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Racing Insights, 4th June 2021

We got the first two home at Uttoxeter this afternoon/early evening, as the money that came in for Tardree was justified, once again showing how good Laura Morgan is at getting her chasers home. If you did want to follow some of Laura's runners, these might be worth a second glance...

Sadly I'd got the 1-2 the wrong way around today, but made enough from the 6.2/1 exacta to cover my win stake, hopefully some of you did the same.

The weekend is almost here and every Friday, we make the Horses for Courses report available to ALL readers. It does pretty much what you'd expect ie shows horses who have previously gone well at the track they're racing at that day. We also, have a list of free racecards each day and on Friday, they are...

  • 3.00 Catterick
  • 3.10 Epsom
  • 6.30 Goodwood
  • 7.23 Doncaster
  • 7.45 Tramore
  • 8.05 Down Royal

Now, the 3.10 Epsom race (Coronation Cup) is clearly the best of that list of races, but with a red hot favourite and the bookies only paying two places, we defer to next best, the 7.23 Doncaster. It's no Coronation Cup, of course, but it's still a decent-looking, hopefully competitive, Class 2 Flat handicap for nine 4yo+ runners over a mile on Good to Firm/Good ground on Town Moor. There's a reasonable enough £10,800 for winning this one and here are the horses entered...

Form : Blue Mist, Power of Darkness, Stunning Beauty, Tiger Crusade and Turn On The Charm have all won at least one of the last five outing, with the last pair being our LTO winners.

Class/Hcp Status/Sex :
Beat Le Bon drops down from Listed company, whilst Tiger Crusade, Scottish Summit and Turn On The Charm all ran at Class 3 last time around with Stunning Beauty now stepping up three classes for her handicap debut and she's the only filly in the race.

Days Since Run :
All bar Milltown Star (83 days) and Stunning Beauty (99 days) have raced in the past seven weeks with both Scottish Summit and Ebury being rested for less than a fortnight before coming here.

Age :
All bar the 8 yr old Scottiish Summit are aged 4-6

Weight spread :
Top weight Beat Le Bon will carry 13lbs more than Ebury

Trainer Form / Course record :
Tiger Crusade, Scottish Summit, Stunning Beauty and Turn On The Charm all positives for recent form with all bar Scottish Summit being positive for trainer/course stats. Ebury is a negative on that score.

Jockey Form / Course record :
Milltown Star, Tiger Crusade and Power of Darkness are partnered by in-form riders whereas Tom Eaves (Ebury) is a negative for recent form and also for his course record. Dane O'Neill (Beat Le Bon) has a positive 5yr course icon, as does Jamie Spencer (Tiger Crusade), but Jamie hasn't fared as well here lately.

SR ratings :
Far more spread out (113 to 75) than the OR, with Turn On The Charm a clear leader on that stat.

Beat Le Bon carries top weight of 9st7lbs off a mark of 103 and was very good in the summer of 2019, rattling off a hat-trick of wins at this grade inside ten weeks off marks of 94 to 104, but hasn't won any of ten starts since. Yes, he's below his last winning mark, but his form leaves something to be desired here, needs to step forward to get involved.

Blue Mist landed a £28,000 prize in this class at Ascot last July, beating 18 rivals to the line off a mark of 95. He was subsequently beaten by 4 lengths and then 33 lengths off higher marks before a 30-week break. He returned from his layoff looking like he needed the run in a 14 length defeat at Newbury three weeks ago and although he should come on for the run and he's down a pound, he still has no room for comfort off his current mark.

Milltown Star is steady whilst unspectacular as a Class 2 handicapper, failing to win any of six attempts but rarely getting beaten by far. Most recently he was 6th of 13 over 8.5f at Wolverhampton in this grade, but that came after a 24-week break and he was only 1.25 lengths behind the leader. An easing of a pound in the weights and having had the run would suggest he'd be a contender, but closer analysis says that was a poor race last time out, as the ten runners to have re-appeared since have just 1 win and 4 places from 26 combined efforts.

Tiger Crusade was 3rd of 4, beaten by just over 4 lengths on debut in August 2019 and has only raced six times since, making the frame in all six, winning three times and not beaten by more than two lengths. He won by the thick end of three lengths at Kempton last time out, but is up 6lbs for that win, steps up to a mile for the first time, steps up to Class 2 for the first time and returns to turf for the first time in 45 weeks. There are too many "firsts" there for him to be my first, although I think he'll run creditably.

