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Racing Insights, 20th January 2021

The going turned heavy at Exeter this afternoon hindering Ballybreen's bid to lug top weight around 3 miles in the mud, but he was far from disgraced finishing as a runner-up less than 2 lengths behind fellow joint favourite Don Herbager who was receiving 12lbs from our pick. 3/1 proved to be good value about a 2/1 jt fav, but he just couldn't quite land the spoils for us.

Wednesday's feature of the day is the Trainer Stats report, whilst our free races of the day are...

  • 1.05 Chepstow
  • 2.20 Newcastle
  • 4.05 Newbury
  • 5.45 Dundalk
  • 7.15 Dundalk

To be honest, neither our featured races nor the Trainer Stats report hold anything for me to get my teeth into for you, so I'm going to try something a little different that might also seem vaguely familiar in a way.

As you might know, most of my own betting comes from stats and I have a huge number of micro-systems that generate lots of potential qualifiers each day. Some horses appear on more than one micro-system and therefore become of increased interest to me. That doesn't mean they're going to win, of course, but it does mean they're worth a second glance.

To this end, I'm going to look at a horse called Le Tueur, a lightly-raced (just 5 previous starts) 6 yr old gelding who'll race in the 3.15 Chepstow, a Class 4, 2m7.5f, handicap hurdle for 4yo+ on heavy ground. The prize is almost £3,769 and James Bowen rides for father Peter. Here's the card...

Le Tueur heads the Geegeez Ratings which is a positive and on form, it looks like Little Red Lion and Memphis Bell would be the two he'd need to beat to win here. But what brought him to my attention?

Well, he featured on several on my trainer-based angles, so here is just a quartet of them to give you some idea of the kind of other things I have running in the background aside from the obvious racecard tools I use.

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1. Since the start of 2016, Peter Bowen's NH handicappers sent off shorter than 8/1 (I expect this to happen here) on ground officially deemed Soft or "worse" have a strike rate of 23.2% by virtue of winning 36 of 155 contests.

2. Le Tueur was sent off a 100/30 favourite when beaten last time out and since the start of 2017, Peter Bowen's UK NH runners who were a beaten favourite last time out have turned the form round to win 25 of 103 (24.3% SR) races next time out. From these 103 runners...

  • those who were beaten favs LTO in the previous 45 days are 21 from 74 (28.4% SR)
  • those who didn't even make the frame LTO are 16 from 65 (24.6% SR)
  • whilst those failing to make the frame LTO in the past 45 days are 13 from 44 (29.6% SR)

3. But prior to finishing fourth last time out, Le Tueur was a winner and Peter Bowen's NH handicappers who won two starts ago and were then fourth are 5 from 10 (50% SR) when turned back out less than three weeks after that defeat, finishing 221U112131 in the process.

4. And finally for now regarding the trainer, Peter's record with 8/1 Class 4 handicap hurdlers stands at 18 winners from 86 (20.9% SR) since the start of 2017, from which...

  • jockey James Bowen is 8 from 28 (28.6%)
  • soft or worse ground runners are 8 from 25 (32%)
  • and on heavy : 2 from 5 (40%)

You might also have noticed the C1 next to jockey James' name on the card and that's because he was 4 from 14 (28.6%) on this track in 2020.

It's useful to have those stats to hand when looking at a horse that has only raced on five previous occasions, but he was second on debut over 2m5f on heavy ground in a Class 4 hurdle and won two starts ago at Ffos Las over 3m0.5f on soft ground despite hitting the last hurdle. He wasn't as good last time out, but led until after 2 out in a soft ground 3m2f contest before fading out of contention.

The way he ran until 2 out suggests that the 2.5f drop back in trip might be beneficial here and he gets to have another crack off the same mark as last time, despite going so well for much of the race.

Instant Expert probably won't tell us too much, other than backing up what I've already said about him...

In recent outings, he has raced fairly prominently and has led at times, but he'll probably be better off if he sits in here as this track/trip has proved difficult to win at of late if trying to set the fractions on heavy ground, as our pace stats/map show...

If that's how the race pans out, it looks good for both our featured runner and form horse Little Red Lion, whilst the other in-form runner, Memphis Bell will have her work cut out of sitting at the back here.

Overall, the records of trainer and jockey suggest Le Tueur should be involved in the shake-up here. Five career starts aren't really enough to base a firm decision upon, but there are some positive signs re: going and trip, but can/will he win?

Summary

Yes, Le Tueur can win this, but I'm not entirely convinced he will. He's a solid placer in my opinion, which is a good start, but I have Little Red Lion & Memphis Bell (not far) ahead of him in that order. So, we'd need things to land our way if our featured runner in to win, so let's see where it might go wrong for the two main rivals.

Little Red Lion hasn't seen a hurdle competitively for the best part of eleven months when he narrowly (short head) landed a Class 5 contest. This is a step up in class from that race and he goes off a mark 10lbs higher than today. He has had four runs over fences since and although he has narrowly won two of them, he has ended up on the ground in the other two. This could affect his confidence and that allied to the rise in class/weight from his last hurdle run must cast some doubts on him?

Memphis Bell seeks a fifth win on the bounce inside less than 20 weeks where her mark has gone up by some 29lbs and you have to wonder how much she has left in the tank before needing a rest. Up another 8lbs for her last win, she'll now need to try and concede weight all round and lug 11st 11lbs around on heavy ground and that has to be a worry. I notice that she's also entered into a better race at Ludlow for Thursday where she'll carry less weight than here, in fact she'll be bottom weight there, so I wouldn't be surprised if she swerves this one and heads to Ludlow.

Thus, if Little Red Lion & Memphis Bell aren't quite at it or don't even run, then yes, our chances will improve. I suppose it all depends on price now. I'd have hoped for 6/1 or better and at 5.40pm Le Tueur is a solid 11/2 from the handful of bookies to show their hands. I've a feeling he might drift initially, so if I can get 6's, I'll have a small punt on Le Tueur with the caveat that he's far from certain to win. Some of you might want to play the place market on an exchange.