get placed with most bookies paying four places and at odds of 16/1, 8/1 and 14/1 (Hills at 4.20pm), I'd not deter you from having a punt on any of them, but I certainly prefer the first two. Central City looks really well weighted here and if his 7lb claimer gets to grips with the task ahead, that 16/1 pricetag might look very generous indeed.

As for one of them winning the race, why not? They've every chance, they know what's ahead of them and I'm sure they'll all go well. Dangers are expected to be the 3/1 fav Vocatus and/or the 8/1 Maysong.

Good Luck!

Racing Insights, 25th November 2021

Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab on the racecards. This is by far the most popular geegeez racecard tab, because it is able to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size.

It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And we make this open to all readers for all races every Thursday, including our free ones, which will be...

  • 1.35 Thurles
  • 3.35 Wolverhampton
  • 6.20 Chelmsford
  • 7.50 Chelmsford

The third of those races looks the best quality (on paper, at least), so I'm going have a crack at the 6.20 Chelmsford. Only 6 run, but it's a Class 2, 3yo+ handicap worth almost £10k. The trip is a left handed seven furlongs on standard going polytrack and here are your runners and riders etc...

...where on recent finishing positions alone, Trumble looks to be the form horse, but he is stepping up two classes, as is Papa Stour. Mehmento, on the other hand, has had three Group 3 runs this season and now drops down for his handicap debut, whereas Mum's Tipple made his handicap bow LTO and will seek to improve upon being second last of sixteen. Corvair has a fairly consistent string of recent form (albeit all losses) behind him and now makes a yard debut for the out of form Robert Cowell after leaving Team Crisford. All bar Alexander James have at least one win at this trip, whilst Trumble has won here over 7f. Papa Stour has wins at both track and trip but not at the same time.

Feature of the day, Instant Expert, will give us a unique snapshot of how this bunch have performed previously under similar A/W conditions...

..and in handicaps...

Trumble, the form horse, probably looks the pick of them based on A/W form, but he's now two classes and 7lbs higher than his three length success over course and distance earlier this month. Corvair is only two pounds higher than his last win, but he has lost eleven races since then and that was back in early March 2020! Mehmento looks interesting despite having no A/W handicap form, whilst Papa Stour's 0 from 8 at this grade is a worry, even if he is 3lbs lower than his last win.

We've got a left handed 7f here and as is often the case on such tracks, stall 1 does pretty well in small field contests, but the place to be is probably in the 3 to 5 region, giving yourself a better racing angle towards the bend and this is borne out by the stats below...

...which could be good news for the likes of Corvair, Mehmento and Mum's Tipple, but in a small field like this, it's quite possible that race tactics aka pace will play a more important role in how this race unfolds. Chelmsford is known for favouring front runners and this article explains in far more/better detail than I ever could, but in graphical/numerical terms...

...leaders make the frame in almost half of their runs and the further back you run, the further back you tend to finish! And with that in mind, it's not a massive leap to come to the conclusion that a 3 to 6 draw for a front-runner might be very profitable, as shown below...

We know the draw already, of course, but what about running styles? Well, here's the geegeez advantage, because we log them for every runner from every race and here are the pace scores (4=led, 3=prominent, 2=mid-div, 1=held-up) for our six runners...

...where we've one confirmed front runner (Mehmento) and one (Trumble) that won't be too far off the pace. Not such good news for Mum's Tipple and/or Alexander James, though.

At this point, you've probably already jumped ahead of me and you're checking where Mehmento is drawn and possibly rubbing your hands at the fact he's got a plum draw in box 4, so what we'll do now is to put the runners in draw order and drop them onto that pace/draw heat map, as follows...

...which gives us Mehmento, the well drawn front-runner and Trumble, the form horse as the two we should probably focus on.

Summary

In an ideal world, we'll get a 1-2 with these two pace-setters, but who wins? Well, from a value perspective, you'd want the 13/2 Mehmento to prevail over the 11/8 favourite trumble (prices from hills, the only open book at 3.50pm), but can/will he?

Well he only made his debut 10 months go and has won three of six starts, including two from two on the A/W. They were both Class 5 non-handicap affairs at Southwell in Jan/Feb, before four runs on the turf at Class 1, which saw him finish as a runner-up, beaten by a neck in a group 3 at Newbury prior to landing a Listed race at Epsom in mid-June, but was well beaten in two more Gr 3 contests since. He's had a bit of a rest, a wind op and drops down in class here for his handicap debut.

He's got a mark of 104 here, but did run to a level of 108 earlier in the year, so if the rest/operation has the desired effect, that price of 13/2 might look massive tomorrow.

As for the fav, Trumble, he's two from five this year after an indifferent start to the year where he was last of nine, sixth of seven and fifth of six prior to a 106 day break from which he returned to win here over 6f off a reduced mark of 78 and he followed that up next/last time out with a 3 length C&D success here 19 days ago off a mark of 85. The runner-up that day has raced again off the same mark and could only manage to finish 6th of 9, so it might not have been a great race that Trumble won and another 7lb rise to a mark of 92 certainly leaves very little room for error.

There's probably not going to be much between them, but I'd rather be on at 13/2 than 11/8, I'd rather be on a leader than a chaser here at Chelmsford, I prefer the #4 draw to the #6 and I prefer a horse who has achieved a higher past performance than one needing 7lbs better than his previous best, so I'm siding with Mehmento at 13/2 ahead of the 11/8 fav Trumble.

Racing Insights, 22nd November 2021

The pace tab on the racecard is a really useful tool that will help us get a good idea of how the tactics race might unfold. We feel that pace is so important and under-used that we make this feature totally FREE to ALL readers for ALL races every Sunday & Monday including, of course, our daily free races which are scheduled to be...

  • 2.00 Ludlow
  • 2.45 Ayr
  • 3.05 Ludlow
  • 5.30 Chelmsford

And it probably makes sense to look at the last on that list, as Chelmsford is renowned for having a pace bias and it's actually the highest rated of the four free races. Sadly, it only has fine runners and as I'm late posting this evening (family function), I'm aware that the bookies think it'll be a two-horse race, but that doesn't mean it's a futile exercise assessing the 5.30 Chelmsford, a 5-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ A/W handicap over 6f on Standard Polytrack...

