Tag Archive for: Haydock racecourse

Racing Insights, 30th December 2021

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

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

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

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

  • 12.30 Haydock
  • 2.25 Taunton
  • 4.30 Wolverhampton

So, the Wolverhampton race is a poor novice affair with very little form to work with, therefore Instant Expert isn't going to help us. The Taunton race is a Listed race, so it's a decent standard but they're largely inexperienced mares (59 races between the 9 of them) and the market points to a 2-horse race, whilst the Haydock race is a Conditional Jockeys contest, which I'm not a huge fan of, but it is a stayers race on heavy ground there and these are always interesting, so let's play the 12.30 Haydock, shall we?

It's a 7-runner, Class 4, Conditional Jockeys 3yo+ Handicap Hurdle over a left handed 3m½f on heavy ground (I can't remember the last day it didn't rain or snow at some point up in the North West) and they'll tackle a dozen hurdles on their way to hopefully landing the £5,446 prize which will end up with one of these...

Macho Mover comes here in great form with 2 wins and 2 narrow defeats from his last four outings including a course and distance success here just four weeks ago when three places and four lengths clear of the re-opposing Storm Lorenzo in another conditionals race. 6lb claimer Lewis Stones was on board for the first time that day and he keeps the ride, but the horse has been put up 4lbs for the win. He has very little heavy ground form, but his yard's Class 4 hurdlers have made the frame in 21 of 35 (60%) of heavy ground Class 4 hurdles, winning 10 (28.6%) of them.

For Jim has had an excellent run since mid-November 2020 with 6 wins and a place from 11 chase/hurdles races (6112 over hurdles), but since winning over fences at 3m1f in early October, has appeared to be in the grip of the assessor, struggling off marks of 116 and 115. His last hurdles win came off 99, so even today's 110 looks a stretch for a horse much better suited to the bigger obstacles.

Storm Lorenzo is difficult to assess after just half a dozen races over six different trips at six different tracks under four different jockeys for two trainers! That said, he was fourth of ten over today's course and distance when finishing four lengths behind Macho Mover last time out, so that was a decent effort. He's 5lbs better off with the winner here, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough, even if his yard have been going well since that defeat...

Charm Offensive is an eight race maiden, but looks like she's getting the hang of things, finishing as a runner-up in her three starts earlier in the year and then third last time out. That was at Hexham just over three weeks ago when she was coming off a 31 week layoff and was only beaten by half a length then a neck in a tight finish, where she seemed to find the 2m4f trip too sharp. She stayed on well, though, suggesting that this step back up in trip would suit and the recent form of his yard is encouraging too...

Lady Bowes is the second of the two 7yr old mares and she had a good 2020, winning two of her three starts : a soft ground bumper and a heavy ground maiden hurdle, but she has only raced twice since that hurdle success 55 weeks ago. She could only finish 6th of 11 at Perth in may after 155 days off track, but fared much better at Hexham three weeks ago when defying a 30-week break to finish 3rd of 14 on heavy ground, beaten by just 4 lengths. She's actually a pound better off here and could be entitled to improve for the run, but she's up in trip by 4.5f here and this is a half mile further than she has ever raced, so fitness would have to be taken on trust, but there are some stats that give a little confidence to her chances...

Stolen Money struggled in his only bumper run and was pulled up on hurdling debut over 2m4f at Ayr in November 2020, but in four efforts since has finished 2421 all at trips of 3m1f/3m1½f, so he's clearly more a stayer than a speedster. He was only fourth on his sole heavy ground start, but both runner-up finishes were on soft ground, so he shouldn't be totally at sea here. His win at Carlisle LTO came after a 259-day absence so he could well improve here and the third placed horse that day has already raced and won since.

Storm Tiger won his only PTP contest, so he should get the trip, even if his four outings under Rules have only been over 2m½f (twice) and 2m4f (twice). his best effort to date came at Hexham LTO when fourth of fourteen on heavy ground on handicap debut, just a neck behind the re-opposing Lady Bowes, who he now meets again effectively 2lbs better off. Like the mare, he too is stepping up in trip, but if they both handle the trip, I'd expect him to be able to reverse the placings.

We've got heavy ground here, which can often make or break a horse's chances and previous success in the mud is always a bonus. Three miles-plus on a heavy Haydock track can take some getting, so let's use Instant Expert to see if any of them will be suited by conditions than their rivals...

We don't have much heavy ground form to call upon if truth be told, but Lady Bowes and Charm Offensive (to a lesser degree) seems to have coped with the mud pretty well so far, although Macho Mover has 3 wins and a place from 6 on soft ground. All bar Storm Tiger have some decent results at this grade with Macho Mover the most experienced and his 3 wins/4 places from 13 is a good return. He's also the only one to have won here over hurdles from the three who've been here before and although For Jim is only 1 from 6 at the trip his 5 places suggests he's definitely proven to stay, but he's better over fences and carries much more weight than his last hurdles win.

In the last ten similar races to this one ie 6-8 runners, 3m-3m2f, heavy ground hurdles at Haydock, 30 of the 79 runners (38%) have raced prominently, whilst 29 (36.7%) have been held up, but with very differing fortunes, as prominent runners have won 6 times with just the one hold-up horse prevailing. In fact the stats show that the further back you race, the worse your chances of success become, with leaders faring best of all...

...so we now need to find/work out how our runners will run and although we don't have a crystal ball, we have the next best thing : a log of how every horses has previously raced and here are the last four efforts from our seven runners...

Stolen Money is the only one to have led in any of the last four runs by any of these runners and with a prominent effort LTO, that would seem to be his favoured tactics and he could well steal a bit of a lead early doors here.

Summary

For the win, I've got it between Macho Mover and Stolen Money for the win/places. The bookies have Macho Mover as the 11/4 favourite with Stolen Money a 4/1 chance and these odds are probably fair. Macho Mover has it on form, but Stolen Money is making good progress and gets weight from the fav. Neither have any heavy ground form, but both have fared well on soft ground, but in the pace department, there's the chance of Stolen Money opening up a gap that the rest might find hard to bridge.

If I've read it right, then there won't hopefully be too much between the two here, but I'm leaning marginally towards Stolen Money at 4's.

Of the rest, you're probably looking at the likes of Lady Bowes to chase the leader, but the five really could finish in any order.

Racing Insights, 1st December 2021

The Trainer Statistics report is, in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course since 2009, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

This fantastic report is FREE to ALL readers EVERY Wednesday and is complemented this week with the following free races of the day...

  • 1.40 Dundalk
  • 2.50 Haydock
  • 3.40 Dundalk
  • 4.30 Kempton

Most of you are probably already aware that the settings I use for the Trainer Statistics report are quite stringent, meaning I only get a small umber of potential bets to consider each day and Wednesday is no exception. In fact the only "qualifiers" I've got are from the 14-day form figures...

...which show that David O'Meara was in fine form prior to sending 8 runners to Newcastle for Tuesday's afternoon/evening fixture. Those eight could easily affect his 14-day record, of course and whilst he has a runner, Beauzon, in one of our 'free' races, it's a Class 5, A/W nursery and I'm not a fan of such races. Instead I'm staying closer to home (my home, anyway!) for the 2.50 Haydock, which is an interesting-looking, 12-runner, Class 2, 10yo+ Veterans Handicap Chase over a testing 3m1½f on soft ground. It's worth winning at just over £11,700 and here's the card...

So we've a dozen 10 to 12 yr old geldings including several familiar names with the top weight Lake View Lad rated some 26lbs better than Tinkers Hill Tommy who will carry just 10 stones here. Quirkily, our Geegeez SR figures has those two at the top much closer together and only marginally clear of Smooth Stepper.

Form : All bar five (Aso, Ami Desbois, Dashing Perk, Blaklion and Up Helly AA King) have a win in their recent formline.

Class : Lake View Lad, Aso, Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper and Psychedelic Rock all drop down down from Class 1 action LTO where the latter ran in a Listed race and the other four competed at Gr 3. Conversely Prime Venture, Up Helly AA King and Tinkers Hill Tommy all step up from Class 3.

Course winners : Lake View Lad, Aso, Ami Debois, Smooth Stepper, Blaklion & Late Romantic

Distance winners : Lake View Lad, Smooth Stepper, Prime Venture, Blaklion, Sharp Response, Late Romantic & Tinkers Hill Tommy

Late Romantic is the only course and distance winner, courtesy of landing this contest off 4lbs higher on heavy ground last year.