Scottish Summit had a really good summer last time around with a run of form reading 32322101 with a pair of wins at this 1m trip. He was only beaten by half a length on soft ground at Ripon just over a week ago and now back on his preferred quicker ground off the same mark must be a contender here.

Power of Darkness had his best bout of form in 2018/19 with a run starting around this time of year and reading 112711 to mid-August 2019. He was then off the track for 323 days and only ran twice last year, going down by 6L and 9L over 1m/1m1f at this grade. He could only manage to finish 19th of 16 (7L down) at Newbury seven weeks ago, but that was after another 204 days off and now with that run under his belt and dropped down to his last winning mark, he'd be an unlikely winner here, but it would be within his scope to threaten the places.

Stunning Beauty burst onto the scene last season, winning both her UK races. Both were 1m Novice encounters and she won a Class 4 by 4 lengths and then a Class 5 by 7.5 lengths, before a 171 day break. She then blotted her copybook by finishing last of 9 and second last of 14 over the winter at Meydan and now 99 days later has a fair bit to do here back on turf.

Turn On The Charm made his handicap debut almost a year ago and he has three wins and two places from seven handicap runs. His worst results were two fourth places finishes either side of a 163-day layoff and he won by two lengths at Lingfield almost a month ago. He might well be up another 5lbs, but he's a solid progressive handicapper getting weight from most of his rivals.

Ebury ran his best race for some time when third of seven last time out and after six consecutive runs at 7f, now steps back up to a mile for the first time in almost a year. His best form has been over this trip and he has won on good to firm, but he's a Class 3 horse at best for me and despite carrying bottom weight here, a mark of 90 is still probably a little high.

At this point, I already like the look of some over others and so far I'm not too keen on the likes of Blue Mist, Milltown Star or Stunning Beauty, but maybe the Geegeez toolbox will convince me otherwise, starting with relevant form as highlighted by Instant Expert...

Nothing there has pushed me closer to the three I didn't like from stage 1 and you can probably add Ebury to that list. Power of Darkness' numbers are really interesting and would suggest a big run if recapturing old form.

If we consider the draw in three blocks of three runners, then the raw data from 46 previous similar contests would suggest that for win purposes, a mid-draw (4-6) would be advantageous and that the higher you get drawn the more chance you have of making the frame...

That mid-stalls success is a little at odds with my disliking of Milltown Star and Stunning Beauty in 4 and 5, but closer examination of the stall by stall results...

...would debunk the theory of a discernible draw bias. Yes, stall 1 has done really well, which is great for Power of Darkness, but the numbers aren't that much better than stales 4, 6 or 7. Stalls 3 and 8 have underperformed, but as the graph shows there's not really a massive variance aside from those two, so I think they might be rogue numbers here. In fact, the Geegeez course guide for Doncaster says..."on faster ground the draw has little bearing on the race outcome"...

Pace-wise, mid-division runners would seem to have struggled at first glance, but they only represent 8.25% of all runners and such a small sample size is both volatile and unreliable. Hold up horses have the best wins to runs ratio, but to prove the volatility of the small sample data for mid-division horses, just one more mid-0div winner would move the win % from 9.09 to 12.12...

So, if we put mid-division runners to one side, there's not actually a massive pace bias here either, although hold up horses are far more likely to make the frame than leaders.

Essentially, Doncaster is a pretty fair track and with no distinct pace or draw bias, you'd expect the "best" runners to win more often. That's a fair assumption to make, but there are still some pace/draw combinations are have been more successful than others...

Basically, if you're drawn low, you want to be getting out sharpish, but if you're not drawn low, you should bide your time. I wonder how our nine runners fit that heatmap. Let's have a look in draw order, shall we?

Power of Darkness is a confirmed hold-up horse and whilst he's not got the ideal draw for that style of running, it's what he's always done. The pace is likley to come from Stunning Beauty and Ebury and I'd envisage them getting passed by a few later on in the contest. Scottish Summit is likely to tuck in alongside/with Blue Mist at the rear, which would be a good tactic from wide.

Summary

I won't beat about the bush here, I'll move straight to my chosen three against the field.  I like Scottish Summit, who looks on the verge of going on another run of form like last summer, he's off the same mark as a good run last time out and is now on favoured conditions. His pace/draw make-up is decent enough and he's only 5lbs higher than his last win. It won't be easy for him, of course, but at 6/1 he looks decent value.

Turn On the Charm isn't as well suited from the data highlighted by the toolbox, but this is his trip, he's drawn next to my first choice, he won last time out and he's a solid reliable handicapper. based on his profile 3/1 is probably about fair and he's sure to be involved.

