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Racing Insights, 19th November 2021

Friday is Horses for Courses day, where everyone gets free access to a report that 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. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

Sadly, my parameters below have given me no qualifiers to consider...

...but I do, thankfully, have the daily list of 'free' races to fall back upon and for this Friday they are scheduled to be...

  • 12.00 Chepstow
  • 1.55 Catterick
  • 2.40 Ascot
  • 7.30 Dundalk

The last of the three UK offerings looks the best (on paper, at least), so today's focus falls upon the 2.40 Ascot, a 9-runner, Class 2, 1m7½f, 4yo+ handicap hurdle worth almost £11k. They'll tackle 8 hurdles on this right handed track and the going is expected to be Good To Soft. Here's the card...

Of the nine, only Ecu de la Noverie, Highway One O Two and Captain Morgs are without a win in their last five outings, but all nine have won over a similar trip to today with Captain Morgs & Eddiemaurice having won over course and distance. Both Leoncavallo and Highway 102 ran at Class 1 last time out, but Garry Clermont and Captain Morgs step up from Class 3. Method Madness in up two classes, whilst Ecu de la Noverie is moving from Class 5 to Class 2 here and he was unplaced last time out. Only four (Leoncavallo, Cabot Cliffs, Highway 102 & Captain Morgs) have already reappeared this season, the others have been off for 175 to 232 days.

Between them, this field have made the frame in 41.15% (93 times) of their combined 226 races, with 47 wins representing a 20.8% strike rate across all races, but under expected conditions here...

Eddiemaurice will enjoy the underfoot conditions, but Leoncavallo hasn't really got to terms with good to soft just yet and his record at Class 2 isn't great either, but he has won a Listed hurdle and was second in one almost three weeks ago. We've two course (and distance) winners and all the field have some form over the trip. Highway 102 runs off a mark 5lbs lower than his last win, but the top two on the card are a full half stone worse off from their last successes.

No stalls in operation for NH races, of course, but we do need to consider the shape and pace of the race to work out how things might unfold. The long-term stats say that leaders win most often and that they also have the best place strike rate...

...but only hold-up horses look to be at any real disadvantage. I'd wary about the mid-div stats as they're off a really small sample size, but leading is definitely the best policy and based on how this field has raced in their most recent outings...

...this would tend to suit the likes of Cabot Cliffs and Brandon Castle far better than say Eddiemaurice and Garry Clermont.

Summary

Now I need to take my 9 runners down to as low as three preferably, but at least to a more workable shortlist, so I'm going to discard...

  • Ecu de La Noverie, due to his 175  day absence and the fact he's up three classes here after a poor run LTO.
  • Highway 102, as he has struggled for form since winning a Grade 2 in February 2020. He was three places and more than five lengths behind Leoncavallo LTO and I don't see him making that up, so for me, he's not wining this.
  • Brandon Castle, who for all his frontrunning just doesn't convert the effort into places, never mind wins. He may well have won back to back races in the summer of 2020, but they're his only placed finishes in his last 14 starts and he's still a pound and a class higher than that last win 15 months ago
  • Garry Clermont, who looks like he'll have too much ground to make up from a hold up position over such a short trip. He's likely to meet traffic if coming late and a 7lb and 1 class rise for winning LTO might just undo him here.
  • Eddiemaurice, who'll have an even tougher time as a confirmed hold up runner. Yes, he likes good to soft ground and is a former course and distance winner, but that was 5 years ago and he's getting no younger at 10. he's only a pound lower than when beaten by almost 20 lengths LTO and hasn't raced for 224 days, giving me more negatives than positives.
  • Method Madness is possibly the one to cause most danger to the three I'm going with, as he's been given a lenient looking handicap mark, is unexposed and has a win and a place from just three efforts over hurdles, but step up two classes here and hasn't been seen since a 6.5 length defeat almost 8 months ago. had he raced recently, I might change my mind, but he misses out here - just.

All of which leaves me, by default, with Cabot Cliffs, Captain Morgs and Leoncavallo. Leoncavallo doesn't have a great record at Class 2, but has 4 wins and 5 places from 13 at 1m7f/2m and he has made the frame in both starts this season, including a runner-up finish in a Listed contest just 2.5 lengths behind a Grade 3 winner and his form this season and his overall record at the trip make Leoncavallo my pick here.

