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Racing Insights, 7th June 2021

A good end to the week for us with a 9/1 winner in the shape of Parent's Prayer on the Derby card. She won impressively, making all from start to finish and staying on well to the end. I'd said she'd like the softer ground and the pace tab told us that leading was the best tactic. Put the two together and we were never going to be far wrong. The icing on the cake came in the shape of her being sent off at 4/1, meaning we got some real value from our bet.

We don't, however, rest on our laurels at Geegeez after a good day, just as we never get too downbeat after a poor one and that's because there's always another day to tackle. Monday racing is generally not great, but the afore-mentioned Pace tab is free to all readers for all races to give us some assistance, whilst the fulle free racecards are for the following races...

  • 1.00 Leicester
  • 2.35 Listowel
  • 3.20 Gowran Park
  • 3.30 Leicester
  • 3.35 Listowel
  • 8.30 Windsor

I had a quick flick through the cards and the second of the Leicester races looked interesting at first glance. Not the best race, but it looks competitive for the grade. Bookies should pay three places too, so there could also be an E/W angle in the 3.30 Leicester, an 8-runner, Class 4, 4yo+, flat handicap over a mile on good to firm ground that is expected to be good in places. The prize is £4,347 and these are the runners trying to land it...

Form : Only Cruyff Turn, Visibility, Wolflet and Moretti have won any of their last five outings and we've no LTO winners on display here

Class : Cruyff Turn and Wild Hope both ran at this Class 4 grade last time out, but the other six are all stepping up from Class 5.

Last run : Cruyff Turn, Wild Hope and Wolflet have been seen in the last three weeks. Moretti and Visibility have had short 8/9 week rests and Malvern last raced 16 weeks ago. We haven't seen Mr Tyrell in almost six months and it's over 8 months since Top Secret graced a track.

Age/Sex : Five of the eight are aged four with Wild Hope (5), Moretti (6) and Mr Tyrell (7) the older horses. Wolflet and Moretti are the only females here.

Course/Distance form : No previous winners here at Leicester, but Cruyff Turn, Wild Hope, Wolflet and Moretti have won at this 7f trip.

Trainer/Jockey form : Top Secret's yard seem to be in good form (14), whilst the handlers of Mr Tyrell and Malvern both have good long-term records at this venue (C5). We've a trio of in-form jockeys (Top Secret, Mr Tyrell, Malvern), but Tom Eaves (Wild Hope) could do with a change in fortunes. Ryan Moore (Mr Tyrell), Hollie Doyle (Wolflet) and David Egan (Moretti) have good Leicester records.

Weight/SR spread : The handicapper says there's a 21lb spread in ability here, whilst the SR ratings have a 27pt spread with the suggestion that it could be tight between Wolflet, Vsibility and Moretti.

Cruyff Turn carries top weight of 9-11 off a mark of 82 here, the same mark as he ran from last time out thirteen days ago when only 8th of 9, beaten by 17 lengths over 1m1f at Musselburgh on soft ground. He dis win off 77 two starts ago also over a trip further than a mile and it's interesting that he drops back to 7f for the first time in 5 races/9 months since winning at Redcar off 72. He only won narrowly that day and I think he's better over further than today and off a mark in the 70's.

Wild Hope won a 1m Class 4 handicap at Doncaster in late July of 2020 off today's mark, which should be a positive, but that's his only decent performance on turf in eight efforts stretching back to early August 2019. He has also failed to win any of five A/W starts since that turf win and with jockey Tom Eaves also struggling for form, this one doesn't appeal to me.

Top Secret has only raced three times so far and was 6th of 11 on handicap debut over 6f at Kempton off a mark of 77 some 256 days ago. Since then he has changed yards and reappears off 2lbs lower, but up in trip, up in class and running on turf for the first time. He could be anything, but I wouldn't want to get involved today.

Mr Tyrell hasn't been seen for almost six months and when he did last race, he was only 6th of 12 over a mile at Kempton at a lower grade. Hasn't won any of his last 17 starts in 25 months and has won just 2 of 40 to date. I think he'll be 2/41 this time tomorrow.

Visibility is 0 from 4 on turf and hasn't quite kicked on from winning at Wolverhampton at the end of February, losing all four since, but not getting disgraced in any of them. He has gone down by around 4 lengths in each of his last two on turf, fading late on each time and a drop in trip/mark might get him closer to winning here, but he'd need things to fall his way.

Wolflet looks (on paper, at least) to be the best of this bunch and this young filly was a winner over this trip at Lingfield just three starts ago and was a runner-up over course and distance here last time out. The winner that day has since only been beaten by 1.75 length at this class/course/distance/going off a mark of 80, so Wolflet's lowly 65 could be lenient, not withstanding her 0 from 6 record on grass.

Malvern opened his career with a pair of wins in Good to firm, Class 5, 6f, novice contests in July/August 2019, but that appears to have been his peak! Since then he has finished 20/20, 17/17, 14/16, 13/13, 7/9 and 7/11 as he has slid from a Class 2 mark of 86 to a Class 5 run off 67 LTO. He's dropped another 3lbs here and has a 3lb claimer on board, but the step up in class is a concern after a near four month break and losing is habit-forming. I'll be surprised if he beats many/any here.

Moretti has won two of her last five, both by less than a length off marks of 58 in Class 5 handicaps over this 7f trip. That's probably her level, as she's 0 from 10 any higher than 58, so 61 here might be a bag and a half of sugar too much. A bit like the lager that shares her name, Moretti looks OK here, but not special.

