Tag Archive for: Chelmsford racecourse

Racing Insights, Tuesday 21/11/23

Tuesday's free offering from the GOLD service is the The Shortlist feature, 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.

GREENis good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBERis quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
REDis not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is – and has always been – that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form - and its odds - imply. As ever, please refer to our User Guide for further information!

And this how The Shortlist looks for this Tuesday...

...with all three at least worth a second glance and we do still also have our daily list of 'free' racecards, which are as follows...

  • 3.55 Limerick
  • 6.15 Wolverhampton
  • 6.30 Chelmsford
  • 7.00 Chelmsford
  • 8.15 Wolverhampton

...and whilst I do normally try to 'marry up' the free feature with the free racecards, Alafdhal's race looks a bit of a stinker if truth be told, but the one before it looks better as it's as highly-rated a contest as you'll find in the UK on Tuesday. It is, of course, the 6.30 Chelmsford, an 8-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ A/W handicap over left-handed 6f on standard polytrack...

None of these managed to win their last race, but Baldomero has made the frame in his last two and in four of five despite not winning, whilst all bar bottom-weight Night On Earth (10 successive defeats) of his rivals have managed to win at least one of their last six.

Most of the field are dropping in class, as only Probe, Celsius and Night On Earth raced (unplaced) at Class 3 last time around, the others all dropp a class from Class 2, except Zaman Jemil who ran in a Listed race at Redcar. That was 37 days ago and most of the field have raced in the last two to ten weeks, but Celsius could be excused for needing a run after a six-month absence.

Probe has won over this trip at Newmarket and Wolverhampton with Zaman Jemil also having two wins at 6f; Newcastle & Thirsk, whilst Justcallmepete and Above are both course and distance winners with former also successful at Lingfield and Southwell over 6f on the A/W, as seen on Instant Expert...

...where Justcallmepete looks to be the best suited and probable market leader Baldomero seems to be all at sea. Mind you, he has only won 2 of 30 career starts (2/20 on the A/W), so I'm hoping his place stats paint him in a better light...

...and indeed they do. That said, on basic percentage terms he's only fourth on going, third on class and fourth on trip and I think Justcallmepete still looks better suited to these expected conditions. This pair will emerge from opposite ends of the stalls with our Draw Analyser suggesting that Baldomero is at the better end of the draw...

That doesn't mean that Justcallmepete can't/won't win, of course. He might well be one of the 9.38% of those drawn higher than 7 who go on to win here and if he has the right pace profile to win, then he'll have every chance. The Pace Analyser for those nearly-300 races above won't come as a surprise to many of you...

...nor, I suppose, will this pace/draw heat map...

So, the question is, who will take the races by the horns and go for it from the off? Well, if we look at this field's most recent efforts, you've have to say that Baldomero is far more likley to be up with the pace than Justcallmepete...

...and the resulting pace draw heat map...

...also says Baldomero.


Baldomero is probably the best runner in the race, he scored well on the Instant Expert place stats, is ideally drawn and seems to have the right pace profile for the contest and that's probably why he's the current (Monday 3.25pm) 11/4 favourite, but I can't be backing him at that price. Yes, he's consistent with 11 top-3 finishes from his last 20 outings, but he's a consistent loser, too, having failed to win any of those twenty races. I know that all runs come to an end at some point, but 11/4 about a horse on a 20-race losing streak, a 1 from 12 record on standard A/W, 0 from 6 at Class 3 and the same over 6f just doesn't scream value to me. I know he was only beaten by a short head last time out, but he's been raised 2lbs for that defeat, so I'll leave him.

Justcallmepete makes more sense to me at 9/2 which is probably a fair price. Yes, he's going to need a bit of luck overcoming pace and draw stats, but he has two good runs (a win and a runner-up) here over course and distance, so he knows what this place is all about and I'd rather back him than the fav.

Of the rest Zaman Jemil is interesting, a win and two places from his last five, he makes a polytrack debut here down in both class and trip and boasting a 1 from 1 record on the A/W so far, might well be involved in the shake-up, especially if towed along by Baldomero early doors.

Racing Insights, Thursday 16/11/23

Thursday's free feature, the Instant Expert racecard tab is one of Geegeez readers' most popular tools because it has the unique ability 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. 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.

We make this feature freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday for ALL races, including, naturally, our selection of 'free' races as follows...

  • 12.30 Market Rasen
  • 1.15 Taunton
  • 3.10 Sedgefield
  • 3.15 Punchestown

Aside from a 5-runner Listed race at Market Rasen, there's nothing higher than a Class 4 contest in the UK on Thursday, so with that in mind, I'm going to swerve the free races and potential weather disruptions and head down to Essex for the 6.00 Chelmsford, a 12-runner, Class 4, 3yo+ A/W handicap over a left-handed 7f on standard polytrack...

Top weight Sir Oliver is our only LTO winner in the field having won a 12-runner handicap over this trip at Lingfield nine days ago beating the re-opposing Riot (5th) and Jilly Cooper (12th) by 1.15 and 42 lengths respectively. Riot is however 5lbs better off with the winner today. Consistent placer Revolutionise, Society Lion and Englebert all made the frame last time around and G'daay, Society Lion, Eden Storm, Hot Chesnut and Engelbert have all won inside their last six outings.

The bottom three on the card are our class movers with Hot Chesnut down a level and Engelbert & Spacer up from Class 5 with the latter now blinkered for the first time, whilst Maxi Boy now makes a debut in a visor. Most of the filed have had a recent run, but Society Lion has had ten weeks off and Revolutionise races for the first time since a narrow course and distance defeat over seven months ago.

Maxi Boy is the only runner in the field yet to win over this trip and five (Sir Oliver, Revolutionise, G'daay, Riot & Hot Chesnut) have scored over track and trip, as seen here on Instant Expert...

...which although not painting too impressive a picture, does suggest the likes of Sir Oliver and Revolutionise might go well here. Riot, Little Boy Blue and Spacer are short on standard going wins, G'daay and Little boy Blue have poor Class 4 records on the A/W and Sir Oliver has struggled to get ahead here at Chelmsford in the past, whilst Hot Chesnut has hardly set the world on fire at this trip.

With not much winning form/green boxes above, it might prove prudent to look at the place stats to at least see who might be in the mix here...

...from which, I think I want to focus more on the runners in stalls 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 & 10...

...over a course and distance that our Draw Analyser suggests that there's very little to be gained from any particular stall...

On bare stats from 60+ races, it looks like high draws win more often, but low draws make the frame more consistently, so I'd be inclined to suggest the draw here, isn't as influential as race tactics aka pace might be and if we look at those races above through the Pace Analyser, we get a familiar Chelmsford picture...

...where prominent runners do well, but upfront is really the place to be, which should suit Maxi Boy, Sir Oliver and Revolutionise more than the other three on my whittled down version of Instant Expert...

...if they run like they normally do, of course!


If after discarding half of the field after the Instant Expert analysis, I'm left with the six runners above, then I'm more drawn to the first three named but Maxi Boy hasn't won any of his last seventeen and will need his first-time visor to perk him up a little. I'm not suggesting he can't/won't make the frame, but early odds (Only Hills showing prices at 2.30pm Wednesday) of 10/1 aren't doing it for me. Had he been 16's or bigger, I might have been tempted with a couple of quid.

This leaves me with Sir Oliver & Revolutionise and I suspect they'll finish in that order, but that suits me fine with a 5/1 win bet and a 17/2 E/W option at the time of writing.