As for another placer or possible E/W punt, you can get 16/1 about Power of Darkness, He's lightly raced of late, but if getting back to anything like what he's capable of, then he has every chance of making the frame and defying the odds. His handicap record shown on Instant Expert speaks for itself.

 

Sky Bet Chase Trends

Staged at Doncaster racecourse the Skybet Chase (formerly known as the Great Yorkshire Chase) is a Listed Handicap run over 3m. The race can often throw up some Grand National clues, although no winner in the last 15 runnings has gone onto win the Aintree marathon.

In recent years, the Alan King, Paul Nicholls and Pipe stables have dominated the race with two wins a-piece since 2003, while in the last 15 runnings we’ve seen just two winning favourites – the 2020 Skybet Chase was won by the Nicky Henderson-trained Ok Corral at 9/1.

Here at GEEGEEZ we look back at recent winners (note, the 2010 and 2011 runnings were abandoned) and gives you the key stats to take into the 2021 renewal – this year being run on Saturday 30th January.

==========================================

 

Recent Skybet Chase Winners

2020 – OK CORRAL (9/1)
2019 - GO CONQUER
2018 - WAKANDA (8/1)
2017 – ZIGA BOY (10/1)
2016 – ZIGA BOY (8/1)
2015 – IF IN DOUBT (4/1 fav)
2014 – RAINBOW HUNTER (25/1)
2013 – Meeting Abandoned
2012 – CALGARY BAY (12/1)
2009 – BIG FELLA THANKS (9/2)
2008 – AN ACCORDION (11/2 fav)
2007 – SIMON (7/1)
2006 – A GLASS IN THYNE (16/1)
2005 – COLOURFUL LIFE (9/1)
2004 – TYNEANDTHYNEAGAIN (7/1)
2003 – BARRYSCOURT LAD (9/2)

Skybet Chase Betting Trends

14/15 – Had won between 0-3 times over fences before
12/15 – Carried 11-2 or less
12/15 – Aged 9 or younger
12/15 – Officially rated 130 or higher
12/15 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/15 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Unplaced favourites
9/15 – Carried 10-12 or less
9/15 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
9/15 – Irish bred
8/15 – Finished unplaced last time out
8/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/15 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/15 – Won last time out
2/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/15 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by Alan King
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 9/1

 

Other Stats:
4 of the last 15 winners of this race went onto contest the William Hill Trophy (now JLT Chase) at the Cheltenham Festival that season (1 winner)
5 of the last 15 winners went onto run in that season’s Grand National (no winners, all unplaced)

 

 

 

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Racing Insights, 12th December 2020

Wow! The Cross-Country went spectacularly bad for us today, as none of my four in focus even finished in the first four home of a 10-runner field. Thankfully, writing a column like this gives me the opportunity to put things back on an even keel fairly quickly.

And that opportunity presents itself immediately on Saturday, where feature of the day is the Trainer/Jockey combo report and our free races are...

  • 12.55 Doncaster
  • 1.50 Cheltenham
  • 2.05 Doncaster
  • 2.55 Newcastle
  • 3.30 Newcastle
  • 5.00 Newcastle

And I'm going to leave the full race profiling for today and focus on the TJ Combo report, where as you'll see I set fairly demanding criteria...

1. HANDICAPS OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS

AND 2. 5-YEAR COURSE HANDICAP FORM

Now I'm going to see if I think any of them are worth backing, starting with Arqalina in the 1.22 Hereford...

Trainer Venetia Williams is 7 from 21 (33.3% SR) in chases here at Hereford over the last three years including 5 from 16 on soft ground or "worse", 3 from 7 over course and distance and 1 from 1 with jockey Robert Dunne and here they team up with Arqalina, an 8 yr old mare who will carry bottom weight 13 days after being comprehensively beaten at Ffos Los last time out.

She may well have been third home of ten starters, but she was some thirty lengths off the pace, despite being sent off 3/1 favourite. She's up three classes today and she'll be wearing cheekpieces for the first time (yard is 2 from 7 with first time cheekpieces this year). She's up in trip to a furlong further than she's ever ran before, she's new to this jockey, 0 from 3 in December and 0 from 5 going left handed.

As per Instant Expert, she has won on soft ground, where she has a win and a place from three efforts over fences and she has won over 3 miles, albeit in a Class 5 hurdle contest. The pace tab suggests you either want to lead or be up with the pace to win such a contest, but she generally races in mid-division and such horses are 0 from 14 in similar races and have grabbed just 5 of the 41 places.

