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Racing Insights, 20th November 2021

Saturday's free-to-all Geegeez Gold feature is the rather excellent Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats Report (or TJC for brevity), which brings together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. This report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations. Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing. And clicking on the entry will open the race in a new tab.

HINT: Look for a good sample size – ideally five or more – combined with a decent win percentage (30%+), and a positive figure in the profit column.

But wait, there's more free goodness in the form of our daily 'races of the day', which for Saturday are as follows...

  • 1.10 Lingfield
  • 1.38 Gowran Park
  • 3.00 Haydock
  • 3.30 Lingfield
  • 3.35 Haydock
  • 4.30 Wolverhampton

My stringent parameters for the TJC report...

...have generated no qualifiers, so I'm going to look at the 3.30 Lingfield, which is a 12-runner, Class 6, 3yo+ A/W Handicap over a left handed 7f on Standard going polytrack and it's worth £2,700 to one of this dozen...

My aim is to quickly whittle these down to a shortlist of possible bets and the first thing I'm going to do is to remove Alicestar, Born to Finish and Joe Proud from the equation. I expect all three to be priced at 33/1 or bigger and such horses rarely win and are generally those odds for a reason. Born To finish might also need a run after nearly 20 weeks off. I'm also not a fan of backing horses who have never made the frame before and Charming Paradise's 9th of 9, 9th of 12, 11th of 12, 12th of 12 and 7th of 11 doesn't appeal to me at all, so he's gone too and we're down to 8!

Olivia Mary is the only LTO winner here and of the others, just three (Clegane, Nibras Shadow & Red Evelyn) have a win in their recent formline. The Geegeez SR figures predict a tight race between three of that quartet and I think I see it that way too from my initial look at the race.

We can assess past form via Instant Expert, of course...

...where in terms of winning races on the A/W, Clegane certainly catches the eye, but full lines of red for Always Dreaming, Keep Right On and Maahi Ve are a concern. perhaps they've been unlucky not to win, but have made the frame a few times?

Well, yes, that trio certainly look better from a place perspective and live to stay in the selection process a little longer. Red Evelyn looks weak for making the frame and as I don't think she's anywhere near winning this, she has to go because she's not a placer either. Olivia Mary is the standout on places showing some consistency and at the moment, I'd want to be choosing just from those with any green.

Next up is the draw and our seven runners are to be berthed in boxes 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12, so I'm hoping the higher half of the draw is the place to be over 7f here at Lingfield. Time to check the Draw Analyser...

I'll admit that isn't quite what I was expecting or hoped for, but of my seven I've got left, it looks good for Nibras Shadow (stall 3) and also Clegane / Keep Right On in 11 and 12 respectively. Perhaps those drawn centrally and possibly inconvenienced by the above will be able to over come the draw by getting their race tactics spot on.

To ascertain if this will be the case, we now turn to the Pace Analyser, which says...

...that prominent or leading position is most advantageous, so we're going to be looking for pace scores of 3 or 4 from our runners and here's how they have raced in their last four outings...

...which isn't good for the likes of Light Lily. Previously heralded Nibras Shadow and Clegane don't seem to have the best pace profiles either, but both have raced prominently in the past, but it looks like advantage Olivia Mary here, although there could well be a pace burn-up from wide and that could drag Clegane forward.

The pace/draw combo stats are interesting, though...

...as they would tend to largely negate the effect of the draw as all stalls do well. with prominent/leader pace scores.

Summary

The Geegeez SR scores were as follows...

...and I thought they were the 3 most likely to succeed. Having gone through the toolbox, I've not changed my mind and now I've seen the market, the bookies also have these three in the first four. They've got Nibras Shadow as the 11/4 fav and whilst I've little separating her from her younger rival, I'm siding marginally with the 3yr old filly, Olivia Mary. 6/1 offers some value here, I think.

As for Clegane, she's 8/1 and with most bokies paying four places, she's worht an E/W bet escpecially as she's already won over course and distance three months ago off a mark of 60 and goes here off 62 with a 7lb claimer.

Racing Insights, 28th October 2021

Instant Expert is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards, because it has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating.

The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...

  • 1.45 Clonmel
  • 2.13 Lingfield
  • 2.30 Ffos Las
  • 4.15 Ffos Las
  • 5.20 Ffos Las

And although it'll take me to the edge of my comfort zone by virtue of having 14 runners, the obvious place to start today is the sole UK A/W offering, as it's a Listed race, so we should have some good data to work with. Therefore, I'm going to look at the 2.13 Lingfield, a 1m5f Listed contest on Polytrack worth £25,520. The race is open to 3yo+ fillies and mares and fourteen of them (shown below) will take their place in the stalls...

As you'd expect for race at this level, plenty come here with some good form behind them, but only Artemisia Lomi and At A Pinch won last time out and they only won Class 5 Novice/maiden races, which isn't great prep for a Class 1 bow. In fact, I'm not a fan of backing horses stepping so far up the scale, so I'm ruling those two out immediately, along with Golden Hind and Single, who were both beaten at Class 5 on their last starts.

Viola, Beholding and Sammarr are the three previous course winners and also the other three stepping up in class, having raced at Class 2 LTO. All the field have been seen in the last four weeks and all bar the now-discarded Single hail from yards with good recent form and/or good track records.

If this was based on handicap marks, the likes of Sayyida, Sea la Rosa and Brunnera off marks of 102, 99 and 98 respectively would be deemed "best off at the weights" with the already discarded trio Artemisia Lomi, Golden Hind and At A Pinch worst off.

I quickly reduced my 14 runners to a more manageable 10, but I'm going to be brutal today in working towards a shortlist and take another couple out at this stage. I see that the Gosden, Haggas and O'Meara yards all have multiple entries here and I only want to take a maximum of one forward from each. I discarded the Gosden's At A Pinch and I'm also now excluding Pennymoor in favour of Beholding. The O'Meara & Haggas yards already has their second string eliminated on class moves.

I'll now take my nine forward to be assessed under expected conditions via Instant Expert...

 

...where we see four previous AW winners, of which three have won here at Lingfield previously. Six of my nine have raced at Class 1 already, but without winning. Some have placed at this level, though and we'll see those shortly. As I said earlier we've three former course winners and they're the only ones to have raced here. 1m5f is a fairly rare trip if truth be told, so I expanded to the more common 1m4f to 1m6f. After all, from 6340 Flat & AW races in UK/Ireland in 2020, only 34 of them (0.54%) were at this trip, with just four taking place on the AW (all here at Lingfield!).

After expanding the trip parameters, we have six distance winners with Beholding looking the best at the distance. Overall, from Instant Expert, Viola and Beholding do look best suited with the likes of Brunnera, Propriety and Roseabad looking vulnerable, albeit from a small number of runs. I'll not discard any runners here, before considering their place form...

...where all three paint a better picture of themselves. Volia and beholding still lead the way on the going, Sayyida's two placed efforts at Class 1 are impressive and Viola's record here (211) is tremendous. Most have acquitted themselves well at the trip, where Percy's pride looks weakest, but not disastrous.  I'll leave all nine in situ approaching draw analysis...

...where I'm informed that higher in the draw is better, but that there's not a huge bias at play here...

...and stall by stall...

Clearly, some stalls fare better than others, but I'm not entirely convinced there's a pattern emerging that's strong enough hang to my hat or a bet on, so we need to condiser how the race might be run and the pace stats for those races above...