Riot is the current 7/2 favourite and that sort of makes sense now that he's 5lbs better off with Sir Oliver with only just over a length to make up, but he tends to be held up and might well leave himself with too much to do here to win, but could well make the frame and even split my two picks.

Racing Insights, Tuesday 15/08/23

The Shortlist is Tuesday's free Geegeez GOLD feature and it's a simple (usually brief) report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day and it covers win or place stats for both the current and the next day's racing.

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation has always been that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form and its odds might imply.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

Here are my qualifiers on Tuesday's Shortlist...

...and as ever, the daily feature is complemented by a selection of fully functional racecards opened up to all readers and for Tuesday they cover...

  • 4.00 Nottingham
  • 4.30 Nottingham
  • 7.00 Newcastle
  • 7.15 Chelmsford

Mayfair Gold has green for going, class, course and distance and she runs on one of our free races, so let's see how she might fare in the 7.15 Chelmsford, a 10-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ fillies' A/W handicap over a left handed 1m2f on standard polytrack...

Moonspirit won on just her second outing LTO, whilst Mayfair Gold and Hey Lyla both finished second, but none of their other rivals made the frame. After that recent win, Moonspirit now makes a handicap debut, as does fellow 3 yr old Rosa Chinensis who drops back to Class 5 after one run at Class 2.

In fact only the top four on the card are older than 3 yrs old, which means they're disadvantaged here to the tune of some 8lbs, but all of them bar Tahasun do at least take a drop in class here. Smiling Sunflower wears blinkers for the first time here and featured runner Mayfair Gold is hooded for a second time.

Top weight Croachill has won over a similar trip at Doncaster, whilst both Tahasun and Mayfair Gold are former course and distance winners with the latter also a runner-up over track and trip last time out.

That was three weeks ago and most of this field have had at least one run in the last 2.5 to 6.5 weeks, aside from bottom weight Creme Chantilly, who now returns from an 11-week rest following a poor run (last of 11, 12 lengths down) at Leicester, although she did actually won here over a mile on her second start back in October 2022.

That course win can be seen here on Instant Expert, of course...

My main take-away from those graphics above are that whilst this isn't a great race, it could well be a competitive affair and that both Smiling Sunflower and Valkyrian look weak. I'm happy to 'eliminate them from my enquiries' as we continue our analysis. As you'd expect from her position on The Shortlist, Mayfair Gold scores well here.

She is, however, drawn widest of all, so we'll need to consult the Geegeez Draw Analyser to see whether stall 10 is likely to be a help or a hindrance or if it really shouldn't matter...

...and the inference from the above is that the further away from stall 1 a horse is drawn, the progressively worse the chances of winning become, which should be great news for Creme Chantilly, but not good at all for Mayfair Gold. However, closer inspection of the stall by stall data from those races...

...shows that horses drawn higher than stall nine in those races won 20 of 185 races at a rate of 10.81%, which is on par or better with most of the other stalls, although the three lowest drawn horses have won most often overall at a rate of 12.33%. Yet the fact that stall 10 can outperform stall 3 suggests that Chelmsford races are decided by race tactics aka pace more often than they are decided by the draw, especially over trips longer than a mile and our Pace Analyser says that those races above have been won as follows...

Leaders win and place most often, prominent runners win almost as often as leaders and win more often than mid-division/hold-up runners combined, so form a win perspective we want a horse keen to get on with things, whilst for the places, we could do with avoiding runners who tend to be held-up like the already discarded Valkyrian. This is, of course, based on how the field has run in their last few races...


Moonspirit, Mayfair Gold and Hey Lyla bring the best form to the table and Mayfair Gold scored best on Instant Expert. I wasn't too concerned/interested in the draw, but the pace stats hand the initiative to Moonspirit and whilst there's probably not going to be much between them, I think she'll just have too much for Mayfair Gold.

There were no odds available at 4.25pm Monday, so I'll have to check back later, but I suspect the pick will be around the 9/4 mark which might not offer too much value. Tissue prices about Mayfair Gold suggest that she could be around 11/2, which might actually be worth a small stakes bet; I think she has more chance than 11/2.

Hey Lyla won't be much longer than Mayfair Gold in the betting and that's not long enough for me to have and E/W bet (I like to bet E/W at 8's or longer generally), but if you wanted a bit of a punt based on trust/faith more than anything else, then Creme Chantilly might be better than double-digit odds, especially if she gets away well.

Racing Insights, Tuesday 25/07/23

The Shortlist is Tuesday's free Geegeez GOLD feature and it's a simple (usually brief) report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day and it covers win or place stats for both the current and the next day's racing.

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation has always been that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form and its odds might imply.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information] and here is Tuesday's Shortlist...

...where Al Zaraqaan and Hiconic would be of obvious immediate interest. As ever, the daily feature is complemented by a selection of fully functional racecards opened up to all readers and for Tuesday they cover...

  • 3.20 Southwell
  • 6.38 Ballinrobe
  • 7.50 Chelmsford
  • 8.50 Chelmsford

The two at the top of The Shortlist are both likely to go off quite short in small field contests (4 of Southwell's 6 races have less than 7 runners!), so we'll head to Essex for the 7.50 Chelmsford, a 12-runner, Class 4, 3yo+, A/W handicap over a left handed 1m2f on standard to slow polytrack...

None of these managed to win any of their last two races, but Wild Hurricane and Totnes made the frame last time out whilst Boasty, One For The frog, Mayfair Gold, Semser and The Bay Warrior were all successful three starts ago.

Semser, Jenson Benson, Nasim, Marion's Boy and Wadacre Gomez all step up a class here, whilst The Bay Warrior makes a double step up, which might cause him issues after a poor Class 6 run over course and distance last time out. Likely favourite Totnes, however, was third in a Class 3 contest on her most recent start. She's also one of just two 3yos in the race and as such, gets a handy 9lbs weight allowance, as does Wadacre Gomez.

Wild Hurricane makes just a second appearance in handicap company and wears cheekpieces for the first time whilst it's a debut in a hood for Mayfair Gold, who like Tarbaan, Boasty, Semser, Jenson Benson and The Bay Warrior, is a former course and distance winner. Of the other six runners, Nasim has won here over a mile, whilst Marion/s Boy and Wadacre Gomez have been scored over 1m2f at Lingfield and Newcastle respectively.

Jenson Benson returns from almost eleven weeks off and The Bay Warrior hasn't raced for almost fourteen weeks, but the other ten have all been seen since the start of June with Nasim and Wadacre Gomez having run just a fortnight ago.

In addition to the course/distance wins mentioned above, Instant Expert advises us that field doesn't have a particularly good record on standard to slow A/W and that only five of them have a Class 4 A/W win...

I'd say that Tarbaan edges that, but despite the swathe of red, there aren't too many causes for concern, aside from Marion's Boy only winning 1 of 12 at this level, which is a worry, although it looks like he has made the frame in 3 of his 11 defeats...

Our Draw Analyser says that similar 1m2f contests at Chelmsford haven't really displayed much of a stalls bias...

...because if we said that the figures for stalls 2 & 9 were outliers, then there's really not a great deal of difference along the line, so that must mean that pace is the key here, as it often is at Chelmsford. Shorter trips here have certainly favoured those setting the tempo, but let's see how those races above have panned out via our Pace Analyser...

...and whilst the effect of leading isn't quite a pronounced over this trip, you'd certainly rather be on a front runner than a hold-up type, especially from a place perspective. And if this field's last few runs are anything to go by, then the likely favourite Totnes is going to have her work cut out from the back of the pack...