As for the other pair, Captain Morgs is lightly raced, had a good season last time around and ran really well to finish third on his reappearance at Cheltenham last month, but might have work to do if Cabot Cliffs pours it on early doors and he's up in class, whereas Cabot was also third LTO but at this grade and having won three times last season just edges it for the runner-up berth for me.

In truth any of the three could win, but I'm going Leoncavallo / Cabot Cliffs / Captain Morgs here.

Sadly, the early market agrees with he three at the head of the prices and my 1-2-3 are priced at 7/2, 11/2 and 11/4 respectively, so no E/W bet from that trio and I thought Leoncavallo might have been a bit shorter after his run LTO, so there might be a bit of value at 7/2. If you did want an E/W bet, then Method madness could fit the bill at 8's.

 

Racing Insights, 12th November 2021

The Horses For Courses (H4C) report does pretty much what the name suggests and 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.

As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

Based on my own preferred settings, here's how my H4C report looks for Friday...

As well as having that to consider, there are also the following free races of the day...

  • 1.45 Cheltenham
  • 4.00 Cheltenham
  • 4.45 Dundalk
  • 5.30 Kempton

Both the NH races at HQ look decent enough, but I want to consider the chances of the two qualifiers from my H4C report, starting with...

...King of the South, a 4yr old gelding who goes in the 12.50 Newcastle, an 8-runner, Class 2, 3yo+, A/W (tapeta) Handicap over 1m4½f (2738 yards and is worth £10800. Here's his racecard entry...

As you can see, the yard is in good nick and has a decent record at this track, helped of course by this horse's results of 11213 here, all in handicaps. He has never raced here at Class 2, but has won at one level lower. He's 2 from 2 here in November/December and 3 from 4 in fields of 8 or more runners. He's 2 from 2 over 1m2f here, but only 1 from 3 over this trip, but has won both starts at 21-25 days after his last run. Tom Marquand takes the ride for the first time, but he's no mug, he's in good for and has good numbers here in the North East.

King of the South could be excused for needing the run when last home of seven at Doncaster, beaten by some 37 lengths over 1m4f on soft/heavy ground for his Class 2 bow three weeks ago. He hadn't been seen for seven months and had never raced on turf before. Now with the benefit of a run, we should see him in a better light back under more familiar circumstances, as his A/W form looks like this...

and under today's conditions...

He'll come out of stall 3 today, which is probably one or two boxes lower than  ideal...

...but certainly not impossible, as that 1 win from 46 for stall 1 above was when KotS won here over C&D in February, so never say never! As for running style, he has tried several approaches of late...

...but is rarely, if ever, the actual pacemaker in a race, which is just as well, as leaders have struggled here in the past...

Prominence seems to be the best place to sit and with two 3's in his last four races (when 2nd then 1st over C&D), I'd expect him to run that way today and as stall 3 is pretty much on the cusp of a middle draw, a prominent run from that position is the most successful pace/draw combo here...

All of which should set King of the South up for a big run an hour and three quarters before we see the 5 yr old gelding, Kind Review tackles the 2.35 Newcastle, a big-field (14 run!), Class 3, 5f, 3yo+ handicap worth £6,281. He's not in the best of form, I'm afraid as shown on the racecard...

Kind Review has raced 31 times already with 16 of those coming on turf where his record is far inferior to his 5 wins and 5 further places on the All-Weather, which have all been here at Newcastle in handicaps ranging from today's 5f up to a mile and at Classes 2 to 6. With today's race in mind, his Newcastle record includes 4 wins ands 4 places from 12 under today's jockey, 3 wins and 2 places from 7 as a 5 yr old, 3 wins and a place from 5 over this 5f C&D and one win from three cracks at Class 3 handicaps.

Much of his recent poor form has come on turf, but it has to be said that since finishing 1211 in four starts here in the spring culminating in a Class 4 win off a mark of 81 that he shas struggled in his two visits.

He was 9th of 14 over 5f at Class 2, beaten by just over two lengths in June off a mark of 90, before dropping down a class and 4lbs to race over 6f here in a Class 3 last month. Sadly he just wasn't at it that day, coming home second to last of fourteen, seven and a half lengths adrift.

