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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.