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Racing Insights, 7th May 2021

Thursday's featured horse, Murhib, has yet to run and he has only moved out a quarter of a point in the last 24 hours, as the money has come for my next best, Blow Your Horn. Hopefully these two can fill the frame and arrest a run of luck as bad as that of a blind cobbler!

Friday now beckons and that's the day we open up the Horses for Courses report to all readers. That report does pretty much what it says on the tin and you can find it here. We also have a bunch of free races to tilt at, even if you're not a Gold subscriber and they will be...

  • 1.45 Chester
  • 1.50 Downpatrick
  • 2.15 Chester
  • 3.15 Chester
  • 3.35 Market Rasen
  • 5.50 Ripon

And it's the Horses for Courses report for me today and a couple of interesting runners, who I imagine will be fairly popular with punters, but still at backable prices (4/1+?), due to the competitiveness of their races. Let's see if any, both or none of them are worth backing.

We'll do this chronologically, starting with the 1.45 Chester, which also happens to be a 'race of the day', so I'll show full graphics for this one. It's an 11-runner, Class 2 Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 7½f on Good to Soft (Soft in places) ground and it's worth £10,308. Here's the full card...

As you can see, Revich, who is second on the Geegeez ratings, hasn't won any of his last four starts at Ascot, Doncaster (x2) and Newbury, since landing back to back wins here at Chester in August 2020, the second of which was at this class, course and distance off 4lbs lower than today.

He is, however, a pound lower than when beaten by less than three lengths at Newbury in a big-field handicap last time out, where he got home ahead of some highly rated runners. In fact he was 4.25 lengths clear of Oh This Is Us, who has since landed a Listed race at Ascot and is currently rated at 103.

With 2 blocks of green and 2 of amber, Revich is one of the standout horses on Instant Expert and as I've arranged that grid in draw order, you'll see that he has what many people widely assume to be the plum draw in stall 1 at Chester. It isn't necessarily the best, but it certainly can be on a track where you're always turning left.

His record here at Chester is excellent, as per the Horses for Courses report with finishes of 15311 on the Roodee, including 131 at the slightly shorter 7f trip and he's 1 from 1 over course and distance, his only previous run over 7.5f. Otherwise he has finished 15111 when sent off shorter than 5/1 in Flat handicaps, 511 on good to soft, has 2 wins from 6 in a visor and is 1 from 1 under today's jockey, Tom Marquand. Tom is in good form right now as highlighted on the race card and he has three wins and a place from eight Chester rides since the start of last season.

We know he's drawn in stall 1, which is good as it's a low draw, but it's not as massively advantageous as some lazy pundits/tipsters might have you believe. At 3 wins and 3 places from 22, it does reasonably well, but no better than stalls 2, 3, 6, 7 or 9, so the draw can sometimes be a misnomer here at Chester.

If you're in stall 1 and stall 2 or 3 etc is a fast starter, you can easily be "cut-off" at the first turn, thus negating any draw advantage.

This sort of demonstrates my last point. Revich isn't fast away, doesn't like to lead or even race prominently, but Gobi Sunset does and I'd expect him to quickly track over from stall 4, grab the rail and attempt to control/win from the front. Typical Norton/Johnston tactics to be fair.

I'll give my final assessment of Revich's chances after I've had a quick look at Mark's Choice in the 6.20 Ripon. This is a a 10-runner Class 4, Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 6f on Good To Soft ground worth £5,234. As it's not a free race, I'm only going to show you the sections relating to Mark's Choice here...

Mark's Choice is also second on the Geegeez ratings, just 1pt behind the top rated horse and he won here over course and distance at Class 5 to end last season on a high and picked up where he left off 22 days ago with another course and distance win. That was a good run in a 14-runner handicap despite a 201-day layoff, a step up to this class and an 8lb rise in weight. He ran on well at the finish and he might have to grit his teeth here with an extra 4lb at play.

He's clearly well suited by today's conditions, even at 4lbs higher than his last win, but today's mark of 81 is only 1lb higher than when landing another C&D success here in June 2019, so this isn't necessarily beyond him. His record here at Ripon reads39114311 including 91311 over course and distance, whilst generally in Flat handicaps he is 4 from 8 at Class 4 for prizes of less than £6,000, he's 3 from 7 on good to soft ground, 3 from 5 in April/May, 2 from 4 for trainer Sam England and 1 from 1 under jockey Dougie Costello.

He's drawn on stall 5, which isn't too bad a draw but he'd prefer to be lower than that based on his prominent front running style. He and Abel Handy looks likeliest to set the pace and had our runner got Abel's draw, that would have been a solid pace/draw make-up for this race, but that alone wouldn't be the reason for a loss here.

Summary

I like both here!

I'm happy to back Revich at 15/4, given that Brentford Hope is a non-runner, whilst I wouldn't be surprised if eith ofr Ejtilaab (10/1) or Grove Ferry (13/2) ran big races here. And over at Ripon, I'm equally, if not slightly more, happy to back Mark's Choice at 9/2. Others to watch might include Flying Pursuit (8/1) and Citron Major (5/1).

Good luck!