Tag Archive for: Hexham racecourse

Racing Insights, Wednesday 06/09/23

Wednesday's free Geegeez GOLD feature, the Trainer Statistics (TS) 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 five year, 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!

[ Please refer to our User Guide for further information ]

In addition to the free daily feature, we always open up a number of racecards to non-Gold subscribers and for Wednesday, they are...

  • 1.40 Bath
  • 4.39 Hexham
  • 4.50 Lingfield
  • 5.04 Cork
  • 5.39 Cork
  • 7.18 Hexham

My own personal settings for the TS report...

...have generated the following quartet of runners for me to consider...

14-day form...

1-year course form...

5-year course form...

It's a pretty sire looking day of racing on Wednesday if truth be told. There are 36 UK races across six meetings and the 'best' on offer is half a dozen Class 4 encounters; one of which containing a runner from the TS report, so we're going to have a quick (and it will be quick) look at Nicky Richards' Kajaki and the other horses in the 5.45 Hexham, an 11-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ handicap hurdle over a left-handed 2m4f (near enough 2m5f after rail movements) on good ground...

No LTO winners here, but Copper Beach and Malangen made the frame. Belvedere Blast was pulled up, but had won his previous three outings, whilst only Dallas des Pictons, Onward Route and Cousu Main have lost each of their last five.

Top weight Punxsutawney Phil steps up a class here, but both City Derby & Calum Gilhooley are down one level, whilst Belvedere blast & Dallas Des Pictons are aided by a double drop in class.

Four of the field ran 46 days ago and the remainder have all been seen in the last 11 to 33 days, so no fitness excuses here for a field in which only Onward Route, Cousu Main and Calum Gilhooley are yet to win at a similar trip, whilst three horses (Belvedere Blast, Fenna's Loss & Onward Route) have all won here previously; the former over 2m½f and the other pair are course and distance winners.

And now over to Instant Expert...

...where aside from a poor win record at Class 4, Belvedere Blast looks useful. Fenna's Loss, Calum Gilhooley and Kajaki look consistent enough and my main concerns are about Punxsutawney Phil & City Derby on good grounds, Belverdere Blast, Onward Route, Copper Beach, Cousu Main and Malangen at Class 4, Dallas Des Pictons, Onward Route and Cousu Main at the trip plus Copper Beach & City Derby for being considerably higher in the weights than their last winning marks.

Past races here at Hexham have suggested that the further forward a horse runs, the greater chance of making the frame and prominent/leading runners also stand the best chance(s) of winning...

...which based on the field's last few runs...

...would steer you towards the top four on that list and then also possibly the next three for a chance of making the frame. To be honest this race doesn't particularly lend itself too well to finding a winner, although Belvedere Blast was in great form prior to being pulled up last time out. He scored well enough on Instant Expert and is likely to be up with the pace, but before I make a decision, I want to go back to Instant Expert and look at the place stats...

...and the standouts there would seem to be Copper Beach, Belvedere Blast and Onward Route.


In a tricky/unappealing race, I think I like Belvedere Blast most, but wouldn't want to put too much money down. Only Hills were open at 4.40pm and they were offering 5/1, which isn't generous but probably about right.

Copper Beach & Onward Route both looked good on place stats and the former is another 5/1 shot who might end up being the main challenger to the selection. As for Onward Route, he's a bit hit and miss, but there's definitely a placer in there if he's in the right shape/mood, but I think I'd want at least 12/1 before risking any of my cash and he's currently only 10's.

Onward Route was widely available at 12/1 on Wednesday morning, and had been 16/1 with PP/Betfair for a while.

Racing Insights, Thursday 30/03/23

Thursday's free feature, the Instant Expert racecard tab is one of Geegeez readers' most popular tools because it has the unique ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view covering the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size.

It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

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

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

  • 2.45 Hexham
  • 2.50 Limerick
  • 3.00 Warwick
  • 4.17 Naas
  • 7.00 Wolverhampton

...and the highest rated of the three UK free races is the 2.45 Hexham, a 5-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ handicap hurdle over a left-handed two miles on heavy ground...