I have Arqalina as a 12/1 shot, the market says 10's, she'll probably finish in mid-field and she's not a betting proposition for me today.

Should that race be a disappointment for the Williams/Dunne partnership, as I expect it will, they get to have another 70 minutes later in the 2.32 Hereford...

The yard is 0 from 6 over hurdles here at Hereford this year, but 2020 has been a strange one in many respects, because the Williams' hurdlers were 5 from 20 (25% SR) here during 2016-19. Of those 20, there were 4 winners from 11 on soft ground.

Chambard was last seen failing to finish a 2m4f chase on his return from an 8 month absence and now reverts back to hurdling some 21 months and 5 races since last tackling the smaller obstacles, as he looks to return to the consistent run of form he had from December 2018 to December 2019, when finishing 212223 over hurdles prior to results of 222 over fences.

Sadly he was then fifth of five beaten by 28 lengths in late February of this year, ahead of being pulled up on that return to action six weeks ago. In his defence, he will have needed the run, he does look better over hurdles and his sole win was on good to soft ground. He's new to today's jockey, though and he has tended to fare better over shorter trips.

Prominent racers have won 7 of 11 similar contests with hold-up horses faring worst of all, which doesn't augur well for this boy's chances either.

Like stablemate Arqalina, I don't see Chambard troubling the better runners here and mid-division is probably as good as he'll get.

Which means our search for a meaningful bet now swings North to Town Moor, Doncaster and Charlie Longsdon's 9 yr old chaser, Western Miller, who goes in the 12.20 Doncaster...

Western Miller fell at the second fence last time out so we've no idea what form he was in, but he was second of thirteen at 66/1 behind Rouge Vif at Cheltenham in a Class 2 contest and only really beaten on the run-in by his opponent rated some 17lbs better than him. The third placed horse has finished third again in another Class 2 contest, which would seem to bolster our chances of at least another placed finish now that he drops down in class off the same mark.

Trainer Charlie Longsdon's handicap chasers are 6 from 22 (27.3% SR) here at Doncaster since the start of 2016 when sent off at odds of 7/2 and bigger in Class 2 to 4 contests, including 3 from 5 for jockey Paul O'Brien, 3 from 5 at Class 3 and 1 from 1 over course and distance : achieved when Western Miller won here in January at 16/1 when Paul rode him to success at Class 2.

The horse has won 8 of 37 starts (21.6% SR) over obstacles so far, making the frame on 15 occasions in total and of his 37 outings, he is..

  • 6/32 when not the fav & 6/25 going left handed
  • 5/25 over fences & 5/21 in fields of 8-11 runners
  • 4/16 since the start of 2019 and 4/13 in cheekpieces
  • 3/11 under Paul O'Brien & 3/11 on good to soft ground
  • 1/1 here at Doncaster & 1/1 over course and distance

Much of that is backed up on Instant Expert, whilst the pace tab suggests that providing he doesn't go off too quickly, he should be in with a good chance again here.

I can definitely see Western Miller going well and making the frame at least.

Summary

At Hereford, I expect Venetia Williams to draw a blank withe the two runners I've looked at, but all is not lost. She has another runner in the 1.22 Hereford in the shape of the 7yr old mare Kapga de Lily, a 2/1 shot who I'd expect will be the one to beat there with 6/1 Ballybough Nora likely to be next best.

It could be a different story at Doncaster for Western Miller, who I think should make the frame at worst. Whether you back him E/W at 13/2 is your own call, I can't go E/W at that price, but I might well have a couple of quid on the nose. For what it's worth, I also think Duke of Navan might be worth a second look at 7/1 in that contest.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have a good weekend. Monday's piece will go "Live" a little later than usual, as I've got something on at teatime elsewhere.

 

 

Stat of the Day, 26th June 2020

Thursday's pick was...

7.40 Bath : Princess Way @ 6/1 BOG 9th at 9/1 (Keen led after 2f, clear with one other over 5f out, ridden and headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out) 

Friday's pick runs in the...

12.15 Doncaster :

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

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

Who?

National Anthem @ 7/2 BOG

...in a 10-runner, Class 4, Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 5f on Good to Firm ground worth £4,690 to the winner... 

Why?...

This 5 yr old gelding ran just once as a two year old and once as a three year old for two different trainers to little effect. He never ran last year and moved yards to David Brown in late 2019, sparking him into life.