When I first started writing this piece, one of the things I said was that it looked competitive. I still maintain that thought, but it does look like being a contest to see who can be the least poor. 75% of this field are stepping up from Class 5 and most of them can't win at that level, so Lord alone knows what they're doing here. At present, I've got this as Wolflet's to lose and then a scrum for the places behind. I'm expecting the Instant Expert numbers to be painful reading, so let's torture ourselves by looking...

In fairness, the overall tallies above aren't as bad as I feared they might be, but we should now dig down and look at relevant Flat handicap form...

Both of the above would appear to throw a spanner in the works for Wolflet off an admittedly small sample size and there's some interesting blocks of green for the likes of Cruyff Turn and Wild Hope on the going and Moretti's 7f record in Flat handicaps (albeit off marks in the 50's).

In similar previous contests, stall 6 has an unusually poor record, but if we ignore that, then there's really no discernible draw bias for an 8-runner handicap over 7f on good to firm/good ground, as shown here...

Which, of course, means that race positioning /  pace may well be the key to horses winning or losing here today. Our data from the races above is a little clearer/helpful here. The basic premise of a 7f handicap here at Leicester is what a doorman might say to an unruly drinker "Get out and stay out!"

Essentially the quicker you get away from the stalls and the further forward you race, the more chance you appear to have of winning/making the frame...

And that is particularly true for those drawn middle to high in the stalls, whilst low drawn runners fare better tucked in behind the leaders...

We can (and will!), of course, use the data available to us from these horses' past outings to make an informed guess as to how they might tackle this contest and when we arrange the field into draw order and superimpose it onto the heat map we can almost get a bird's eye view of how the race might unfold. The caveat here of course is that these are unreliable runners who might change tactics, especially as their current ones aren't particularly successful. But here's how our data suggests they'll run...

There really doesn't seem to be much pace in the race at all. Based on their last four outings, only Wolflet has set the pace and her default positioning is prominent. I'd expect her to take this on today and she could well have the race won quite early if she opens up enough daylight between her and the pack. I said earlier that it initially looked like hers to lose with a scrum behind her. That's also what the pace tab says.

Summary

It looks like Wolflet's race to lose, but I don't think she's very good yet : she's just the least bad of a fairly bad bunch. This is really an average Class 5 contest masquerading as a Class 4 and that's where Cruyff Turn and Wild Hope might profit. They have decent enough records at this grade and the latter has won off today's mark. When I was compiling the piece, I was thinking that the likes of Visibility and/or even Mr Tyrell might be the ones best placed to make the frame, but I'm going to side with Class here.

Wolflet is my winner here with Cruyff Turn and Wild Hope as my tentative picks for the places. Both placers are proven at this grade, the former has a good pace/draw make-up and the latter might be overpriced.

Wolflet is available at a best priced 5/2, which is just about reasonable. She's as short as 6/4 in places but I wouldn't want to play at those odds. Cruyff Turn is 11/2 and Wild Hope is at 10's generally. I'll have an E/W nibble at those odds.

 

 

Racing Insights, 1st June 2021

Nice result at Cartmel on Monday, where one of my three runners was a non-runner and the other two were the first two home at 10/1 and 4/1. As is often the case, I'd got them the wrong way around, but there was still profit from the picks, whilst the forecasts paid around 50/1!

Onto Tuesday, where the Shortlist report is the free feature of the day and the free races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.55 Redcar
  • 4.15 Leicester
  • 4.25 Brighton
  • 4.50 Leicester
  • 5.05 Redcar
  • 6.40 Tipperary

The best of those races is the first of the two at Leicester and although it's a small field with a likely short-priced favourite, it'll still be good to see if (a) the fav justifies the price and (b) whether there's an E/W bet or forecast angle to be had.

So, my focus now falls on the 4.15 Leicester, a 6-runner, Class 4 Flat Handicap for 3yo fillies over 7f on ground officially described as Good (Good To Firm In Places). The top prize is £4,347 and it will go to one of...

Form : All bar Wootton Creek have won at least one of their last five outings and she's the only one yet to race in a handicap so far. Divine Magic is the sole LTO winner in the field. Zwelela & Spirit of Bermuda have alreasdy won over 7f, whilst Divine Magic is a course and distance winner.
Class Moves : Red Fascinator and Cream of the Crop drop one class, Zwelela drops two classes and Divine Magic is up a grade.
Days since last run : All six have raced in the last five weeks, so no layoffs to deal with.
Trainer/Jockey Form : Red Fascinator is the only one without a positive course icon (C1 C5) for either trainer or jockey.
Ratings : The first five on the card are separated by just 7lbs by the assessor, whilst the SR figures are more strung out, favouring Spirit of Bermuda.

Red Fascinator carries top weight here and makes a second handicap start after finishing 7th of 11 at York last time out. She was beaten by just over 12 lengths and although she's now down in class and 2lbs better off, this still looks too tough for her.

Zwelela is 2 from 2 over seven furlongs this year, admittedly on the A/W at Lingfield at Class 5 and then at Wolverhampton at this grade off a mark 3lbs lower than today. She was well beaten (11.5 lengths) at Newmarket last time out having weakened considerably in the final furlong of eight. Down two classes and a furlong here, she's one to consider if transferring her A/W form to turf.