..also aren't massively biased towards one running style, but the best position to hold is somewhere around the mid-division to prominent mark and here's how our field have run in their last four outings...

Of the nine still under consideration, Roseabad is likely to one of the pace setters (with Artemisia Lomi & possibly Pennymoor).
Beholding & Sea La Rosa look like being my prominent/mid-div runners (with At A Pinch & Golden Hind)
Brunnera, Percy's Pride and Sayyida look like being mid-division with Propriety, Viola and Sammarr (along with Single) towards the rear.

At this point, I do want to take Beholding and Sea la Rosa forward, because aside from a low draw, they've ticked boxes all the way along. Viola's Instant Expert numbers outweigh her hold-up running style in my eyes, so she stays ands I also want to take a closer look at Sayyida after making the frame in two of three Class 1 races and I think they're the four I'd want to be with here.

Summary

I've quickly (as it should be) taken 14 down to 4 and they are...

  • Beholding : just four starts so far, but two wins (inc one here over 1m4f) and was only beaten by three lengths at Class 2 last time out. She seems to prefer the AW, where both wins have come at big (10L & 12L) margins, albeit at Class 5. More needed here, but she's in good nick.
  • Sayyida : who has had a great year so far despite only finishing 6th last time out. Closer inspection shows it was unsuitable ground/trip and yet she was still only just over two lengths adrift in a Group 3 contest. Prior to that, she had back to back runner-up finishes at Listed/Gr 3 level and if running to that standard, would be the one to beat, but has no AW runs behind her.
  • Sea la Rosa : was two lengths and one place behind Sayyida, when the latter was a Gr 3 runner-up at Newmarket in September, having won three of her previous five starts. Like Sayyida, she has no real AW form to write home about although she has actually tackled an artificial surface, even if it was only Tapeta where she opened her career with finishes of 323 last November/December. I'd expect a good run, but has something to make up on Sayyida.
  • Viola : was a runner-up LTO, less than half a length behind the winner Sea La Rosa, but they meet again on a surface that will favour Viola who has 2 wins and a runner-up finish from her five AW runs, including finishes of 211 here at Lingfield, all over 1m4f and that familiarity might take her al long way today.

I'm reluctant about AW Class 1 races for horses with little/no AW form/experience and that means I need to omit one of Sayyida or Sea La Rosa from my final three and although the latter has three AW runs (a) they were on tapeta and (b) she didn't win any. Sayyida holds her from last time out and being by Dubawi, you'd expect her to be able to run on polytrack, so here's where I cut Sea La Rosa.

I've now got my three and I think I prefer Beholding & Viola despite Sayyida's obvious ability, I just think that AW experience will count here. I think beholding is a better prospect, but Viola has the track form and this could be an interesting contest, but my concern re: Viola is that she might have to come from too far off the pace, so for me its Beholding / Viola / Sayyida for this one.

The bookies have my trio at 9/2, 13/2 and 5/2 respectively with Sea La Rosa also 13/2 with some form paying 4 places. I don't want to back Sayyida at 5/2 and the two 13/2 shots would need to drift to 8's or bigger for me to consider an E/W tickle, which brings us back to Beholding at 9/2. If I'm honest, I probably wanted more and I'd be interested at say 11/2, but for now I'll keep my powder dry and watch the market for changes.

It's perfectly fine to analyse a race and then not place a bet, you should never bet for the sake of it.

 

 

Racing Insights, 26th August 2021

A good day for RI at Newbury this afternoon, as the overnight 9/2 Lezardrieux won by a head from chief danger Embour in a 21/1 forecast. I thought the winner's stablemate Restless Endeavour might just miss out on the places, but as the horse I'd ranked third became a non-runner, my 1-2-3 came in. The tricast paid £112.48, but I didn't back it, hope some of you did, though.

Now to Thursday, where feature of the day, is free access to the Instant Expert tab for ALL readers for ALL races, including of course, the following 'races of the day'...

  • 1.45 Chelmsford
  • 2.30 Ffos Las
  • 4.50 Tipperary
  • 5.10 Lingfield
  • 5.32 Carlisle

The best of those would appear to be the opener of the fifth day of the Racing League aka the 5.10 Lingfield, a 10-runner, Class 3, 5f sprint for 3yo+ horses on Good ground. As ever, it's a decent pot at £25,770 and here are the contenders...

On recent results alone (which don't account for class/distance etc) Peerless, Shamshon, Electric Love and The Princes Poet look the ones to watch and the latter is the only LTO winner in the race. Show Me Show Me is the only one to have raced at a higher level last time around, but Peerless, Grandfather Tom, The Princes Poet and Electric Love all step up from Class 4, whilst Shamshon ran at Class 5 LTO.

All ten runners have previously scored over this minimum trip and Peerless has done it here at Lingfield (two starts ago on his only previous visit). Grandfather Tom hasn't raced for over nine months but aside from Peerless at nine weeks, the rest have been seen in the last month or so. Bottom weight here carries 19lbs less than top weight after jockey claims and whilst Son and Sannie is 14pts clear of his nearest rival on our SR figures, the next six runners only have a 13pt spread.

The Instant Expert tab reiterates the fact that all ten have won at this trip, but also illustrates the different in success ranging from Son and Sannie's 1 from 13 up to Electric Love's 2 from 2...

IE doesn't shine too good a light on Son and Shannie or Kool Moe Dee, but the top two on the card, Leodis Dream and Peerless catch the eye.

In these 5f sprints on good or slightly quicker ground here at Lingfield, those drawn lowest (particularly stalls 1 to 3) have fared best...

...which is good for the likes of Shamshon, Show Me Show Me and Leodis Dream. As you'd expect from these short dashes, it pays to set the pace or get as close to it as you can...

...so the following pace/draw heatmap won't really come as a surprise...

So, if any of our low drawn trip are pacemakers, they'd stand a great chance here. The bulk of the pace in this race looks like it might well come from stalls 3 and 4...

...but there's no out and out pace horse here. Five runners have a single "4" in recent runs, but stalls 3, 4 and 6 all have at least 3 scores of 3 or higher, suggesting the race should suit the likes of Leodis Dream, Grandfather Tom and The Princes Poet. Our pace/draw heatmap certainly backs up the claims of the first two of that trio too...

Summary

Using the tools alone, there's only one horse that I'd be interested in from a win perspective and that's Leodis Dream. He has been ticking boxes all the way along and was only beaten by a little more than half a length at this class/trip/mark at the Windsor Racing League meeting last week defying a 14/1 SP. He'll wear a tongue strap here and that could just make the difference and at 7/1, he's worth backing in my eyes.

Peerless is probably next best, course and distance winner two starts ago on his only visit to this track and he's 2 from 4 this season (having ended 2020 with a win and two runner-up berths), likes quicker ground and is 3 from 7 at the trip. He was a little unlucky to do down by a short head LTO having been forced wide and 5lb claimer Saffie Osbourne seems to get on well with him. He is however 7/2, so no E/W bet there and I suspect Son and Sannie might just grab the last spot in the frame. He won off a mark of 78 last year but struggled once he went up in the weights. That mark has nice come down and he almost capitalised at York recently when only beaten by a neck at 12/1. He's considerably shorter than that now at 5/1, so no E/W play there either , I'm afraid.

Some bookies will pay four places, but I think there's not much between the rest of the field. The only double digit odds horse I'd be remotely interested in would be the bottom weight Kool Moe Dee. he's only carrying 8-8, his yard do well here and his jockey does well for this trainer, but at 10/1 I can take it or leave it.