Totnes is indeed the early (3.30pm) favourite at a fairly miserly 5/2 with the only open book at Hills. She's got ability, has a handy weight allowance and is running well, but 5/2 is too short for me about a runner destined to have to pass most of her rivals late on if she's to win. I also liked Tarbaan from Instant Expert, he's a former course and distance winner, but concedes weight all round and will also have to pass most of the field if he was to win. He'd make an ideal E/W bet, but not at 6/1!

So, for an E/W bet, i want to focus on the top 5 on the pace chart ie all those with an average score in excess of 2.00 and Boasty leads the way. He's a three-time course and distance, his last six A/W runs have seen him finish 223112. His place stats on Instant Expert were excellent, he'll set the pace here and at 10/1, looks a good E/W option.

Wadacre Gomez started out well, but has been heavily beaten in his last two outings and I'd prefer to see him show some improvement before I put any money on him. Wild Hurricane is unexposed and has finished 332 in his three A/W starts and would be a contender here. He's the 4/1 second favourite, so that's too short for an E/W bet, but he might actually go on and win this with the addition of cheekpieces.

And finally, we have Semser, who won here over course and distance in May before finishing as a runner-up at Goodwood four weeks later. He was somewhat disappointing at Lingfield next/last time out, but he is a former course and distance winner and if things fall right for him, he too could be an E/W option at 12/1, especially with the bookies paying four places here in what looks a decent/competitive race for Class 4.



Racing Insights, Thursday 08/06/23

Thursday's free feature, the Instant Expert racecard tab is one of Geegeez readers' most popular tools because it has the unique ability 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. 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.

We make this feature freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday for ALL races, including, naturally, our selection of 'free' races as follows...

  • 1.50 Ffos Las
  • 3.25 Ffos Las
  • 5.15 Hamilton
  • 6.30 Leopardstown
  • 8.50 Chelmsford

...from which, we're off to the Speedway in Essex for the 8.50 Chelmsford, a 10-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ fillies' A/W handicap over a left-handed 7f on standard going polytrack...

My initial reaction was that this might well be a three-horse race between (alphabetically at this stage, of course!) Anificas Beauty, Bell Song and Invested, but let's see if the data we have at our disposal backs up or disproves my gut feeling.

The last named of my trio is the only LTO winner in the field and has two wins and a place from her last three outings, as does my first-named Anificas Beauty, Miss Sarajevo was a winner five starts ago, but the remainder are winless in at least five or even eleven in the case of maiden Topo Chico.

Lightly raced Bell Song has been third in each of her last two starts and as one of five (plus Invested, Miss Sarjevo, Kynsa & Topo Chico) three year olds in the race, she'll get a useful 10lb weight allowance here. All bar Exigency (who drops down a class) ran at this level last time out, so they should now know what to expect, but it is a first handicap run for both Bell Song & Kynsa and just a second for Invested after scoring on hcp debut just over five weeks ago and she now wears cheekpieces for the first time.

Anificas Beauty and Miss Sarajevo have both won over course and distance, whilst the only other two previous course winners are also the only other 7f winners with Nikki's Girl wining over 6f here and then over 7f at Leicester and Lingfield (AW), whilst Invested also won here over 6f and was a 7f winner at Yarmouth last time out.

The afore-mentioned Nikki's Girl might well need the run here as she turns out for the first time since mid-October, but all her rivals have been seen in the last six weeks.

Feature of the day Instant Expert shows two of my chosen trio in a very good light, but Bell Song is a three-race maiden, despite making the frame twice in April, so her win line is all red, as it is for half of the field...

That might initially ring a few alarm bells, notably for Kodias Sangarius (class), Nikki's Girl (class), Hot Chesnut (class/distance) and Topo Chico (class/distance), but Anificas Beauty & Invested do catch the eye, as does Miss Sarajevo in fairness. The place stats will undoubtedly show some of these in a better light, because i already know that bottom-weight Topo Chico is better than her win stats might suggest with six places from her nine A/W starts...

...from which, I'd only really be interested in the following...

Those numbers speak for themselves and I won't patronise you by going through them here. Interestingly, we have two low drawn runners in Invested and Topo Chico plus the four widest/highest drawn of all, so i need to dig out the draw stats to see if any of the half-dozen might be afforded an advantage from the off...

But that's not as clear cut as it might at first seem, because if we isolate the individual stalls...

...the stats for stall 2 are an anomaly in my opinion and without them in the data, the bias is far less pronounced and it's really the pace aspect of this race that will decide the winner in my opinion. Chelmsford is now well known as a front-runners paradise and when we look at the pace profiles of the horses that won those races above in the draw analyisis...

...the win percentages rise almost exponentially, the further forward your horse runs. Hold-up horses fare really badly from both win and place perspectives, mid-division runners win almost twice as often as them and prominent runners slightly more than twice the rate of the mid-divs with leaders scoring almost twice as often as the prominent runners themselves. At other tracks, an IV of 1.41 scored here by the prominent runners would be enough for top ranking, but such is the low strike rate further back, that's not the case here.

So, who might lead them out? Well, according to the field's last few runs...

...I'd say that Anifica's Beauty may try to make all, chased by Invested...

, whilst there's not much between the other four of the shortlisted six...


I started with three runners who I thought would be the main protagonists ie Anificas Beauty, Bell Song and Invested and of those, Anificas Beauty and Invested have both been very strong throughout the various stages of analysis and with their pace profiles in particular, they're going to be my 1-2.

Bell Song is probably the best of the other shortlisted horses, but you could easily make a case for the other three to steal third spot from the inexperienced 3yr old. Of my 1-2, I'm still along the lines of 'pace wins the race' and so it's Anificas Beauty over Invested here for me.

Sadly (or reassuringly, depending on the state of your glass) the bookies agree with me and have my trio of Anificas Beauty, Bell Song and Invested at 4/1, 4/1 and 7/2 respectively with no other runner shorter than 11/1! So I'll take Anificas Beauty over Invested as my 1-2. Bell Song should complete the tricast/trifecta, but for an E/W option, Topo Chico certainly makes the frame on a regualr basis, she receives weight all round and has a 3lb claimer on board, which makes her a very interesting option at 14/1 E/W with Bet365, as of 5.05pm.

Racing Insights, Thursday 11/05/23

Thursday's free feature, the Instant Expert racecard tab is one of Geegeez readers' most popular tools because it has the unique ability 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. 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.

We make this feature freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday for ALL races, including, naturally, our selection of 'free' races as follows...

  • 2.40 Chester
  • 5.05 Huntingdon
  • 5.48 Clonmel
  • 6.00 Chelmsford
  • 7.00 Chelmsford
  • 7.18 Clonmel

I want to tie the feature of the day into the free races here, so I'm going to look at the 6.00 Chelmsford. On the face of it, it's a poor looking 13-runner, Class 6, 4yo+ A/W handicap for Amateur jockeys over a left-handed 6f on standard polytrack...

So, we've no LTO winners and only Billian is any kind of form with a win and four places from his last five starts. Hannah's Return did win two starts ago and Forever Dreaming, Millicent and Master Sully do have a win in their recent form line.

Top weight Red Alert drops down from Class 5, as does Forever Dreaming. San Juan runs for Damien Wingrove for the first time leaving Mark Loughnane's yard, Miss Connaisuer makes a second run post-wind surgery and both Fristel and Billian are noted as fast finishers.

Red Alert and Monsieur Fantaisie are both former course and distance winners, whilst Forever Dreaming, Billian and Hannah's Return have also scored over today's trip elsewhere.

At 114 days off, Monsieur Fantaisie might be a bit rusty, but his yard have a good record with horses coming back from a break. Aside from San Juan's 97 day lay-off, the rest of the field have all raced in the past eight weeks.