Spirit of Bermuda has ability, but also has some temperament issues as highlighted when she refused to race at Redcar last time out after getting agitated in the stalls, She'd also got restless in the stalls the time before and although she won a Class 2 maiden over 7f on debut, I'm not sure I trust her to behave here.

Divine Magic is the likely short-priced favourite and comes here off the back of a soft ground win here over course and distance last time out fifteen days ago in what was easily her best run to date. She won by three lengths that day, prompting a 6lb rise in weight which makes this task tougher for her, as does the step up in class, whilst the ground will be quicker this time. She's probably the one to beat, but I don't think she has too much in hand.

Wootton Creek makes a handicap debut here after four defeats in maidens, the best of which was when 2nd of 15 at Newmarket last September and her most recent run saw her beaten by five lengths at this class/trip on similar ground at Ayr five weeks ago. Mark Johnston's horses often improve in handicap company, but based on form, she's hard to back here.

Cream of the Crop is bottom weight here receiving 6lbs to 13lbs from her rivals. She won over 5f in early August on her second run and was deemed suitable for a run in the Gr2 Lowther Stakes at York 16 days later. She finished 13th of 14 there, beaten by 13 lengths. She has raced twice this year so far, losing by 5.25L and 3L, both over 6f and now has to step up in trip, although she has been eased a couple of pounds. If she sees the trip out, she could well get involved off such a low mark.

Instant Expert tells us that 3 of the six have won on similar ground to this race, but only Zwelela has a Class 4 win to her name. As I mentioned at the start, we've three previous 7f winners, including Divine Magic's C&D success last time out, for which she is now 6lbs higher...

...whereas in handicap company only...

Zwelela may well not have won on Gd/Gd to Fm, but her other numbers are good off albeit small sample sizes.

In terms of the draw, I've expanded the field requirements to 5 to 7 runners as follows...

And the way I'd look at this would be to take stalls 1-5 as read, but to combine 6 & 7 to treat stall 6 at 6 wins from 40 (15%) and 14 places from 40 (35%) for the purpose of a 6-runner race (ie anything higher than stall 5).

This means that stall 1 is easily the the most preferred place to be, but if you want to look at zonal draws, then the "top half" ie 4-6 is marginally better than stalls 1-3 for win (53/47 split) and place (52/48) purposes, although the fact that stall 1 is so strong, the advice here, I suppose, is to just avoid boxes 2 & 3! Which isn't great news for Cream of the Crop and/or Red Fascinator.

As for pace, these are the stats relating to the above races...

I'd be inclined to take the mid-division numbers with a pinch of salt, due to the very small amount of data. We can safely say that hold-up horses haven't done very well and that prominent horses have just about won as many as expected (IV is almost 1). but horses that lead fare best of those with any form of sample size.

So, the assumption from the above is that if the likes of Zwelela in stall 1 like to lead, they'd do very well here. To verify that claim, here's the Geegeez pace/draw heat map...

...which distinctly favours the low drawn leaders, which would be great news for Zwelela, if she's one who likes to get on with things. Our pace data for each horse tells us how they've run in their most recent outings and we allocate 4pts for leaders, 3 for prominent running, 2 for mid-division and 1 for being held-up. This is how the field score in their last three races...

Based on that information, it's likely that Zwelela may well try to set the pace from the rail draw with Wootton Creek providing the wider pace and when we superimpose this data onto that heat map and arrange the horses into draw order, we can almost get a bird's eye view of how we think they'll race...

...which would re-affirm my earlier assertion that Zwelela's desire to get on with it would be an advantage from stall 1. I don't read too much into the red blocks for mid-division runners as I explained earlier, but I do think Zwelela just about edges in on the heatmap.

Summary

Should Divine Magic be the favourite here? Yes, I'd probably say it's her race to lose. But I don't have her as nailed on as the 5/4 price she is in some places. I don't want to be backing her at that price, but she should win.

Of the rest, the biggest dangers look like Cream of the Crop and Zwelela to me and I prefer the latter of those two. Zwelela has the best draw, she'll look to get on with it and at 8/1 with Bet365 is just about long enough to justify an E/W bet. If she gets away sharp enough, she could well cause the fav some problems in overhauling her.

Racing Insights, 17th May 2021

We had a pretty good week last week, especially going against some warm Class 1 favourites at York, but Saturday's race was a disappointment for me. In hindsight, I should have followed my instincts and told you all that ",,even after using all the tools to analyse, you might still have to walk away if it's too tricky to solve..."

Ah, well, you live and learn. No point worrying about it now, as a new week is on the horizon. Monday's free feature is open access to the PACE tab to all readers for ALL races, including these free races of the day...

  • 4.05 Ffos Las
  • 5.15 Redcar
  • 5.35 Leicester
  • 5.50 Windsor
  • 7.05 Leicester

And it's the last of that quintet of races that appeals to me most, the 7.05 Leicester, a 9-runner, 4yo+, Class 4 Flat Handicap over 6f on Good To Soft ground worth £4,347. Here's how they line up...

Six of the nine have a win in their recent form line including three LTO winners. Six of the nine ran at this class LTO whilst top weight Green Power drops from Class 3, as does Triggered, whilst Recall the Show won a Class 5 contest last time out.

Global Esteem is the only one yet to win over this trip and we've three who have won over this actual 6f. Just 11lbs separates the entire field on official ratings with all runners having raced in the last four weeks.