He's now down another couple of pounds, back in trip and it is hoped that this will help him today. It should also be noted that he runs from stall 2 here and those two recent losses came from stalls 12 and 13 of 14, but more on that shortly after we've considered his overall A/W record...

and under today's conditions...

...which only really suggests that he'd probably want the track to ride a little slower. He's only 3lbs worse off than his last win and it is hope d that he'll fare better from his low draw than he has from out wide of late.

...although based on the above stats, I'm not entirely sure that's the case here over 5f. Mind you, I'm not a big believer in the draw being a massive influence in a straight 5f race and that race tactics/positioning aka pace plays a bigger role in determining the outcome. Kind review tends to race prominently as shown here...

and based on the pace data from past races, I think he'd be better off pushing on...

So, the raw stats say he's not well drawn and doesn't have the right pace profile, so the 6.67% strike rate for low drawn prominent runners below won't come as too much of a surprise and does tend to suggest that he's going to struggle...

Summary

Both horses have excellent records at Newcastle and both should run better than last time out.

King of the South needed (and got) a run after seven months off in a tough race at Doncaster, which was ground breaking for him re: class and surface and now back on preferred ground, should go well again. Bet365 are best priced at 7/2 (as of 6.55pm) and I think that's more than fair, I had him at 3's, so I'm happy to play there. I also liked Nicholas T in this race and whilst not an obvious winner, could well outrun his 14/1 odds as a decent E/W bet.

As for Kind Review, I think this race is too tough for him and even if conditions are better than LTO, he looks like struggling and at 20/1 the bookies might have overpriced him, but he still wouldn't be in my top 4 for an E/W bet. If I was playing here, I like Night On Earth, but 6/1 is a bit tight for me in a competitive 14-runner handicap. The 10/1 offered by bet365, however, about Indian Sounds is enough to draw me in for another E/W wager.

Racing Insights, 1st October 2021

The Horses For Courses (H4C) report is our free feature every Friday and it 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. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

In addition to this free report, we also offer the following 'races of the day' to all readers...

  • 2.30 Ascot
  • 2.38 Gowran Park
  • 4.05 Hexham
  • 5.15 Dundalk
  • 7.45 Dundalk

Here's how my H4C report looks for Friday...

And I think I'll take a look at the two UK runners at the top of that list, starting with Sheriff Garrett, who runs in the 3.30 Hexham, which is a 7-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ Handicap Hurdle over 2m4f on good ground worth £5,174...

As you can see, he has won two of his last five runs, he's a former course and distance winner, his yard have a good record at this track and he's top of the Geegeez SR figures. His six handicap runs here have all been over trips of 2m4f/2m4.5f and his form in those reads 141512 ( win, loss, win, loss, win, loss...) and was only beaten by a head here a month ago by a horse carrying 12lbs less.

Jamie Hamilton has been in the saddle for all six runs here and headgear (cheekpieces or blinkers) plus a tongue tie have been omnipresent. He has won here on both Good and Soft ground, but he is up in class and on a career-high mark of 122.

Instant Expert suggests that it's only this venue that's a positive in his past form, although he has a fair record at the trip, but even that is mainly due to his three wins here...

The pace stats for similar races suggests that leading is the best policy...

...and he has the highest average pace score in this field over the last three races, so I'd expect him to try to control the race from the front again today. It paid off three starts ago, it very nearly paid off last time out and with those runs in mind, I'm fairly confident that those tactics will be in operation again today.

*

Buniann then runs in the 8.30 Newcastle, which is an 11-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ AW handicap over 5f on tapeta worth £3,240...

...where he too tops the Geegeez SR figures and it's a race this 5 yr old gelding is very familiar with, as he won it last year off a 3lb lower mark. His handicap record over course and distance reads 52131213 (51312 at this grade), so he'd be very interesting from a place perspective if nothing else. The sharper eyed amongst you will see there's only 8 runs there and not 9 as per the H4C report, because one of them was an unsuccessful attempt at 6f last November.