The bottom three on the card all run from 1lb outside the handicap.

Instant Expert usually helps us pick winners from such mediocre cards, but even feature of the day is struggling with this bunch...

...although some of them have clearly done better than others, but wait! Watch what happens if we look at A/W place form...

...now we suddenly have something to work with. Firstly I need to de-clutter, so let's get rid of Fristel, Millicent, Master Sully, Shining Crystal and Miss Connaisseur, because they're all holding a full line of red and if you can't make the frame, you can't win! Now this looks a bit better...

There are obvious concerns over Red Alert & San Juan on standard going with the latter also faring poorly at this trip, so I think we'll remove them at this point too before I start to fragment the Instant Expert graphic as follows...

In fairness, I probably didn't need to do that for you, but it means that I'm now only going to consider Hannah's Return, Forever Dreaming, Billian and Monsieur Fantaisie, who'll be spread across the track at the start from stalls 1, 4, 8 & 13 (non-runner came from #13). I put them in draw order, as the draw is the next thing to consider to see if those drawn at either end have a greater or worse chance of winning...

The initial thought here is that low draws do considerably better than high draws, based on the angle of that line, but the reality is that low draws only have 5 more winners from 415 runs, so I'm not too concerned about the horse out in stall 13 just yet, but he'll certainly have to make up ground if there's a level break. That said, Monsieur Fantaisie has been sharlply away on his last two outings...

...which, as most people know, is the correct way to approach 6f here at Chelmsford...

This isn't great news for either Billian or Forever Dreaming, because a look at the bigger picture says they could well have 10 runners to try and pass late on...


So, from the above I'm taking Monsieur Fantaisie, top scorer on Instant Expert to beat Hannah's Return, who also scored well on IE. They're the pace in this race too and I'm hoping they're the first two home.

The early market would seem to agree, sadly, as Monsieur Fantaisie is the 7/2 favourite with Hannah's Return at 6/1 alongside Billian with Forever Dreaming fourth in the odds at 8/1. The latter makes most sense as an E/W bet, but Billian is in the better form and should make the frame.


Racing Insights, Saturday 01/04/23

Saturday's free feature is the Trainer/Jockey Combo (TJC) report, which works by bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report that has produced excellent results for users. Basically, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’ and this report quickly identifies the most profitable of those combinations. Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing whilst clicking on the entry will open the race in a new tab.

HINT: Look for a good sample size – ideally five or more – combined with a decent win percentage (30%+), and a positive figure in the profit column and as ever, please refer to our User Guide for further information.

My own settings for the TJC Report look like this...

...and they have generated the following runners for me to look at...

...plus, as always, we have a list of fully functional 'free' racecards each day, which for Saturday cover...

  • 2.17 Stratford
  • 3.05 Bellewstown
  • 5.00 Kempton
  • 6.30 Chelmsford
  • 7.00 Chelmsford

From which, we have a Class 2 race on the 'free' list and also one on the TJC list. The former is worth considerably more than the latter, so we're off to Essex for the 7.00 Chelmsford, an 11-runner, Class 2, 3yo A/W Conditions Stakes over a left-handed mile on standard polytrack...

Plenty of in-form runners here to consider, as you'd expect for a race of this standard with Physique winning last time out, Think Climate winning his last two, Bold Act & Iconic Moment have won three on the spin, whilst Brave Emperor has been first past the post in his last five efforts, even if he was demoted to second two starts ago. Stormy Entry is two from three and Coco jack/Tenjin are the ones who probably look weakest on recent results alone.

LTO winner Physique does step up two classes here, though, which will make life tougher as will a three step rise for hat-trick seeking Think Climate, but stablemates Iconic Moment and New Defifintion ran at Class 1 four weeks ago resulting in a James Tate-trained 1-2 in a Listed race with the pair separated by just a short head with the re-opposing Tenjin a length further back.

Only Brave Emperor (over 6f), Iconic Moment (7f) and Think Climate (7f) have won here at Chelmsford so far, whilst Bold Act (at Kempton & Newmarket), Brave Emperor (Kempton) and Stormy Entry (Dundalk) have all won over the one-mile trip. All bar three of the field have raced insde the last four weeks but Think Climate, Physique and Bold Act are returning from layoffs of 116, 155 and 191 days respectively.

It's a conditions stakes contest, so they all carry the same weight (9st 7lbs), meaning that the trio of Bold Act, Brave Emperor and Iconic Moment are best off at the weights, being rated at 101. Alzahir and New Definition are only officially rated one pound worse, but Stormy Entry and Think Climate are considered to be some 12/13 pounds worse than the top-rated trio.

Instant Expert has more stats for us, such as highlighting the six runners sharing eleven standard going wins between them and showing just one previous Class 2 A/W winner...

Brave Emperor is the obvious standout here along with Iconic Moment and I suspect that this pair are very likely to be amongst the ones we should be considering for our winner, whilst Tenjin doesn't appear to be well suited at all. Brave Emperor and Iconic Moment are both in the lower half of the draw in stalls 3 & 5 respectively...

...which is the better place to be, as the higher drawn runners have fared much worse than those in stalls 1 to 6. Draw, of course, isn't the be all and end all, especially here at Chelmsford, where the old adage is "get out quick and stay out", but is that really the case? Let's check...

Well, that's a definite yes! The further forward you race, the better the chance of a win/place, so let's consider the most recent pace profiles of the field...

...which suggests that Brave Emperor is likely to be front and centre here, along with some company, of course. Iconic Moment, however, may have to negotiate traffic later on if he's to succeed. Brave Emperor is therefore a low drawn leader and that looks ideal for this contest...

Think Climate will probably go hard early on, but the layoff might well take its toll and this is a big step up for Physique.


Iconic Moment looks a class act, but I'm not sure his running style lends itself to Chelmsford, so that hands the initiative to Brave Emperor who has ticked boxes throughout the process and at 9/2 could offer some real value. I expect Iconic Moment to be finishing fast, but I'm hoping he doesn't quite get there, but this pair could well be the first two home.

Racing Insights, Thursday 16/02/23

Did you know that the Instant Expert tab is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards?

That's 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.

This GOLD feature is so important that we make freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday alongside our usual selection of FREE races which, for this Thursday are...

  • 2.15 Clonmel
  • 2.45 Newcastle
  • 4.45 Sandown
  • 6.00 Chelmsford

And of the three UK races, the last seems to have more for us in terms of Instant Expert, if not quality. It's the 6.00 Chelmsford, a 10-runner, Class 5, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a left-handed 6f on standard polytrack...

Old-timer Muscika was a winner last time out, as was Thismydream, whilst Magical Max, Bezzas Lad and Jupiter Express were all in the frame. El Hombre won three starts back, ad did Jupiter Express and Bezza's Lad is 212 in his last three, but half of the field (Magical Max, Bang On the Bell, Desert Boots, Mustaffiz and Autumn Flight) are winless on their visible form line.

Both Bang On The Bell and LTO winner Muscika drop in class today, but the bottom four on the card (Jupiter Express, Desert Boots, Mustaffiz and Autumn Flight) are up one grade. All bar Bang On The Bell (2 months off) have raced in the last six weeks with both Desert Boots and Autumn Flight turned back out fairly quickly after just six and three days rest respectively.

Both Muscika and El Hombre are former course and distance winners (the former is 2 from 3 over C&D), whilst Autumn Flight has won here over his preferred 5f, but did win over today's trip at Bath. Magical Max, Bang On The Bell, Bezza's Lad and Desert Boots have also scored elsewhere over today's trip.