So, the bookies see Regional and Above as the two most likely to fill the frame here. My own initial thoughts would also agree, but I also had Corinthia Knight very closely matched with Above. The Geegeez SR figures would appear to favour Shallow Hal and above, but the caveat there is that Regional has no rating, having never tackled the A/W.

This also means that Regional will have very little relevant form on display on Instant Expert...

...that said, you can still see that he has a previous Class 2 win, a 6f win and has an opening A/W mark of 98 (he was 3rd off this mark on the Flat LTO). Of his four rivals, all have a tleast one block of red and with The Last Lion having two reds, he's probably worst off here, whilst Above is the only previous course winner whereas Corinthia Knight's 0 from 6 at Chelmsford is a worry. From a weight perspective, both Above and Shallow Hal are considerably higher than their last A/W wins, but Corinthia Knight could be weighted to win.

The draw here over a left handed six furlong definitely favours those drawn lowest...

...and aside from stalls 2 and 3 being slightly flip-flopped, the inference is that your chances of winning/making the frame diminish with every position away from the rails you are drawn. Above has the plum draw in stall 1 and Shallow Hal will have most to do from box 5, but his race tactics might help him get involved...

The stats from Shallow Hal's last four runs suggest he's a mid division type runner, but it's highly likely based on pace averages that he'll only have Regional behind him in the early stages. To be honest with you, that pace profile won't exactly put either of those two at a disadvantage and mid-div/hold-up runners have done OK (if not spectacularly well) here...

Ideally you want to lead from a low draw or sit further back off the pace, as chasing the leader looks to be a difficult task. Essentially you can waste too much energy chasing, not leaving enough in the tank for a finish. Corinthia Knight looks like the pacesetter here and he's drawn well in stall 2. The Last Lion probably ends up the disadvantaged chaser, but stall 3 isn't horrific. Above has that plum 1 draw, but with two high pace scores and two low ones, much will depend on his approach. If he's slow away, then his stall advantage will dissipate. Finally, we have the favourite Regional, who isn't ideally suited by pace nor draw, but would hope to still be involved by sheer ability.

Summary

No horse ticks all the boxes here, but based on the above The Last Lion and Shallow Hal look the weakest of our five runners, so I'm going to strip it down to three...

  • Above is a former course and distance winner (Class 4, June 2019 on debut), but after finishing 1211 in his first four starts taking his mark to 100, is now 0 from 10 since October 2019. He had some good runs in the summer of 2020 off marks of 98 and 100 (twice) and looked like coming back to form when just 1.75 lengths adrift at Kempton at this class/trip 24 days ago. Eased another pound could go well.
  • Corinthia Knight is far more experienced than each of his rivals (51 races to his rivals' combined 58) and has a healthy 8 wins and 6 places from 34 on the A/W. he won back to back 6f contests at Pontefract in the summer, but looked like he needed the run when 6th of 8 at Kempton 24 days ago. he was coming back from a 96-day break, set the pace and was caught and eventually beaten by just 2.5 lengths. He should come back on for that run and is now a pound lower.
  • Regional is a lightly raced 3yr old who has won two of five starts so far, including a Class 2 handicap off a mark of 94 two starts ago and has already been considered good enough to tackle two Listed contests. On paper, he's the best horse in the race, but makes an A/W debut off a mark of 98, the same mark he was beaten off last time out.

Regional is, for me, the best horse in the race and had this been on turf, I'd have been all over him. I don't dispute that he'll be well prepared for his A/W debut, but a mark of 98 leaves no room for error and at odds of 11/8, I don't think I want to get involved. Basically, I think that if he "gets" the surface, he wins, but that's not 11/8 for me, especially with the pace and draw being against him.

Above is next on my/the bookies lists and he's been a long time between drinks. He's well drawn, but is inconsistent on pace. If he makes full use of stall 1 and breaks quickly, he'd have every chance, but losing has become a bad habit for him and odds of 15/8 about a horse on a 0 from 10 run aren't particularly attractive, so I can't back him either.

Corinthia Knight is probably just third best of the five runners, but is the one who interests me most. He's available at odds of 15/2 and that's borderline E/W territory for me normally. With only five runners, I'm happy to lower my sights and I think a small E/W play or place only bet is my way forward from this race. He's got a decent draw, will set the pace and is well weighted. There's every chance he'll grab a soft lead and hold on.

Of course, it might just be a Regional/Above 1-2 as the market suggests, but I think CK will give me a good run for my money.

 

 

 

Racing Insights, 11th November 2021

The Instant Expert tab is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards, because it is able to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible view, covering the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage.

PLEASE NOTE: Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures and where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...

  • 12.37 Sedgefield
  • 1.30 Taunton
  • 2.10 Market Rasen
  • 6.30 Chelmsford

And we're off to Essex, where some big name trainers are represented in the 6.30 Chelmsford, a 6-runner, Class 2, 3yo A/W (polytrack-std) handicap over 1m6f worth over £20,600...

Marshall Plan is the only one without a win in his last five outings and of the other five runners, only Roseabad isn't an LTO winner. That said, the latter is the only runner dropping down from Class 1 action to run here, whilst the former did at least race in Class 3 company just over a fortnight ago, whilst the four LTO winners all ran at Class 4 and now step up two levels.

Napper Tandy's LTO win was his handicap debut back in early April and hasn't been since, Ace Rothstein has had eight weeks off since his win, but the rest of the field have raced in the last three weeks or so. Roseabad is the only female in the race and along with Liverpool Knight, they're the only two to have won over 1m6f, whilst none of the field have been to Chelmsford before.

Roseabad is a useful filly, who is probably better than her last run would suggest, as she came home 5th of 12 beaten by 9.5 lengths over 1m5f at Lingfield a fortnight ago. In her defence, that was not only a Listed race, but also her A/W debut and she can be expected to improve for both that experience and the drop in class here. She's only 4lbs higher than her latest win at Carlisle in August and could go well here at a decent price.

Marshall Plan has finished 31234 in five A/W starts to date and although fourth of six at Kempton (1m4f) a fortnight ago, he was beaten by less then two lengths having been outpaced in the closing stages, suggesting a further trip might benefit him. Team Gosden have reached for first-time cheekpieces here and if they do the trick, he could well be there or thereabouts, as he usually is. A 1lb drop in weight doesn't help much, but it certainly doesn't hinder his chances.