DELUXE RANGE was last seen three months ago finishing out of the places a class higher than this and runs for the first time since having wind surgery. Jockey and yard work well together (see below). Sadly the horse has failed to win any of its last thirteen and would probably prefer a longer trip.

BEAT BOX was a Class 5 winner at this trip three starts ago after having a wind op and was then second when stepped up two classes next time out, but was well beaten at Class 5 last time around and will need to improve back up in class.

HORN CAPE comes from a yard in decent form that has done well here at this venue and has found a few winners for today's jockey. This 6yr old was a nine-length winner over just half a furlong further last time out, getting off the mark in style but is now up in class and carries a 7lb penalty for the win.

MISS LAMB also won last time out (over course and distance) for a third win in a seven-race career that has seen this race's only mare finish outside the first three home just once (3 wins) and will seek to improve her yard's already excellent record at this venue off what looks a fairly lenient mark for her handicap debut.

I DOUBT THAT has failed to make the frame in seven races on turf (4 x flat & 3 x hurdles), but finished 1712 in four A/W starts, winning at 1m4f and 2m, along with a 2m runner-up spot two starts ago. Second to last of eleven over hurdles (74 lengths) last time out, though. hard to fancy on handicap debut, but does receive 20, 14, 13 and 9 pounds weight from his four opponents.

At this stage, it looks to me like Horn Cape and Miss Lamb would be the two to focus on and we're probably not getting any decent odds on either of them winning! Instant Expert favours the mare here on win stats...

...with Beat Box a regular placer over today's trip...

Neither Beat Box nor Horn Cape have fared well at Class 4, but Miss Lamb certainly looks the one to beat here. Based on recent outings, she's likely to be prominent early on and I suspect Deluxe range might well keep her company, whilst Beat Box is the probable early back marker...

If we then look at how similar races here at Hexham have gone...

...then that's not great news for Beat Box, assuming we have a truly run race and all horses behave as they have previously.


Short and hopefully sweet today, with the mare Miss Lamb being the one to beat for me at 13/8 (Hills was the only price available at 4.15pm). She ticks boxes in every bit of analysis we've done and should take this in her stride off a mark of 110. Horn Cape is probably the best of the rest, but up in class and weight here and doesn't really appeal at 6/4. That's probably the 1-2, but the 15/2 Beat Box might make a better E/W bet, based on his results at this trip and he doesn't seem to mind heavy ground.


Hexham Racecourse Pace Bias

In this third instalment looking at pace biases at National Hunt courses, we will look at the picturesque Northumberland track at Hexham, writes Dave Renham.

When discussing the word pace my main focus is the initial pace in a race and position the horses take up early on. Some pundits talk about the running style of a horse: this is essentially the same thing.

The Pace Analyser and Query Tool on geegeez.co.uk are places where you can research pace / running styles to your heart’s content.

Pace data on the site is split into four – Led (4), Prominent (3), Mid Division (2) and Held Up (1). The numbers in brackets are the pace scores that are assigned to each section.

For this article I am again concentrating on data going back to 2009 with races of eight or more runners. My main focus when looking at pace will as always be handicap races, but for National Hunt racing if the non-handicap data indicates any biases I will share those data also. Hexham is the course in focus today.

The course is left-handed and a mile and a half in circumference and is considered to be severe and undulating. The hurdle course is shown below:



As can be seen there are six flights in total, three each in both the back straight and the home straight. The chase course has ten fences in its circuit and a separate home straight with a single fence to navigate.



Hexham Hurdle Pace Bias

They run over three main distances in hurdles races at Hexham, namely 2m, 2m 4f, and 2m 7½f.

Hexham 2m Hurdle Pace Bias

Here is the handicap hurdle breakdown (8+ runners):


There is a marginal advantage for front runners but in general this is a fairly even playing field in terms of early pace. The each way placed percentages are often an area I look at, and the graph below helps demonstrate how even the splits are here. The held up figure is lower but not significantly so.