He hasn't actually won any of his last ten starts, since scoring here over course and distance at Class 4 back in March off a mark just 1lb lower than today, but in his defence, nine of those ten starts have been on turf where he isn't the same horse (he's 0/15 on the Flat!).

He's drawn in stall 6, which is in the middle and mid to high draws are more favourable here, so whilst he's not got the best of it, it could have been worse...

The pace stats here at Newcastle over this minimum trip suggest that leading is the best tactic...

...but it's pointless me showing you the pace chart for Buniann in this race, as his last four runs have all been on turf where he has been held-up. His runs here at Newcastle normally see him up with the pace and the expression "pressed leaders" features in many of his race reviews, so with that in mind, I'll place him on the Pace/draw heatmap for this race as follows...

This would suggest that he'd need to be ridden quite boldly if he's to win here.

Summary

Two very different horses in very different races, but both top on the Geegeez SR figures.

Sheriff Garrett will have to see off the challenge of last year's winner, Glinger Flame but the latter is 9453S since that win and hasn't been in anything like the same form as the rest of his career. Instead, I think the biggest danger will come from the 9/2 shot Pammi who has been in excellent form this last three months. Sheriff Garrett is currently priced at 7/2, which is roughly where I think he should be, if not a little shorter, so I'm happy enough to play at those odds.

And as for Buniann, he won this last year off a similar mark, he's the course and distance specialist and a return to the AW seems a smart move. I think he can land this one, but his current odds of 9/2 are a little on the stingy side for me. I wasn't asking for the moon on a stick, but 5/1 or even 11/2 would have been nice. That said, I do like him for this one and I'll probably still back him (I might just be cheeky and ask for 6.5 on the exchanges). Main threats for me here would include the likes of The Bell Conductor at 5/1, whilst the old veteran Duke of Firenze might be a tad over-priced at 11/1 and I think I'll have a small E/W play there too.

As always, good luck whichever way you choose to play this one.

 

Racing Insights, 24th 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. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

In addition to this report, we also offer the following full free racecards to all readers...

  • 2.05 York
  • 3.00 Newmarket
  • 4.02 Worcester
  • 4.20 Haydock
  • 5.07 Worcester
  • 5.15 Dundalk

And here is my H4C report for Friday...

I don't often get many qualifiers, but as I've got a couple at Newcastle on the standard to slow tapeta, let's quickly assess their chances here.

The 6.00 race is a 3yo+, Class 5 handicap over a mile, where Harry George will put his four from six track record on the line. This record includes...

  • 4/4 at Class 6, but 0/1 at Class 5
  • 3/5 over this 1m course and distance
  • 2/3 when unplaced LTO
  • 2/2 in September/October
  • 1/2 for his current trainer

His racecard entry is...

In addition to the above stats, trainer Brian Ellison is 22 from 89 (24.7% SR, A/E 1.46) with Class 5, AW handicappers sent off shorter than 12/1, from which those racing on Tapeta are 16 from 62 (25.8%) and 13/43 (30.2%) here at Newcastle.

His sire, Big Bad Bob's offspring are 9 from 35 (25.7% SR, A/E 1.89) in Class 5/6 handicaps on tapeta over trips of a mile and shorter.

Harry George was 7th of 11 here over course and distance at Class 4 two starts ago and then last home of nine at Wolverhampton most recently. He's now down in class and down 2lbs to below his last winning mark, which should at least make him a little more competitive, although he's still above his last A/W win.

His form under today's conditions are as follows...

...which is as good as any of his rivals here. He's drawn out in stall nine of eleven, which is a little wider than the preferred area of stalls 3 to 8...

He tends to either race prominently (3) or be held up (1) and both of those tactics work fine here, although out and out leaders fare best of all...

...but if he races prominently from his high draw here, he's likely to struggle, as such runners are 0 from 28...

...so he'd be better off held-up, where the strike rate of 10.81% isn't brilliant but it's far better than zero. All those pace/draw combo stats are here...

Low drawn leaders fare best, but there aren't many of them. From those combos with a decent sample size, you want to be a prominent runner from a middle draw.