Green Power : Seven races and twenty months since his last win (2 long breaks totalling 495 days in that) and he hasn't beaten many rivals in those races either. Could only manage 5th of 9 in first time blinkers at Epsom last month and despite now dropping to a career-low mark, he's hard to fancy here.

Little Boy Blue : Running consistently well since coming back from a 4-month break in mid-March, finishing 3231 in the process, all at this trip/grade culminating in a soft ground win at Ascot nine days ago in a 14-strong field with the re-opposing Global Esteem (2nd) 0.75 lengths behind him and Spanish Star (3rd) 2.25 lengths behind him and I'd expect him to well again despite a 4lb rise.

Dancinginthewoods : Third run back after six months off, he was well beaten upon his return at Doncaster, but was a winner last time out, scoring at this class, course and distance where he beat the re-opposing Able Kane by half a length. He's up 3lbs for the win, but should still give a decent account of himself.

Able Kane : Won over C&D last September (Class 5), just 8 days after scoring at Bath and ran well in defeat here 23 days ago, after having let the winner get away too easily. He's now 2lbs better off with Dancinginthewoods here and if handling the return to slower/softer ground, should be able to reverse the placings.

Global Esteem : Won over a mile at Yarmouth at Class 5 at the end of August and then failed to even make the frame in six efforts after stepping up in class. First-time cheekpieces appeared to help last time out, though as he was a creditable ¾-length runner-up to Little Boy Blue at Ascot nine days ago. He's now 2lbs better off with the winner, but the winner seemed to have more in hand and I'm not sure this is Global's best trip.

Recall The Show : Two from two on the Flat this season after back to back successes within ten days at Brighton over this trip. Both were at Class 5, as he won by a neck off a mark of 75 and then by half a length off 77. This is, of course, tougher as he's up in class and weight (+2lbs) and the going will be slower/softer here. Pat Cosgrave is in the saddle and the pair have finished 22111 together, so I'd expect another bold effort.

Triggered : 16 defeats and 33 months since he landed a win at Catterick at this class/trip and could only manage to finish fifth of seven at Doncaster at the start of the month. He's best avoided, I'd say, even if jockey Eoin Walsh is in good form (5 wins and 3 places from 16 in the last fortnight)

Gambon : A winner here back in July 2019 who last won at Chepstow in September, but hasn't shown much in four runs since. He wa sa well beaten 9th of 13 here at Leicester over 7f on his seasonal reappearance , but could only manage 6th of 10 at Ripon over today's trip 10 days ago, a result which possibly flattered him as he passed a couple late on who were easing down in defeat.

Spanish Star : Bottom weight here off a mark of 74, the same as when third behind Little Boy Blue at Ascot nine days ago, so he's effectively 4lbs better off with the winner with "only" 2.25 lengths to find. He's also a former course and distance winner, but I can't help feeling he'd want more rain with his best form coming on soft and/or heavy ground, as it was when he won here over this trip in October. He was beaten on soft last time out and despite being better off at the weights, the drier/quicker ground might undo him.

At this point, I want to discard four that I don't think have much chance of winning, so as I go to look at Instant Expert, I'm now only interested in Able Kane, Dancinginthewoods, Global Esteem, Little Boy Blue and Recall The Show, whose records under similar conditions look like this...

All five are racing off marks higher than their last win and whilst Able Kane shades it on Instant Expert, he's got the biggest weight differential to overcome at 6lbs and that mark of 74 is his highest winning mark to date.

Based on a dozen past races here over track/trip etc, the draw stats say that you don't really want to be any further away from the rail than stall 6, which doesn't read well for the likes of Little Boy Blue and Recall the Show...

Whilst the pace stats tell us that leaders tend to get caught but still make the frame (just 10% win, but 50% place), whilst those who race prominently are almost twice as likely to win, but make the frame less often.

Any horse racing further back than that is likely to struggle and whilst it doesn't mean they can't win, it would prove difficult, which would make Dacinginthewoods' running style the least advantageous here...

And when we look at the last two runs of these horses, the pattern that emerges from the race is as follows...

Little Boy Blue & Recall The Show weren't particularly well drawn, but do like to race prominently and between them that tactic has resulted in three wins and a place in two runs each. Global Esteem likes to lead and invariably gets caught, as shown in recent defeats, plus he was actually held up the last time he won. Dancinginthewoods and Able Kane look like they end up giving themselves too much to do late on from a mid-division position.

Summary

He doesn't have the best draw here and wasn't particularly attractive via Instant Expert, but Little Boy Blue is running consistently well at the class and trip and I think he's the one I like most today. He's not exactly brimming with value at 9/2 in a 9-runner contest, but in what I've seen as a 5-horse race, that's more than fair.

The one I think could mount the biggest challenge would be the 6/1 shot,  Recall the Show. He looks likely to be alongside LBB in-running and comes here in great form and gets on well with his rider and it's only the step up in class that concerns me.

Tricast punters need a third horse, I suppose and to be honest, there's vary little between the other three in my head/mind, Able Mind should be ahead of Dancinginthewoods and I think he, too, might overhaul the leader late on, so it'd tentatively be Able Kane for third.

Racing Insights, 13th January 2021

We were right to swerve the shortlist runners today. The Fairyhouse race ended up a 3-runner affair and Sizing Pottsie was sent off as 4/9 fav! In fairness, he had the race won with an eight length lead approaching the last, but sadly fell and the race eventually went to the one I highlighted as the danger.