That said, front runners have an Impact Value of 1.47 which implies they are almost one-and-a-half times as likely to win.

It is also worth sharing the non-handicap data at this trip as there does seem to be a pace bias:


There has been a definite advantage to those horses that have led or raced close to the pace (prominent). Quite often the reason for this is the fact that some non-handicap races can be rather uncompetitive, especially novice events. Having said that, these stats are strong and with good correlation between strike rates (both win and each way).


Hexham 2m4f Hurdle Pace Bias

In the past few years they often move the rail so the distance here can change a little from the advertised two and a half miles. The handicap hurdle breakdown with eight or more runners over this trip looks thus:


If there is an advantage, it is towards prominent racers but, unlike the shorter trip, there seems little in it from a pace perspective.

However, when we dig deeper into ground conditions it looks as if there could be a pace bias against front runners as the going eases. On good to soft or softer, front runners have secured just one win from 35 runners: this equates to a very low win strike rate of under 3% and poor A/E and IV values of 0.35 and 0.31 respectively.


Hexham 3m Hurdle Pace Bias

The handicap hurdle data over this longer trip looks like this:


We see that front runners and prominent racers have a clearly superior record here with a good correlation across all stats. If you had managed to predict the front runner in each three-mile handicap hurdle here since 2009 you would have been rewarded with excellent profits both for win and each way wagers. Easier said than done, of course!

Below is a graphical representation comparing strike rates (win & ew) for each pace figure over this trip which emphasises the positive correlation:


Before moving onto chases, it should be noted that this front-running edge seems to strengthen on better ground, whereas prominent runners fare much the best when it is more testing.

On good ground or firmer, front runners have won nine races from 43 (SR 20.9%) with a strong A/E value of 1.89 (IV 2.43).

Whereas on good to soft or softer, those close up but off the lead won 16 races from 102 runners (SR 15.7%) with an IV of 1.56 and a level stakes profit of +25.64.


Hexham Chase Pace Bias

Over the bigger obstacles at Hexham they primarily race at the following three trips - 2m , 2m 4f and 3m. There is one race each year over the marathon four-mile trip, too.

Hexham 2m Chase Pace Bias

Up until 2015, they officially raced over 2 miles ½ furlong so I have grouped the data together. There have been 40 qualifying races (8+ runner handicap chases):



This is one of the strongest National Hunt pace biases in the country; not only do front runners enjoy a huge edge, but horses that race in the second half of the field early have a quite dreadful record. The pie chart below gives a powerful pictorial representation of the bias (it shows % of races won by each pace section):


Good luck if you're backing a patiently-ridden horse in a Hexham two-mile handicap chase!

When the going is on the soft side, the message is even more stark, as if that was even possible:


Hexham 2m4f Chase Pace Bias

There have been a decent number of handicap chases with eight or more runners over this trip (59 races in total). Here are the stats:


Another very solid bias to front runners who again show a clear edge. It is not as strong as the shorter distance but still extremely significant. Prominent runners also have a reasonable record while hold up horses have at least been more competitive than they were over the shorter trip.


Hexham 3m Chase Pace Bias

Up until 2015 they officially raced over 3m1f as well and I have incorporated those stats with the three-mile figures. The handicap pace splits are as follows (8 + runners):


This longer trip still readily favours pace horses but the strength of bias against those that are waited with is not as strong as over the two shorter distances.


Hexham 4m Chase Pace Bias

There have been only eight handicap races over four miles and the data is far too limited to dig into.


Hexham National Hunt Pace Bias Summary

In conclusion, the running style bias towards those leading and/or racing prominently at Hexham is far stronger in handicap chases than it is in handicap hurdles. Here is one final graph comparing win and each way strike rates between front-runners and hold up horses in handicap chases over the three different distances:


The graph beautifully illustrates that

a) the front-running bias is strong across the board,

b) the pace bias does diminish a little as the distance increases; and,

c) front-runners have a significant edge over hold up horses regardless of distance.

Hexham is definitely a course to keep an eye on from a pace perspective.