Racing Insights, 12th July 2021

As expected/advised, making all was the best policy at Chester on Saturday and class act Safe Voyage did just that as she returned to form with a bang, sadly I wasn't sure she would and didn't back her, despite thinking she was the best horse in the race!

Ah well, such is life and we must move on as the new week beckons. Feature of the day for Monday is the the pace tool and we open that up to all readers for all races including the following free races of the day...

  • 6.15 Killarney
  • 6.25 Wolverhampton
  • 6.35 Lingfield
  • 7.05 Lingfield
  • 7.45 Killarney

The 7.05 Lingfield looks the best of the three UK offerings, so we'll focus on that 8-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ A/W handicap over 6f on standard to slow polytrack. The prize available is £6,210 and these are the ones hoping to land it...

This looks a really competitive affair here and should be good to watch. Half of the field have won at least one of their last five outings, but only Newyorksateofmind won LTO. The top two on the card drop down a class here, whilst the bottom four all step up one grade. All have won over 6f previously, Total Commitment is also a former Lingfield winner, whilst Mohareb and Newyorkstateofmind are both course and distance winners.

All eight have raced in the last seven weeks with Muscika and Newyorkstateofmind rested for less than a fortnight. We've 2 x 4yo, 3 x 5yo and 3 x 7yo here and all are geldings apart from the 4 yr old colt Raaeb, whose yard is in good nick righty now and have a good record at this venue, facts that also apply to his jockey. Newyorkstateofmind also hails from an in-form yard.

Raaeb heads the weights and won at this class/trip on the polytrack at Chelmsford three starts ago off 2lbs lower. Has struggled in two Class 2 turf outings since and despite dropping in class here and returning to the A/W, I think he has too much weight here.

Total Commitment made the frame in 8 of 9 outings (5 from 6 at Lingfield) prior to finishing 10th of 28 at Ascot last month. He runs off the same mark here and drops in class on his return to a venue he likes where he has five runner-up finished from 5 attempts over C&D.

Muscika does most of his work on grass with just 3 of his 56 career runs coming on the A/W and he hasn't raced away from turf since October 2019, 19 starts ago. He was 4th of 7 at Epsom last time out, beaten by six lengths and eased just a pound, it's hard to see him winning for the first time in over nine months.

Open Wide is another with just 3 A/W runs to his name, this time from 42 races, but he did win a Class 2 6f handicap off a mark of 87 four starts and nine months ago. Has struggled off marks in the 90's in three runs since and to win off 89 would be his best effort since June 2019, so it seems unlikely.

Treacherous has a good record on the A/W, winning 8 of 23, but his last two wins were back in July/August 2020, both on turf. His last wins on the A/W were back to back 6f successes at Kempton three days apart last February, but has only raced four more times on the A/W since. He was a decent 14/1 second of ten at Doncaster last time out, only beaten by a length, but now up a pound and up a class, will find this tougher but could make the frame.

Mohareb hasn't won any of his last 16 runs since winning here at Lingfield over 7f on New Year's Eve 2019 off 2lbs higher than today. He did, however, look like returning to form when only beaten by a neck and a short head into third place at Kempton last time out. His best form has been here at Lingfield where he's a former course and distance winner and I'd not be surprised in he was involved here.

Spirit Of May has a healthy 5 from 20 record over this trip, but he's a Chelmsford specialist, where he has 4 wins and place from 8 runs over 6f. He has failed to make the frame in any of four A/W runs elsewhere and since winning a Class 4 at Chelmsford in January has only managed to finish last of nine and last of seven, both back at Chelmsford and then he was 12th of 14 at Chester (the scene of his other career win) last time out. He'll be near the back, I suspect.

Newyorkstateofmind is a former course and distance winner and has raced here more than any other venue, but his last four runs have all been on turf. He was first home at Bath four starts ago, but was demoted to second, however he did win there again last time out. In between those Bath runs came two disappointing efforts (6th of 8 and last of 6) highlighting his inconsistency. He might well be bottom weight, but he's up in class and up 4lbs and doesn't tend to run well twice in a row.

A few of these have very little A/W experience and it's not always easy to transfer turf form to the A/W (and vice versa for that matter!), I now turn to Instant Expert to show me the collefctive collateral form...

GOING : Treacherous and Total Commitment look particularly well suited by the Standard to Slow pace of the track here.
CLASS : Treacherous again with two wins from three, but Total Commitment also has two wins
COURSE : Mohareb is the only one with significant form on this track
DISTANCE : Virtually all have an A/W in over 6f, but the ones catching the eye are Treacherous, Spirit of May and Total Commitment
WEIGHT :  Only Mohareb races off a mark lower than his last win.

The draw stats here at Lingfield over 6f on the A/W would suggest a lower half draw would be beneficial, but stall 7 has performed well enough to say that a high draw isn't necessarily game over...

...and those drawn wide also have little problem making the frame. Top jockey David Probert says: “It's probably the most idiosyncratic of the all weather tracks because of the hill and from the four furlong to the two furlong poles you're running down that hill. Some horses don't handle the hill which makes it a tricky track to ride; many of the jockeys will start to make their move at about the three - halfway down the hill, on the home bend - trying to get some of their rivals off balance. That's where you'll see most of the manoeuvres, jostling for position, trying to either get an inside run or slingshot off the bend if a little wider.

In five and six furlong handicaps, you want to be handy, and perhaps ideally with a middle draw to cut the corner a little. That gives you the most options. They're both tricky starts, the five in a little chute on the crown of the bend, and the six just before the bend on the main track. Inside draws need to be very quick away and edge right a bit to get a position, because if you don't you'll be in a pocket and it'll be hard. The six furlong trip is a bit more forgiving because you've got half a furlong or so before the bend, but you still need to jump and get a position quickly.

This would suggest that those getting away quickly would fare best, but that's just David's perception of it. Personally I'm happy to take his word, but just in case, these are the win stats...

...which show a massive advantage in getting out quickly. Leaders make the frame almost 57% of the time too, so that's clearly the best tactic. To see how those pace stats interact with the draw, we have out unique heat map, which tells us...

...that you should try and grab the lead and the higher you're drawn, the better if leading is your chosen tactic.

We log the running styles of every runner and we also know the draw, so we can easily see where the 8 horses in this race would fit on the above chart if they ran to their usual tactics and that looks like this in draw order...

The pace here would seem to be from the lowest drawn horses and if running to form, I'd expect Muscika to lead them out with Total Commitment and Newyorkstateofmind in close attendance. Treacherous has ticked plenty of boxes so far, but he's the only hold-up horse in the field and whilst conditions should favour him, he might not be able to pass seven rivals on the run-in over a 6f sprint.

Summary

With a better draw or pace/draw make-up, I'd probably want to back Treacherous here and I think he can still make the frame, but would have too much work to do late on to win. Muscika looks set to lead, but I've serious doubts about his A/W ability, so he's not for me, but he should tow Total Commitment and Newyorkstate of mind along, whilst Mohareb also looks well placed and did actually lead the field three starts ago, so he might race in a more advanced position.

Might be easier to rule some out first? Well, I don't like Open Wide, Raaeb nor Spirit of May here and I do think Treacherous makes the frame. So, I need two more for the frame and two for the discard pile. Total Commitment and Mohareb both scored well on Instant Expert, so I'll have them in my three against the field and of the two, I prefer Total Commitment to Mohareb.

