Racing Insights, 19th January 2021

Tuesday's feature of the day is the Shortlist Report and our free races of the day are...

  • 1.05 Clonmel
  • 2.35 Clonmel
  • 3.45 Exeter
  • 3.55 Fakenham

The Shortlist Report looks like this today... why don't we see if Ballybreen is likely to land the spoils in the 3.45 Exeter, as that's one of our free races?

The card...

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...says that he, Apple's Queen and Sandford Castle are the form horses here. His trainer is the only trainer with both a positive form (30) and course record (C5) icon and he heads the Geegeez Speed Ratings. He's one of only three course and distance winners and actually won this very contest a year ago.

As you'd expect, Instant Expert paints a good picture of him, although the red for his soft ground performances might be a little misleading, but I'll come to that shortly, of course!

You'll also notice that he's now 7lbs higher for winning five days ago, but that probably doesn't tell the whole story of a 32 length success, where he made all and was well clear from a long way out and would probably have still coasted home carrying a bag of wet sand. Those front running tactics will probably be used again today, but is that a good idea here at Exeter?

Well, with 9 wins from the 15 horses to have tried to win 13 similar races from the front, I'd say that leading is the best plan of attack and our pace tab suggests that's exactly what he'll do.

So from the card and its Instant Expert & Pace tabs, I've still no reason not to believe he can and will win this one. Time for a closer look at his numbers, I think.

His record over fences reads 111281 since the start of 2020 and he's never usually left in the shed too long. The exception to that was the one bad result in that list, when last of 8 over 3m2f on heavy ground having being laid off for 222 days. He still ran from the front that day but tired in the closing stages, as he'd be entitled to, so I don't read too much into that defeat. I'd also add that he wasn't wearing blinkers that day either, but does normally and will here.

In those six races and of relevance here, Conor Ring was in the saddle for all six, he finished 11121 in blinkers, 1112 going right handed, he won 3 from 3 in January, 2 from 2 over this trip (and 2 from 3 at 3m1.5f/3m2f), he had one win and one runner-up finish from two runs here at Exeter and the same record on soft ground (much better recently on soft than his previous form) and he did, of course, win this race a year ago on heavy ground.


It might all seem a bit short and sweet, but some days/races it takes virtually no time at all to come to a decision, especially when the compelling evidence is pretty much handed to you. I liked Ballybreen last time out and he won at a decent price. I like him here and I don't think 7lbs was the difference between him winning and not winning last time out.

So, yes, Ballybreen for me. 3/1 looks a tad generous as I was expecting 9/4 or 5/2 at best, I'm on!

Haldon Gold Cup Trends

The focus is on Exeter racecourse on Tuesday 3rd November as they stage the 2020 Haldon Gold Cup Chase – a Grade 2 limited handicap run over 2m1f.

In recent years the likes of Cue Card and Politologue have used this race to get their seasons started!

Here at GeeGeez we've got all the key stats to look out for ahead of the 2020 renewal, this year run on Tuesday 3rd November.

Did you know? 12 of the last 18 winners were French-bred, while ALL of the last 18 winners returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting.

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Recent Haldon Gold Cup Winners

2019 - JANIKA (5/2 fav)
2018 – GOD’S OWN (7/2)
2017 - POLITOLOGUE (5/2 fav)
2016 – SIR VALENTINO (10/1)
2015 – VIBRATO VALTAT (5/2 fav)
2014 – GOD’S OWN (8/1)
2013 – SOMERSBY (9/2)
2012 – CUE CARD (5/6 fav)
2011 – MEDERMIT (7/2)
2010 – TCHICO POLOS (3/1)
2009 – PLANET OF SOUND (4/1 fav)
2008 – ASHLEY BROOK (8/1)
2007 – PABLO DU CHARMIL (9/2)
2006 – IMPEK (9/1)
2005 – MONKERHOSTIN (10/1)
2004 – AZERTYUIOP (6/5 fav)
2003 – EDREDON BLEU (7/2)
2002 -  EDREDON BLEU (10/1)