At Wetherby 10 minutes later, Domaine de L'Isle also failed to win but did complete, finishing fourth beaten by some 33 lengths with two of the three I liked more finishing in front of him. So, we'd no bets but breaking even was better than losing two points on this occasion.

Maybe, I'll have a bet on Wednesday after consulting the free-to-all Trainer Stats report or via the free racecards for...

  • 1.30 Plumpton
  • 2.10 Leicester
  • 3.10 Leicester
  • 3.40 Leicester

And it's to the Trainer Stats report that I'm turning today. As usual, I have fairly demanding criteria to narrow down a list of possible selections...

Which gives us two to look at, starting in the 2.40 Leicester...

This horse returned to action on 5th December after 266 days off the track to finish third of six at Wetherby in a Class 3, soft ground handicap hurdle over 2 miles. He was beaten by nine lengths after a mistake at the last slowed him down and the winner has since finished third in a similar contest despite being raised 10lbs for the win. Our runner has been eased a pound for that run/defeat and has had a wind operation for weeks ago.

He's a fairly useful if not brilliant hurdler, having made the frame three times from seven efforts, but winning just once. Based on the conditions faced today, he has the following records...

  • 0 wins and 2 places from 6 under jockey Brendan Powell
  • 2 wins from 3 in 8-11 runner fields
  • 1 win, 1 place from 3 on heavy
  • 0/1 at this trip, but has won at 2 miles
  • 0/3 at Class 3

He'll be hoping, however, to continue trainer Michael Scudamore's excellent recent record at this venue, despite sending hardly any runners here. Since the start of 2018, he has had just six runners here, but three wins and a place represents an excellent return, including of relevance today...

  • 3/5 in handicaps
  • 3/5 at odds of 10/1 and shorter
  • 2/3 with 6-8 yr olds
  • 1/3 from LTO placers
  • 0/3 at Class 3
  • 2/2 with males
  • 1/1 for Brendan Powell
  • 1/1 on heavy
  • 1/1 at 31-45 days rest
  • 1/1 in January
  • 0/1 over course and distance
  • 0/1 over hurdles

So, a bit of a mixed bag based on form and the stats of the horse/trainer, so I wouldn't completely discount his chances just yet. In similar contests to this one, it has paid to sit in mid-division during the race...

...and whilst his averaging positioning is slightly ahead of that point, he does sit in the middle trio of the overall pace map with four runners ahead of his group and four runners behind, so if they run to plan, he should end up mid-div after all...

That said, when he did win five starts ago on heavy ground, he set off quickly, made all and ended up 8 lengths clear. A revert to those tactics might not be a bad call here either.

*

And now to the 3.30 Plumpton...

This 7 yr old gelding failed to make the frame in three bumpers and six hurdles contests but was third on his chasing debut two starts ago, when beaten by just three lengths on this over 2 miles on soft ground at Hereford in late November. He clearly relished the larger obstacles in the mud and backed that run up with a good 5.5 lengths success just over a month ago when landing a 2m1.5f Class 5 race at Bangor. He still looked full of running at the finish and although we've only two runs to go on, a 6lb rise in weights might not inconvenience him too much.

Like Michael Scudamore's record at Leicester above, Eurkash's trainer, Paul Webber, is a successful if infrequent visitor to Plumpton and like Michael at Leicester, Paul has 3 winners and a place from 6 runners at this track since the start of 2018, including...

  • 3/5 in hcps, 2/5 with males, 2/4 in chases, 3/3 in fields of 7-11 runners
  • 2/3 after less than 5 weeks rest, 2/3 at 7/1 or shorter, 2/2 at Class 5
  • 1/2 on soft, 1/2 from LTO placers, 1/2 in January, 1/1 over C&D
  • 1/1 using jockey Gavin Sheehan and 1/1 with 7 yr olds

Quick note re: jockey Gavin Sheehan, he's another who doesn't come here too often, but is 7 from 20 (35% SR, A/E 1.87) over fences here since 2014, including 2 wins from 4 over course and distance. Plenty of promise from the above and whilst we don't have a great deal of pace data to hand for this type of contest...

...I'd say that a mid-division "pozzy" might well be the right approach here.

Summary

I had the Leicester runner, Thor de Cerisy as fourth, possibly fifth best in my own rankings and I didn't have him that far behind a top three berth, so he's certainly be of interest from an E/W perspective if we could get a decent enough price on him. He ran well last season and his last effort after a long lay-off was as good as could be expected of him. If the wind op has an immediate effect, then 10/1 seems more than fair for those of you fancying a small E/W flutter, as both When You're Ready and Oscar's Leader have more appeal from a win perspective.

Eurkash is the type I'd be all over at Plumpton, based on his two runs over fences, the stats that I've quoted and a 3/1 price tag, but for the presence of a near odds-on favourite in the shape of hat-trick seeking High Up In The Air. The fav drops in class and trip here and his 7lb hike in weight is offset by the booking of a 7lb claimer.

That's not to say that the fav is a given, he has won back to back races when making all and has done most of his running over longer distances. He'll have competition up top this time, the trip is sharper and his jockey has only won 2 of his last 45 over fences. I have the favourite down as best in the race, but I rate Eurkash a clear second. If you think that there's enough doubt around to swerve an even money (odds-on in places) fav, then the 3/1 Eurkash should be the one to profit.