So, my 1-2-3 here are Total Commitment, Mohareb and Treacherous and they're currently priced at 9/2, 6/1 and 11/2 with Newyorkstateofmind the 4/1 fav. He could easily win this too, of course, it's that competitive, but I'm happy with my decision.

Racing Insights, 7th July 2021

Mondammej was a non-runner this afternoon, but my second best and 9/1 shot Corinthia Knight was returned a 17/2 winner, half a length clear of the very well backed new favourite Golden Apollo, who in fairness ran far better than I expected.

Wednesday's free feature is the excellent Trainer Statistics report which is, in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course since 2009, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

In addition to this, we have the following six free 'races of the day'...

  • 1.55 Yarmouth
  • 2.45 Lingfield
  • 4.30 Lingfield
  • 4.40 Catterick
  • 4.55 Fairyhouse
  • 7.25 Fairyhouse

I'm expecting conditions to be very tricky at Lingfield, so we'll head there for our preview. The first race is a maiden and I tend to steer clear of those, so my focus is on the 4.30 Lingfield. It's an 8-runner, 3yo+, Class 5 Handicap over 5f on ground that is already Soft (Heavy in places) with more showers set to fall. The prize is a mere £2,862 and these are the contenders...

Just three of the field (Aleef, Firenze Roma and Lethal Blast) have a win in their recent form lines with the first of those three the LTO winner here. He (Aleef) is the oldest in the field and along with Haveoneyerself is stepping up in class today. Aventurina is the youngest here as the sole 3 year old and is the least experienced and now makes a handicap debut after just three starts.

All eight have raced in the past month with all bar Aleef (off for 30 days) having raced inside the last fortnight. Only Aventurina and Starchant have yet to win over 5f, whilst Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde and Firenze Roma are all past course and distance winners. We've little in the way of positive icons for the trainers and jockeys other than Rhys Clutterbuck (Bellevarde) seeming to have a good record at this venue.

There's quite a big (19lbs) spread on official ratings from top to bottom weight, whilst the SR figures suggest a tight affair at the top end.

Lethal Blast bears top weight today and this 4 yr old filly has already won three times (on the bounce) over C&D this year, although 2 of them were on the A/W, but she did win on soft ground here in May was was only beaten by 1.75 lengths off this mark here LTO. She gets soft ground and is 3 from 6 plus a place under today's jockey. Real chances here.

Aleef is 2 from 2 here at Lingfield, both over 5f and one of them on turf, LTO 30 days ago. At 8 yrs old, he's very experienced after 58 outings and has 2 wins and 3 places on soft ground. He only got home by a head LTO and now up 3lbs and one class, this will be tougher, but he definitely has place claims.

Haveoneyerself ran really well at Nottingham last time to finish as a 20/1 runner-up off just 1lb lower than today's mark, but he's effectively now 5lbs higher than his last win, which came over a year ago and whilst he has been running well in defeat, I think a combination of weight and soft ground will undo him.

Quanah is another without a win in the last year, despite having 13 attempts to break the cold spell, but has only been beaten by 0.75L, 0.5L and 2.75L in three of his last four outings and with 3 wins and 2 places from 9 starts on soft/heavy ground, he might relish the conditions here.

Bellevarde is on an even longer barren run, having last succeeded 17 races ago, back in October 2019 and now with his jockey taking 5lbs off a mark of 60, he's actually 18lbs better off than that win. he hasn't been beaten by more than four lengths in any of his last seven starts, so he could be weighted to go well here, but I have concerns about him only winning 1 of 11 on soft ground, but he has made the frame in 6 of them.

Firenze Rosa won over at this class/trip on soft ground at Windsor four starts ago, but has suffered defeats of 7L, 9.5L and 6.5L since then, beating just 6 of 21 rivals in the process. In her defence, though, from a career record of just 4 wins and 9 places from 49 starts, she does have 2 wins and 3 places from 9 on soft/heavy ground with her only other two wins coming on good to soft.

Aventurina looks a little out of her depth here thrown into a handicap after three runs where she finished 10th of 13, 7th of 8 and 7th of 10. Admittedly she was only beaten by just over 3 lengths last time out, but she's best watched here having also never encountered anything other than good ground.

Starchant is still a maiden after 43 attempts since June 2018 and running from 2lbs out of the handicap is likely to stay that way. She was beaten by 8.5 lengths over this trip last time out and 29 of her 43 runs have been at 5f. She's 0/19 here at Lingfield, 0/20 at Class 5 and looks pretty hopeless if truth be told.

Of the above, I'm already willing to write off the chances of Aventurina and Starchant and although Firenze Roma has form on soft ground, she's almost on my red list too.

*

I've already alluded to how some of these runners have performed in similar conditions to today, but here's a full overview of all of them side by side, courtesy of Instant Expert...

Of interest to me here are...
GOING : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Quanah, Firenze Roma
CLASS : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde
COURSE : Lethal Blast, Aleef, Bellevarde, Firenze Roma
DISTANCE : Lethal Blast, Quanah, Bellevarde

Bellevarde and Quanah are well weighted here, but Lethal Blast is now some 9lbs higher than his last win, which could make life tough in the mud.

We don't get many 5f contests on soft or worse here at Lingfield, so I've had to improvise with the data for the draw stats, as follows...

And sometimes that's what we have to do, but in conditions worse than good here, stalls 3 to 7 seem to be the place to be, which is a positive for Haveoneyerself, Lethal Blast, Bellevarde, Firenze Roma and Aleef.

If we then use those same "improvised" settings for the pace / race positioning, we get the following...

...which essentially says that prominent racers just about hold their own, but any further back is a death knell, whilst leaders do exceptionally well, which would appear to be good news for Lethal Blast (again!), as well as Aleef and possibly Bellevarde & Starchant, but the latter has little else going for her...

When we align those running styles with today's draw and the assumptions we've made about where and how is best to run this contest, this is what we get...

That's in draw order, so the pace is away from the low stalls and those best suited are somewhat predictably Lethal Blast and Aleef along with Quanah and Haveoneyerself, who are all firmly in the green

Summary

Some names crop up more than others during an assessment of a race and in order of frequency it probably reads Lethal Blast / Aleef / Bellevarde as the ones I've mentioned most. I have full faith in the tools available to me and we've only dealt in facts, even though we've had to expand the settings for pace and draw slightly, but I'm happy with those three and that's the order I want them in.

The bookies also have them in that order at 3/1, 4/1 and 11/2, although they do also have Haveoneyerself installed as a 3/1 joint favourite, but he's not for me at that price, I'm sticking with my 1-2-3. I expect Lethal Blast to go off shorter than the current 3/1 offered, so if you agree with my reasoning, get on whilst you can.

Racing Insights, 25th May 2021

For Monday's race, I said..."my 1-2-3-4 is The Dancing Poet to beat Stormy Night and then Beat the Breeze to beat Bad Attitude...I'm happy to back The Dancing Poet at 13/2 and...I'm going to have to back Beat The Breeze at 25/1 e/w. The latter really is a bet to nothing based on what we know..."

The Dancing Poet did beat Stormy Night, but they could only finish 4th and 10th (of 10!), whilst Beat The Breeze did indeed beat the 8th placed Bad Attitude on his way to actually beating all nine rivals at 15/2, making my 25/1 e/w overnight bet look very good indeed. I got the main selection wrong, but was more than compensated, I hope you got on too.

However, just as we don't complain too much about the bad days, we don't rest on our laurels after a good result at Geegeez because there's always another challenge on the horizon. We're helped on Tuesdays by access to The Shortlist report and also to the following free "races of the day"...

