Racing Insights, 5th October 2020

Saturday's piece looked at a couple of runners at Newmarket, where I felt Hyanna was a better proposition than Inclyne and so she was by some 17 lengths, but that was as far as it went for us. No gloating in finding the 5th & 7th home of 7 and no return from a speculative 20/80 bet at Betfair SPs of 14.5 and 4.43 respectively.

Next up is...

Monday 5th October

Feature of the Day is Pace Tab on all races , which is free on Monday to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

Monday's free Races of the Day are

3.15 Stratford
3.35 Killarney
4.45 Wolverhampton
7.00 Wolverhampton

I'm going to swerve the first two, as Novice Hurdles really aren't my thing, leaving us with a choice of two from which I've plumped for the..

4.45 Wolverhampton : an 11-runner, Class 4, A/W Handicap for 3yo+ over 7f on Tapeta worth £5,208 to the winner.

Where my starting point is Instant Expert and those with at least 2 blocks of green on their profile ie...

What jumps out here is Fast Spin's consistency and her 100% record at this venue, whilst Poetic Force is also one to note on this track and runs off a mark 2lbs lower than his last win on the A/W, albeit six months ago. Fast Spin's blocks of green are also replicated on the shortlist report...

From here we'll move back to the main card and the Geegeez ratings...

Here we're instantly drawn back to Fast Spin, as both her yard and her jockey are both in good form (14 30) and have good records at this course (C1 C5), whilst Poetic Force's jockey is in good nick and Kodiac Pride hails from another yard with a good Wolverhampton record. Lequinto however may not have any of those green icons and his yard haven't fared too well recently, but he is top of our ratings with Fast Spin and Kodiac Pride also in the top four.

Hand in hand with 7 furlong ratings comes pace and as the pace tab is today's feature, let's look at the pace/draw heat map for our shortlisted quartet.

Positives here once again are Fast Spin and Kodiac Pride and they're also the two form horses of the race.


Of the four horses I shortlisted for this race, I'd boil it down to a 2-horse contest between Fast Spin and Kodiac Pride with a preference for the former, based on the details above. Despite the evidence I've shown here, I don't think she'll unbackably short and you should be able to get 3/1 about her, thanks to not being particularly well drawn out in stall 10. Kodiac Pride will probably be around the 4/1 mark and could/should run Fast Spin close.

If pushed for a small punt, it'd be 0.75pts Fast Spin with a 0.25pt saver on Kodiac Pride or you could do a straight dutch or even a reverse forecast, but my marginal preference here is for Fast Spin.

Racing Insights, 3rd October 2020

Friday's race was a really interesting affair, with just half a length separating the first six home.

Our highlighted runners went well too. Be Proud did indeed go off as favourite, but at 3/1 I felt he was too short and left him alone, leaving us with Another Angel , who was third at 9/1 whilst the one I liked most, Young Tiger was a runner-up at 14/1, beaten by just a head.

Both highlighted placers finished well and had Young Tiger not dwelt at the start, it could have been a winner. Hopefully, those of you who did have a dabble went E/W and got something back. Next up is...

Saturday 3rd October

Feature of the Day is the Trainer/Jockey Combo report, which is free on Saturday to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

Saturday's free Races of the Day are

1.15 Tipperary
1.40 Newmarket
3.20 Newmarket
3.55 Newmarket
4.04 Fontwell
6.30 Wolverhampton

So, I'm going to discard the 1.40 (too many runners) and the two maiden contests (3.55 & 6.30), leaving me with three to choose from and I'm going with...

3.20 Newmarket : a 7-runner, Class 2, Fillies Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m4f on Soft ground worth £27,390 to the winner.

This race features two runners (Inclyne & Hyanna) on the Trainer/Jockey Combo report, so let's take a look at those two and see if we can predict how they'll get on tomorrow.

We'll start with the racecard and the relevant Trainer/Jockey records...

Georgia Dobie has 16 wins from 76 (21.05% SR) for Eve Johnson Houghton over the last twelve months at an A/E of 1.63 and an IV of 2.11 and together the pair are 2 from 6 (33.33% SR, A/E 2.63 & IV 3.04) here at Newmarket over the last five years.