So, we've three course winners (2 at C&D) and all bar three with a 6f win, but it's time to check in with feature of the day Instant Expert for the going/class/weight stats...

Autumn Flight is two from six at this track, but it's all over 5f and his going, class and distance stats are very poor. The top half of the field looks the stronger with Muscika probably standing out, but there's a lot of red going on in that graphic, so maybe the IE place stats will yield more for us...

Well, it doesn't really solve the "who to back?" conundrum, but it does highlight Mustaffiz's deficiencies and the depth of Muscika's experience and he has to be a contender dropping in class after an LTO win without a change in his "mark". He made virtually all to win as he does normally other than two starts ago when he was inexplicably tardy in getting going, resulting in his worst run for some time.

One suspects, however, based on the field's recent outings that he won't have it all his own way up front, if the following is anything to go by...

There may well be a battle for the lead early doors, but I'm fairly sure that Desert Boots will sit that out and I'm even more sure that that isn't generally a great tactic here at Chelmsford over 6f, but let's look at facts rather than opinions, courtesy of the Geegeez Pace Analyser...

And this shows that leaders win 1.41 times more often than prominent runners, who in turn win 1.51 times more often than in mid-division who win a staggering 2.56 times more often hold-up horses. Hold-ups are almost 5.5 times less likely to win than leaders and whilst that gap isn't as wide on the place results, leaders still make the frame more often than the others and this inferred pace bias is far more important than the draw here, as shown by the Draw Analyser...

...which is pretty inconclusive, but the pace/draw heat map is centred around  leaders with any running style and high drawn prominence...


Working backwards from that pace/draw heat map and the pace stats, I want to be working with the four most likely to contest the lead ie Jupiter Express, Thismydream, Muscika and Bezza's Lad, but adding Magical Max to the mix. He's drawn high and likes to race prominently.

If I'm working with this half of the field, I think Magical Max and Thismydream would be the weaker picks, Thismydream did indeed win LTO, but it was a Novice event and his first ever win coming at the 23rd attempt and he's now 4lb higher than his last handicap run where he was only fourth of seven. Magical Max is on a 10-race losing run, since scoring on his First two career outings and although second on his A/W debut over this course and distance six weeks ago, he's inexperienced in this sphere and the loss of his claimer jockey effectively makes him 3lbs worse off than a defeat to El Hombre.

Which leaves us with the 3/1 fav Jupiter Express, 6/1 shot and Bezza's Lad and my preference the 4/1 Muscika. All have a great chance of winning this and all look suited by the pace profile required here, but Muscika caught the eye in Instant Expert, comes here in form and escapes a penalty for an LTO win, thus possibly offering the best value for money of the trio.

Racing Insights, Friday 10/02/23

Friday is Horses For Courses (H4C) report day at Geegeez and this feature does exactly what you'd expect, as it shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at that track, sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at your discretion.

As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. And as with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track, but please refer to our User Guide for further information.

Sadly, my chosen settings for the report...

...have yielded no UK qualifiers for Friday...

...but I can still fall back upon our daily list of 'free' races...

  • 1.40 Southwell
  • 3.15 Southwell
  • 3.55 Dundalk
  • 4.45 Kempton
  • 6.15 Chelmsford

And the best of those (on paper, at least) for me to cover looks like being the 6.15 Chelmsford. Just six are set to go to post for this Class 5, 4yo+ A/W handicap over a left handed 1m2f on standard polytrack...

ABSOLUTE RULER drops down a class here and wears cheekpieces for the second time, but they had little effect last time out as he was last home of seven, beaten by 19 lengths over this trip at Newcastle 16 days ago. Hard to see him getting involved here and his yard are on a 20+ losing run (as of 3pm Thursday).

FAST STYLE has made the frame in five of seven A/W starts, winning twice, both over a mile at Kempton and Newcastle. Last won three starts ago and was subsequently only beaten by a neck over 1m½f at Wolverhampton at today's class/mark. Wasn't as good at Kempton LTO, but he was up in class that day and now drops back down. This is, however, 1½f further than any of his other A/W efforts.

TARAVARA won at Southwell by a neck over a mile two months ago, but could only manage to finish 10th of 14 back at the same course and distance next/last time out a month ago. That's his only win in twenty career starts and probably won't win this either, even if his yard have a good 1-year (4 from 10) and 5-year (10 from 37) record on this track.

JENSON BENSON is one of just two previous course winners, having landed a Class 6, 7f handicap here nine months ago. He was beaten by a length and a half after being forced wide at Wolverhampton 18 days ago, but he's better than that as typified by three narrow defeats from his previous four outings and is now a pound lower than when sent off as an even money favourite here over a mile last May is a 0.75 length defeat when sent for home a little too late.

GIORGIO VASARI doesn't win many, as shown by a 1 in 16 record on the A/W, but since that win two months ago, which came off the back of a 230-day absence, he has been running consistently well. He won off a mark of 52, but then finished 2232 off marks of 57, 58, 58 and 61 before a below par effort at Wolverhampton last time out in a falsely run race. The step back up in trip might help but others hold more appeal. Wears first-time cheekpieces.

ENGRAVE steps up in class after a win over this trip at Newcastle 16 days ago ended a run of 15 straight defeats since the last of her five course and distance wins. She has tackled this track and trip 22 times so far and has made the frame in 12 (54.5%) of them, leading to those five wins. She's up 2lbs for that win, but jockey Rose Daws claims 7, more than making up for the rise. Carrying 10 to 25lbs less than her rivals, she's probably the one to beat here and her course/distance form is easily detected on our Instant Expert feature...

Engrave is clearly far more experienced/exposed than the others, but you do sort of know what you're going to get from her. She's the one closest to her last winning mark and is the course/distance specialist albeit historical form. I'm a little concerned at Jenson Benson and Giorgio Vasari having largely failed at this grade and the latter's 'best' A/W form has been on Tapeta.

With such a small field and a 1m2f trip, I suspect the pace of the race might well prove more important than the draw, but let's quickly check if any of the six might have an advantage at the start...

There's not a great deal in it, if truth be told, but given the choice you'd probably want to be in stall 2 (Fast Style) or on the rail (Engrave), but stall 6 hasn't done badly either, so it's really a case of what you do with the draw, because if you dwell from those preferred stalls, you could be in trouble...

...because it's pretty common knowledge (here on Geegeez anyway!) that pace wins the race at Chelmsford as shown by the stats from those races above, so if Fast Style and/or Engrave are fast starters, they might be tough to catch/beat. Sadly for the former, he isn't, but the sole mare in the race is expected to take it on...

...which creates a little dilemma for me!


I didn't like Absolute Ruler from the off and neither Taravara nor Giorgio Vasari win often enough for my liking, so that's the field halved. I do like the other trio and I suspect there won't be much to choose between the three.

The mare Engrave won last time out, receives bundles of weight all round and is the course and distance specialist. She's got the best pace/draw profile but wasn't in good form prior to that win last time out and now steps up in class. Fast Style has been in better recent form and has a win and two places from four on polytrack. He seems to have the plum draw and has made the frame in all three runs at this grade. The hope here is that he sets off a bit quicker with Engrave inside of him and he did race more prominently at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. As for Jenson Button, he loves the track here but is unproven at this class and also beyond a mile. His recent form hasn't been as good as Fast Style and he may well be too high in the weights.

It might well be that you can throw a blanket over them at the finish, but if I had to side with one, it would be Fast Style. I'm only really concerned about him getting off quickly enough, but with Engrave on his inside, he should get towed along nicely. Engrave has plenty going for her, but the step up in class and an inexperienced rider might be her undoing.