  • 1.00 Southwell
  • 1.45 Musselburgh
  • 5.45 Ballinrobe
  • 6.45 Ballinrobe
  • 8.15 Ballinrobe
  • 8.35 Lingfield

Tomorrow's Shortlist report looks like this...

...and you might have noticed that the top three on the report all run in the same race and that the race in question is one of our six free races, so it would be remiss of me not to focus upon the 8.35 Lingfield, a 10-runner, Class 5, A/W Handicap for 4yo+ horses over 5f on Standard Polytrack. And these are the competitors chasing a prize of £2,862...

Form : Four horses are without a win in their recent form line, but two of them (Vandad & Shamshon) are regular placers. Lethal Blast is the only LTO winner.
Class : Real Estate & Thegreyvtrain are up from Class 6, whilst Zulu Zander, Shamshon & Louis Treize drop down from Class 4.
Course Winners : The Nosey Parker & Real Estate
Distance Winners : Centurion Song, Zulu Zander & The Nosey Parker
Course & Distance Winners : Spurofthemoment, Shamshon, Lethal Blast & Thegreyvtrain
Vandad & Louis Treize haven't won at either course or distance.
Centurion Song is the only one without a run in the last four weeks.
Age : Only Louis Treize (5), Lethal Blast (5), Real Estate (6) and Shamshon (10) are older than 4 yrs old.
Win/place stats :  from a combined 287 races, the field has made the frame 99 times (34.5%), winning 40 times (13.9%).

Spurofthemoment carries top weight but is a pound and a class lower than when fourth of six (bt by 3.5L) over slightly further on quicker ground at Brighton last time out. She's a former course and distance winner whose form on the A/W reads 224131 and although she's 6lbs higher than her last win, she did win that race easily at a higher grade beating the re-opposing Shamshon by 2.25 lengths unchallenged.

Centurion Song won a Class 5 5f sprint at Southwell between Christmas and New Year and then only lost on the nod over the same C&D three weeks later off 4lbs higher. Had those races been more recent, he's be in my thoughts here, but a four month break isn't ideal for a horse who finished 5th of 7 after 190 days off.

Zulu Zander is now a non-runner

The Nosey Parker won here over 6f in November and then over 5f at Wolverhampton three weeks later, but hasn't seemed the same since and was beaten by the best part of six lengths off this mark just four days ago. Others look better suited.

Vandad has made the frame in four of his last five outings, but always seems to find at least one too good for him, as shown by his 46% place strike rate on the A/W despite him not yet winning any of his 15 career starts. He goes off the same mark as a 2 length defeat to lethal blast last time out and although he's better off at the weights today, you can't help but think he'll find a way of losing somehow.

Shamshon is another, like Vandad above, who has been getting close without winning of late, but was only beaten by half a length in a higher grade at Brighton last time out. He was three lengths ahead of Spurofthemoment that day, but the latter is better weighted today, so those placings could well be reversed, but Shamshon has definite place credentials again.

Real Estate won here over 7f back in January 2020, but hasn't won any of nine starts since, as he has slipped from Class 4 racing down to Class 6 off a mark of 75 down to 67. He was beaten by a length and a half off today's mark at Brighton last time out and now steps up in class. He's not one I'd be looking to back.

Louis Treize won on his second start and hasn't repeated the feat in twelve runs over 34 months since. 8th of 10, 10th of 11, 9th of 16 and 13th of 14 in his last four outings should tell its own story here and I don't think dropping 2lbs and 2 classes will arrest his slide.

Lethal Blast will be popular after a hat-trick of course and distance victories (one was on the Flat, though) in the last month, but she runs off a mark of 66 here, which is some 20lbs higher than she was a month ago. She's certainly the one to beat here on form, but this could well just be a purple patch, as she did open her career with 9 straight losses before these three wins.

Thegreyvtrain was a winner over C&D four starts ago and was then 7th of 9 at Wolverhampton. She then won at Windsor before finishing last of six at Bath three weeks ago. So she's certainly inconsistent. She last won off a mark of 60 and goes off 63 today and although she has struggled off marks higher than 60, her draw alongside a pace setting fav might carry her along into the places. She could equally well bomb out, but that is the nature of this horse!

I would have been interested in Zulu Zander from at least an E/W perspective at a decent (12's or higher) price, but his omission and what I've just written are currently suggesting a three-horse race here between Lethal Blast, Shamshon and Spurofthemoment, but I'll use the tools available to me before I jump to any decision.

Our three runners from the Shortlist report obviously head the charts on Instant Expert, but here's how the whole field looks...

Lethal Blast and Spurofthemoment again catch the eye. The Nosey Parker is flattered by virtue of a small sample size and whilst the other horse I was interested, Shamshon, looks out of his depth here, his A/W figures from a place perspective are very good for a horse with 93 career starts to his name...

This 5f trip at Lingfield can be tricky to "get" and from a professional view of it, this is what top jockey David Probert had to say for our Geegeez course profile..."

It's probably the most idiosyncratic of the all weather tracks because of the hill. It's pretty level from the mile and a quarter start and down the back, but from the four furlong to the two furlong poles you're running down that hill. Some horses don't handle the hill which makes it a tricky track to ride; many of the jockeys will start to make their move at about the three - halfway down the hill, on the home bend - trying to get some of their rivals off balance. That's where you'll see most of the manoeuvres, jostling for position, trying to either get an inside run or slingshot off the bend if a little wider.

In five and six furlong handicaps, you want to be handy, and perhaps ideally with a middle draw to cut the corner a little. That gives you the most options. They're both tricky starts, the five in a little chute on the crown of the bend, and the six just before the bend on the main track. Inside draws need to be very quick away and edge right a bit to get a position, because if you don't you'll be in a pocket and it'll be hard..."

That's how the pro reads it. In terms of actual data, the stats say...

*Centurion Song will run from stall 9 now, which isn't a great place to be. Stalls 1 and 2 do well by hugging the turns, whilst those in 5 to 7 are able to perform the slingshot manoeuvre mentioned above where they effectively run in a straight line from the stalls towards the apex of the second turn.

David's assertion that "you want to be handy" is certainly verified by our pace stats in similar contests...

...which basically say that the further back you race, the less likely you are to win or even make the frame with more than 50% of leaders hanging to a place at worst.  When you ally those draw and pace stats together the resultant data forms this heatmap...

...which pretty much speaks for itself and with likely favourite Lethal Blast having been allocated stall 1, her propensity to lead is another positive. That said, as you'll see below, Spurofthemoment also likes to get out and we could have a real sprint on our hands here...

It looks like we'll have a three-way battle with stalls 1 & 2 hoping to dash to the turn first, whilst Spurofthemoment will be hoping for that angled slingshot from stall 8. he'll have a bit further to travel but won't have to regulate his early speed as much as those on the inner. The other one I liked, Shamshon, doesn't look well placed at all.

Summary

I liked Zulu Zander from an E/W perspective, but he doesn't run now. I then had three in mind as my preferred trio against the field ie Lethal Blast, Shamshon and Spurofthemoment, but Shamshon isn't favoured from a win perspective nor from the pace/draw stats. He's definitely the weakest of the three and I'm now considering replacing him with Thegreyvtrain.

It's either Lethal Blast or Spurofthemoment for the win here and I really wish the latter had a low draw alongside the favourite, as I think that could be decisive. Lethal Blast is as short as 6/4 with the next in the betting as long as 15/2. This really should be the favs race to lose, but I don't want to get involved at that price.