*

The 7.30 race is a Class 6, 7f handicap where featured horse Brazen Bolt is the top weight. This 4yr old gelding has 3 wins and a place from seven runs here overall and he has finished 42111 in five handicap runs here, all over course and distance. Three of his last four career outings have been here over course and distance, with him winning all three, the other was on turf at Thirsk two starts ago, when a half-length runner-up, so he comes here in great form as shown on the racecard...

He's up 5lbs for his most recent win (this Tuesday(, but is boosted by the booking of course specialist Danny Tudhope to take the ride. Danny is 43 from 195 on the Tapeta here since the start of 2019 with a 22& strike rate that rises to 28.9% at Class 6 (15 from 52), 24.2% on standard to slow going (23 from 95) and 23.6% over trips of 7f and beyond (30 from 127). His yard are in steady if not unspectacular form and they'll be expecting another bold show here.

His relevant form looks like this...

Impressive numbers indeed with the only blot being his record in this basement grade, but he has won 2 of 6 at Class 5, so he's clearly no mug. And the end column shows that he's got that extra 5lbs on taking his mark to 72 that he'll have to lug from the widest of the ten stalls here, which is a negative for me...

...as I think he's really want to be in the 2 to 7 sector of the draw, but it is what it is, he just needs to make the most of what he has been given and tackle the race in the right manner.

Prominent racers do best in these 7f handicaps here at Newcastle...

...and with three prominent shows in his last four runs, I'd expect him to run that way again here. After all, if it isn't broke...

When we combine pace and draw together, a 12% strike rate for high drawn prominent runners like our boy is as good as it gets from stall 10...

...but if he'd have got that central draw I mentioned his chances would more than double. That said, he knows the track/trip and has won better races than this, so I still expect a good effort.

Summary

In the first of the two Newcastle races we've considered, I don't fancy the chances of Harry George to be honest. He's badly out of form, still higher than his last winning AW mark and he's poorly drawn. I suppose he's second bottom of the market at 22/1 for a reason.

Most likely to succeed in this one for me is the 10/3 fav Bringitonboris with Twisted Dreams and Soaringstar the dangers. The latter is already as long as 15/2 and might interest some of you from an E/W or place perspective.

In our second race, I do like Brazen Bolt and I think that despite not being well drawn and bearing a 5lb penalty, he still has plenty to offer. 7/2 is about right for me and I'll have a little bit of that. He won't have it all his own way, though and the three ahead of him in the market (Moonbootz, Asmund & Daany) all have good chances.

 

Racing Insights, 18th June 2021

Friday's free feature is the horses for courses report, whilst our daily free races of the day are...

  • 2.55 Down Royal
  • 3.40 Ascot
  • 4.05 Down Royal
  • 4.55 Limerick
  • 6.25 Newmarket
  • 8.40 Newmarket

And I think we'll look at my qualifiers from the horses for courses report for Friday...

...starting with Ballyhome in the 3.25 Market Rasen, a 7-runner, Class 3, 5yo+ handicap chase over 2m6½f on Good ground and here's his entry on the card...

He has also won a non-handicap event here taking his form at Market Rasen to read 21P112212 from which he is 3 from 6 at Class 3, 2 from 3 over fences, 2 from 2 at this trip and also 1 from at just half a furlong further and 3 from 7 on Good ground. His highest winning mark here has been 135 (-3lb), so at 140 (-5lb), he has 3lbs more to find.

Six of his eight races since the start of 2020 have been here at Market Rasen and he won twice over course and distance here last year. In his last race, six weeks ago, he was coming back from a 169-day absence but still ran a a creditable 2nd of 8 here over hurdles at a furlong longer than today's trip. Back down in distance and back over fences with the benefit of having had a run, I'd expect this 10yr old to be giving it his all as usual.

As this isn't a free race, I won't show the full Instant Expert, but trust me when I say his "line" is the best on offer in this race...

The pace stats for the race suggest you want to be at the head or close to the head of affairs, as it has proven tough to win from mid-division or worse...

..and the place stats would also back up that theory. Ballyhome, however, isn't a leader, he doesn't like to set the tempo of a race, as can be seen from this snippet below...

...which suggests Lord Bryan is likely to take the race on alone, as Ballyhome's pace position is actually the nearest to the expected leader, so I suppose technically that means Ballyhome then becomes prominent? Something for me to ponder, whilst I gather the details for our second race, the 5.40 Goodwood, a 10-runner, Class 4 apprentice Handicap for 4yo+ runners over 7f on good to firm ground and here's Sir Titan's card entry with some in-line stats...