Whereas William Buick is 4/11 (36.36% SR, A/E 1.45 & IV 3.64) for Andrew Balding over the last year and together, their 5-year Newmarket record stands at 3 from 8 (37.5% SR) at an A/E of 1.60 and IV of 3.42.

Neither of those records would put me off, so what about the pace/draw aspect?

This is more problematical, as neither are particularly well drawn for their running style, but this is a 1m4f contest and in a small field, tactics might well be changed to suit the occasion and with Hyanna being closer to the green on the heat map, I think she shades this one.

If we refer back to the racecard and the Geegeez ratings, Inclyne is well clear of the pack on 88, whilst Hyanna is joint worst at 66 and then I'd like to look at past performances under today's conditions ie...

Venue : Hyanna is 1/4 at Newmarket, whilst Inclyne is 1/3
Going : 1/4 on Soft against 0/3
Trip : 3/14 against 1/2
Jockey : Hyanna is 2/10 under Georgia Dobie, whilst this is William Buick's first ride on Inclyne
Number of runners : Hyanna's 4/9 in fields of 1-7 runners is excellent, whilst Inclyne is 0/1
Class : 2 from 12 for Hyanna at Class 2 versus Inclyne's first step up to this grade
Days Since Run : 4 from 15 at 16-30 dslr against 8/1 at 8-15 dslr


Other than the Geegeez Speed Rating, Hyanna looks a safer option than Inclyne and her experience at this level might prove beneficial in a contest where five of her six rivals are having to step up in class.

I'd be inclined to have a small win bet on her with a couple of caveats. I'd prefer the ground to be a bit drier and I'm a little worried about her shouldering top weight, so I'm going to suggest a 20/80 bet on Hyanna with Betfair or another exchange with 0.2pts on the win and 0.8pts on the place.

Racing Insights, 1st October 2020

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

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

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

Thursday 1st October

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

Thursday's free Races of the Day are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Racing Insights, 30th September 2020

One of the elements that separates the betting improvers from the stay-the-samers is reviewing matters after the fact. Because Racing Insights is more of a stream of punting consciousness than a tipping column, it allows us to - Janus-like - look back as well as forward. That's a verbose way of saying we'll include any observations from the previous day which might be useful in future. We might call that Racing Hindsights...!

Racing Hindsights

Looking at yesterday's inaugural offering - link here - the draw/pace combination did for form horses Equidae, as predicted, though the market also foresaw that, his odds drifting from 7/2 to an SP of 15/2. He finished 11th of 14 having got shunted wide and never securing an effective racing position.

At the sharp end, I overlooked the winner - and favourite - Ugo Gregory on the basis that I didn't want to be with a hold up horse. As it happened, there was a lot of pace, more than expected, and that set things up for the well-drawn waited-with victor.

A couple of takeaways: firstly, in this race, Nobby Nuts was ridden more patiently than has recently been the case, and encountered a little trouble in running. He stayed on for a never nearer sixth, and might have been fourth with a clear passage. He wasn't unlucky as such, as he'd have never troubled the first two, but he goes in my tracker with the following comment:

Nothing to go overboard on, but could be a fair price and offer a bit of value in a big field soon.

The second point, and a good one for me personally, was that although the prominent low draws didn't land the spoils in the featured seven-furlong handicap, they did in the other two races. Both Highfield Princess (11/4) and Redarna (13/2) were very well backed (including by me 🙂 ) and won comfortably. The takeaway is that Ayr's seven furlong range is one where low/prominent is a setup from which to find a bet; and kudos to Dave Renham for flagging that. His work is something we may return to regularly.


Racing Insights, 30th September 2020

To Wednesday's racing. Feature of the Day is the Trainer Statistics report, which is free to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

Wednesday's free Races of the Day are

Let's take a look at the Trainer Stats report, Course 5 Year view. I have some filters set, which are 15 runs minimum, A/E 1.25 and IV 1.5. If you want to know more about those metrics, you should check out this important post. Just understanding these numbers - and putting them to work for you - will give you a head start on almost all punters. Obviously, feel free to set these filters up in a way that suits your personal tastes.