Last seen : Half of the field (Aso, Prime Venture, Blaklion, Late Romantic, Up Helly AA King and Tinkers Hill Tommy) have all raced in the last 18 to 34 days. Psychedelic Rock has had a 5 month break, whilst four (Lake View Lad, Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper, Dashing Perk) are making their seasonal bow after 221 to 237 days rest, but Sharp Response hasn't been seen for almost two years!

Between the dozen of them, they've clocked up some miles, competing in a total of 324 races, making the frame 151 times (46.6%) and going on to win 67 (20.7%) of them. Lake View Lad has the best strike rate of the group (9/29 = 31%) with Dashing perk the least prolific at 11.8% (2 from 17), but under Wednesday's expected conditions, they are...

Tinkers Hill Tommy has never been to Haydock before, but otherwise, he's the standout off a small number of runs shown on Instant Expert, but he's 7lbs higher than his last win. Lake View Lad shows up well despite being 0/2 at this level, but he does have three Class 1 chase victories and is now 4lbs lower than his last win. Aso is proven at Class 2 and Smooth Stepper's numbers are all positive if not spectacular, but he does look best suited by underfoot conditions. Four of the bottom five of the card 'get' the trip readily enough, so we shouldn't be short of finishers. from a weight perspective, Blaklion and Aso are racing off much reduced marks compared to their last wins, but Up Helly is carrying an extra 12lbs, but he has good heavy ground form, so he'll not be short on stamina.

From a pace perspective, we're essentially looking for horses happy to take it on...

...but in reality, all running styles bar the hold-up horses do well enough, although the 1.74 IV figure for leaders shouldn't be overlooked and with 61.5% of leaders holding on for a place, that could be good news for Dashing Perk, Psychedelic Rock and Tinkers Hill Tommy based on their last four runs...

...but not such great reading for the likes of Lake View Lad, Aso or last year's winner Late Romantic, although that win was five starts ago and he raced prominently that day.

Summary

The 'class' horses from the past running here include the likes of Lake View Lad, Aso and Blaklion. These three, along with Smooth Stepper are all proven Class 1 chasers and this race should be well within their grasp. Tinkers Hill Tommy is better than his reappearance would suggest and is dangerous off bottom weight, whilst Ami Desbois was in good nick prior to being brought down in the Grand National and is an interesting yard mover making a debut for Fergal O'Brien.

These six are the half of the field that I'd want to be with and with many bookies paying four places (5 at Skybet), there could be scope for an E/W selection or two.

Lake View Lad won a soft ground Grade 2 chase over this trip at Aintree on his December 2020 comeback and will attempt a similar result this time around in an easier race rated 4lbs lower. I'd be happier if he raced more prominently like he did at Aintree that day as that might be the key here.

Aso has been the runner-up in the Ryanair Chase on two occasions and although nowhere near that level now, was also runner-up in back to back (Class 2, then Listed) contests earlier this year. His jumping let him down in the Gold Cup and his comeback race at Cheltenham 18 days was over too sharp a trip for him. Up in distance, down in grade and racing against fellow veterans, we might see sparks of the old hero here.

Ami Debois is better than his line of red on Instant Expert might suggest even if he hasn't won a race for almost four years. He has, however, been a runner-up in three of his last five outings and was unlucky to get brought down in this year's Grand National and now makes a yard debut for a trainer with a decent record at this venue. Not an obvious winner, but good enough for a place and will race up with the pace.

Smooth Stepper won a Grade 3 chase here back in February 2020 and won a veteran chase similar to this one at Carlisle two starts ago off just one pound lower. Things didn't go to plan at Sandown last time out, but he's back down in class/trip, will relish the conditions and has run well fresh in the past.

Blaklion is another former Grade 1 winner, but he's also almost four years past his last win. Good enough to finish 6th in this year's National despite weakening late on, he made a satisfactory/respectable comeback at Bangor recently where he jumped pretty well but lacked the speed required to get involved. I was actually surprised to see him return three weeks ago and I'd love to see him win once more, but it's unlikely and I don't think we'll be seeing too much more of him, unless something special happens here.

Tinkers Hill Tommy lurks at the foot of the weights, but Dr Peter May's ratings have him as a player here and I'd be inclined to agree. He finished 2112 in his opening four runs of this year prior to another 197 day rest. He wasn't at this best on his return at Ludlow four weeks ago, but would be entitled to come on for the run off a mark one pound lower. His yard are in decent form right now and have a good record with their stayers. trip and going are ideal for him and he gets on well with the booked jockey, so he could well be in the mix.

Of these six, I think that Lake View Lad and Aso are the two best on display and I'd not be surprised if they weren't the first two home, even if their pace profiles suggest they'll have work to do. This is a fairly open/competitive encounter, but the market doesn't look too generous right now (4.30pm). Lake View Lad is currently best priced at 5/1 with Aso as short as 11/4 in places (but 7/2 with Bet365). To be honest, I can't bring myself to back either at those odds, even if I do think they'll be the best two in the race, because I have that nagging doubt about them having too much to do late on.

Of the other four, I think that (sadly) Blaklion is probably the one I'm least keen on. Sentiment would want him to go well here, but i think that even this is beyond him now, so I'm left with three to consider. I'd be surprised if Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper or Tinkers Hill Tommy held on to win, but I do like all three for a chance of making the frame. Ami is too short for that at 11/2 to 13/2, so I'm playing two small E/W bets here on Tinkers Hill Tommy at 14/1 and Smooth Stepper at 18/1, both with bookies paying four places.

 

Racing Insights, 3rd September 2021

Friday's free feature is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report, which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s 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. In addition to this report, we also have the following free races of the day...

  • 1.35 Newcastle
  • 2.20 Haydock
  • 3.30 Haydock
  • 4.30 Haydock
  • 5.52 Down Royal
  • 7.15 Kempton

My own settings for the H4C have yielded no possibles to consider, so it's back to the free race list we go where the delightfully named Tin Man handicap looks the best of the bunch. It's a 7-runner, Class 2, Flat handicap for 3yr olds and above. The trip is a straight 6f on good to firm ground and it shows on your cards as the 2.20 Haydock...

This is a good looking sprint with plenty of 1's in the latest form columns. Only Edraak & Golden Apollo raced at Class 2 last time around with Be Proud & Manigordo stepping up one class and Mitrosonfire & Embour jumping up from Class 4. We've one class dropper, Regional who was last seen in a Listed race, but that was almost 11 months ago. Edraak raced 32 days ago and the others have all been out in the last three weeks.

Trainers of Edraak & Mitrosonfire are good form (14 30) and the jockeys aboard Golden Apollo and Edraak are riding well with the latter the pick on previous course form. All bar Regional & Be Proud are past 6f winners, but none of the seven have scored here at Haydock before. Regional & Mitrosonfire are both aged 3 and receive a 2lb weight allowance and our own SR figures predict a tight contest.

Edraak has four wins and four places from twelve starts so far, winning three of his last six. He's 4 from 8 over this trip and has won under today's jockey Oisin Murphy who has 6 wins and 6 places from 19 rides for Michael Appleby in the last year as well as...

Regional won a Class 5, 5f, maiden on debut for Richard Fahey last July and then ran well enough to finish fourth in a Listed race at Ayr, beaten by less than 1.5 lengths. He was then beaten by almost 7 lengths on a step up to 6f in another Listed contest last October and hasn't been seen since. He has been quite cheaply during his lay-off and has been gelded. First time tongue tie today on yard & handicap debut off a stiff looking mark of 94.

Mitrosonfire has been on fire these last three months, winning four of six starts and he comes here on a hat-trick after Class 2 wins over 6f at Ascot and Newmarket last month. Up 3lbs here, but loves this firmer ground and is in cracking form, as are his handlers...

Golden Apollo is one of the more experienced runners here with 48 outings under his belt already and despite having bags of ability, he lacks consistency. He regularly makes the frame but doesn't win anywhere near as often as you'd hope. In fact it's almost two years and 13 defeats since he last won, but proved he's still got something when finishing as a 1.5 length runner-up in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last time out behind Justanotherbottle who has since been a Listed race runner-up.

Embour has a solid 40% place & 20% win strike rate from his 30 flat runs, but like the runner above is on a losing streak. His stands at nine defeats since scoring on his seasonal reappearance at Redcar five months ago. He was sixth and almost three lengths behind Golden Apollo in the Great St Wilfrid, but did improve to be a runner-up, beaten by just a head next/last time out, albeit down at Class 4. Further improvement will be needed up two classes for a yard that is 0 from 55 here over the last six seasons!