That 3 wins and a place from 8 runs here reads 21100716 and includes 1 from at Class 4, 2 from 3 in May/June, 3 from 6 over this 7f C&D, 1 from 1 on good to firm and 3 from 5 off marks of 76 to 84, yet jockey Mollie Phillips takes 7lbs off an already interesting mark of 75 today.

He won here over C&D (C5, soft) at the end of August off a mark of 76, but then suffered a run of six defeats off higher marks before landing a Class 4 handicap over this trip at Kempton two starts ago off 73.

Things didn't quite go to plan last time out when ridden too strongly over a mile a Windsor and he faded badly late on and it is hoped that the drop back in trip will help him here. I'd also hope he gets a kinder ride from today's 7lb claimer. You might not have heard of Mollie Phillips, but she has ridden ten times in the last fortnight, winning three times and making the frame on another three occasions with some nice prices in there.

Once again, I'll only show you his entry from Instant Expert, but there was only one other horse (Colonel Whitehead) who had figures anywhere near these...

He's drawn in stall 2, which is as good a place as any from a win perspective and definitely somewhere to run from if you're looking at the place stats...

From a pace perspective, hold up horses have fared the best here and although it looks like leaders are second best, I'd treat that 14.29% record with some caution. It's only based on 14 runners, so it might not be entirely reliable. That said it's 2 more winners than mid-division runners have managed from more than twice as many attempts, so the takeaway from the pace stats is that mid-division is not the way to go...

As for his own pace, Sir Titan looks like fourth rank here, with his natural prominent racing style seeming to fit well with being drawn so low...

With Miquelon just outside him setting the pace, there's every chance he'll go with the leader, giving himself a great chance of at least making the frame. On paper, at least!

Summary

Two runners with good course records seemingly suited by conditions ahead of them and both in reasonably good form. In the Market Rasen contest, I've got Ballyhome at the top of my figures and I think that 7/2 looks quite generous, so I'll have a piece of that, whilst I also liked the look of Monty's Award at an interesting 10/1.

As for the Goodwood encounter, I've got Sir Titan as fourth best, but certainly not out of it. That said, if I've got it right, he's going to have to beat at least one of Quick Breath, Cold Stare or Flaming Spear to make the frame, but at 9/1, could well be worth a small E/W bet, especially if he can put enough early daylight between himself and those three. And depending on your own cut-off point for E/W betting, Cold Stare can be had at 8's here.

Racing Insights, 2nd April 2021

Friday's fabulous free feature is the Horses For Courses report, whilst our 'races of the day' are as follows...

  • 2.00 Lingfield
  • 2.15 Newcastle
  • 4.07 Chelmsford
  • 5.07 Chelmsford

I think I'll take a break from full race profiling today and have a look at my qualifiers from the Horses For Courses report...

...which gives me three horses across two races.

We'll start with the 5.15 Lingfield, a Class 2 handicap over 7f...

...where Count Otto heads the Geegeez ratings and comes here on a hat-trick after back to back wins on this track over 6f at Class 3 and then at this class/trip last time out sixteen days ago. In fact, his last eight outings over the past four months have all been here at Lingfield and he has three wins and a place from those. His win last time out was a career best effort off a mark of 88, but another 3lbs might not be enough to anchor him in his current mood. That said, he'll have plenty of opposition here today!

Instant Expert gives us an overview of his past record in similar conditions to today...

...and as you can see, he's pretty well suited to the task ahead. Overall he's actually 6 from 22 (27.3% SR) on the A/W and they include 5/19 when not the fav, 5/16 after 8-30 days rest, 4/12 when sent off at 6/1 and shorter and 3/5 in blinkers. He hasn't run on the A/W during April or May before, but he is 5 from 12 during January to March.

He's drawn in stall 9 and whilst there's no massive draw bias here at Lingfield for this contest, stall 9 does look a handy place to be, based on the win and place stats below...