Instead I'll back Spurofthemoment at 10/1 E/W and play the reverse forecast too. I'm also going to have another small 25/1 E/W bet on Thegreyvtrain. Lightning couldn't strike twice, could it?

Quick heads-up... I've got some family duties on Thursday and Friday, so it'll be late evening both days before this piece goes live, but don't worry, it WILL be here!

Racing Insights, 20th May 2021

Ever wondered about the quickest/easiest way to compare how a full card of runners have performed under today's racing conditions?

The answer, my friends, is Geegeez' unique traffic light based Instant Expert, which gives you a full overview of all runners' past records under given conditions. IE is just one of the many tools available to Geegeez Gold subscribers, but we actually make this FREE to ALL readers for ALL races every Thursday, including our selection of full free racecards, which are set to be...

  • 2.00 Tipperary
  • 2.20 Market Rasen
  • 2.45 Lingfield
  • 3.40 Wolverhampton
  • 3.45 Tipperary
  • 4.30 Market Rasen

Just the one UK flat race in that list and it's on soft ground, which is always interesting, so let's check out the 2.45 Lingfield, an 11-runner, Class 6 Flat handicap for 4yo+ horses over 1m6f on soft ground, worth £2,322. Here's how they line up...

I've shown you several different ways of breaking a field down, as there's no right or wrong way to do it. It's certainly not an exact science and I get it wrong more often than i get it right, but as long as your winning bets more than cover your losing ones and you've had some fun along the way, have you got it wrong at all?

Today, I'm going to do what is a really quick process in reality : it's documenting it that takes time!

I've eleven runners above and I want to get down to three at most. So, I've to discard eight via the Racecard, Instant Expert, Draw and Pace, the first cut is often the most brutal and purely based on their formline and my own ratings, I'm ruling out Arthalot, Pillars of Earth, Pushover, Singer In the Sand and Tilsworth Lukey.

This now leaves me with a field of six to consider...

Four of our six are drawn high (I hope that's a good place to be, we'll see shortly!). Evaporust is the form horse, but Brute Force is consistent and drops a class, whilst Great Hall comes down two grades. He's considerably older, at 11 yrs, but has won over this trip before, as has Follow Intello who is second on the SR figures behind Stevie McKeane who also seems to have been running well. The only one not to have a mention so far, Smith, is the one with the positive course icons for both trainer (C1) and jockey (C5).

Their form in similar conditions look like this (via Instant Expert, of course)...

Half of them haven't raced on soft ground and of the other half, only Great Hall has won in such conditions. Only Evaporust has won at this grade, but it should be pointed out that Follow Intello, Great Hall and Smith have all won at Class 5. Three of the four to previously tackle this specialist distance have won at the trip.

Don't be alarmed by the numbers in the ratings columns. Great Hall is indeed 43lbs lower than his last winning Flat mark, but that was over three years ago and he has been hurdling in most of his races since then, whilst Follow Intello has dropped 11lbs in eight races since July 2019 when he won over this trip in a Class 4 at Haydock.

In terms of Flat handicap races...

Great Hall looks even better, but the caveat remains that we're leaning on old data!

As for the draw, I've left myself with a fairly high-end heavy bias, so let's see what the stats tell us...

Well, on this occasion, the Draw tab doesn't have enough data to help us out, so I've gone to the draw analyser for a longer term view. To ensure I'd enough workable data, I've asked for the results since 2009 for 1m5f to 2m on Good to Soft and Soft in fields of up to 13 runners and we see that a high draw is very beneficial, which is good news for the majority of my six runners...

Analysis of the above per individual stall looks like this...

...suggesting the old-timer Great Hall has a great spot in stall 8. When we look at how the draw interacts with the pace/running styles, it's interesting to see that no matter where you're drawn, you can race in a spot that has a 20% or higher success rate and apart from prominent racers (whose best is 1 in 6 from a middle draw, the other three racing styles also have at least one 20% zone.

We can then look at how our runners have raced in their last couple of runs...

and superimpose them onto the heatmap as follows...

We see that none of them are massively disadvantaged here. Smith might need to be wary of pushing on too much and the Mid/Prominent combo for Stevie McKeane isn't as good as the others, but he's got the best draw available for his running style.

At this point, you could still make a case for all of them, so I now need to look at each a little closer, before making a final decision.

Brute Force makes a turf debut here after making the frame in each of his last four starts on the all-weather at trips ranging from 1m4f to 2m, so the trip shouldn't be his undoing. He runs off his A/W mark here, but his jockey claims 7lbs which might prove very useful, as should the drop in class. If he "gets" the going, then I think he makes the frame.

Evaporust is the clear form horse in the race. Five second/third place finishes over 1m3.5f to 1m6f last year were followed up by wins over 2m and then 1m6f before being rested for 233 days. He then returned to action here at Lingfield (A/W) to win over 1m4f to complete a hat-trick and with jockey claims considered, he's only 2lbs worse off here. Probably the one to beat.

Follow Intello actually ran at Yarmouth this afternoon, finishing fourth of ten over 1m6f on Good to Soft/Soft, beaten by 3.5 lengths. It was a decent effort to build upon his reasonable start for his new trainer last month. My notes/ratings put him in the top six here but not in the frame, so his fourth today was about right, as sixth was less than a length further back.

Great Hall has raced seventeen times since he last won a race and hasn't raced on the Flat since early August last year when beaten by six lengths over this trip at Yarmouth. he's only 3lbs better off today than that defeat and was last home of seven over hurdles seven weeks ago. Mid-division beckons.

Smith was third of twelve here over 2m (A/W) last time out, going down by just three parts of a length after being outpaced in the closing yards. The drop back in trip should help and he did win when last seen on turf, albeit over 1m2f at Windsor in July 2019. He has only raced three times since and is only a pound higher than that win. He's another with place credentials if getting the ground.

Stevie McKeane has been in the frame in both of her last two outings, but the truth of the matter is that it was only a modest third she achieved last time out, beaten by 25 lengths over 1m4f at Southwell (A/W) just over nine weeks ago, a far cry from her narrow defeat over 1m5.5f at Chelmsford the time before. Diplomatically, I'd say she was inconsistent and at 0 from 10 wouldn't be one to hang a bet on, but that run at Chelmsford two starts ago was easily her best and also the longest race she's tackled. 1m6f might suit her more, but i won't be backing her just yet.

Summary

Based on all the above (and probably very boringly agreeing with the market), my three against the field here are Brute Force, Evaporust and Smith. I fancy Smith the least of the trio, but at 8/1 he's just about backable from an E/W perspective for those inclined to do so.

As for the winner, surely it's Evaporust's to lose, isn't it? A quick check at the market shows him as 6/5 (at best) favourite and whilst I think he's the best in the race, I can't be backing him at such short odds, based on his mark and his form on the flat including being beaten by 7L off a mark of 47 before a 7lb claim last July in his last soft ground effort. He's effectively 22lbs worse off here and I'm not 100% convinced he has improved that much.

I see Brute Force as the biggest danger to the selection and the 13/2 at Hills is interesting. I'll probably have a small (very small) wager on him as a bet to nothing.

Racing Insights, 8th May 2021

A bit of a struggle this week, if truth be told, but Saturday offers us a chance to end the week on a high. To assist us, the Trainer/Jockey combo stats report is free to all users, as are the full cards/details for the following half dozen races...