Ace Rothstein is two from three this year, but that includes two from two on turf. His A/W form reads 435 and I suspect he might find this tough up 6lbs, up two classes and up half a mile, but if he overcomes those factors, he'll deserve to win for a yard who have done well here of late and who have a good relationship with today's jockey...

Napper Tandy produced his best run to date when landing a 4-runner handicap at Newcastle over 1m4½f last time out on handicap debut, keeping on well to win by the thick end of two lengths. Hasn't been seen since in over 7 months but the Balding yard are no mugs and he could go well again here off just 4lbs higher under an in-form jockey...

Liverpool Knight also produced his best effort so far when winning LTO, although his Class 4 success was just ten days ago at Wolverhampton when sent off as the 15/8 fav over today's trip in a 10-runner contest. he was very comfortable that day, but is now penalised to the tune of 6lbs. That said, it might take more than 6lbs to stop him if he runs the same way here.

Bascule is two from two on the A/W since finishing second of four (1.5 lengths) over 1m2f on good ground at Windsor at the start of August. He comes here just over three weeks after back to back wins over 1m4f in the space of 19 days in September/October and although up another 6lbs for that last run, still receives weight all round and has to be in with a shout again if handling another step up in trip. His yard haven't had the best of it recently (just 2 from 41 in the last six weeks), but his stablemates have won often enough here at Chelmsford, the jockey has a good record for the yard, who do well with stayers and his sire's offspring are 13 from 51 on the A/W this year...

This sextet are not massively experienced with just 48 combined races under their belts, but with 21 placed efforts (43.75% SR) including 11 wins (22.9%), they've equipped themselves well so far. All six have at least one win and all have made the frame at least twice and overall here's how they've done under today's conditions...

As expected, there's not a lost to work from there from either a win or a place perspective from past A/W runs. None have raced at Class 2 before, but Roseabad ran a Listed race LTO and that was over 1m5f, which is further than any of the others have travelled on the A/W aside from Liverpool Knight's win at this trip. Liverpool Knight is probably the one to watch so far, based on both his last two runs and also the Instant Expert figures.

As none of these six have been to this venue before and they've little collective experience at 1m6f, I suspect more will depend on how they approach the race rather than where they're drawn as I firmly believe that the length of the race and the small size of the field both negate the impact of any potential draw bias and this is borne out by the stall stats below...

Yes, stall 2 has only 4 wins from 48, but shares 16 wins with stall 3, so the data for #2 is probably just an anomalous quirk as the others all have similar returns, so it's going to boil down to race tactics. We know from past experiences that leaders do well over short distances here on the Chelmo Speedway, but what about these longer trips?

Well it's a case of plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose as our friends across the Channel might say....

Basically, the trip has changed dramatically from the sprints up to 1m6f, but the leaders still come out on top. The difference isn't as marked and those waited with for a run win as often as par would expect, but I'd still want to be upfront here at Chelmsford and ideally drawn high, because...

We don't have a lot of data on past running styles for these horses, but they've all had at least four runs and based on their last four efforts, here's how we think they might approach the contest...

Napper Tandy and Roseabad look like they'll set the fractions early doors, which then creates the problem of a long layoff and a rise in class, weight and trip for the former, whilst the latter is stepping down in class and raced over a similar trip LTO.

Marshall Plan, Bascule and Ace Rothstein look like they'll be the second rank with the in-form Liverpool Knight sitting and waiting. He's not exactly a hold-up horse all the time (he led four starts back), but has come from the back in two of his last three and could be dangerous late on.

Summary

I think pace is more important than draw here and I want to focus on the two pacesetters and what would be classed as the hold-up horse. Of the two likeliest to set the pace of the contest, the class-dropping Roseabad is more appealing to Napper Tandy, who might need the run and is up in class, trip and weight. But, what of likely favourite, the in-form Liverpool Knight?

Well, he's arguably the best in the race on form, but all his form is at Classes 4 and 5, all his form is on tapeta and he's up to a mark of 84 and didn't go anywhere as near as well off 83 and 85 and with all that in mind, I think I'd rather back Roseabad each way at 14/1 (Bet365) than Liverpool Knight at sub-2/1. I see Napper Tandy getting cuaght and possibly run out of it, but he could well be best of the rest, but a top price of 4/1 isn't "saver bet" material for me.

Racing Insights, 4th November 2021

Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab on the racecards. This is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards.

The reason? It has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...

  • 12.30 Ludlow
  • 1.12 Sedgefield
  • 1.30 Newbury
  • 4.55 Chelmsford

On paper (or should that be turf/polytrack), the best quality of those 'free' races is the last one with it being a Class 2 contest, but it's also interesting from a feature of the day perspective, as the Instant Expert looks like this...

...for the 4.55 Chelmsford, a 7-runner, Class 2, 3yo+, A/W (Polytrack) handicap over 1m2f worth almost £10k (£9945 to be more exact) and here's the card...

So, all bar Indeed and Lucander have at least one win from their last six races, although the former did win seven starts back. The latter, along with Living Legend & You're Hired all step up from Class 3 here after the last two were LTO winners. All bar Influencer are winners over this 1m2f trip, although he did last win over just 177yds shorter and Indeed, Power of States and Habit Rouge have all won here over today's trip. You're Hired has won at both course and distance, but NOT at the same time.

Habit Rouge hasn't raced for 20 weeks, Influencer has been off for twice as long, but the other five has raced in the last 11 weeks. The handicapper sees this as a closely matched affair with just 7lbs from top to bottom weight, whilst our SR figures have just 6pts between the top three. Plenty of yards and jockeys in good recent and/or longer term course form, but trainer Mark Johnston (Living Legend) and jockey Tom Queally (Indeed) could both do with a bit of a boost.

As for the runners themselves...

Living Legend has won four of his eight starts since a modest fifth of eight on debut just over three years ago. He made all to win by 4.5 lengths over today's trip at Pontefract last time out and comes here boasting a 2 from 2 record on the A/W, albeit from Sept'18 and Mar'19, but he'll find this trickier up 7lbs to a career-high mark of 101 and up in class. That doesn't mean he can't/won't win, but it needs to be considered, as does the yard's run of just 1 winner from 72 prior to Wednesday's racing.

Indeed is 1 from 1 on the A/W from winning here over course and distance in a Class 2 handicap back in June 2019 off 4lbs lower than today. has raced just three times in the last two years and has finished out of the money in all three big-field contests. Fewer rivals here, a drop in weight (2lbs) and a step back up in trip might help him get closer this time.