Be Proud has already got 50 races under his belt at the age of 5! In fact he really hasn't stopped racing over the last 15 months, making 26 appearances. He has won three times this year including last time out when winning by half a length at Sandown. However, not only will he need a career best effort here up 5lbs for that win, but he's also up in both class and trip to 6f, where he is 0 from 15 and he probably prefers Tapeta. That said...

...but his yard are 1 from 38 at Haydock over the last six seasons.

Manigordo completes the line-up and he was 5th in that Great St Wilfrid race mentioned earlier, actually winning his side of the draw from stall 4 of 20 where the first five home came from stalls 19, 17, 18, 20 and 4 highlighting the impact the draw can have. That was a really good effort, but he didn't back it up next/last time out, when dropped in class at Lingfield, he could only finish third of ten, beaten by over three lengths off today's mark. You'd have thought that he'll need to run much better here to be involved.

At this point, I'm liking Edraak, Golden Apollo and Mitrosonfire more than the others and I'm less keen on Regional, but I'm not nailing my colours to the mast just yet and certainly not before checking out race-relevant form via Instant Expert...

...where Mitrosonfire cements his place in my thoughts with an almost full line of green. Edraak has some good numbers too, but Golden Apollo has tried this level extensively and 3 from 32 isn't great, although he has made the frame ten times. He is, however, like Embour, running off a mark lower than his last win, so he's more than capable of landing this.

Manigordo was done by the draw in the Great St Wilfred, as can happen in large fields, but will it have much effect with just seven runners at Haydock? Well, it's not as pronounced, but I'd say stalls 1-4 would be more preferable than 5-7 here based on the following...

...whilst horses that lead fare best of all here...

There's a fairly generous spread of winners on the pace draw heatmap, suggesting that you can win from any draw and you can win from any racing style, but there are three pace/draw combos best avoided...

...whilst mid drawn runners who lead or sit in mid-division do best followed by low-drawn leaders. Ideally, I suppose, stalls 1-4 and lead? Well, this is how (based on their last four runs) we think the pace/draw will pan out here...

Mitrosonfire is interesting there in the red, but so close to the green and I think there's an error here. His pace scores are 3, 1, 4, 4 but he wasn't held up (1) two starts ago when winning at Ascot, where the report read "chased leaders, ran on inside final furlong, led inside final 100 yards", so that should be a 3, which would have him on the green here.

Summary

I liked (alphabetically) Edraak, Golden Apollo and Mitrosonfire from quite early on and although none are a perfect fit here, the other four haven't shown enough to force their way in.

Of my three, I like Mitrosonfire the most, he just seems to tick most boxes and he's in hot form. Of the other two, they're very closely matched but Golden Apollo's last run coupled with the weight carried by Edraak just swings it.

The bookies have my three at 4/1, 4/1 and 10/3, so there's no E/W play today.

Racing Insights, 3rd July 2021

Jawaal was a nice 7/2 winner for us at Doncaster this afternoon and whilst we await this evening's race at Beverley, I've work to do for tomorrow!

The Trainer/Jockey Stats report is Saturday's free feature, whilst our races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.40 Haydock
  • 3.05 Naas
  • 3.55 Leicester
  • 4.10 Sandown
  • 5.10 Beverley
  • 6.35 Bellewstown

The first on that list of races is actually the second most valuable race of the day anywhere in the UK & Ireland and although it's some way behind the £340k on offer to the winner of the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, the £65,216 purse for winning the 2.40 Haydock is not to be sniffed at.

The race in focus, is the Lancashire (God's county) Oaks, a 9-runner, Group 2 contest for fillies and mares aged 3 or over. The going is expected to be Good, even though Haydock's usual rain is on the way and the trip is a mile and a half, of course.

Alpinista is likely to be a warm favourite, but with bookies paying three (or even four is some cases) places, there could be scope for a nice E/W selection, if I don't fancy backing the fav. We start, as usual, with the racecard itself and I've opened up my report angles for you too...

As you'd expect for a race of this calibre, virtually all of the runners come here in good form and allotted weight today is 9st 5lbs, although the three 3yos (Dubai Fountain, Lady Hayes & Mystery Angel) all have a useful 12lbs weight allowance, making the first of those three the best off at the weights overall, as she's officially rated as just 8lbs worse than Alpinista and she's 7pts clear on the Geegeez SR figures.

Alpinista heads the card, though, and she had a great 2020, despite only racing three times, winning a Listed contest prior to runner-up finishes at Gr1 (Yorkshire Oaks) and a Gr3. She returned from a 31 week break at the end of April to beat the re-opposing Makawee by a short head in another Listed race and now comes here freshened by another nine weeks rest.

Bharani Star is a former course and distance winner, albeit in a Class 5 handicap on softer ground and whilst she's no mug, as proven by winning a Listed race at Ayr recently, she'll need to improve a fair bit to be involved here.

Cabaletta also had a decent 2020, winning a Listed race over today's trip at Newbury before going on to make the frame in successive Group (2 then 3) races. Last seen five weeks ago finishing a respectable 1¾ lengths  behind the re-opposing La Lune in a Gr 3 over C&D here at Haydock.

La Lune did indeed win the Pinnacle Stakes here over C&D five weeks ago to take her record for the year to 2 from 2, having already won a Listed race at Nottingham . This was a stark reversal of her 2020 form, though, when she failed to win a race and was heavily beaten in her final two runs of the season. If continuing 2021's form, however, she has every chance here.

Makawee is a decent/consistent sort, who was the runner-up in this very race last year. No wins yet in 2021, but she has made the frame in all three starts and was only a short head behind Alpinista in that Goodwood listed contest in April. She probably hasn't kicked on as expected and might find it tougher here.

Tribal Craft has won just one of nine in the last twelve months, but in her defence, it was a Group 3 success over 1m6f last time out! She now drops back to 1m4f, a trip where most of her best runs have occurred. She tends to go well at this time of year and although she'd probably want the ground to be a bit softer, she could well threaten to make the frame.

Dubai Fountain would be best off at the weights based on handicap marks & weight carried here and she also heads the Geegeez SR figures, which might seem strange, but she did win here as a 2yo (7f, soft!) and returned to action in May after 30 weeks off to win the Cheshire Oaks at nearby Chester. She struggled somewhat in the Epsom Oaks last month, seeming to not handle that quirky course, but ran really well to finish fifth in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot just over a fortnight ago when beaten by less than four lengths. Live chance here.

Lady Hayes was 2 from 2 as a 2yo, winning a Class 2, 7f maiden then a Class 5, 1m Novice event. She has ran twice this year, both in 1m2f Listed contests in May, going down by 8.5L and 1L and will need to improve again stepped up in trip/grade to get even remotely involved

Mystery Angel is really interesting at the foot of the card. She made her debut at the end of last August and has already clocked up ten outings, including winning the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in May. That was over 1m2f but she proved that she "gets" today's trip by finishing as runner-up in the Epsom Oaks. She was admittedly well beaten that day, some 16 lengths behind Snowfall, but she was ahead of the other 12 runners and came from the opposite side of the draw from the winner. There's no Snowfall here today, with due respect to Alpinista, so this filly might well go one better here.

As you'd expect from a field like this, Instant Expert has plenty of green and amber blocks...

...but Makawee & Tribal Craft have both struggled to win over today's trip and have no green at all, so whilst I'm not ruling any of them out here, I'm a little wary of those two at the distance. Alpinista probably wants it quicker and won't want too much of the forecasted rain to arrive.

The immediate inference from the draw stats suggests that low drawn horses are likely to do best here, which is good news for the likes of La Lune, Mystery Angel & Alpinista and this is backed up by the figures from the individual stalls...

...where again stalls 1 to 3 are prevalent, but stall 4's place returns suggest they might have just been a little unlucky to only convert one of six places in to a win, which then brings Dubai Fountain into the equation.

Pace is always interesting here at Haydock and so many jockeys get it wrong. The basic premise (in my mind, anyway) at this track is to get out quickly and then control the race from the front (Franny Norton aboard Dubai Fountain is a master of it here). If, however, you're not one that likes to lead or you're not able to lead, then tuck in at the back and wait for those chasing he leader to get tired before picking them off late on.

The above thoughts on pace are purely my own and are merely anecdotal, but a quick look at the stats backs me up here...