I've clicked the A/E column heading to sort by that column, largest first, and that gives me a list of trainers and their horses to look at more closely.

Clicking the 'Show/Hide Inline' button reveals the actual runners:

I'm immediately struck by the top row which tells me that Saeed bin Suroor has a 50% strike rate at Nottingham in the last five years. When I click on the little black down arrow to the left hand side of his name, it shows me his actual runners. (This past history table can be sorted by any column, so you can see, for example, whether they were all shorties, or for a particular jockey, or if the winners were a long time ago, etc).

There's lots of recency in the winner column, and for a range of jockeys. Most were at the 5/1 or shorter price point - no odds on site at the time of writing - so we might want to focus at the sharp end.

Picking between the quartet is bound to lead to egg on face, but I will highlight one of them for the sake of this piece. Global Hero had a long time off and was entitled to need his comeback run. We can see from the inline trainer data below that bin Suroor's record with horses having their second start in a handicap (note also the HC2 indicator adjacent to the horse's name) is very strong - 28% - as is his record when he steps one up markedly in trip, nigh on 30% of those having won in the last two years.

It's a competitive race, and a good race, too; but he is interesting as a starting point.



That's all for today. Remember, these articles will always have a beginning (the retrospective on the previous day) and a middle (some thoughts and observations around potentially playable angles for the following day's racing), but they may be lacking an end - a pick.

Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. As you'll doubtless already be tired of reading, that's not the purpose of Racing Insights.

Do please leave a comment with any thoughts or questions you have, and we'll try to address them in subsequent days.


p.s. Racing Insights 'officially' replaces Stat of the Day from tomorrow evening with the first day's racing featured being 1st October.

Racing Insights, 29th September 2020

Welcome to the first in a new series of daily (Monday to Saturday) articles aimed at helping you to sharpen your betting focus. We've somewhat unimaginatively called the series Racing Insights, and I very much hope that's what they will provide.

Replacing Stat of the Day was always going to be emotional for some of that long-running feature's army of fans, but the time was right to step away from tipping and pivot the focus from 'the answer' to 'the working out'.

That means that some days, perhaps more often than not, there won't be an obvious pick within the Racing Insights piece. But what there will always be is reasoned argument whilst working through a race. Those reasonings start at the helicopter level of a whole day's racing: choosing our battles carefully is one of the most important aspects of betting, and one which is generally overlooked.

It took Stat of the Day a good four to six months to establish its style, so please don't expect Racing Insights to be cast in stone by the end of this week. Also, we're keen to make it something that can help with any challenges you might have - we can provide answers from time to time within the content here - so please do feel free to ask your burning questions in the comments!

Enough with the preamble, let's get this new show on the road...

Tuesday 29th September offers free subscribers six Gold races from the 47 races across UK and Ireland. These are as follows:

29/09/2020 13:30 Ayr
29/09/2020 13:45 Cork
29/09/2020 13:55 Punchestown
29/09/2020 14:05 Ayr
29/09/2020 16:15 Punchestown
29/09/2020 16:40 Wolverhampton

Gold subscribers have access, of course, to everything.

From that sextet, I'm going to focus on Ayr. The two races listed there are to be run over six and seven furlongs respectively, and Dave Renham's fantastic blog on Ayr Draw and Pace biases is an extremely helpful starting point.

To check the latest going, as well as any other relevant updates such as the position of the stalls, I'll go to the BHA's Fixture Updates page (well worth bookmarking). Here I discover the following:

The stalls on the straight track, which includes the six furlong distance, will be placed in the centre of the width of the course; for the seven furlong races, they will be positioned on the outer.

I've also noted that with showers forecast the going might well be good to soft.

Dave's article tells me that the draw bias is all but negated over six when the stalls are positioned centrally:

In the context of this specific race, the 1.30, the PRB (percentage of rivals beaten) chart looks like this:

While middle looks unfavoured, one has to be careful as a quick squint at the left hand axis reveals a very tight range of between 0.46 (46% of rivals beaten) and 0.53 (53% of rivals beaten). I wouldn't normally consider anything in the 0.46-0.54 range to be material. In other words, this backs up Dave's assertion that draw is largely irrelevant over six at Ayr when the stalls are in the middle.