Haldon Gold Cup Betting Trends

18/18 – Returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
17/18 – Had won a chase race over at least 2m2f before
17/18 – Having their 1st run of the new season
16/18 – Officially rated 150 or higher
15/18 – Had won at least 3 times over fences before
12/18 – Won by a French-bred horse
12/18 – Carried 10-9 or more
11/18 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
10/18 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or more
10/18 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
10/18 – Ran at either Aintree (5) or Cheltenham (5) last time out
7/18 – Unplaced favourites
7/18 – Had won just 3 previous times over fences
6/18 – Winning favourites
5/18 – Had won over fences at Exeter before
5/18 – Carried 11-10
4/18 – Aged 7 years-old
4/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/18 – Trained by Tom George
3/18 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
3/18 – Won their last race
2/18 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 5/1








Stat of the Day, 3rd March 2020

Monday's pick was...

3.40 Wetherby : Casual Cavalier @ 4/1 BOG 4th at 8/1 (Chased leaders, outpaced in 4th 4 out, ridden after next, never on terms, weakened after last)

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

3.00 Exeter :

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.

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Ballybreen @ 10/3 BOG a 14-runner, Class 5, Handicap Chase for 5yo+ over 3m on soft ground worth £3,899 to the winner...


Big field, soft ground handicap chases aren't for the faint hearted, not even at this low grade of racing, but thankfully we've got a 7 yr old gelding who should relish the conditions.

A winner of each of his last three starts since blinkers were applied, all at 3m or beyond, all on soft or softer ground, all going right handed, all under jockey Conor Ring who again claims 3lbs and one win here at Exeter.

He's up another 5lbs for that latest win, but has had more than four weeks to get his his exertions and also takes a drop in class to run here today. He's not fazed by company (his wins were in fields of 10, 11 & 12 runners) and I expect another bold show today from this former heavy ground 3m PTP winner.

As for his trainer sending him here again, that's possibly because Evan Williams' runners are 20 from 91 (22% SR) for 65.7pts (+72.2% ROI) backed blindly here at Exeter since 2015.

Obviously I rarely (if ever) advocate backing every runner from a particular trainer at a track and I prefer to isolate certain profitable/relevant angles to our advantage and here's a baker's dozen of such possible lines of approach from those 91 runners...

  1.  18/77 (23.4%) for 65.8pts (+85.4%) from male runners
  2.  18/71 (25.4%) for 63.7pts (+89.7%) in races worth less than £11,000
  3.  14/51 (27.5%) for 62.5pts (+122.6%) in handicaps
  4.  13/47 (27.7%) for 54.4pts (+115.7%) with 6/7 yr olds
  5.  13/29 (44.8%) for 35.5pts (+122.5%) at odds of 6/4 to 5/1
  6.  12/42 (28.6%) for 49.7pts (+118.4%) at 26-90 days since they last ran
  7.  12/35 (34.3%) for 66.1pts (+188.8%) on soft ground
  8.  9/38 (23.7%) for 24.3pts (+63.9%) from chasers
  9.  8/22 (36.4%) for 15.9pts (+72.3%) at Class 5
  10.  5/24 (20.8%) for 37.9pts (+157.9%) at trips of 2m7.5f to 3m0.5f
  11.  5/14 (35.7%) for 27.6pts (+196.9%) from LTO winners
  12.  5/10 (50%) for 21.41pts (+214.1%) with handicap chasers sent off at 6/4 to 15/2
  13.  and 3/9 (33.3%) for 17.22pts (+191.3%) from those with one previous course win... us...a 1pt win bet on Ballybreen @ 10/3 BOG as was available from BetVictor & Hills at 8.00am Tuesday, with plenty of 3/1 elsewhere but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting... here for the betting on the 3.00 Exeter

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!