Racing Insights, 3rd December 2020

No joy at Lingfield on Wednesday, I'm afraid. Arthur's Angel was forced very wide on the final turn effectively taking him out of the race, whilst Battle of Marathon looked like he was with too much to do late on and went down by less than a length. Such are the perils of hold-up horses, I suppose.

Thursday is, of course, a new day so I'll dust myself down and go ahead on a day where our free feature is the Instant Expert tab for all races, including the following full races of the day...

  • 12.22 Market Rasen
  • 2.07 Leicester
  • 6.00 Chelmsford
  • 7.00 Chelmsford

And of the four above, I think I'll take on the 2.07 Leicester : an 8-runner, Class 4, handicap hurdle for 4yo+ over 2m4½f on Soft ground worth £3,509 to the winner, who'll hopefully feature in my summary shortly, after we've considered the data available to us, starting with the racecard in saddle cloth/weight order...

Running a little late this evening, so let's go through the card quickly from left to right...

FORM :
Positives : Gortroe Joe, Trans Express & A Distant Place
Negatives : Irish Odyssey, Aliandy & Unblinking : all three might need a run too after 266, 338 and 339 days off the track.

CLASS MOVERS :
Gortroe Joe & Aliandy both drop down from Class 3

COURSE/DISTANCE FORM :
Gortroe Joe, Aliandy, Corri Lindo & Unblinking are all distance winners, whilst Trans Express is a course and distance winner.

TRAINER FORM :
Positives : A Distant Place, Gortroe Joe, Aliandy, Known & Trans Express
Negatives : Corri Lindo. Also Unblinking starts for a new yard after even Nigel Twiston-Davies couldn't get a tune out of him over the last two years.

JOCKEY FORM :
Positives : Irish Odyssey, Gortroe Joe, Aliandy, Known & Trans Express
Negative : Unblinking

GEEGEEZ RATINGS (SR) :
Positive : Trans Express, Gortroe Joe & Corri Lindo
Negative : Aliandy, Unblinking, Known & Irish Odyssey

And based on that pros and cons list, I'll bid farewell to both Irish Odyssey and more obviously, Unblinking, as we move on to Instant Expert, the feature of the day, where the place results probably tell us a bit more...

...than the win only columns...

We already knew that Trans Express was the only previous course winner and he alongside Gortroe Joe are the ones that have shown some winning form on soft ground (Aliandy has failed to convert any of 5 placed runs into wins), whilst over trips of 2m2f to 2m6f Trans Express and Gortroe Joe once again tick more boxes than the others.

There's lots of red on the win graphic, but most of the runners fare well on the place element, so I'm only removing Corri Lindo at this stage, as he was on the edge after round 1. This leaves us with five ahead of assessing the pace/strategy of the race ahead...

The above data is based upon 27 previous races under the conditions I've selected. I've broadened the categories slightly to give me a bigger sample size to work with and from the look of the above, Trans Express might attempt to win it from the front, as 6 (22.2% of the winners) have done and the others may well let him get on with it in the hope of catching him late on.

Prominent racers tend to fare best, landing almost half of the 27 races and this could work for A Distant Place if he choose to keep in touch with the leader. Aliandy is a hold-up horse and although that tactic has been successful here in the past, he's 1 from 17 running that way, so the law of averages says he'll lose again from the back. Gortroe Joe changed tactics last time out and won from the front, so his position on the chart might be misleading, whilst Known seems to run differently every time, but to little effect so far.

Known didn't score greatly on the pros and cons and has yet to win a race, so he's a no for me, as is Aliandy with that 1/17 record. he was beaten by 37 lengths last time out ans is still only one pound lower in the handicap. His sole win came off a mark of 108 and has failed ever since off marks of 113 to 121 and runs off 119 today, a pound higher than Known.

And now I'm where I want to be : data assessed and a shortlist of three : A Distant Place, Gortroe Joe & Trans Express, all of whom have been ticking boxes as we've gone through the elimination process.

A Distant Place is interesting here on just his third start under Rules and on handicap debut. A respectable fourth on debut over 2m1f was followed by a good runner-up performance over 2m0.5f when just half a length behind the 5/6 fav Benson. Both runs were over short trips on Good to Soft, but I'm not concerned about trip or ground here, as he had one win and one place from three soft ground PTP races over three miles.

He'll have some running speed honed from those two short-distance efforts and if afforded an easy lead here might be hard to peg back and it's worth noting that trainer Jonjo O'Neill's handicap debutants are 8 from 35 (22.2% SR, A/E 1.35) since the start of 2019.

Gortroe Joe is one whose name I feel like I've typed a hundred times already in this piece, he won well last time out at a higher grade on soft ground over a similar trip to this contest and he was the best part of two lengths clear of the 11/8 fav First Lord de Cuet who has since reappeared in a one-length defeat at Class 2 off an unchanged mark of 126. Our runner here is up 4lbs but still only runs off 120 and if running to the same level as last time, would be the one to beat, especially if you consider he has previously won off 128 over both hurdles and fences.

And finally for today, we come to Trans Express, a 10 yr old gelding who had been out of sorts for a while but looked like coming back to form last time when third (beaten by 3.25 lengths) over an inadequately short trip at Exeter. He's a versatile sort who acts on most ground and has won four times at a grade higher than this. He runs off the same mark as LTO and receives plenty of weight from all bar one of his rivals here. Not an obvious winner, but definite place potential if nothing else as he's turned back quickly to avoid an imminent 2lb rise in weight.