Fast Style was a best priced 7/2 with Hills at 4pm, whilst Engrave was the same price with Bet365. Jenson Button was a surprising (to me, anyway) early favourite at 3/1 with Hills and only 9/4 with Stoke's finest.


All-Weather Analysis: Chelmsford Racecourse

As we move into September, the weather is starting to change, and my mind is drawn to the autumn and winter racing programme, writes Dave Renham. I will be looking at National Hunt racing in the near future but, before that, what follows is the first article in a new series focusing on the all-weather tracks. In it, I will dig into numerous key stats at the six UK all-weather tracks, as well as looking in detail for the first time at Dundalk in Ireland.

I will be using all-weather racing data from 1st January 2017 to 31st August 2022 when analysing the UK tracks, giving us the opportunity to examine a plethora of stats and angles. I have used the Geegeez Query Tool for all the data collection, and hence all profits / losses have been calculated to Industry Starting Price. However, as I have mentioned before we will be able to improve upon these figures by using either BOG, early prices or the exchanges.

I have shared stats about Chelmsford racecourse before in regards to running style, and also I have looked briefly at the draw, too. I will update both of these here, and there is a number of other areas I am going to look into as well. Let's start with running style.

Running Style (Pace) Bias at Chelmsford

When looking at run style, I have always focused on handicaps, and handicaps with fields of eight or more runners. In an article published in autumn last year (2021), the data strongly pointed to a front-running bias in races staged between 5f and 7f; the strongest bias was at the minimum trip, then seven furlongs, and then six furlongs. I have decided to share only the new data since I collated that article, which gives eleven months of results to analyse. Below are the win strike rates for front runners over these three trips in 8+ runner handicaps (1st Oct ’21 to 31st Aug ’22):



The figures correlate well with the longer term data, so in these types of races whoever leads early does have a clear edge. The A/E indices show a similar picture:



The 7f figure is slightly above the long term average figure, but that can happen with smaller samples.

What is clear is that there is a sliding scale in these races when it comes to run stylefront runners have the advantage; prominent racers are next best and those mid division or held up are definitely at a disadvantage.

Before moving on, here is the long-term run style picture in terms of win strike rate across all distances at Chelmsford going back to the start of 2017 (8+ runner handicaps):



There's a strong correlation between race distance and front end advantage: generally, the shorter the distance the stronger the front-running bias; once we get to a mile and 1m2f the bias is minimal. At 1m 5f or further, front-runners are at a disadvantage.


Draw Bias at Chelmsford

Onto to the Chelmsford draw now, and for this area I will again be ignoring smaller fields and sticking to 8+ runner handicaps.

The racecourse map below shows the course is left handed and the lowest draws are positioned closest to the inside. Hence, over the shorter distances one would expect an advantage of some sort for lower drawn runners.



Chelmsford City Racecourse 5 furlong Draw Bias

When I look at the draw, my first port of call is to split the field into three thirds and compare the win percentages. Here are the relevant five furlong draw data for this distance going back to 2017:



An edge to lower drawn horses would have been expected (see above) although, considering the course configuration, it is a relatively modest one. These are the types of percentages one would have expected given that lower draws are closest to the inside rail and, therefore, have the least distance to travel around the turn. Another measure of draw bias is to look at the percentage of rivals beaten (PRB) from each stall position. These figures correlate with the win percentages as you will see below:



Those drawn 1 or 2 have a clear edge over the rest of the stall positions. Between those two berths, they have accounted for 40 winners from 128 races (31.3% of all races). Further, their PRB figures are a very high 56% (horses drawn 1) and 58% (drawn 2). Finally on these two draws, they have combined to make a small profit to SP of £23.09 which equates to nearly 10p profit for every £1 bet.


Chelmsford City Racecourse 6 furlong Draw Bias

Moving up a furlong to six furlongs, the win percentages across the three thirds are very even (low 36.1%; middle 30.7%; high 33.2%). However, the PRB figures suggest the lowest third does retain some sort of an edge:



Likewise combining win and placed results suggest this small edge does exist:



All in all, given the choice, I’d rather be drawn very low than middle to high over 6f.


Chelmsford City Racecourse 7 furlong Draw Bias

The low third come out slightly better at this distance, too, with the PRB for the low third (inside draws) standing at 0.53 (53% of rivals beaten) versus the high third’s figure of 0.46 (46%). Anything above 0.55 is a material positive bias while anything below 0.45 is a negative bias.


Chelmsford City Racecourse 1 Mile Draw Bias

In my recent series of articles on draw bias, this mile trip was highlighted as having a relatively strong bias. Here are the draw splits in terms of win percentages:



Perhaps it's because mile races start in a chute and they race almost directly into a dogleg bend that figures are similar to the 5f statistics at this range, as are the PRB figures:



It seems therefore that over 5f and 1m - the two distances where the field races very quickly into a bend - we have a playable draw bias, albeit perhaps not of Chester proportions. Essentially over these two trips (and to a lesser extent over 6f and 7f), we would prefer a lower draw than a middle or high one. And especially if combined with a forward going run style.

For the remainder of this article I will be using all race data, not just 8+ runner handicaps.


Top Trainers at Chelmsford Racecourse

I have delved into trainer stats quite a lot recently and the advantage of all-weather tracks, from a punting perspective, is that each year there is a huge number of meetings. This gives a bigger data set and, when it comes to trainer stats, I think that is very important. There are 93 trainers who saddled 70 or more runners during the study period and here are the top 15 in terms of win strike rate. As I mentioned, this incorporates ALL races, both handicaps and non handicaps:



John Gosden at Chelmsford Racecourse

Five of the 15 trainers in the table have been profitable to SP. Seven have A/E indices in excess of 1.00, indicating that their runners have offer bettors some value. It is worth looking at a couple of these handlers in more detail, starting with the Gosden stable. Here are John's (and, more recently, with his son Thady) most noteworthy stats:

  1. Older horses (aged 4+) have provided ten winners from 22 (SR 45.5%) for a small profit of £5.17 (and a large ROI +23.5%).
  2. Horses priced 5/1 or shorter have produced a win% strike rate of 33.7% thanks to 67 winners from 199 runners. Backing all such runners would have yielded a small profit of £13.26 (ROI +6.7%). Compare this to horses 11/2 or bigger in price, where only two of the 79 runners won, producing disastrous losses of nearly 80 pence in the £.
  3. Frankie Dettori on Gosden runners at Chelmsford has won on 13 of his 26 mounts. How often they'll combine this winter remains to be seen, however.
  4. Gosden’s front runners have won 36.5% of their races, while those held up have won just 15.6%.


Richard Hughes at Chelmsford Racecourse

Richard Hughes has a very solid looking record with a one-in-five win ratio and an A/E index of 1.22. In fact, Hughes has been extremely consistent and this can be illustrated by comparing his A/E indices each year (see graph below):



All six years have been above the magic 1.00 figure. He looks a trainer to potentially follow at the course. Here are some of Hughes's strongest snippets:

  1. His record in handicaps is very good – 39 winners from 169 (SR 23.1%) for a very healthy profit of £73.29 (ROI +43.4%).
  2. Hughes is happy to put a claiming jockey on board his runners and they have performed marginally better than professional jockeys, with 19 wins from 84 (SR 22.6%) producing returns of 36p in the £.
  3. His biggest priced winner was 22/1 and he has had an even spread of winners across the price ranges. Horses priced 5/1 or shorter have been a good group for him, as with the Gosden stable; 36 wins from 117 runners (SR 30.8%) for a profit of £21.36 (ROI +18.3%).