  • 1.20 Cork
  • 1.40 Lingfield
  • 3.40 Ascot
  • 4.15 Ascot
  • 4.25 Naas
  • 6.50 Warwick

And it's the second on that list that appeals to me most (there wasn't much showing on the Trainer/Jockey combo stats report from my fairly strict parameters), so it's off to "leafy" we go for the 1.40 Lingfield, a 9-runner, Class 4 Flat Handicap for 4yo+ over 1m5f on Good (Good to Soft in places with rain possible) ground. The prize is £4,347 and it will go to one of...

Seven of the nine have at least one win from their last five outings, two move class as top weight Galahad Threepwood steps down from Class 3, whilst bottom weight Beat The Heat ran at Class 5 last time out and a cursory glance at the Geegeez Speed ratings suggests Inchicore and Natty Night might be worth a second look.

The afore-mentioned Galahad Threepwood has been in the first three home in nine of his last ten starts, winning 2 of 5 since the turn of the year, as he landed back to back wins over 1m4f on this very track, but is now 8lbs higher than that last win. He was only 3rd of five at Epsom most recently, but is down in class and has been eased a pound in the weights. Surely another top three finish is possible.

Natty Night ranks second on our neural ratings and has two wins and a place from his last four runs. He was a winner at Newcastle last time out, but has been off the track for seven months since that run. He has moved yards in that downtime and now becomes a rare Venetia Williams flat runner, surely with a jumping career in mind. If ready first up, has an excellent chance here off just 2lbs higher than LTO.

Mukha Magic is ultra consistent, but doesn't win often enough. He has finished third in five of six starts this year with a win at Southwell in February the only non-3rd place run. Hasn't been beaten by far in each of his last two, both ver 1m6f off today's mark, so the slight drop in trip might help here, although others appeal more at this stage.

Lisheen Castle represents the in-form (4/11 in last 14 days) Emma Lavelle and after being pulled up in a 2m3.5f hurdle at Fontwell returns to the Flat for the first time since finishing 17th of 18 in a Class 2 handicap at Ascot in June 2018. Much will depends on how he adapts back to life without hurdles and I think a watching brief might the order here, even if he is some 12lbs lower than that Ascot outing.

Rafiot has three wins and two places from his last seven runs, but struggled over a longer trip at Southwell last time out, beaten by 21 lengths. He's down in class, but has lost his 7lb claimer here, so this might well prove a tough ask off the same mark.

Noonday Gun was a comfortable 7.5 length winner on his third start last August, but hasn't kicked on in handicap company since landing that Novice contest at Catterick. He was last of nine, beaten by 60 lengths on handicap debut and most recently was last home of five on his seasonal reappearance. Probably needs to drop further down the weights or try Class 5 racing?

Green Planet is still a maiden after just three previous runs, but he did make the frame in all three. He made his debut for his new yard back in March which was his first crack at Class 4, but despite finishing third of twelve, was still some five lengths off the pace at Chelmsford over 1m2f and I don'y think a mark of 80 on his handicap debut is doing him any favours.

Inchicore heads the Geegeez ratings and she displayed her stamina when winning on handicap debut at Leicester back in October, getting home by a length and a quarter over 1m4f on heavy ground. She was then off track for 194 days before reappearing at Newbury almost three weeks ago, where she clearly needed the run. She was held up that day, but didn't have the speed to make up ground over a sharp 1m2f, going down by just over nine lengths. She goes off the same mark here and with having that run and this being 3f longer, I expect her to be involved late on.

Beat The Heat has been in a rich vein of form, winning five of his last seven, albeit at Classes 5 & 6. His last outing on turf was a narrow (SH) win over 1m6f (Class 5) at Nottingham back in September where his jockey was able to take 3lbs off an already modest mark of 55. He has no claim here and runs off a mark some 20lbs higher than that run and is the same mark as when going down by six lengths LTO. Don't be sucked in by the form line, this is much tougher and he wouldn't be one I'd want to rush to.

Overall, under similar conditions to today, this field are...

...where most of them have won at or around this trip, we've four course winners across all codes, we've not much to shut about re: class wins, but the weight differentials are very interesting. Mukha Magic Beat The Heat and Rafiot are all much higher in the weights than their last relevant win, but Natty Night is only up 3lbs, which isn't insurmountable.

There's not a great deal of tangible Flat handicap form/data to work with, but seeing as we do have access to it, it'd be rude not to share it with you...

...of those with experience in this sphere, Natty Night, Inchicore and Beat The Heat catch the eye, but the caveat about the latter from earlier is that all his success has been in much poorer races off much lower marks.

There aren't many races over this track and trip, so I can't bring you the pace/draw stats for this one, but that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you have to think outside the box a little or employ some gut feeling or plough through old results. And having done those things, here's where I am...

In races of 9/10 runners over trips of 1m3.5f to 1m6f, horses drawn in stall 4 or higher have had more success than those in 1-3, but that's more a bit of a generalisation as I had to open up the parameters to find workable data and I've not been able to find any reliable pace data that comes anywhere near what we normally provide.

Summary

Even without the pace, draw and pace/draw data, I think we've still enough to formulate an opinion here, based on the racecard, recent form, Instant Expert etc and the three I'd take against the field here are Natty Night, Galahad Threepwood and Inchicore.

I think I'd have them in that order too, but there's not a great deal between them and none of them have an ideal profile here. Natty Night comes off a break and runs for a new yard, Galahad carries top weight and didn't have the best of it last time out, whilst Inchicore will need to build upon a fairly modest reappearance last time out.

That said, I think the rest of the field have more questions to answer and I'm sticking with my three.

Bookie check... at 4.20pm my three were 6/1, 9/2 and 6/1 respectively so no E/W punt today, but I'm happy to wager a few shillings on Natty Night here.

Racing Insights, 10th April 2021

Saturday aka Grand National Day is almost upon us and to aid us in our quest to beat the bookies, the excellent Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats report is open to all readers, as are the following free 'races of the day'...

  • 1.25 Lingfield
  • 2.15 Dundalk
  • 2.50 Dundalk
  • 3.35 Aintree
  • 4.00 Chepstow
  • 5.30 Newcastle

And I think I'll go with the first of those races, the 1.25 Lingfield, a 9 (was 10)-runner, Class 6, A/W (poly) handicap for 4yo+ horses over a 5f which is worth £2322 to the winner and here's how they line up...

It's an open looking, if low quality contest with very little in the way of good recent form, but these can be good races to get stuck into. There's very little separating Shecandoo, Lethal Blast and Oh So Nice at the top of our ratings and we've three retuning course and distance winners in the shape of Requited, Bernie's Boy and Lady Florence. The first two of those former C&D winners are also the only two male runners here today, an outnumbering you rarely see. All bar Fairy Fast and Edge of the Bay have raced in the last five weeks and we've no LTO winners.

Shecandoo heads the weights and probably the market, because although she's now 0 from 10, she has made the frame in 4 of her 9 A/W starts, beaten by less than two lengths on all four occasions. She's now down in class and to a career-low mark of 55 and the last time she ran in a Class 6, 5f contest, she was only beaten by two necks off 58, so she should have a great chance here.

Requited was a course and distance winner here in mid-August of 2019 off a mark of 63 and won here over 6f in early August of 2020 off 65, but has struggled in eight races since, not making the frame in any as his mark has tumbled to today's 55. Mind you, he was off 57 last tout and finished 10th of 11, more than 10 lengths adrift over 6f at Wolverhampton, so he'd really need to improve here.