Summary

A Distant Place, Gortroe Joe & Trans Express against the field for me. Trans Express might well try to win this from the front, but I suspect that Gortroe Joe might just race prominently again as he did to good effect last time out whilst A Distant Place will look to pick runners off on the way around. If the two do take up the pace, I think I'd want to be on Gortoe Joe and as Trans Express weakens, then A Distant Place would be the one benefit.

So, its GJ / ADP / TE as my 1-2-3 and 4/1 is a bit bigger about Gortroe Joe than I expected, which is pleasing. Sadly none are long enough to advise an E/W bet, but I'd be very surprised if my three don't include the winner.

Racing Insights, 6th October 2020

Monday's piece shortlisted four runners at Wolverhampton, of which one won and one didn't run, which sounds great, doesn't it? Sadly, the other two runners were the ones I expected to fare best and they came home fifth and sixth of ten runners. A moral victory of sorts, I suppose.

Lequinto, who won, qualified by having a satisfactory profile on Instant Expert and was also top of our own ratings, so although I didn't side with him, the clues were still there.

Next up is...

Tuesday 6th October

Feature of the Day is the Shortlist report, which is free on Tuesdays to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.

and Tuesday's free Races of the Day are

1.00 Catterick
1.15 Leicester
2.50 Leicester
5.40 Lingfield

I've decided to go with the third on that list, the...

2.50 Leicester : a 7-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on Soft (Heavy in places with more rain due) ground worth £11,972 to the winner.

As today's free feature is the Shortlist, we should start by seeing of any of our 7 runners are on it...

...so that's a tick in the box for those two and then we look at which (if any) of the seven runners have two or more blocks of green on the Instant Expert tab of the racecard...

None have raced here at Leicester before, but Ainsdale scores 3 out of 3 on the other boxes with Count D'Orsay and Dave Dexter scoring two. However, the ground is already heavy in places with more rain on the way, we should really look at this too...

...where only Ainsdale has run on heavy ground before when winning at Nottingham at this trip almost a year ago, albeit two grades lower than today. The pace/draw profile is very important over short trips, especially when the going is at either extreme of the scale, so let's look at that next.

And assuming Acclaim doesn't drag Ainsdale along too quickly, the latter would get another tick with Blue de Vega and Ishvara also looking of interest and then after I'd considered all of the above, I would then be in a position to refer back to my own personal report angles report to see if anything was of note and when I do that I find the following...

Acclaim The Nation :  Jockey Stats 14 Day/30 Day
Blue De Vega :  Trainer Stats 14 Day
Dave Dexter :  Trainer Stats 14 Day & Trainer Jockey 14 Day / 30 Day / 1 Year
Ishvara :  Trainer Stats 14 Day

So, ticks in the boxes for those four runners for that one.

Summary

Based on the criteria I've used above to analyse the race, Ainsdale and Ishvara dominate the proceedings and are (purely coincidentally) the two runners from the Shortlist report.

But do I think they'll win? One might and one shouldn't. Ishvara has only won at Class 4 and lost her last handicap outing off this mark in a lower grade. This should be too tough for him and she's probably wanting a step up to six furlongs, whereas Ainsdale might well prevail here provided he doesn't go off too quickly.

He was in fine form last October in difficult racing conditions and I'm happy to view his latest outing as a pipe-opener for today. He was beaten by the best part of three lengths at this class and trip ten days but that was his first outing for 332 days and it came on good ground. Having had the run and now back in the mud, Ainsdale would be the one I'd like most here with the obvious pace caveat and a note of caution about the weight.

He won three races in 11 days last October off marks of 75, 81 and 89 and I'm concerned that a further step up to 97 might be a bit much on this ground.

This is then the point where I look at the odds and he's generally a 10/3 or 7/2 shot, as of 7pm Monday and that's just a bit skinny for my liking with my reservations about pace & weight, so whilst I'll be wanting him to be the one to win, he won't be carrying my money.

Stat of the Day, 7th September 2020

Saturday's pick was...

3.10 Kempton : Recovery Run @ 5/2 BOG 2nd at 13/8 (Tracked leader, close up when ridden 2f out, ran on well to dispute lead close home, not quite match winner)

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.20 Leicester :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Shady McCoy @ 9/2 BOG

...in a 13-runner, Class 3,  Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 7f on Good To Soft ground worth £7,439 to the winner...

Why?...

We'll start with the racecard...

...which, whilst not as informative as some other days, tell us that we've an in-form horse (2 wins from last three starts) who scores well on the Geegeez Speed ratings and who will be ridden by a jockey with a good recent record here at Leicester with 9 wins from 35 (25.7% SR) since 2016.

Our boy might well be 10 yrs old now, but seems to be enjoying his own personal Indian Summer, having won two of three this year to take his career record on the Flat to a more than acceptable 11 wins from 58 and that 19% strike rate has yielded the following under today's conditions...

  • 9 wins and 11 further places from 51 for trainer Ian Williams
  • 8 wins, 10 places from 38 over a 7f trip
  • 4 wins, 2 places from 11 on Good to Soft
  • 2 wins from 3 in 2020
  • 1 win plus 1 place from 3 under jockey William Buick
  • 1 win plus 1 place from 2 here at Leciester
  • and 1 win, 1 place from 2 over course and distance

And now to trainer Ian Williams, who has been very good over the years at getting horses to win back to back races on the Flat, especially when not left off the track too long and when the market deems them to have at least a fighting chance. So, basically my Ian Williams LTO winner micro-angle is to look for those sent off at 7/1 and shorter within 45 days of that last run/win and since 2014, such runners are...