Being well drawn is one thing, of course, but it's also very important to tackle the race in the right way, especially in a decent standard, big-field contest. We see so many runners trying and ultimately failing to win from too back here at Lingfield and that's not anecdotal evidence either. As you've come to expect, we have the data to back it up!

...basically lead! And if you can't lead, try to keep handy.

That said, because there's no distinct draw bias, you can win from anywhere here at Lingfield and the most advantageous pace/draw setup is actually a mid-drawn (stalls 6 to 9) racing in mid-division or maybe slightly further advanced...

We already know that Count Otto has bagged one of those central stalls, but how will he run? Well, based on his last four outings, out pace/draw heatmap has him like this...

...which looks a pretty favourable place to be. So he's in good nick, has good stats in similar contests and is well drawn. His running style works well with his draw and he should have every chance. He would, however, be setting a new best to win off a mark of 91 and he's in a big field of useful sorts. Something for me to ponder.

*

But before I make a decision on Count Otto, I want/need to head to the 5.30 Newcastle, a Class 4 5f sprint across the Tapeta...

...where we have two H4C possibles to consider.

Kind Review comes here in better form than Another Angel and also tops the Geegeez ratings, so you'd expect him to be the more likely to succeed here, but let's look more closely.

Since the 7th October of last year, Kind Review has only raced here at Newcastle, making the frame seven times from nine starts and going on to win three of them, the most recent a career-best effort to land a Class 3, 5f sprint off a mark of 78. He's up 3lbs for that win, but does drop in class here and in fairness, he made all last time out and controlled the race from the front. He could well have won by much further.

Another Angel, on the other hand, has now gone 13 races without a win since scoring in a Class 5, 5f sprint here seven months ago off a mark of 69. A subsequent 6lb rise was too much for him and his mark has gradually crept back down to the point where he was back off 69 in Class 5, 5f sprint here last time out, but he could only finish 7th of 10, two lengths off the pace. He's up in class here off the same mark, so that would suggest he's going to struggle.

And now over to Instant Expert for race-relevant stats...

Once again, Kind Review has the edge here and the only slight negative is his A/W record at Class 4, I suppose. But of the 5 defeats at this grade, he has made the frame four times and has won one of two Class 3 runs. He has three wins and four places from nine under today's jockey Tom Eaves here at Newcastle and has won three times and placed once from the five occasions he was sent off at 4/1 or shorter here in the past.

In Another Angel's defence, he's now back to his last winning mark and has an impressive 7 wins and 6 places from 23 efforts over course and distance, although it is some time since he last won and the market is usually a very good indicator of how well he's going to fare.

The pair are drawn alongside each other in stalls 5 and 6 and he draw stats for this type of contest are a little strange with the 17 wins being very evenly distributed across six stalls, yet those in boxes 4 and 6 have failed to win...

...I'm happy to overlook the zeroes and suggest the draw doesn't play a massive factor here for winners, but if you're looking for an E/w bet, then stalls 5 to 7 do seem to do well from a place perspective.

As for running styles, my initial thought is that you can win from most places in the pack, but don't loiter/dawdle at the back, as it's tough to win here (and most places!) over 5f from the back of the field...

And when align the running style stats with the draw stats, a clearer picture begins to form. Those not drawn high should try to lead, those drawn high should let the others lead and drop in behind and if you must be held-up, pray for a low draw!

All that we need to do now is look at how our pair have run recently and drop them onto that heatmap as follows...

...that would suggest that both look well positioned but Kind Review could do even better further forward. A closer look at his last three running style show scores of 4, 2 and 4, where 4 = led. Line that up with his form of 121 and you see he does best when leading. It's also useful to note that the two wins were over this 5f course and distance, whilst the defeat albeit by just a head came over 6f when he was held back off the pace. I suspect he'll be closer to the front that the heatmap might suggest.

Summary

Two A/W sprints to consider, 7f on the polytrack at Lingfield and then a 5f dash across Newcastle's tapeta strip.

Count Otto goes in a decent looking contest, as you'd expect on Good Friday at Lingfield and I'm very confident that he makes the frame. In fact I've got it down to him and Lord of the Lodge. I have a marginal preference for Count Otto here and 5/1 looks fair, whilst the Lord is available at 7/1.