Power Of States has 6 wins and a place from 10 A/W starts and his 4 wins and a place from six runs here including finishes of 21113 over course and distance, making him one of interest, but he was last home of thirteen at York in his latest race back in August. That said, he's now back down to his last winning mark and faces favoured conditions under an in-form jockey with a good record at this venue...

Lucander is a consistent performer in these lower-prize Class 2 contests, finishing 11132 in five attempts and now seeks to transfer his decent Flat form to the A/W. He has just two previous A/W outings, finishing third on both occasions over 1m at Lingfield and 1m3f at Kempton and has won over a mile and also over half a furlong further than today's race. If bringing that Flat consistency here, he'll have every chance. His jockey is in good nick and gets on well with this yard's runners...

You're Hired has two wins and a place from his last five starts and was a winner here over 1m last time out on his first A/W start in almost a year. He came late on to win by three quarters of a length, staying on well at odds of 25/1. He wouldn't be an obvious one to double up, but the extra distance should favour him (has won at 1m3½f), but he's up 3lbs to a career-high mark, which might be an issue. Place claims nonetheless and his stablemates have been running well...

Influencer has no UK form to consider and aside from a run at Meydan in late January of this year, hasn't raced anywhere since September 2019, but did win the Class 1 Prix du Grand Palais over 1m1f at Longchamp four starts ago back in June 2019. He clearly was a decent horse back then, but he's probably best left watched on his UK debut, unless the money comes for him, I suppose, especially as his yard are 1 from 20 in handicaps here since the start of 2020.

Habit Rouge has a decent record on the A/W with 4 wins and a place from 9 runs including finishing 13214 over course and distance, but was only 4th of 6 here over C&D last time out and he's now effectively 2lbs worse off, suggesting this will be a tough task, but his yard do well here and with those returning from a break...

I posted the overall instant expert figures at the start of the piece and they seemed to favour Habit Rouge, Indeed, Power of States and You're Hired and when we switch to just A/W handicap form...

...that's very much reiterated, albeit off smaller sample sizes, where Power of States' consistency stands out. He's the course expert, I suppose and his best form at this track has come when he has been held up for a run, a tactic that isn't normally best suited for 1m2f handicap here, as the stats actually say that the further forward you run, the better...

...from both a win and place perspective, so his hold up style might not be the best approach here. He's also drawn slap bang in the middle of the seven runners in stall 4  and that might be helpful to his chances, as although there's not a massive draw bias, those in stalls 1-4 have seemed to edge it here of late...

...but when we look at the pace/draw combo heat map, you can see that the pace of the race has a bigger bearing on the outcome than the draw does...

...as the two most favoured combos involve leading and the two worst are both from mid-division. We know how this field have raced in their last four outings and we can then place them onto that heat map in draw order to try and ascertain how they might break out. I should, however, add the caveat that some of them lack A/W experience and might not run as they have on turf, but if they do stick to their usual tactics, then we'd expect something like this to happen...

I've left Influencer out, as I wouldn't really know where to place him, but of the other six pace/draw make-ups, you'd have to say that Living Legend and Indeed will not only set the pace, but are also the best off at the numbers.

Summary

On bare recent results alone, I'd probably look at Living Legend, You're Hired and Habit Rouge. From feature of the day, Instant Expert, we identified Habit Rouge, Indeed, Power of States and You're Hired and from the pace/draw heat map, we has Living Legend and Indeed.

If we simplify it down to who "gets most ticks", then we end up with Habit Rouge, Indeed, Living Legend and You're Hired.

Habit Rouge is good over course and distance and both yard/jockey do well here, but he's been off the track for 20 weeks and that's a worry. Indeed is probably the weakest of my four and hasn't raced much of late and hasn't fared too well when he has turned out, so I'll scratch him now as possibly fourth best. Living Legend would need a career best here up in class and his yard are struggling for winners. You're Hired should appreciate the extra yardage based on how he stayed on LTO and his yard are going well right now. He's also up to a career-high mark, but he's only up 3lbs as opposed to Living Legend's 7lbs and that might just be enough.

This should be a cracking competitive affair, but I'm siding with You're Hired at 5/1 to beat the 3/1 fav Living Legend with hopefully the 11/1 Habit Rouge best of the rest. Betfred are paying three places here and the latter might be worth an E/W poke at 11's.

Racing Insights, 7th October 2021

Instant Expert is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards, because it has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which for this Thursday, will be...

  • 1.23 Exeter
  • 1.45 Thurles
  • 4.05 Thurles
  • 6.00 Chelmsford

And I'm going to tackle the last of that quartet of races, the 6.00 Chelmsford, which is a 12 runner, Class 5, 3yo+, AW Handicap over 6f on Polytrack worth £3,240...

We've three LTO winners in the field (Araifjan, Libertine Belle and Rebel Redemption), all of whom raced in the past month and I mention that because since the start of 2020 here at Chelmsford, horses who were LTO winners in the previous five weeks have won 48 of 159 Class 4-7 races over 5-7f. That's a strike rate of 30.2% at an A/E of 1.11 and has generated 38.9pts profit at Betfair SP at an ROI of 24%, so those three runners are ones to consider on form.

The first two of that trio also head the Geegeez SR figures, whilst the latter is the standout on trainer/jockey form. The other two to catch my eye from the card are Lilkian and The Cola Kid, as they've both won twice in their last four outings, but I should advise that the latter has no AW form, as you'll now see on 'feature of the day' Instant Expert...

Here Rebel Redemption 'wins the day' with honourable mentions for Araifjan's three ambers in the four our columns, Lilkian's general consistency and also Sir Hector, although all his form has come at Class 6.

We've a fairly big field here with a dozen runners and as such, you'd expect a left handed bend on a short race to have a fairly big impact, so let's check the draw stats...

...and yes, the inference is clear. You can win/place from a high draw, but in terms of draw sectors, the lower you are, the better, whilst when defined by actual starting stalls...

...I'd split the draw in half and suggest that I'd be happiest in stalls 1 to 6 than I would be in 7 to 12, so that favours the likes of Araifjan, Sir Hector and Libertine Belle of those that I mentioned from the card/Instant Expert. That said, it's a pretty speedy 6f here at Chelmsford and there's no point getting the plum draw if you don't make full use of it and by making full use, I mean getting away quickly.