So, we want a low-drawn leader or hold-up horse, do we, Chris?

You sure do! Although the high drawn leaders also do very well. Elsewhere, it's pretty much a tale of woe!

We know our draw and we know what the ideal pace/draw make-up of the race is, so let's put our nine runners' racingstyles onto that heatmap and put it in draw order, shall we?

Based on the above, I'd expect Makawee to try and se the pace from out wide with the likes of Dubai Fountain and Mystery Angel tucking in with her. Alpinista is in danger of sitting too far back to land a blow here, though.

Summary

Draws 1 to 4 are where I want to be here and of those four, La Lune in stall 1 is probably the weakest, but if you can get on with a bookie paying four places, then 10/1 is a decent offer. That said, you can get 16/1 about probable leader Makawee holding on and that's also interesting.

As for my three against the field, I'm not keen on Alpinista at 7/4 or shorter. Don't get me wrong, she's a decent filly, but I can't be on at those prices in such a competitive contest, so that leaves me with Dubai Fountain and Mystery Angel.

Truth be told, I like both of them at 6/1 and 11/2 respectively, but if pushed for a decision, Dubai Fountain edges it for me, based on weights/ratings and trainer/jockey/course records.

 

Racing Insights, 29th May 2021

Mixed bag today, as I correctly identified the winner from my the two I felt best suited for the race, but I'd got Time Has Wings as second best, whilst my preferred pick Iris Dancer was placed third, four lengths back. Hardly a disaster, of course : I'm always happy to get my 1-2 both in the frame.

Saturday is almost upon us and 'feature of the day' is the Trainer/Jockey combo report, whilst our free 'races of the day' are...

  • 1.45 Haydock
  • 2.45 Cartmel
  • 3.30 Haydock
  • 4.10 Punchestown
  • 4.20 Beverley
  • 6.15 Salisbury

And the standout race from above, is the John of Gaunt Stakes, a 9-runner Group 3 contest for 4yo+ horses over 7f on soft (gd to soft in places) ground. It's on your cards as the 3.30 Haydock and it's worth £34,026 to one of these...

As you'd expect from a field at this level, all have won relatively recently with River Nymph, Toro Strike and With Thanks all winning last time out, the first two of that trio are, however, stepping up in class today.

All bar Glorious Journey (98 days), Kinross (107 days) and With Thanks (209 days) have raced in the past six weeks and the SR ratings suggest a tight affair with seven runners rated 100 to 117.

Safe Voyage carries top weight here, but is joint best off at the weights with Glorious Journey and this 8 yr old gelding won a couple of Group 2 contests to close out his 2020 campaign. He was far from his best when last home of 11 in the Lockinge a fortnight ago, but he probably needed the run after 8 months off. This is a slightly easier task, he loves Haydock (11112 in 5 runs here), gets soft ground, gets the trip and has a 40% strike rate with today's jockey. Big player here if race ready.

Brad The Brief won a Listed race at Newmarket three starts ago, but hasn't made the step up to Group 3 in two efforts since going down by 5.5 lengths and 12 lengths in those runs either side of a 189-day break. And although he likes soft ground, this is still probably too tough for him based on the opposition.

Glorious Journey is joint best off at the weights and won a Group 2 race in the 2019 season. He won a Listed race and made the frame at Group 2 in his final two runs of last season and if returning at that same level would be a major player here. The fly in this particular ointment is his 98-day absence since running at King Abdulaziz, but he has a win and a place from two soft ground runs and his best work has been at this trip.

Kinross has finished sixth in a couple of races at Meydan this year, but his last UK action saw him win a Listed contest over a mile at Kempton back in November. He acts well enough on most surfaces, but can sometimes be lazy at the start of races getting away slowly.

Njord is a solid Class 2 (or Irish equivalent) handicapper, but hasn't really done much of note when stepped up in class. He was only third of seven in a Listed race at Naas last time out and he's already had a run before that outing to shake off the winter cobwebs. My feeling is that he's useful, but not up to the task here. Won't mind the ground, though.

River Nymph has won three of his last five and that form line looks impressive, but they were two Class 3 contests and a Class 2 either side of two other C2's where his finished well down the field. He's 2 from 3 on soft ground and 3 from 7 under today's jockey, but for me, he's just a Class 2/3 'capper, I'm afraid.

Toro Strike ended 2020 with two good runs at Goodwood, winning a Class 3 handicap and then a runner-up beaten by just a neck in a Group 3 race a month later. He returned to action at Thirsk six weeks ago to defy a 230-day absence by winning another Class 3 handicap by more than two lengths and although this is tougher, he could well step forward again here. He probably would prefer it quicker, though.

With Thanks is a progressive 4 yr old filly, never out of the first two home in five starts so far, winning three times. She hasn't raced since early November when she landed a 15-runner Group 3 contest at Naas by some five lengths and if she's ready first time out will be one to watch. My other slight concern other than the layoff is that the ground might not be soft enough for her.

Queen JoJo won at Gr3 and then placed at Gr2 in back to back races at York last summer, but has been 12th of 13 at Gr1 and 11th of 12 at Gr2 since then, the latest being just 17 days ago. She has won on soft, bt her best form is on quicker ground and I think she's more of a 6f runner.

Lots of past wins from this group (40 from 115), so we turn to Instant Expert to see if their wins are relevant to the task ahead...

And take from that what you will, but based on the volume of runs in similar contests, you can't fail to be impressed by Safe Voyage's numbers. Plenty of others have blocks of green next to them and Brad The Brief looks a little better than I painted him earlier!

Queen Jo Jo looks a No No on the going stats and to be fair, she looks the weakest so far.

In 8/9 runners contests over this course and distance on good to soft/soft ground, you can pretty much win/place from anywhere...

...but if pushed I'd want to be in that stalls 3 to 7 block for place purposes or 4 to 9 for the winners.

So, if you can bag a plum spot in maybe stalls 4 to 7, that's great, but Haydock also definitely has a pace bias and races like this you cannot be left behind and expect to win too often. The stats will back up my theory here (hopefully)...

And in a nutshell, it says the further forward you race, the better you do! However grabbing the middle stalls and leading isn't necessarily the best combination, it doesn't always work that way and here at Haydock, that has never been truer, because...

...yes, you want to lead, but you actually want to be doing from either end of the draw! And prominent high-drawn runners fare better than all except high drawn leaders, so horses like Kinross, Njord and Queen Jo Jo (all of whom I don't fancy) can grab the lead, that would be their best chance here. However to further dissuade me from backing any of that trio, the pace in the race looks to be in stalls 2 to 5...

...and when I overlay that onto the pace/draw heatmap...

...it looks good for Safe Voyage above all others. I'd expect him to attempt to set the pace and with his excellent record over curse and distance, he might be tough to stop.

Summary

Based on everything above and his record over 7/7.5f at Haydock, I'm finding it tough to steer away from Safe Voyage. Yes, he's the 4/1 favourite, but I think that's a fair price and not all big race favs get turned over, do they?

The dangers are likely to come from the likes of With Thanks, if race ready first time out, Toro Strike if getting the ground and maybe Glorious Journey if returning to last season's turf form. None are particularly attractively priced for an E/W punt, but if I was looking at this race fresh, they'd be the four main protagonists for me. Any of the four could win, I just feel Safe Voyage has fewest questions to answer.

Good luck whichever way you play this one, if you play it at all! Enjoy the weekend.

Chris

 

 

Racing Insights, 22nd May 2021

A bit of frustration at Haydock today, as the only runner I didn't know enough about to make a reasoned decision upon went and won at 8/1, completely scattering the field along the way. My 6/1 value pick did manage to grab second place, but she was a good 6½ lengths off the pace and the two overnight principals were the last two home.

It might be anecdotal, but many of the Class 1 races I've looked at so far this season haven't gone too well for short priced favs.

Saturday now beckons and our free helps comes in the shape of the excellent Trainer/Jockey combo report, which does pretty much what it says on the tin and we also have some full free race cards for you, such as...

  • 1.40 Goodwood
  • 2.25 Haydock
  • 2.50 Goodwood
  • 4.10 Haydock
  • 4.15 Newmarket
  • 6.25 Lingfield

That list kicks off with three competitive-looking Class 2 contests, but the fourth of them and the second from Haydock catches my eye the most, because it's a short specialist trip, it's a Class 1 race and conditions underfoot will be tricky.