Fifteen minutes later at Newcastle, we have two runners and Kind Review looks far more likely than Another Angel. In fact, they could well finish first and last! That's a little harsh on Another Angel, of course, who clearly has ability, but really needs to step up to get involved. he could make the frame, but I don't fancy him here, not even at 12/1. Kind Review, on the other hand, looks very much like a winner and whilst the 15/8 on offer in places is a touch skinny, you can get 9/4 about him.

So, two races and hopefully two winners. That would be a Good Friday!

 

Racing Insights, 16th October 2020

On Fridays, the Horses for Courses report is free to all users, so let's take a look and see if there's anything of interest, shall we?

Obviously you can set your own parameters and the lower the required Win Strike Rate, then the more qualifiers you'll have, but I want to look at these with a record of 1 in 3 or better who have made the frame in at least half of their course appearances to see if they're likely to improve upon the figures shown.

I've merely arranged them in time order with no other reasoning and let's consider each in turn starting with Fact Flow...

On the plus side, this 11 yr old gelding has two wins and a place from six handicap chase efforts on this track, he has won twice in eight starts under today's jockey Robert Dunne and is two from seven in the lower prize funded Class 4 contests.

He is now running off a mark some 10lbs lower than his last win and despite this being a 17-runner contest, he did win a 16-runner affair here over 2m6.5f in 2018 and was placed third in his only previous effort over course and distance.

However, he has no win in ten since scoring here over 2m4f back in November 2018 on good to soft ground and is 004 on soft. He has never won beyond 2m6.5f, has never won after more than four weeks rest and comes here having been soundly beaten by a combined 92 lengths in his last three contests.

Next up, we have Everyhouronthehour...

We've the bonus of an in-form (14) jockey with a good course record (C5) aboard this 4 yr old gelding who has finished 521419 in six starts here at Dundalk.

He recently won over a mile on turf at Gowran Park and ran a very good race as runner-up off today's mark at the Curragh, also over a mile when last seen almost three weeks ago.

In addition to that, he has finished 14191 when sent off shorter than 5/1, so the market seems to be a good judge of his chances, he has a win and a further place from three runs wearing a tongue tie and was a winner on the only previous occasion that Colin Keane was in the saddle (at Gowran two starts ago).

The downside is that he hasn't even made the frame when dropped into a 7f contest, finishing 059 with the last two of those coming here at Dundalk, but he does like to press on, so that might help here. He was a creditable second off today's mark of 62 last time out, but that's 5lbs higher than his previous highest winning mark.

And finally, we turn to Castle Quarter at Newcastle...

This 4yr old gelding is 13137 here at Newcastle, all over 7f and tries a mile here for the first time. He was only beaten by three lengths last time out when seventh here and has now been eased a couple of pounds in the weights.

He has won at this grade and is one from two under today's jockey David Nolan whose C1 icon signifies a good record on this track over the last year. It's interesting to see a return to cheekpieces after wearing blinkers for his last five runs, but he has run well with the 'pieces in place previously, finishing 183.

There is however a doubt that he doesn't "get" further than seven furlongs, having to failed to win any of his four attempts, but he does like this track and this might represent his best chance to win at a longer trip so far.

Summary

I personally feel that today has been a very worthwhile exercise in reinforcing the Geegeez message that you have to use stats as a starting point, but look beyond them before making a final decision.

On face value, the Horses for Courses report suggests we've three "live" chances for Friday, but my personal opinion is that you should leave all three alone : I'm certainly doing just that.

Fact Flow isn't getting any younger (I feel and share his pain) and probably won't have many more bites at the cherry, but if connections feel he's one more win in him, then the recent wind op will need to be a miracle worker. He's bang out of form and 33/1 for a reason. I'd expect him to finish nearer the back than the front.

Everyhouronthehour on the other hand is more than capable of winning, so why won't I back him? Well, taking 11/4 about him in a 14-horse contest doesn't float my boat from a value perspective, especially when ou consider he hasn't won at this shorter trip and is at a career-high mark. I think I'll pass, meaning he's likely to win!

And Castle Quarter is unproven beyond 7f and has only one win in ten at this grade. If there was such a thing or horse, he's a Class 5.5 runner or plain Class 6.  This is too much for him off this mark.