Most people are already aware of a pace bias over short trips here, but they're not always aware of how pronounced it is, but leaders have provided 25.7% of the winners from just 12% of the runners and whilst both prominent and mid-division runners have fared well, their combined IV of 1.12 is only fractionally above half that of leaders, whilst hold up horses just don't fare well at all here. I find it strange that nearly 35% of runners are held up here to be honest...

So, what we essentially want are horses that will set the pace and based on our field's recent outings, this is how they have set about their business...

Once again, the likes of Araifjan, Lilkian and Rebel Redemption are catching the eye and although The Cola Kid has won a couple recently, he's going to struggle here from that position, which is possibly why he has no AW form to speak of.

The dominance of horses that lead is far greater than the actual draw bias from earlier, so the pace/draw heat map is more affected by running style than it is by the draw here, so those that are drawn high can still win if they make a good start, because the turn is actually gentler for them, as they approach it from wider. In a similar way to motor racing, the angle of approach determines how fast you can tackle a bend without veering off a line and if you attack the bend from wider, you can almost slingshot yourself out of it at full speed, hence...

...shows that the actual race tactics will determine where you finish more than the draw will and when we sort our field into draw order and overlay them onto that pace/draw heatmap, we can almost get a helicopter down view of how we think the race might unfold...

...where it looks like Lilkian and Rebel Redemption from wide will hope to tack across towards the bend cutting off Lothian and The Lion King on their way to join Araifjan on the turn and even without discussing any of the runners past performances, I'm already happy/determined that these are the three to focus on.

Summary

I've very quickly worked through the racecard and tools to whittle twelve runners down to three and whilst there's a danger that I may have overlooked a contender, we should remember that I've not only based it on the pace/draw heat map. The three I'm going with (Araifjan, Lilkian & Rebel Redemption) are the ones that keep cropping up is the discussion. The question is more about which of the three will win.

Araifjan has two wins and two runner-up finishes from his last seven outings in a run that started with a course and distance win here at a higher grade. His form here reads 2124, he's 1 from 1 under today's jockey and has 3 wins and 4 places from nine Class 4 outings and now drops down to Class 5.

Lilkian has already won three times this year and has finished 1134 in his last four outings. Five of his seven career wins are going left handed, he's also got five polytrack wins including three from six here and his form under today's jockey reads 14113.

Rebel Redemption has won two of his last three starts and has three wins and two places from his last seven. He has a 5lb penalty for a course and distance win here (his second from four attempts) in first-time blinkers (re-applied here) a week ago. All 5 career wins are at this 6f trip, with today's jockey in the saddle for four of them.

Of the three, my preference is for Araifjan at 11/2 ahead of Rebel Redemption at 7/2, whilst Lilkian is currently 15/2. All prices from Hills, who were the only ones showing a market at 4.30pm.

 

Racing Insights, 10th August 2021

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

We also have the following free races of the day open to all readers...

  • 5.05 Lingfield
  • 7.35 Lingfield
  • 7.50 Chelmsford
  • 8.20 Chelmsford

Before I do any analysis for Tuesday, I've got to say that it looks a really poor day of racing : 26 races, of which only 7 are on turf. The "best" race is a 5-runner, Class 3 sprint and the other 22 races are Class 4 or lower. The race I'm going to look at is the last of our four free races and despite the clear possibility of a short-priced favourite, there's scope for an E/W bet hopefully.

So, to the 8.20 Chelmsford, a 9-runner, Class 6, 1m6f, 3yo+ A/W (Polytrack) handicap worth £2,322...

As you'd expect of a race at this grade, there's not many form horses on display, although Midfield (the likely short-priced fav) did win last time out and Cinzento won four starts ago. Smith has also made the frame this times this season, but these are generally out of sorts runners. Smith, however, is dropping three classes here, whilst the other mover, Percy's prince is down two levels. Great Hall is by the far the oldest at 11yrs and he's the one rested longest at 82 days, the other eight have been seen in the last seven weeks with Midfield running as recently as last Tuesday.

He's the sole 3 yr old in the contest and as such receives a whopping 11lbs allowance, which will be more than useful here. His yard's in form, as are those of Tinsmith, Affair and Cinzento, the last of which also has a good track record here, but Midfield's trainer doesn't appear to have. Percy Prince's jockey is the one to catch the eye for both recent form and previous track success, but Great Hall's rider has also fared well here. Jockeys aboard Smith and Casavola could do with a change in fortune.

Great Hall has won twice at this trip, albeit from 16 attempts and has failed to win any of his last 31 races since scoring at Ripon over 1m4f in April 2018. He's unplaced in ten A/W starts and that doesn't inspire confidence.

Globetrotter is lightly raced (17 starts) for a 7 yr old, but in five starts over the last year has failed to make the frame and has been beaten by an aggregate of 103 lengths, including an 11 length defeat off just 2lbs higher last time out at Newcastle. Polytrack debut here and best watched/left alone.

Tinsmith has made the frame just once in twelve outings across three codes, but his A/W form this year reads 244 with an average margin of defeat of under 2.75 lengths. He's 3lbs lower than the first and last of those runs (4lbs lower than the middle run) and a similar performance could put him in the money here.

Smith won here over 1m2f almost two years on what was his second start and he has only been seen on the A/W four times since. He was back here at the end of May, when a length and a quarter runner-up over two miles off just 1lb lower than today and a reproduction of that puts in in contention for making the frame here.

Cinzento has failed to make the frame in seven outings on turf, but his A/W record is very respectable at 3 wins and 2 further places from 11 starts and he's back on the A/W after two poor shows on grass in June/July. His two A/W runs in May saw him win over 1m4f off a mark of 50 and then he was beaten by just over a length off 51, so now back off 50 must stand a chance here. He also won here over 1m5.5f back in January off a mark of 49, which is very encouraging.

Midfield had struggled at trips of 7f to 1m4f before landing a two-mile handicap at Lingfield last Tuesday, using her 13lb allowance and first time visor to good effect to get home by a length. The visor remains, but she's up 6lb which could make this tougher, although she's clearly the only "form" horse here.

Affair is a former course and distance winner off 3lbs higher than today, but that was way back in November 2018, but she did also win here over just a half furlong shorter in June of last year too. Recent form has been a little patchy, but Chelmsford seems to get the most out of her.