So, my focus falls upon the 4.10 Haydock, the Group 2, Temple Stakes. Seven 3yo+ (mainly aged 4 & 5) runners will attempt to dash five furlongs on ground currently described as soft (heavy in places), but I live in the North West and I can tell you it seems to have rained solidly/heavily for days. You may well see the Arc at Paris later this year, but I'd not be surprised to see an Ark at Haydock soon.

Top prize is well worth winning at £54,357 and these are the runners, trainers and riders setting out to attempt to land it...

All seven have at least one win in their last six starts and only Ainsdale (up 2) and Jabbarockie (up 1) are stepping up in class today. All seven have winning form at this trip and both Keep Busy/Liberty beach are past course winners, whilst Jabbarockie is a course and distance winner.

Four of the field have been seen already this season with runs in the last five weeks, whilst it's 251 days since Que Amoro, Keep Busy and Liberty Beach last raced in the UK or Ireland, although the latter pair did meet again at Longchamp in the Prix de l'Abbaye three weeks later.

The race 251 days ago was the 14-runner Irish Group 1, Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes over 5f at The Curragh where Keep Busy was the best of today's re-opposing trio, finishing as runner-up just half a length behind the winner Glass Slippers having been headed close to the line. Liberty Beach was 7th of 14, 2.5 lengths behind Keep Busy, whilst Que Amoro was 12th of 14, a further 6 lengths behind Liberty Beach.

Both Liberty Beach and Keep Busy were behind Glass Slippers again at Longhchamp three weeks later, as Glass Slippers was the runner-up beaten by a neck with Liberty Beach just a nose further back in third. Keep Busy was fifth, a further length and a half behind Liberty Beach, so this pair were 1-1 in the head to heads.

Ainsdale and Jabbarockie concede 3lbs to the other five runners, whilst based on OR marks, Que Amoro would be well in at the weights, rated some 18lbs better than Declaring Love, who like Jabbarockie comes here on a hat-trick.

Plenty of positive green icons for trainers and jockeys alike and the SR ratings look tight with just 6pts separating the top four ranked : Keep Busy leads the way there.

Ainsdale rattled off a quick-fire 19-day hat-trick in October 2019 (Classes 2, 3 & 4) but hasn't really reached those heights in five starts since, winning just once in a Class 3 contest, but interestingly on heavy ground. He was 8th of 10, more than 9 lengths adrift on his seasonal reappearance in a Listed race back in March and alstough he was beaten by less than a length when third behind El Astronaute at Chester in first-time cheekpieces last time out, that was only at Class 3 and this looks much tougher for him. He'd not be in my top four.

Jabbarockie comes here on a hat-trick after winning both starts this season in Class 2 handicaps, so whilst this asks more questions of the 8 yr old, he's certainly in good shape. He gets the track, he gets the trip and he has won on soft ground and has a soft ground C&D win to his name. He's sure to give a good account of himself, but needs to eke a bit more out if he's to win.

Declaring Love is also on a hat-trick and she's 3 from 4 in 2021 so far. She landed a 14-runner Listed contest at Bath last time out where she about got the better of it as the lead change hands several times late on. This is a much more difficult task and that Listed race at Bath isn't currently looking the strongest with no winners and no placers from ten runs since and if I'm honest, I think it'll be 0 + 0 from 11 after this race.

Keep Busy has been running consistently well (bar one blip) finishing 2201232 over the last year in the UK/Ireland, ending that season with a really good run to only be beaten by half a length in the Group 1 Flying Five. She then ran very creditably to take fifth at the Prix de l'Abbaye, beaten by less than two lengths and on form, has to be a major contender. I do have slight qualms about the 230-day layoff, though, as she was far from at her best when she came back from 217 days off at Newcastle last year.

Lady In France also ran in that Prix de l'Abbaye finishing fourth in between Liberty Beach and Keep Busy and she beat the latter in a Class 2 contest at York back in August when she landed the Sky Bet Fillies Sprint Handicap despite being quite a bit disdvantaged at the weights. Her form from late last year would ut her up at Keep Busy's level, but she was disappointing upon her return at York ten days ago, when she could only muster 10th of 12, beaten by some 17 lengths. She's going to have to improve massively here to be involved, although the drop in trip will help.

Liberty Beach is not only well matched with Keep Busy, but they're also stable mates. I tried to look at jockey bookings to see if the yard had a preference and Jason Hart rides this one and he's 4 from 10 on her back, whilst he is 1 from 9 on Keep Busy, who is ridden by Oisin Murphy for the first time. I suppose it's down to interpretation of circumstances, but I'm happy that Jason rides Liberty Beach, who I feel has a slight edge over her stable mate. I also don't have the sam lay-off qualms about this one, as she won a Listed event here last June after not racing for 290 days.

Que Amoro completes the line-up and prior to flopping in the afore-mentioned Flying Five at The Curragh, was in great form finishing 112132 from mid-July onwards. She was the runner-up in the Group 1 Nunthorpe at York back in August where she got to within half a length of the winner, the 1/2 fav and 126-rated Battaash and a similar run would easily be good enough to land this, but I do have concerns about her 251 days in the shed. I know she won a Listed race at Ayr last season off the back of a 276-day absence, but this ground is far tougher than what she faced at Ayr and it might just take too much out of her.

Soft ground or worse is often a leveller and the minimum 5f trip is a specialist one, even beofre you discuss the merits of needing decent prior Haydock form etc. Thankfully Instant Expert has all the data we need for comparison purposes...

I admit I didn't fancy Ainsdale from my write-up, but there's no doubting that the ground will be right up this 4 yr old colt's street. Liberty Beach is a 3-time Class 1 winner so far and is 4 from 9 at the trip.

The draw would suggest the centre of the stalls isn't the place to be...

...but there doesn't seem to be a massive pace bias here...

Prominent and mid-division runners have an IV of 0.97, which is only 3% below par, so it's clear that any running style could win. The place stats are little clearer, though and there's a lineality about the results which dictate that the further forward you race, the more chance you have of making the frame.

Haydock is a real test for jockeys assessing the pace and it can be a tough place to make up ground in poor weather, so I'd expect even the hold up horses to run somewhat closer to the pace than eslewhere or in better conditions.

The pace/draw combo make-up is interesting here with an almost scattering of successful combinations, not withstanding that a high draw is still very favourable...

We can then add our runners past pace profiles to that graphic along with today's draw, but we are leaning on data from races quite a while ago with three of them not seen for over eight months, so do be a little cautious when assessing the data. As with any stat, it's dangerous to take it as gospel when treated in isolation!

But here goes anyway...

It looks like Que Amoro and Jabbarockie will attempt to set the pace and I did like the look of the latter, but that graphic above is a little off putting as is the step up in class, even though he is in good nick, so I'm reluctantly ruling him out. Que Amoro remains of interest.

Lady In France is similarly poorly treated on pace/draw and that allied with her poor show last time around rules her out for me here. I didn't like Ainsdale's chances from the very start and although he'll relish the softness of the track, this is too much of an ask for him right now. He'll win plenty of races, but I don't think this will be one of them.

Summary

A real difficult puzzle to solve and although I don't think that it's the case, but I may have already discarded the winner! Fingers crossed that I haven't. At this point, I'm down to four possibles and the prudent thing would be to say they could all win, close my laptop and walk away, but where's the fun in that?

So, with a feeing if needing to see the job through, I'm going to say that on form and what I've already said, Liberty Beach holds stablemate Keep Busy, but at 2/1 I don't want to back her. So do I back Que Amoro, Declaring Love or none?

Declaring Love is in fine form, but this is another step forward and the Bath listed race she won LTO hasn't panned out, so I'm not backing her either, which all leads to Que Amoro. She's likely to lead and might be tough to catch/stop, she gets on well with her jockey, her yard have started to pick up a few winners, she goes well fresh and that run of hers behind Battaash was excellent.

So, why is she only 9/2 third favourite? Because she has no form on soft ground. No form at all, she has never run on soft, so it's 9/2 she gets the ground and I think I might just have a couple of quid on her doing so. Otherwise I think Liberty Beach catches her and wins again.

 

 

 

Racing Insights, 21st May 2021

A mixed bag from Thursday's race, if truth be told. My second and third best finished second and third, but the one expected to win, bombed out and came home stone last. I completely overlooked the winner who seemed to improve dramatically after a poor run of form, but I did get the high draw suggestion right, as he won from stall 11 of 11.