He returned to the track in early January to make a yard debut some 417 days after his last run and his record this year now stands at 114211 (117 days between the last two runs whilst he was gelded) including the following under today's conditions...

  • 3 from 5 in handicaps
  • 3 from 5 on a straight track
  • 3 from 4 over 5 furlongs
  • 3 from 4 in a straight 5f handicap
  • 1 from 2 at Class 4 (although won at Class 3 LTO)
  • 1 from 1 on the Flat (LTO)
  • 1 from 1 on Good to Firm (also LTO)
  • and 1 from 1 under today's jockey Cam Hardie (yes, also LTO)

He was last seen just four days ago when making all on good to firm up at Ayr in a Class 3, 5f handicap and with a good draw here today, similar tactics could well be the key, as shown on the Geegeez Pace/Draw heat map.

As well as his form this year since a switch of yard, that last run at Ayr piqued my interest, as trainer David Brown is 7 from 22 (31.8% SR) for 18.26pts (+83% ROI) with horses turned back out within 10 days of their last run since the start of 2019. I won't break those 22 down, as it will dilute the dataset too much.

However, we can look at the the other angle that popped up on my notes last night and that is David Brown + LTO winners + 2016-20 = 14/64 (21.9% SR) for 30.07pts (+47% ROI), including of note today...

  • 14/57 (24.6%) for 37.07pts (+65%) in handicaps
  • 12/48 (25%) for 25.83pts (+53.8%) with males
  • 10/27 (37%) for 10.06pts (+37.2%) at odds shorter than 5/1
  • 8/29 (27.6%) for 3.62pts (+115.9%) in races worth £4k-£10k
  • 7/31 (22.6%) for 28.11pts (+90.7%) on the Flat
  • 7/20 (35%) for 49.1pts (+245.5%) with 4-7 yr olds
  • 6/16 (37.5%) for 9.79pts (+61.2%) over 5 furlongs
  • 6/16 (37.5%) for 1.01pts (+6.3%) within 10 days of their last run
  • and 3/7 (42.9%) for 21.65pts (+309.3%) on good to firm ground...

...from which, male handicappers sent off shorter than 5/1 are 9 from 20 (45% SR) for 11.12pts (+55.6% ROI)...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on National Anthem @ 7/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.05am Friday, but as always please check your BOG statusTo see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 12.15 Doncaster

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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

Stat of the Day, 12th March 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

1.55 Lingfield : Subliminal @ 13/2 BOG 4th at 7/2 (Close up, pushed along and headway 2f out, ridden to chase winner when edged left inside final furlong, no extra and lost two places close home

Thursday's pick runs in the...

3.45 Doncaster :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.15am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

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

Who?

Premier D'Troice @ 11/4 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 4, Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 3m84yds on good ground worth £3,769 to the winner...

Why?...

This 6 yr old gelding comes here on a hat-trick after winning over 2m4f at Punchestown on his last run for Sean Thomas Doyle, ahead of scoring in a Class 4, 3 mile contest on his yard debut for Archie Watson almost 4 weeks ago at Fakenham under today's jockey Brodie Hampson.

This horse now has 2 wins and a place from 3 efforts in handicap hurdle races, including a win and a place at 3 miles.

His trainer, Archie Watson, is probably best known for his exploits on level ground, but his small string of hurdlers are 5 from 11 (45.5% SR) for 16.56pts (+150.6% ROI) over trips of 2m4f to 3m1f, all of which were males ridden by Brodie Hampson and also include of note here...

  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 18.56pts (+206.3%) with 6 yr olds
  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 19.56pts (+244.5%) finished in the first three home LTO
  • 5/6 (83.3%) for 21.56pts (+359.3%) at 70-170 miles from home
  • 4/10 (40%) for 15.33pts (+153.3%) in handicaps
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 6.22pts (+88.9%) at Evens to 4/1
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 17.59pts (+293.2%) at Class 4
  • 3/5 (60%) for 17.7pts (+354%) during February to April
  • 3/5 (60%) for 3.94pts (+78.8%) in races worth less than £4,000
  • and 2/5 (40%) for 11.08pts (+221.6%) with LTO winners...

...whilst 6 yr olds travelling 70-170 miles to run in Class 4 handicaps after a top 3 finish LTO are 3 from 3, including 2 LTO winners, 2 at Evs to 4/1 and 2 in Feb-April...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Premier D'Troice @ 11/4 BOG as was available from BetVictor, Betway, SkyBet & Marathon* at 8.05am Thursday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 3.45 Doncaster

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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