Percy's Prince races from a pound out of the handicap and has just one career win from 27 starts and that came in September 2019. He was 8th of 10, beaten by 86 lengths over hurdles last time out and although he should be much closer here, I don't see him getting too involved.

Casavola also races from a pound out of the handicap and this 4 yr old filly has yet to make the frame in ten starts. The nearest she has got a winner of her races, was when she was a little over three lengths off the pace here at Chelmsford over 1m5.5f in February, but that margin flatters her, as she was well held, as I expect she will be today.

From a field that has made the frame just 32 times from 231 attempts (23.4%), winning only 22 (9.52%), I don't think we're going to glean too much from Instant Expert, especially from a win perspective but we'll look at both win and place graphics in case something stands out...

No real surprises on the win side of things. Midfield's run LTO being the highlight, whilst Affair's C&D win also shows up, but her record at this grade is poor. The place stats are a little more revealing, particularly for Affair, who on the basis of the above, looks a serious contender for the frame and the graphic suggests we should be looking at runners 4 to 8 as a shortlist, not withstanding my own already documented thoughts!

If we spilt the draw into three sections, then there's an inference that the lower you get drawn the better...

However, I prefer to look at stall by stall and that suggests that the bias (if any) is less pronounced...

Clearly stall 1 has the best results from a win perspective, but stalls 2 to 8 are much of a muchness, whilst if you want to make the frame then being drawn higher than 7 isn't bad at all. With regards to pace here, those racing in mid-division fare best, whilst leaders have really struggled to hold on. Prominent and hold up horses have won slightly more and less respectively than you'd expect, but with IV scores of 1.07 and 0.96, they're not really that far from par...

Leaders have also struggled to make the frame and again it's prominent/mid-div runners who have done the best. A quick look at how this field have approached their last four outings presents a bit of a dilemma...

...because there is no real pace on offer, so we could get a falsely run race. Of 36 races on show above, Affair's choice to lead last time out is the only time any of these led. She, along with Smith are solid "3" types ie prominent runners, but we might see them having to set the pace here. At the other end of the scale, it's fairly safe to assume that Great Hall and Globetrotter will be at the back and if we combine the draw with past running style, our pace/draw heatmap looks like this...

If I'm honest, I'd not put as much faith in this as I would normally. We've no front runner, so at least one will have to change style. These are largely out of form horses, so a change of style might also be imposed to break losing runs, as what they're currently doing isn't working. This is not to say that pace and draw aren't important, of course, they're just not as helpful in this instance as they normally are.

Summary

My short overview of the race and the individual horses along with Instant Expert are probably the best guides for us today and what I get from those is that this should be Midfield's race to win/lose. The market isn't open yet (4.15pm), but I'd be surprised if she's any longer than 5/4 here and at that price, I can't back her. She didn't have much in hand last time out and she's up 6lbs here, so whilst she has every chance, this is tougher and that's not a near-evens prospect for me.

After that, I've not much separating Affair, Cinzento, Smith and Tinsmith (probably in that order) and any of those four could make or fail to make the frame if truth be told. What I will say here is that I'm quite prepared to back or leave all four, but I do want double digit odds to take an E/W punt. I think I should be able to get that about all bar Tinsmith.

Racing Insights, 3rd August 2021

Tuesday's feature of the day is The Shortlist, a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day, signifying they've fared well under similar conditions in the past. In addition to this free feature, we also have the following full racecards available to ALL readers...

  • 3.00 Ffos Las
  • 3.55 Catterick
  • 4.18 Chelmsford
  • 7.00 Lingfield
  • 7.40 Roscommon

The Shortlist is fairly sparse for tomorrow...

...so I'll revert to the list of free races where the five on offer come from five tracks and it's the middle one that looks the best on paper, so we're off to Essex for the 4.18 Chelmsford. It's a Class 3, 5f sprint across the polytrack where the following ten 3yo+ runners will aim to land a prize of £6,210...

My first thoughts on this one were that it looks pretty competitive and that there were easily four or five that I thought could be possible winners. Our Geegeez SR figures have the top three just a point apart, whilst after allowances the top four in the weights are just 3lbs apart. Those sets of data also suggest a tight affair. Only Rocket Action, Lomu, Han Solo Berger and Nigel Nott are winless in their last last few runs, but Rocket Action aside, the other three have been placed in two or three of those defeats.

Indeed, on recent results alone, Rocket Action looks the weakest here, but he does drop down to Class 3 after over a year of Class 1 action. Live In The Moment and Nigel Nott both drop down from Class 2, whilst Royal Birth, Lomu, Han Solo Berger, Rewaayat and Jack The Truth are all stepping up in class today. In fact, only Raaeb and Top Breeze ran at this level last time out and both were unplaced, whilst Live In the Moment is the only LTO winner on display.

He does, however, have a 317-day absence to overcome here, whilst six of the field have raced in the last month or so. Rewaayat is the only one yet to win at either course or distance, six have won here before, eight have won over this trip and four have won over 5f here at Chelmsford.

Raaeb is one from one here at Chelmsford and that win four starts and 15 weeks ago was his last success. He was a staying on fourth or eight at Lingfield last time out, beaten by a head and two necks over 6f at this level and he now drops down to 5f for the first time.

Rocket Action finished 1211 in A/W 5f Class 2/3 handicaps in an eight week period from August to November 2019, but has failed to make the frame in six starts since, albeit all at Class 1. This is a more suitable test of his abilities, but on form you'd haver to think others were more likely.

Royal Birth is a 10 yr old veteran of some 82 races with an 11 from 60 record on the A/W. He has 13 career wins over this trip including three here at Chelmsford and won a Class 2 handicap at Kempton three starts ago off just one pound higher. I don't see him landing this one, but he's got to have a chance of making the frame on his return to the A/W.

Live In The Moment has finished 121111 in his last six outings, but they all took place from June to September last year. The last of those runs was here over course and distance one class higher than today, but not only has he been off track for over ten months, he's also up 4lbs. If he had been seen more recently, I'd be really interested in him here, but I think he'll need the run.

Top Breeze won here over 6f two starts ago off a mark of 85, but struggled to land a blow on good to soft ground at Epsom last time out after being raised 4lbs. He runs off that same mark today, but the return to A/W racing is a positive that might see him in a better light. He had some good results off low 90's marks last year, so 89 really shouldn't be beyond him and I think he could well make the frame.