Trainers to Beware at Chelmsford Racecourse

Before moving on, here are the trainers with the poorest win strike rates ( all below 7%). It is always worth being aware of trainers that struggle under certain circumstances:



It is interesting to see Richard Fahey in this list. Fahey is not usually a trainer seen this low down the pecking order, and it is not a short trip from North Yorkshire to the Essex showgrounds. Worryingly, he has had 56 runners that started in the top four of the betting and only six of them won. These runners would have produced losses of over 56 pence in the £.

Other notable names in the list are George Boughey and Robert Eddery, both of whose A/E figures are very weak.


Gender bias at Chelmsford Racecourse?

There has always been a slight gender bias when it comes to flat racing with male horses out-performing females. This bias has traditionally been slightly more pronounced in all-weather racing as compared to the turf. For whatever reason, it may not be as strong now as 15 to 20 years ago, but it does still exist, including at Chelmsford, as the table below indicates.



The differences may look relatively modest, but they are significant enough that we, as punters, should be aware of them. A lower strike rate would be forgiven in exchange for a higher ROI but, as can be seen, all data are less appealing than the male cohort. Additionally, when we break this data down further by age group we get the following:



Colts and geldings clearly outperform fillies at 2, 3 and 4 years old but, as the horses get older, it seems to level out.

The A/E indices back this up with excellent correlation with the strike rates:



It will be fascinating to see if any of the other courses display a similar pattern when it comes to age and gender.


Market factors at Chelmsford Racecourse

As we know the betting market is extremely efficient and favourites, for example, have a similar strike rate across all courses. Having said that, there are some differences that will become apparent over this series of individual racetrack articles. Let’s examine Chelmsford in more detail from a market perspective.

Firstly let me take a look at the win strike rates for different positions in the betting; starting with favourites and moving down to position 8th or lower:



A sliding scale, as one would expect, but the win percentage for favourites is slightly higher than the average for all flat courses (34.21% compared with an overall average of just under 33%). This graph also shows how rare it is for outsiders to be successful: those outside of the top five in the market have collectively won less than once every nine races; or, put another way, the top five in the betting win eight out of every nine races at Chelmsford on average.

A look at the A/E indices now:



The value clearly lies with the top two in the betting at Chelmsford, or has done so during the period of study at least. Favourites lost just 4p in the £ to SP and actually made a small profit to Betfair SP.

Two-year-old favourites have the best strike rate of all age groups at just under 41% and they have made a small profit of 4p in the £ to SP, though this may simply be coincidence. That said, if you singled out 2yo favourites that were also top rated on the Peter May speed ratings (published here on geegeez and available to research in Query Tool) you would have had 102 qualifiers, of which 48 won (SR 47.1%) for a healthy profit of £24.33 (ROI +23.9%). For the record, all 300 2yos that topped the speed ratings (regardless of market rank) also made a small blind profit which is impressive.

Before leaving the market / price data section, it should be noted that huge prices have a dismal record at the course. There have been 1969 horses priced 50/1 or bigger and just eight have won. Losses of £1445 would have occurred if backing them, which equates to over 73p in every 3 bet.


Who Are The Best Sires at Chelmsford City Racecourse?

A look at performance by sire at Chelmsford now. Here are the top ten sires in terms of strike rate since 2017 (150 runs or more to qualify):



The top two in the list, Dubawi and Lope De Vega, edged into profit but both have had a big-priced winner which has skewed their stats (Dubawi at 40/1 and Lope De Vega at 33/1). Three of the ten have A/E indices above 1.00, with four more just below that figure. These seven sires - Lope De Vega, Oasis Dream, Dark Angel, Lethal Force, Mastercraftsman, Dutch Art and Showcasing – are worth scrutinising when researching a race at Chelmsford. One other sire, not listed in the table above, has an A/E index of over 1.00 and that is Swiss Spirit. His figure of 1.02 is clearly decent (overall win strike rate stands at 10.7%) and he's another worth looking out for.

A sire that did not make the list due to insufficient progeny runs is Frankel. His record, though, is also worth sharing as he has hit a strike rate of 21.3% thanks to 27 winners from 127 runners.

I also looked briefly at the damsire data and remarkably, and perhaps significantly, Dubawi had the highest strike rate there, too (at 15.9%). Only two damsires have A/E indices of over 1.00 and they are Rock of Gibraltar (1.28) and Danehill (1.11).


Chelmsford Racecourse Horses for courses

Let me finish by looking at some horses that have excelled at Chelmsford since 2017. To qualify for the list they must have won at least four races at the track with a strike rate of 25% or more. Also they must have raced somewhere in the UK in 2022. Here are the horses that qualify. I have included a PRB column, too (Percentage of rivals beaten):



Krazy Paving, who heads the list, has also been placed a further three times at the track. Furthermore, he has the highest PRB figure, an impressive 0.81. Any horse in that list appearing at Chelmsford in the next few months is definitely worth at least a cursory glance, especially those with the highest PRB figures.

We all know racing is not a simple game – there is no easy shortcut to making long term profits. But I hope the statistics shared in this piece of research will be an aid to you when tackling races at Chelmsford in the near future. Please share any big successes with us in the future – my cut is only 25%! 😉

- DR

Stat of the Day, 8th June 2020

Saturday's pick was...

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

Monday's pick runs in the...

1.00 Chelmsford :

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

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


Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Here is today's racecard

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

Punting Angles: Chelmsford City Racecourse Part 1

After a short summer break recharging the batteries (in theory) it’s time to get back to work and begin preparations for the onset of winter, writes Jon Shenton. That doesn’t mean National Hunt yet, I’m afraid. Rather, we’re going to get stuck into the polytrack of Chelmsford, hopefully stealing a march by doing some early research before the real all-weather schedule starts to kick in.

Chelmsford Overview

‘Chelmo’ has been a fixture of the racing calendar from 2015, ignoring its brief prior incarnation as Great Leighs in 2008, and is widely known for offering impressive prize money. In 2018 £5.2m was shared across 63 fixtures according to the official website. That, as well as the track’s proximity to the Newmarket training centre, has arguably led to a better quality of racing on this artificial surface than any of the others.

The track constitution is illustrated in the course map below. It is just about a mile in circumference and the turns are relatively broad and sweeping in nature, sufficiently so to develop a turf track to sit inside the current AW oval. There are chutes for the seven- and eight-furlong starts, more of which later.


Chelmsford Top Trainers

Before checking out specific race distances, we’ll adopt our usual tactic of scanning the trainer ranks for potential profit.

Usually in this series of articles data relates from 2012 to present day. However, as Chelmsford has only been up and running for four years, there are obviously less data to go on in terms of overall duration. However, that is more than compensated for by the fact that in its brief existence there have been over 17,000 runners at the track. To put that into perspective there have been fewer than 7,000 runners at Epsom from 2009 to date. All data in this article covers racing up to Friday 30th August 2019.


Trainer Performance

Using geegeez.co.uk’s Query Tool, the below table shows all trainers with an A/E performance of greater than 1.00, concentrating only on runners sent off at 20/1 or shorter; and there needs to be a minimum of 100 runners for a trainer to qualify.



The top pair of Charlie Wallis and Derek Shaw are certainly of interest, perhaps David Simcock too.  Aside from that at this helicopter level, there isn’t too much to get excited about.


Charlie Wallis

Wallis’s stable is based in Essex so the relatively high volume of runners at his local track makes sense. It’s noteworthy that the yard has a real all-weather specialism, with over 70% of their total runners appearing on artificial surfaces. Being a relatively new team (training since 2015), this may change as the operation develops and progresses. Until then, runners from the team are well worth monitoring here.