...with a win ratio of almost 2 in 5 at an A/E approaching 1.5 generating over 55p in the pound profits at Betfair SP giving us grounds for optimism here today, especially as they contain the following of relevance today...

  • 36/86 (41.9%) for 58.49pts (+68%) in races worth less than £17k
  • 34/91 (37.4%) for 50.5pts (+55.5%) in handicaps
  • 16/27 (59.3%) for 26.42pts (+97.9%) at 1-10 dslr
  • 13/28 (46.4%) for 28.91pts (+103.3%) during September/October
  • 8/15 (53.3%) for 26.7pts (+178%) over 6/7 furlongs
  • 5/10 (50%) for 13.77pts (+137.7%) on Good to Soft ground
  • 2/3 (66.6%) for 6.74pts (+224.8%) under jockey William Buick
  • and 1 from 2 (50%) for 0.97pts (+48.5%) here at Leicester...

...whilst from the above, in sub-£17k handicaps at 1-10 dslr, they are 16 from 23 (69.6% SR) for 30.42pts (+132.3% ROI), including a perfect 6 from 6 at an A/E of 3.77 in September/October generating 19.42pts profit (+326.6% ROI)...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Shady McCoy @ 9/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.00am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.20 Leicester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 7th September 2020

Saturday's pick was...

3.10 Kempton : Recovery Run @ 5/2 BOG 2nd at 13/8 (Tracked leader, close up when ridden 2f out, ran on well to dispute lead close home, not quite match winner)

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.20 Leicester :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Shady McCoy @ 9/2 BOG

...in a 13-runner, Class 3,  Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 7f on Good To Soft ground worth £7,439 to the winner...

Why?...

We'll start with the racecard...

...which, whilst not as informative as some other days, tell us that we've an in-form horse (2 wins from last three starts) who scores well on the Geegeez Speed ratings and who will be ridden by a jockey with a good recent record here at Leicester with 9 wins from 35 (25.7% SR) since 2016.

Our boy might well be 10 yrs old now, but seems to be enjoying his own personal Indian Summer, having won two of three this year to take his career record on the Flat to a more than acceptable 11 wins from 58 and that 19% strike rate has yielded the following under today's conditions...

  • 9 wins and 11 further places from 51 for trainer Ian Williams
  • 8 wins, 10 places from 38 over a 7f trip
  • 4 wins, 2 places from 11 on Good to Soft
  • 2 wins from 3 in 2020
  • 1 win plus 1 place from 3 under jockey William Buick
  • 1 win plus 1 place from 2 here at Leciester
  • and 1 win, 1 place from 2 over course and distance

And now to trainer Ian Williams, who has been very good over the years at getting horses to win back to back races on the Flat, especially when not left off the track too long and when the market deems them to have at least a fighting chance. So, basically my Ian Williams LTO winner micro-angle is to look for those sent off at 7/1 and shorter within 45 days of that last run/win and since 2014, such runners are...

...with a win ratio of almost 2 in 5 at an A/E approaching 1.5 generating over 55p in the pound profits at Betfair SP giving us grounds for optimism here today, especially as they contain the following of relevance today...

  • 36/86 (41.9%) for 58.49pts (+68%) in races worth less than £17k
  • 34/91 (37.4%) for 50.5pts (+55.5%) in handicaps
  • 16/27 (59.3%) for 26.42pts (+97.9%) at 1-10 dslr
  • 13/28 (46.4%) for 28.91pts (+103.3%) during September/October
  • 8/15 (53.3%) for 26.7pts (+178%) over 6/7 furlongs
  • 5/10 (50%) for 13.77pts (+137.7%) on Good to Soft ground
  • 2/3 (66.6%) for 6.74pts (+224.8%) under jockey William Buick
  • and 1 from 2 (50%) for 0.97pts (+48.5%) here at Leicester...

...whilst from the above, in sub-£17k handicaps at 1-10 dslr, they are 16 from 23 (69.6% SR) for 30.42pts (+132.3% ROI), including a perfect 6 from 6 at an A/E of 3.77 in September/October generating 19.42pts profit (+326.6% ROI)...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Shady McCoy @ 9/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.00am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.20 Leicester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 30th June 2020

Monday's pick was...

2.20 Windsor : Porto Ferro @ 3/1 BOG 2nd at 2/1 (Soon led, went to rail over 4f out, joined and hung badly left from 2f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra and beaten by a length)

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

6.45 Leicester :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Chetan @ 11/4 BOG

...in a 13-runner, Class 6, Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 1m on Good To Firm ground worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

A quick look at the card shows...

...an 8 yr old course and distance winner who won last time out (also over C&D when making all on his way to a 9.5 length success) and is trained by Tony Carroll, whose form over the last two years includes...

Those LTO winners when sent off at 7/1 and shorter are...

...whilst at 4/1 and shorter, those turned back out quickly are...

And as this horse won over C&D last time out, it's worth noting that Tony Carroll does well with LTO winners with that CD icon on the racecard, especially at the sharp end of the market, as shown by...

...of which those who actually won over C&D LTO are...

And finally for today, I'd like to briefly highlight the fact that horses returning to Leicester after a C&D win last time out also fare very well, as in...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Chetan @ 11/4 BOG as was widely available at 8.00am Tuesday, but as always please check your BOG statusTo see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 6.45 Leicester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!