Lomu is 7 from 38 overall, but has won just once in 19 starts since the start of 2020 and remains, for me, too high in the weights to get involved here, even if he has finished 2352 in four starts this summer. They were all at Class 4 in fields of just 4 to 6 runners and this looks a tough ask to even make the frame.

Han Solo Berger won a Class 2, 5f handicap at Wolverhampton off a pound higher back in October, but hasn't run to the same effect since after being put up in weight. His mark has started to drop of late to the point where he was only beaten by two lengths last time out at Newmarket. That, however, was a Class 4 contest off a mark of 80 and he now runs at Class 3 off 86 and that's too much to ask in my opinion. He could well threaten the places, but I'm not fancying his chances of winning.

Rewaayat seems to start races well without always seeing them out, being headed late on in three of his last four starts. A step up in class allied to a 0 from 5 record over this trip doesn't inspire confidence and I suspect he'll be shorter in the market than I'd want him to be.

Nigel Nott's overall profile doesn't scream "back me!", but 3 of his 4 wins are here at Chelmsford, 3 are over 5f and he has two wins and a runner-up finish from efforts over course and distance. He has now dropped in the weights to run off the same mark as his last C&D win, but his in-form jockey takes another 3lbs off and he could very well surprise a few here.

Jack The Truth is a four-time winner over course and distance including one as recently as February. He has, however, laboured since and could only finish third of four here last time out. He hasn't raced for almost three months and off just 1lb lower, might well need the run.

Plenty of these would appear to have chance based on the above and there are plenty of good stats to be considered there, but what of their form under Tuesday's expected conditions? Instant Expert has those answers...

The slow going here doesn't seem to be have been everyone's cup of tea, especially Nigel Nott at 0 from 6 although he did make the frame in two of them. He's also struggled in this grade, whilst Rocket Action and Royal Birth have fared best. Jack The Truth and Nigel Nott are the two with the most runs/wins here at Chelmsford and in addition to those wins, the former has 2 placed finishes and the latter has three.

As for the trip, we've half the field with a 1-in-3 or better record with Royal Birth not far off that mark either with those same six runners making the frame in more than 50% of their 5f A/W handicap outings. With regard to weight/official ratings, Rewaayat is now some 16lbs higher than his last A/W handicap success, but four of the field are running off marks equal to or lower than their own last win.

Matt calls Chelmsford a bit of a speedway track and he says that in these sprints contests, the plan has to be to get out quick and stay out. This isn't purely anecdotal, by the way, his thoughts are backed by the following stats...

Just look at how the IV figure drops, the further back you race here over 5f. The IV of the leaders is 2.1 times that of prominent runners, who in turn have a 1.36 times bigger IV than mid-division runners, who themselves seem almost 2.1 times more likely to win than hold up horses. The stark difference between leaders and hold up runners is amazing. Two and a third times more winners from just 39% of the runners is incredible and is a clear message not to dwell!

As for the draw, I've got in my head that low draws are the best here, so let's see if I'm remembering that correctly...

...and yes, stall 1 has performed best, but anywhere in the lower half of the draw looks good for win purposes, whilst even as far down as stall 6 is good for a place. A simple deduction from the above charts would be that if you've got a leader drawn in the lower half of the field, you should be well set for at least a place, then?

Definitely! Whilst, as for actually winning the contest...

...the higher drawn horses come out on top, converting more of their place runs into wins. We can now look at our runners' previous recent running styles and overlay them onto those heatmaps, starting with the places...

...where Raaeb, Live In The Moment and Royal Birth look best suited for the frame, whilst with regards to finishing first...

...again Raaeb and Live In The Moment look most likely, but the stats (darkness of green) aren't the strongest.

Summary

A tricky/competitive heat here. Form, the write-ups, Instant Expert, Pace & draw all point to different horses failing/succeeding, but taking everything into consideration, the ones I think most likely to be in the mix are (alphabetically) Han Solo Berger, Nigel Nott, Raaeb, Royal Birth and Top Breeze. Of those five, I suspect Han Solo Berger is in the assessor's grip off a mark of 86 and the same probably applies to Top Breeze off 89.

That leaves me with the 3/1 favourite Raaeb as the most likely winner here. I'd have hoped he'd be a little longer priced than that, but he should be good enough to land this. I'm also still left with Nigel Nott and Royal Birth and whilst I don't see them getting close enough to cause an upset, odds of 14/1 and 16/1 respectively are interesting and probably worth a small E/W or place punt, unless I've read it completely wrong!

 

 

 

Racing Insights, 17th June 2021

Taylored was collared and headed inside the final 100 yards today as the well backed Stronsay finally snapped a long losing run.

Thursday's 'feature of the day' is free access to the wonderful Instant Expert overview to ALL readers for ALL races, including, of course, our 'races of the day' aka...

  • 3.25 Ripon
  • 3.40 Ascot
  • 4.30 Chelmsford
  • 5.55 Leopardstown
  • 6.30 Leopardstown

I did consider tackling the Ribblesdale (3.40 Ascot), where I fancied the chances of Dubai Fountain at 11/1 to at least make the frame, but I'll leave that race for other colleagues to discuss, whilst I remain in my comfort zone with the 4.30 Chelmsford, an 8-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ A/W handicap over 1m2f on the Polytrack, where top prize is £4,347...

Here's the full card for the contest...

We've four with a win from their last five outings, although Mafia Power's results seem to be improving. War Leader is the sole LTO winner and he along with Top Class Angel (one of two fillies here, as is Punting) are the two stepping up a class. Top weight Al Muffrih comes down 2 rungs today and is a former winner at this trip, as is Mafia Power, War Leader and El Conquistador. Top Class Angel has yet to win at this trip, whilst Red October, Ritchie Valens and Punting are all course and distance winners.

Trainer Stuart Williams has 5 winners and 3 runners-up from his last 13 runners prior to Wednesday's racing, so he has the 14 icon for both top and bottom weighted horses, Hugo Palmer & Richard Hughes both have excellent strike rates at this track. Jockey-wise, we've two claimers, one of whom is struggling for form, as is Sean Levey, but Cieren Fallon and Ryan Tate are both going well, as is Pat Cosgrave who also has a good record here.