I made a small profit from Smith's E/W success, but nothing to write home about, so I'll be hoping for better on Friday, where our feature of the day is the Horses for Courses report, whilst our free races of the day are...

  • 1.10 Goodwood
  • 1.55 Downpatrick
  • 2.05 Haydock
  • 4.25 Haydock
  • 4.50 Downpatrick
  • 8.40 Worcester

I only had one qualifier on my H4C report and I don't fancy his chances, so it's back to the free races and the best of that list is the first of the two Haydock races. There are only six runners and a likely warm favourite, but they don't always win, do they?

The race itself is the 2.05 Haydock, the 6-runner EBF British Stallion Studs Cecil Frail Listed race for 3yo+ Fillies & Mares. The trip is a straight 6f on Good to Soft /Soft ground and the race is worth £26,654 to one of these...

Last Empire heads the weights, conceding 9-12lbs all round and she's the only 5 yr old in the contest, racing against a bunch of three year olds. Dense Star is the only one without a recent win on their form line and she, along with Mamba Wamba are the two without a win at this trip, whereas Last Empire is the only course and distance winner.

All bar Twilight Spinner ran in a Class 1 contest last time out, but she is the only LTO winner in the field, albeit in a Class 5 maiden! Most of the field carry 8st 8lbs here and Dandalla is clearly best off at the weights.

Adrian Nicholls (Mamba Wamba) is the only trainer with a positive notifier (14) after gaining 2 wins from 8 in the last fortnight, whilst Connor Beasley (Dense Star) has two icons (14, C1) having made the frame in 12 of 23 rides over the last fortnight and has also won 5 of 19 here at Haydock over the last 12 months.

Finally, the SR ratings suggest a tight contest between likely fav Dandalla and Twilight Spinner.

Last Empire has hit the crossbar in each of her last three outings, beaten by just 1.5L, 1L and 1.25L respectively, taking her record to 3 wins and 3 further places from 11. She won a Class 4 contest over course and distance here on heavy ground in August 2019 and all her seven subsequent runs have been at Class 1, so she knows what's needed here.

Ventura Diamond signed off for 2020 by winning a 6f Listed race on heavy ground at Newmarket before taking 166 days off. She probably needed the run when beaten by 6.5 lengths at Group 3 upon her return, also at Newmarket. She was last seen 13 days ago when third in another 6f Listed race on heavy ground where she was one place and three quarters of a length behind Last Empire and now she's a pound worse off, which will make overturning that deficit difficult.

Dandalla was a winner of two Group races over this trip on Good to Soft/Soft ground last summer, but has been beaten by 5L and 3.25L in two runs so far this season, albeit in better races and on quicker ground than this one. The drop back to 6f, softer ground and a first time tongue tie might well be the right mix for a return to winning ways.

Dense Star has only won one of her eleven starts to date and that was a maiden at Navan last September, but she ran respectably to finish 3rd of 7 (beaten by 3.5 lengths) in a Listed race first time out for her new handler at Chelmsford three weeks ago. She has the ability to improve, but I don't fancy her chances here.

Mamba Wamba won a Class 3 Novice race at York last September before finishing 4th in a Group 3 and 3rd in a big-field Listed race. She was then only beaten by 2.25 lengths at group 3 just 6 days later before being stood down for the season. She reappeared in mid-April to be well beaten (9th of 10) in the Nell Gwyn and would need to improve sharply to land this, based on that run.

Twilight Spinner is the least exposed of the field, having raced in just two Class 5 contests, finishing third on debut last month and then winning by almost three lengths at Ripon a fortnight ago. She could well be capable of stepping up in quality, but it is a big step and she's an unknown quantity. The rivals from her two previous outings haven't really done much of note either. A watching brief, I'd suggest.

The field's place stats under similar conditions...

...show that most of have handled the underfoot conditions well enough, the top three in the list have performed at this level (and better) and are well suited by the 6f trip.

Have they converted those places into wins, though?

Hmmm, generally not, but Dandalla's figures do look good, with Ventura Diamond performing well at the trip.

The draw stats would suggest avoiding the middle stalls would be best, whilst stall by stall, the numbers look like this...

Stall 1 does really well and is only second best behind stall 5, but with stall 6 also having good results, I'd prefer high over low here, which is good news for the likely fav, Dandalla. She's generally held up for a run, but whether that's a good tactic here or not is another matter. let's look at the pace stats for similar contests...

Well, it looks like that's spot on for her after all and when we align pace and draw together...

We see that nobody has the perfect pace/draw make-up, but none are that far away from being "in the green".

Summary

I expect Dense Star & Ventura Diamond to make the running with Dandalla sitting in behind the other three for a late run. Her class and ability suggest she should get there, but Ventura Diamond might end up being a tough nut to crack. I fancy Dandalla & Ventura Diamond to be the first two home, but I'm unsure which way around, that will depend on how much work the fav is left with.

Best of the rest would be Last Empire for me despite a poor draw and a possibility of running in no-man's land.

As for prices/bets...Dandalla is 7/4 with Last Empire 9/4 and I'm not convinced either should be so short. Ventura Diamond offers some value at 6/1 and I'll take a small punt at that price, along with the reverse forecast for good measure. It is Friday, after all!

 

Racing Insights, 20th February 2021

Saturday's free feature is the excellent Trainer/Jockey combo stats report whilst the free races of the day are...

  • 12.50 Lingfield
  • 2.40 Haydock
  • 5.30 Newcastle

And it's the Trainer/Jockey combo stats report that I'm looking at today, using the one year from option to see if we can find an E/W bet for ourselves from one of these two runners...

Potters Legend runs in a Grade 3 handicap chase over 3m4.5f, whilst Potters Hedger tackles a Class 2 handicap hurdle over 3m0.5f.

From a place perspective, recent trainer form offers some hope as Lucy Wadham's chasers have won 4 and placed in 4 of the last 17 races for a place strike rate of just under 50%, whilst over the last five weeks, her hurdlers have finished 1211P12. The chase comes first at the meeting and it's a tough race...

This 11 yr old is having a decent season so far since returning from an eight month break back in November, when winning on his seasonal debut over 3m0.5f in a Class 2 chase at Warwick. He was then only beaten by a length in an attritional Grade 3 contest at Cheltenham three weeks later.

He then had three more weeks rest prior to running at Sandown, but ended up almost 10 lengths off the pace, partly but not wholly down to being badly hampered on the bend and his last appearance came here at Haydock almost a month ago when a runner-up in a heavy ground 3m2f Grade 2 race. He was admittedly some 16 lengths behind the impressive hat-trick completing Royale Pagaille that day, but had the three other finishers 7, 22 and 54 lengths further back

He won't be meeting a 156-rated runner here today, this is a slight drop in class and he has been eased a couple of pounds in the weights.

Stat-wise, his place record under similar conditions to today look like this..

In addition to the above , he has made the frame 10 times from 20 races within a month of his last run, in 8 of 13 during the months of January to March and in 4 of 9 with Jack Quinlan in the saddle.

In the longer distance contests here at Haydock in the mud, it has been more tactically astute for horses to be up with the pace and the further back in the field that a horse sits, the more difficult they find it to win.

Sadly for Potters Legend, here's where he might come unstuck (as well as this being a decent contest), as he has been held up in six of his last seven outings, this pace map of the race doesn't make good reading for his chances...

*

And now kick forward 70 minutes for the second "Potters" horse...

Two wins, two places and two "miles off" finishes for this one in his past half dozen contests suggests he's either going to be there or thereabouts or he's going to be well beaten.

A 10-length winner over 3m2f on soft ground at Warwick (Class 3) last March was his swansong for the season before being rested for eight months. He hit the ground running upon his return going down by just half a length at Lingfield (2m7f, C3, soft) in a race that has worked out fairly well since, as the first four home that day have 5 wins and a place from 10 outings, including two wins and a place from five in this Class 2 grade.

After that narrow defeat, he had a bit of a stinker up at Class 2 off a mark of 127 at Sandown, but bounced back well next/last time out when winning here at Haydock off the same mark (albeit at Class 3) over 3m1f on heavy ground. He slightly down in trip here, but does carry 5lbs more for that win LTO when visored for the first time.

His place record under today's conditions includes...

...plus 11 places from 20 over hurdles, 9 from 13 going left handed, 6 from 11 under Jack Quinlan, 6 from 10 within a month of his last run, 6 from 9 during Jan-March and if it gets heavy he has been placed in 4 of 5 runs on heavy ground. The visor is retained here and he won (here LTO) the only other time he wore it.