I don't really feel like I have enough of a route into this race and so I'm moving on to the other Ayr Race of the Day, the 2.05, a handicap over seven furlongs.

Here we can see that there is a sharp bend to negotiate soon after the start and, even allowing for the positioning of the stalls on the outside to enable the field to meet it at more of a tangent, there is still scope for wide-drawn runners to have to cover a lot more ground especially if getting fanned out turning into the home straight:


We can see from Dave's piece that high draws win around half as often as those otherwise berthed:

They do still win 20% of the time, mind. [Any horse can win any race, remember that!!]

So it's a knock for wide drawn runners, though not a knockout blow at this stage. However, pace is also a factor with those closer to the speed faring best and those furthest from it doing worst. Below is the draw/pace chart looking at place data on the heat map.

Note that Florenza, and particularly the hattrick-seeking Equidae, are drawn widest of all. They both have some early speed so might try to go forward and tack across. The likelihood, with that bend appearing soon after the start, is that they'll be trapped out wide and I'd be against them on that basis. Of course, if they can get handy and not be four, five or six wide, they'll have their chance.

Those most obviously favoured by the draw and pace set up look to be Nobby Nuts, Let Right Be Done, Al Mansoura, and Kodimoor. [Nobby Nuts appears to be in a flash of amber, but one needs to use common sense when considering the data as a whole and the principles of geometry: there is not a huge amount of data with which to work and it stands to reason that a horse near the inner of the field who likes to race handily ought to be favoured - I hope that's clear...ish]

Let's have a look at Instant Expert now:

Again, I'm looking at place data (to get a slightly deeper feel for things) and I've set to all horse form, though I often look only at the last two years. And I've ordered by draw because of the bias against those locked in the car park.

I can see that one of the horses I was interested in, Let Right Be Done, has run at Ayr a whopping 32 times in his career, making the frame just four times. That does include a course and distance score on good to soft but he's not really on my shopping list.

Of the exposed runners, Forever A Lady seems to always perform well here. She's on her last winning mark (59, see the right hand column in Instant Expert) and has made the frame in five of seven course and distance spins. Note also that, in spite of generally having been held up recently, she's (sensibly!) normally ridden more prominently over this track and trip. Stall nine doesn't massively help but she'll probably a big price to offset the risk.

Al Mansoura has a lot less data in the visual than most of her rivals, but what little there is is green: she was a neck second to Equidae on her only course run, which was also over this range and, with a kinder draw than her conqueror then, she has a strong chance to reverse that form. She's been beaten a neck a couple of times now, however, and remains a maiden after five runs. That does also mean she can probably improve from her current rating.

Interestingly, trainer David O'Meara and jockey Danny Tudhope both have fine long-term (C5) records at Ayr, the latter also in excellent recent form as shown by the green 14/30 indicators:

O'Meara persists with the cheek pieces even though Al Mansoura ran poorly in them on their first application last time out.

Nobby Nuts is another three-year-old with little data to go on; but he has that good draw and can go forward. Also, he's dropping back in trip having failed to see out a mile last time and he's dropping in class (see the down arrow to the right of his name). He's quite interesting

A third three-year-old is Edna Tale and her trainer's record with handicap debutants would have made her of interest on another day; but the combination of David Barron's poor recent form and her moderate wide draw mean she's got plenty on her plate for all that she's only had two goes thus far and is almost sure to be better than we've seen.

Of the more exposed runners, Kodimoor is one-from-one at the track, in a Class 6 seven-furlong handicap, the same setup as today. He seems to handle all ground and only conceded the lead in the last furlong when racing over Beverley's stiff mile last time. Paula Muir rode him there and keeps the mount. As can be seen below from the RS (Run Style) column on the Full Form tab, this lad has led in his most recent two starts and may again attempt the front-running tactic.



It's a very tricky 14-runner low grade contest, but the widest stall for the most in-form horse might make the market for anything else we fancy. In that context, Kodimoor is interesting and I suspect he'll make a bid for the lead, his draw in 8 mitigated by a number of typically steadier starters inside. But he may get run down in the final furlong by one of the less exposed three-year-olds. It would be no surprise to see Forever A Lady significantly outrun her odds.