The handicapper rates stablemates Al Muffrih and El Conquistador as being 13lbs apart, but the latter heads our SR figures, a little way clear of four runners separated by just 5pts.

Al Muffrih drops down two classes to run in a Class 4 contest for the first time since winning over this trip at Newbury 37 months ago, but has only won 1 of 14 since and has been beaten in each of his last eleven since May 2019. He's now 6lbs lower than his last win, but has been well beaten in his last two and a 7th of 10, beaten by over 9 lengths LTO was poor prep for this. I'd look elsewhere!

Red October won here over course and distance at a higher grade almost 10 months ago, but hasn't made the frame in five runs since. He returned from 164 days off the track to run at this class/trip at Leicester at the start of the month, but was 5th of 8, seven lengths off the pace. He's 3lbs lower than his last win and is entitled to come on for the run, but I fear others might be better suited.

Ritchie Valens is 1 from 11 on the Flat and also 1 from 11 on the A/W, so there's some consistency of a sort there! His sole A/W win came at this track/trip/class just over a year ago off 1lb higher and when you consider a 5lb jockey claim, he's well weighted here today, however he hasn't made the frame in either of his last two runs, both off this mark and one with the 5lb claim. Improvement needed for me to want to back him.

Punting is 3 from 7 on the A/W and won here over track/trip/class off 2lbs lower on her last A/W outing just four weeks ago. She has since finished a creditable third over 2.5f further on softer than ideal ground at Chester and now back on more favourable conditions should be in the mix for a yard that is 11 from 31 (35.5% SR, A/E 1.95) in Class 3/4 handicaps here at Chelmsford up to 1m2f since the start of 2018.

Mafia Power has been improving and knocking on the door since returning from a 200-day absence to finish 5th at Wolverhampton in April. He has finished 432 since and only went down by three quarters of a length over further at Windsor last time out. He might well have just one win from thirteen, but I'd expect him to be involved here.

War Leader stayed on well to score at Yarmouth a month ago over this trip to finally break his duck after 13 defeats, many of them quite heavy. He took advantage of a career-low mark of 70 that day and is now up in class and up 5lbs and that's probably more than enough to anchor him again, as he's 0 from off marks of 72-76.

Top Class Angel won two of her last three starts in 2020, both class 5 handicaps over a mile, the first of which was here at Chelmsford. She was, however, beaten by almost 10 lengths at Class 4 between the two wins and hasn't kicked on this season, failing to make the frame in all three starts. She is back down to her last winning mark, but the step back up to Class 4 where she hasn't even placed in four attempts should be a step too far.

El Conquistador is having a great year in A/W handicaps, finishing 3113 in four efforts so far and beaten by less than a length behind Punting at class/course/trip last time out. He's now 2lbs better off for the rematch and another tight tussle is expected. Both wins came at this trip, but both were at Lingfield, he has yet to score here after three attempts.

Instant Expert...

From a general perspective, Ritchie Valens (going/class/trip), Mafia Power (class) and War Leader (class) look weak, although the middle horse of that trio, Mafia Power, is certainly improving with each recent run. Red October is interestingly lower than his last winning mark, but El Conquistador still carries half a stone more than his last success, even if he is bottom weight here.

To ensure we're not leaning too much on novice/maiden form on the Flat etc, we should really consider those records above when translated into A/W handicap form...

...where Al Muffrih & Ritchie Valens are poor on the going figures and the latter has failed several times at Class 4, this track and the 10f trip. Safe to say, I'm not keep on RV right now. Punting brings the only line of green, whilst Red October, Top Class Angel and El Conqusitador all have a couple of greens, albeit off small sample sizes. Mafia Power & War Leader are largely untried under these conditions.

Draw Stats...

After looking at the data from last 51 similar contests, my initial reaction is that you need to get away from the rail, as stalls 1 and 2 haven't won anywhere near their fair share of races. They do OK on the place figures, but if pushed for a "draw zone" comment,  I'd say avoid 1 & 2 and try for 4 to 6. This is good for followers of El Conquistador, Top Class Angel and Ritchie Valens, but not so much for War Leader and/or Al Muffrih...

...that said, it's really no good getting a great draw if you don't make full se of it and 10 furlongs is a fair way to go, so race positioning becomes keys, as we'll now see in...

Pace Stats...

Where, quite simply, the further forward you race, the better the chance you're going to have.

And we can look back at our runners' last four outings to see how they tend to run and it's quite interesting...

Red October looks to be the pace in the race and drawn 7 of 8, he's well away from the low draws, meaning he could well open up a decent lead. We can tell if this would be a viable tactic by combining the 3 draw sectors with the 4 running styles to create a 12-block matrix that we call the...

Pace/Draw Heat Map...

...which for this race looks like this

It was pretty obvious that it was going to favour the centrally drawn runners who like to get on with it, whilst the low drawn hold up horses have really suffered. We can now overlay our eight horses onto this heatmap based on their actual draw here and their past running styles and if they run like they normally run then the positioning looks like this...

There's not a great deal of pace in the contest, but Red October's best chance is going to be to get out as quickly as he can and hold on for as long as he can. I've a feeling that Punting might well go with him, as to ally those old "you can't win from wide" fears that go about the sport.

Summary

From everything I documented before that last heat map graphic, my three against the field were to be (alphabetically) El Conquistador, Mafia Power and Punting, but I think I'm going to leave red October in with that trio for a moment whilst I look back. He's certainly entitled to come for having had a run recently and I think he's better than 5th of 8, beaten by seven lengths, but does he win here?

Probably not, although I think he gets very close and could well be in the frame.

So who wins? For me, Punting. I think she'll race a bit more prominently and will catch Red October and I also think she has enough to hold off El Conquistador who might well end up too far back to catch Red October. So, I suppose this means I'm now discarding Mafia Power

To be honest, all four could end up in a tight finish, but if I had to nail my colours to the mast, it'd be Punting / Red October / El Conquistador / Mafia Power, but tight!

Punting is currently 7/1 which looks generous, so I'll take some of that and you can get the same at bet365 about Red October, interesting for the hedgers amongst you, but not long enough to go E/W for me. The overlooked Mafia Power is the 7/2 fav here, so I might end up with egg on my face.

 

Please Note, I'm out on family business all day Thursday, so my piece for Friday's racing won't appear until later than usual, but it will appear!

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...

...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.

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.

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...

...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.

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

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.