I already mentioned earlier above pace/race positioning and here's how this group normally run...

...which means he could be well placed to make the frame if nothing else. The key here might be not letting Bushypark run away with it.

Summary

Jack (Quinlan) and Lucy (Wadham) team up with two "Potters" here at Haydock, but I don't see either winning, if I'm honest. Of the two, the latter (Hedger) stands the better chance and I'd not be massively surprised if he squeezes into the frame. Things might need to fall his way a little and I think he might not quite be as good as the likes of Everglow or Farrants Way, but yes Potters Hedger could make the frame.

As for Potters Legend, I like him, but not for this race. He's decent, but this is a Grade 3, so they're all decent. I think if he finished fifth, the team could be happy with their work, but I don't see him making the frame. If I did have a punt in this race, I'd side with Venus Williams' Achille, who looks a bit long at 9/1.

Stat of the Day, 3rd August 2020

Saturday's pick was...

8.45 Hamilton : Antico Lady @ 4/1 BOG 10th at 11/4 (Tracked leader after 1f, ridden and unable to quicken 2f out, weakened final furlong) 

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.15 Haydock :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, 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?

Mountain Peak @ 10/3 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 2 Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on Good ground worth £9,704 to the winner... 

Why?...

As is often the case, the racecard provides a way in for us...

From left to right, 2-3124 suggests a consistent type, CD shows a previous win over course and distance, trainer Ed Walker has a good 1 year and 5 year record at this venue (C1 C5), as does jockey William Buick (also C1 C5) and he's also been riding well of late (14 30), whilst the horse's Geegeez Speed Rating of 95 is the highest in this field today.

Mountain Peak has already won 7 of his 26 starts to date with a impressive 26.9%  strike rate yielding 19..5pts profit at an ROI of 75.2% if you'd backed every time he has run. Of those 26 starts, the following angles of interest are at play today...

  • 7/18 (38.9%) for 27.55pts (+153.1%) at odds of 8/1 or shorter
  • 7/16 (43.75%) for 29.55pts (+184.7%) within 3 weeks of his last run
  • 5/19 (26.3%) for 8.7pts (+45.8%) on a straight run
  • 4/12 (33.3%) for 10.7pts (+89.1%) over a 5f trip
  • 2/2 (100%) for 5.48pts (+274%) here at Haydock, both over course and distance...

...whilst over a straight 5f at 8/1 or shorter within 3 weeks of his last run, he is 4 from 8 (50% SR) for 14.7pts (+183.7% ROI), including 2 from 2 over C&D.

Jockey William Buick's good 30-day (27/111 = 24.3%) and 14-day (13/56 = 23.2%) are highlighted on the racecard, but over the last seven days, he is actually 10 from 29 (34.5% SR), so he's bang in form and also has a record of 11 wins from 46 (23.9% SR) for 2.53pts (+5.5% ROI) here at Haydock since the start of the 2017 season, although none of those rides were for today's trainer, Ed Walker...

...whose own record in handicaps here at Haydock over the same period stands at 16 from 52 (30.8% SR) for 55.9pts (+107.5% ROI) including the following of relevance today...

  • 15/43 (34.9%) for 59.33pts (+138%) in races worth less than £10,000
  • 14/38 (36.8%) for 59.08pts (+155.5%) in fields of 5-11 runners
  • 12/30 (40%) for 37.84pts (+126.1%) at 1-25 dslr
  • 7/22 (31.8%) for 19.74pts (+89.7%) with those rated (OR) 80-95
  • and 4/8 (50%) for 10.43pts (+130.4%) over this 5f C&D...

...whilst those racing in fields of 5-11 runners for less than £10k within 25 days of their last run are 10 from 21 (47.6% SR) for 35.34pts (+168.3% SR) including one of today's pick's C&D successes back in July 2018...

...which all leads to... a 1pt win bet on Mountain Peak @ 10/3 BOG as was widely available (inc at least a couple BOGs, whilst a couple of firms were slightly bigger) at 6.30am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.15 Haydock

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!

P.P.S. Please note I'll be home from Greece late Monday/early Tuesday, Matt will cover for me for Tuesday and we'll revert to more normal timings from Wednesday.

Stat of the Day, 3rd August 2020

Saturday's pick was...

8.45 Hamilton : Antico Lady @ 4/1 BOG 10th at 11/4 (Tracked leader after 1f, ridden and unable to quicken 2f out, weakened final furlong) 

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.15 Haydock :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, 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?

Mountain Peak @ 10/3 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 2 Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on Good ground worth £9,704 to the winner... 

Why?...

As is often the case, the racecard provides a way in for us...

From left to right, 2-3124 suggests a consistent type, CD shows a previous win over course and distance, trainer Ed Walker has a good 1 year and 5 year record at this venue (C1 C5), as does jockey William Buick (also C1 C5) and he's also been riding well of late (14 30), whilst the horse's Geegeez Speed Rating of 95 is the highest in this field today.

Mountain Peak has already won 7 of his 26 starts to date with a impressive 26.9%  strike rate yielding 19..5pts profit at an ROI of 75.2% if you'd backed every time he has run. Of those 26 starts, the following angles of interest are at play today...

  • 7/18 (38.9%) for 27.55pts (+153.1%) at odds of 8/1 or shorter
  • 7/16 (43.75%) for 29.55pts (+184.7%) within 3 weeks of his last run
  • 5/19 (26.3%) for 8.7pts (+45.8%) on a straight run
  • 4/12 (33.3%) for 10.7pts (+89.1%) over a 5f trip
  • 2/2 (100%) for 5.48pts (+274%) here at Haydock, both over course and distance...

...whilst over a straight 5f at 8/1 or shorter within 3 weeks of his last run, he is 4 from 8 (50% SR) for 14.7pts (+183.7% ROI), including 2 from 2 over C&D.

Jockey William Buick's good 30-day (27/111 = 24.3%) and 14-day (13/56 = 23.2%) are highlighted on the racecard, but over the last seven days, he is actually 10 from 29 (34.5% SR), so he's bang in form and also has a record of 11 wins from 46 (23.9% SR) for 2.53pts (+5.5% ROI) here at Haydock since the start of the 2017 season, although none of those rides were for today's trainer, Ed Walker...

...whose own record in handicaps here at Haydock over the same period stands at 16 from 52 (30.8% SR) for 55.9pts (+107.5% ROI) including the following of relevance today...

  • 15/43 (34.9%) for 59.33pts (+138%) in races worth less than £10,000
  • 14/38 (36.8%) for 59.08pts (+155.5%) in fields of 5-11 runners
  • 12/30 (40%) for 37.84pts (+126.1%) at 1-25 dslr
  • 7/22 (31.8%) for 19.74pts (+89.7%) with those rated (OR) 80-95
  • and 4/8 (50%) for 10.43pts (+130.4%) over this 5f C&D...

...whilst those racing in fields of 5-11 runners for less than £10k within 25 days of their last run are 10 from 21 (47.6% SR) for 35.34pts (+168.3% SR) including one of today's pick's C&D successes back in July 2018...

...which all leads to... a 1pt win bet on Mountain Peak @ 10/3 BOG as was widely available (inc at least a couple BOGs, whilst a couple of firms were slightly bigger) at 6.30am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.15 Haydock

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!

P.P.S. Please note I'll be home from Greece late Monday/early Tuesday, Matt will cover for me for Tuesday and we'll revert to more normal timings from Wednesday.

Stat of the Day, 18th July 2020

Friday's pick was...

5.25 Haydock : Treacherous @ 3/1 BOG WON at 16/5 (Keen behind leaders, took closer order travelling well 2f out, ridden and led just over 1f out, kept on well)

Saturday's pick runs in the...

4.20 Haydock :

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?

Zlatan @ 11/2 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 5, Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 1m2½f on Good to Soft ground worth £3,493 to the winner...

Why?...

We start with the racecard and we see a 7 yr old gelding coming off the back of two good runs and hailing from an in-form yard (we had a Haydock winner with Ed de Giles yesterday too).

I spoke about the trainer's form yesterday, so having had just the one (winning) runner yesterday, there's no need to go back over it, the numbers speak for themselves.

Zlatan was only beaten by a length staying on over 1m2f last time out on ground that was possibly a little too quick for him eleven days ago. The extra yardage and the cut in the ground here might just be enough for him to go one better this afternoon and his trainer does like to send horses back out fairly after a decent effort.