Analysing Wallis animals by the distance at which they have competed results in the following splits:


Sprinting is obviously a key focus. A large proportion of runs, wins and returns have been sourced over the 5- and 6-furlong ranges. For angle building I’m only interested in these short distances although you could easily argue that the sample sizes over further are insignificant and, in time, they may show similar performance to the sprints. That might be the case but I’m happy to stick with the larger samples up to three-quarters of a mile.

Wallis over 5&6 at Chelmsford puts up some nice numbers without too many more filters. If I were being a perfectionist, it’s preferable that one of his has had a recent run. Using horseracebase.com to drill down further, the yard has never had a winner (on any course) when a horse has been off the track for more than 90 days and, ideally, a run in the last 45 days would be optimal for this angle.


SUGGESTION: Back Charlie Wallis runners at 20/1 or shorter over 5 and 6 furlongs at Chelmsford, [Optional, exclude horses that have not run in the last 45 days.]


Derek Shaw

Moving on, Derek Shaw is another cornerstone of UK all-weather racing and, much like Wallis, a similar proportion (70% or thereabouts) of the yard’s activity is focused on the ‘sand’.

Checking the performance of his 248 runners by SP provides something on which to chew. The data below are for horses running at Chelmsford with an SP of 12/1 or bigger.


With only five winners from 81 bets and a strike rate of a smidgen over 6% in my view it’s marginal whether it would be worth fishing in that pool long term. However, taking all Shaw Chelmsford runners at 11/1 or shorter we build a potentially compelling picture when further analysing by race class:


It’s crystal clear that there is a division between performance in classes 2 and 3, and in classes 4-7. I think it’s not unreasonable to assert that the Shaw string wouldn’t contain the best raw materials in terms of racing talent with which to work. Perhaps some of the better class races are just a notch too high for the animals at Shaw’s disposal.


SUGGESTION: As always, simplicity is best and that’ll do for me, back Derek Shaw at Chelmsford in Class 4-7 races where the SP is 11/1 or shorter.


Without too much delving, those are two straightforward angles to file away in your QT Angles for use over the main all-weather season and beyond.


Ian Williams

One other worth bringing to your attention, though just bubbling under the 100-runner level (with 96), is Ian Williams. I don’t propose to go into detail here, but his numbers are worth keeping in mind (and perhaps researching yourself if you have the time).


Short Priced / Fancied Runners at Chelmsford

As you may have noted from previous columns, I’ve started to get a bit of a taste for angles focusing on shorter price runners. The table below simply illustrates the record of trainers where runners have an SP of 5/1 or shorter (50 runs minimum).


Obviously, there is some duplication with the trainer data presented earlier; Wallis and Shaw predictably are prominent (Williams too). Of the others, at first glance Messrs. Dwyer, Tate and Easterby appear to be potentially worthy of shortlisting when the cash is down. No doubt that some of these could stand alone as angles. However, before piling in it would be highly advisable to check consistency of performance. Based on samples of this relatively small magnitude it is perfectly plausible that the inclusion on this table is attributable to a golden year or two.


Specific Chelmsford Race Distance Analyses

One mile races

One advantage of the all-weather is that we can almost take one of the key variables in racing out of the equation. Changes in underfoot conditions are less prevalent, though weather variance can affect the surface more than the official going relates; so, coupled with the abundance of meetings on the AW tracks, there is nearly always a rich source of data regarding pace and draw to delve into.  Virtually all races at Chelmsford are on Standard, however, there are a handful of Standard/Slow contests included in the analysis from this point onwards.

Our first zoom into the profile of a specific trip is over the mile. If we refresh our memories from the course map, the start is located in a chute and there is approximately a furlong and a half of racing prior to the first left hand bend, where the runners join the main track. That does not give much time to secure a good early position, and being trapped deep on that first bend is a realistic danger.  In other words, there is a whiff of low draw bias about the set up here, especially in bigger fields.

I’ve compiled the draw and pace data and attempted to consolidate it in a single table. At first glance it may appear complicated, but hopefully with a small bit of explaining will be quite simple.


The table is basically a mash-up of draw bias (using the draw analyser IV3 numbers) and the pace profile (Pace Analyser with IV) consolidated on one table by number of runners.

A quick refresher of what IV3 means: it is simply the average Impact Value of a stall and its nearest neighbours. For instance, the IV3 of stall six would be the average IV of stalls 5, 6 and 7

The numbers are one thing, and the colours are another, but what does it mean and how can the insight be used to optimise our chances in finding potential winners?

Broadly speaking, the greenish tinged numbers represent good performance with the red ones conversely not so good (as Sven might say).

Without doubt, there are more green shades in the lower box numbers, indicating the expected low draw bias. This appears to hold true for all field sizes too: an inside draw is a positive when assessing the merits of an individual horse.

Moving across to the pace box to the right, the green numbers are concentrated around the leading and prominent runners.  At first glance it looks like an early-to-the-lead horse is the most desirable.  On closer inspection, however, we see that a prominent runner is arguably as valuable in terms of winning potential for most field sizes. The deep green relating to leaders in 13/14 runner races fields (data based on small samples of 24 and 20 respectively) gives a possible visual skew to the data.  What is in no doubt is that being up with the speed is highly desirable and, related, hold up horses generally have it to do.

Low daws are good, and early speed is good, but what happens when they are combined? That’s where our old friend the draw/pace heatmap (found at the bottom of the DRAW tab on flat race cards) can offer some valuable insight.

Evaluating races where the number of runners is between 7 and 10 inclusive over a mile (chosen as they are the most common field sizes so sample size is larger) and consolidating in the heat map (IV) we get the following composition.

Heat Map of mile races at Chelmsford with 7-10 runners inclusive using IV


The heat map paints a very clear picture:

  • Low draws are desirable irrespective of run style
  • For those drawn in the middle, a prominent or leading style is preferable
  • For those drawn high, a front running style is the only favoured approach 


7 Furlong races

Before wrapping up, from reviewing the course map I thought it may be interesting to use the same approach over the seven-furlong trip. The hypothesis is that a low draw may be of less relevance as horses and riders have a full three furlongs to get a position before the first turn. Thus, it ought to be possible to negate the risk of being trapped out wide and, therefore, potentially ease the sort of draw bias seen at the mile distance.


Alas, the hypothesis doesn’t hold true as the data indicate that there is still a form of bias towards lower stalls when viewing through the prism of IV3. That said, the draw doesn’t appear to have too much effect until field sizes of nine or more are experienced. In the broadest terms stalls 1-6 seem to be better off than stalls 7 and above in almost any circumstances.

For larger fields of 13 and 14 runners there appears to be a strong bias to the lower numbers although, again, sample sizes are smaller. Usually that can be attributed to getting out of the gates and securing good track position early on, ordinarily up with the speed and avoiding hazards in running brought about by a congested field.

Again, a quick check of the heat map can help:

Heat Map of 7f races at Chelmsford with 13-14 runners inclusive (IV)


This view is only comprised of 41 races but it’s clear that a horse in a low stall has a stronger hand to play than its wider-drawn competitors in the biggest field sizes. If that same low drawn horse leads it has an IV of 3.81 which means, it’s nearly 4 times as likely to prevail as the average!

In the second part of this Chelmsford epic, I’ll cover sires, jockeys, the fate of favourites, as well as the impact of draw and pace on 5- and 6-furlong races.

Until then, thanks for reading.

- Jon S