In fact, since the start of 2016, Ed de Giles' handicappers sent back out within a fortnight of a top three finish LTO are 30 from 82 (36.6% SR) for 47.93pts (+58.5% ROI) at odds of 7/1 or shorter, including...

  • 22/58 (37.9%) for 30.19pts (+52.1%) in races worth less than £4k
  • 15/33 (45.5%) for 23.28pts (+70.5%) with LTO runners-up
  • and 12/34 (35.3%) for 13.46pts (+39.6%) at Class 5

...whilst LTO runners-up competing for less than £4k are 13 from 25 (52% ROI) for 25.1pts (+100.4% ROI), all at Class 5 or worse including 5 from 14 at this grade...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Zlatan @ 11/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.10am Saturday, but as always please check your BOG status (*some go BOG later)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 4.20 Haydock

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, 17th July 2020

Thursday's pick was...

1.00 Hamilton : Somewhere Secret @ 5/2 BOG 3rd at 11/4 (Overall leader centre, ridden and headed approaching final furlong, soon edged left, kept on one pace)

Friday's pick runs in the...

5.25 Haydock :

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?

Treacherous @ 3/1 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 4, Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 6f on Good to Soft ground worth £4,690 to the winner...

Why?...

An initial glance at the racecard shows a horse that has been running well and now drops two classes after finishing fourth 20 days ago. We also see immediately that Ed de Giles has his string in decent nick with 3 runners and 3 placers from 14 in the past month.

The bottom of the card tells you how our Speed Ratings rank the runners, as this is a good pointer over shorter trips.

And then we take a look at the pace/draw heatmap and for this type of contest, he's probably been drawn as well as he could be for his normal style of running...

...whilst Instant Expert (I usually start with place form over the last 2yrs, but feel free to use your own parameters) shows a line of green, suggesting we should at least be there or thereabouts today...

All of which is possibly enough to warrant a bet, but I'll wrap up with a closer look at the horse's suitability for the task ahead, starting with a look at his overall record in handicaps to date...

...which includes of relevance today...

  • 8/17 (47.1%) for 24.84pts (+146.1%) at 1-25 days since last run
  • 7/14 (50%) for 20.21pts (+144.3%) over 6 furlongs
  • 7/13 (53.9%) for 19.03pts (+146.4%) at 5/1 or shorter
  • 6/13 (46.1%) for 13.94pts (+107.2%) off a mark (OR) of 75-89
  • and 4/9 (44.4%) for 16.74pts (+186%) at Class 4

...whilst running over a 6f trip off a mark of 75-89 at 5/1 or shorter within 25 days of his last run, he is 5 from 6 (83.3% SR) for 11.13pts (+185.5% ROI), with a 2 from 3 record at Class 4 and a runner-up finish in his sole defeat...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Treacherous @ 3/1 BOG as was widely available at 8.05am Friday although Bet365 were half a point bigger, but as always please check your BOG status (*some go BOG later)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 5.25 Haydock

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, 4th July 2020

Friday's pick was...

6.30 Wolverhampton : Comeatchoo @ 5/1 BOG 2nd at 5/1 (Chased leaders, led over 1f out, hung left and pressed inside final furlong, headed close home, beaten by a head). After a rough few days, that was hard to take, but we dust ourselves down and go again.

Saturday's pick runs in the...

2.05 Haydock :

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?

Cruising @ 13/2 BOG

...in a 10-runner, Class 5, Flat handicap for 3yo over 7f on Soft ground worth £3,493 to the winner...

Why?...

The racecard says...

So, let's see how the above could have a bearing on today's contest...

The speed rating is, as always, self-explanatory, second only to a runner half our price and now on to the three highlighted Report Angles (my settings are always 20%+ wins, A/E of 1.25+ and IV of 1.5+) which are, as you know, a 24-month window on performance.

From the top working down...Jockey 14-day form (14 on the card, too) : Paul Mulrennan is riding really well right now and had 3 winners from 8 yesterday at Hamilton.  And of his 13/56 fortnightly record, all were on grass and he is 8/31 ( 25.8% SR) over 7f or shorter.

Then the Trainer/Jockey Combo... Paul's 6 from 18 over the last 12 months for trainer David Brown actually looks like this in 2020...

including...

  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 15.84pts (+198%) at Class 5
  • 3/7 (42.9%) for 5.35pts (+76.4%) with 3 yr olds
  • and 2/4 (50%) for 2.93pts (73.3%) with LTO winners...

...leading us nicely to the third angle...David Brown's LTO winners, who more long-term ie since the start of 2016 in handicaps of 9 furlongs or shorter are...

from which they have the following relevant records...

  • 13/43 (30.2%) for 35.52pts (+82.6%) from male runners
  • 12/45 (26.7%) for 39.35pts (+87.5%) over 5-7 furlongs
  • 9/33 (27.3%) for 29.57pts (+89.6%) in fields of 8-13 runners
  • 8/27 (29.6%) for 36.8pts (+136.3%) on the Flat
  • and 5/20 (25%) for 7.69pts (+38.5%) at Class 5

...and if you wanted a composite micro based around those categories above ie sex, distance and field size, you could try males over 5-7f in 6-10 runner contests for ...

...including 5/11 (45.5%) on the Flat and 5/9 (55.6%) at Class 5 and 22/3 (66.6% SR) for 14.24pts (+474.6% ROI) in Class 5 contests on the Flat...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Cruising @ 13/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.20am Saturday, 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 2.05 Haydock

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, 9th June 2020

Monday's pick was...

1.00 Chelmsford : Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG WON at 11/4 (Went left start, disputed lead until went on over 2f out, clear over 1f out, ran on strongly to win by three lengths)

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

2.15 Haydock :

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?

Mountain Brave @ 5/1 BOG

...in a 12-runner, Class 4, Flat handicap for 3yo over 7f on Good to Soft ground worth £4,690 to the winner...

Why?...

A relatively simple approach today with a 3 yr old filly seeking a hat trick (albeit after 102 days off track) after wins over both this 7f trip and also at 6f on the tapeta earlier this year. 102 days is a decent break and you do worry if horses are rusty after a layoff, but the rest of the field have all been inactive for at least ten weeks longer than our pick and our girl is trained by Mark Johnston, who has certainly hit the ground running as shown by this graphic...

...but I think that's fairly common knowledge right now.

As with yesterday, my way in to the race was once again the Geegeez racecard and a highlighted Query Tool angle of mine...

So we see our filly is in good form as I said at the start, both trainer have jockey have the green C5 icon denoting a good record at this venue and this is backed up by my own imaginatively-titled angle "Haydock Flat". This essentially highlights whenever any of a half dozen of trainers including Mark Johnston have runners in handicaps here at Haydock.

And Mark makes this list because his runners in such contests over trips of 7 to 12 furlongs have the following record over the last six seasons...

...from which, the following is relevant today...

  • 16 from 65 (24.6%) for 29.8pts (+45.8%) sent off at 7/4 to 7/1
  • 15/90 (16.6%) for 28.5pts (+31.6%) from 3 yr olds
  • 15/79 (19%) for 47.7pts (+60.4%) in races worth up to £10.5k
  • 13/74 (17.6%) for 36.5pts (+49.3%) in 3yo only contests
  • 11/46 (23.9%) for 23.85pts (+51.8%) during the last two seasons
  • 6/35 (17.1%) for 10.3pts (+29.4%) from those stepping up in class
  • 6/27 (22.2%) for 46.9pts (+173.8%) from females
  • 6/19 (31.8%) for 27.4pts (+144.4%) with LTO winners
  • and 3/7 942.9%) for 17.1pts (+244.4%) with Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle.

Now I do like to combine sets of data like those above to form a composite angle, but you have to be careful not to dilute the sample size too far. The smaller that sample becomes, the more open you become to the figures being distorted by chance, so I'm just going to look at the first three subsets since the start of the 2017 campaign, which looks like...

...and with an A/E of 1.69, as trike rate of 35%, a Betfair SP ROI in excess of 70% and an average win price in our ballpark, this is something I'm happy with, especially as those numbers include 6 winners from 18 in 3yo handicaps and 3 winners from 6 for the female runners...

...which all pointed me towards...a 1pt win bet on Mountain Brave @ 5/1 BOG as was offered by BetVictor, SkyBet and Hills at 8.05am Tuesday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 2.15 Haydock

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!