Edge of The Bay hasn't been seen for well over five months since finishing 4th of 9, beaten by 4.5 lengths at this class/trip at Chelmsford after doing far too much early on. She's now 0 from 10 and has made the frame just three times and she's hard to fancy here off 2lbs higher than LTO.

Bernie's Boy does at least have a win visible in his recent form on the card and that came over 6f at Wolverhampton in early January when he grabbed the win on the line by a short head, but has run pretty poorly since. He's definitely unreliable, but has slipped to his lowest mark in over a year and has already won over course and distance, so it depends which horse shows up.

Lady Florence could be excused for finishing 8th of 9 last time out over course and distance, as she was returning from an absence of 178 days and in her further defence, she was only beaten by less than 4 lengths, having gone well until inside the final furlong. She had ended her Autumn 2020 campaign by winning here by 2.5 lengths over course and distance and then finishing third at Wolverhampton before her break and she's now 3lbs lower than that Wolverhampton run.

Terri Rules is an experienced 6 yr old mare with 51 runs under her belt and certainly will know what she's up against, despite coming here off a modest run in a non-handicap event at Wolverhampton last time out. After just nine days rest, that race probably came a little soon for her, becuase she had been running quite well before that. She was a runner-up, beaten by just a neck at Kempton two starts ago and although she's now gone 15 runs and 18 months without a win, she might have to something to say here.

Fairy Fast certainly hasn't lived up to her name so far, winning just 1 of 22 career starts and losing all 13 A/W encounters. Since the start of 2020, she has raced exclusively here at Lingfield, failing to make the frame in any of her half dozen outings, beating just 12 of 49 rivals and losing by an average of around 8 lengths each time.

Lethal Blast is 0 from 8 and has been a bit hit and miss. Three poor novice runs prior to going handicapping where her results have been up and down. She ran reasonably well last time out on her debut for her new handler, going down by just two lengths off a pound higher than today, despite coming off the back of a 193-day break. She's entitled to come on for the run and whilst she's not an obvious pick to win, she could well get involved in a poor contest.

Oh So Nice runs mainly at Wolverhampton, where she has made 7 of her 8 A/W starts, without any real joy. She was a 2.5 length runner-up three starts ago after a 144-day absence and just hasn't kicked on as connections would have hoped. In fact she has been 10th of 10 and 6th of 9 since. She has, however, raced here once over course and distance back on New Year's Eve 2019 and although she was only 5th of 10 runners, she was actually less than a length behind the winner. Terri Rules finished second that day and is the only one of the four to beat Oh So Nice that hasn't won since.

*

So, a fairly nondescript bunch to deal with. Often in these low-grade contests, you've got some class-droppers looking to return to form, but this, sadly, is just a bunch of poor runners, if truth be told. That said, one of them MUST win, so let's try and find it. You'll not be surprised to read that these 9 horses have won just 8.9% of their previous combined 237 career races and made the frame in just 31.2% of those contests, so when we consider A/W form on Instant Expert, we're probably going to need to look at both win and place stats...

Shecandoo looks solid on place form with a line of green, but has failed to convert them into wins, whilst Requited's only places have been wins and he goes off a mark 10lbs lower than his last success. Edge of The Bay is another with solid place form that hasn't translated into winners and Bernie's Boy has form and experience on going/class and is rated 3lbs lower than his last win.

Lady Florence's numbers are all based on small sample sizes, but there's plenty of green going on, but the problem here is that she's still 6lbs higher than when she last won. Terri Rules, Lethal Blast and Oh So Nice all look much of a muchness on those graphics with some bits of place here and there, although Terri Rules has won at least and is now 4lbs lower than that last win. Only Fairy Fast is a total negative from the above and she didn't get the best write-up either.

We have a non-runner here, so Lady Florence will effectively be running from stall nine and I don't think that there's a massive draw bias here today, but let's check the stats, shall we?

I'm going to say that stall 4's numbers are anomalous and that aside from not wanting to be out in stalls 8 or 9, the rest of the field should have a pretty even chance from whichever of the seven inside stalls they're berthed in, so it might well come down to early pace, race positioning and tactics and we can tell you about the successful way of running races like this is...

...that the further forward you can place yourself, the better your chances of winning. Leaders are more than twice as likely to win as prominent runers, who in turn are almost twice as likely to win as either mid-division or help-up runners.

And when we combine the draw with those prevalent running styles...

...the ideal scenario is quite clearly a draw in stalls 1-3 and get out quick! Numerically we're talking 18 winners and 6 placers from 43 runners (W41.9%, P55.8%) at an A/E of 2.91 and an IV of 3.57. If you're drawn 4-6, however, leading or racing prominently is the best course of action and those in 7-9 really need to get out sharpish to stand any chance here.

As we already know the draw, it's time to superimpose our horse's assumed running styles along with the draw onto that Heat Map from above and when we do, this is what we see...

...which looks particularly good for the likes of Requited and Oh So Nice from the low draws. Lethal Blast doesn't look to unfairly treated in #4, whilst Lady Florence looks the best suited of the rest, but she's going to struggle to get to the front here.

Summary

Shecandoo is already as short as 9/4 and I can't consider backing here at that price based on form, draw or pace, so if I was into laying horses, I'd see if she shortened and then possibly lay her. That's not my cup of tea, though, to be honest, so I'll just oppose her here. The good thing about her being so short is that we're now talking about an odds range of 6/1 to 10/1 for six possibles, after discarding Fairy Fast (fails on all departments) and Bernie's Boy (likewise and unreliable).

The logical step for me in a race full of fairly well matched runners is to go back to Instant Expert and the pace/draw heat map and I can't pull myself away from thinking the winner comes from Requited, Oh So Nice, Lethal Blast and/or Lady Florence. Lady Florence is up against it out in stall 9, so she's going to be the final discard ahead of my "three v the field".

Of the three, I think Requited (7/1), Oh So  Nice (10/1) and Lethal Blast (9/1) are all pretty close to each other, but I think I want them in that order. 7/1 looks a tad generous about Requited, so that's the play there and I might also back the other two on an E/W or even a 25/75 win and place basis.

 

 

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, 12th March 2021

Friday's free feature is the Horses For Courses report, highlighting runners with previous good form at the tracks they'll run at next, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.55 Leicester
  • 4.15 Sandown
  • 4.40 Wolverhampton
  • 4.55 Dundalk
  • 6.00 Dundalk

And I think that in place of a full race preview, I'll look at my Horses For Courses report to see whether my qualifiers might manage to improve their already impressive track records, so we'll start with my list of qualifiers...

Goring has 6 wins and 4 further places  from 16 races at Lingfield and now runs over 7f in a 9-runner, Class 3 A/W handicap off a mark of 94. Georgia Dobie (claiming 5lbs) will be in the saddle 13 days after the horse was last home of four beaten by 11.5 lengths over a mile at here at Class 2 last time out.

He also carries top weight here despite a 4lb drop in his mark from last time and with today's contest in mind, his 6 wins and 4 places from 16 here include a win and a place from two starts over course and distance, with the bulk (12) of his runs here coming over a mile. He won a Class 2, 1m handicap here on 22nd Feb last year, but has toiled in his four races since including failing to finish three starts ago and not beating a single rival in each of his last two outings. Down in class and on a more workable mark, you'd hope for a better performance today.

His career stats include...

...backing up the horses for courses report and showing the fact that he's 4lbs lighter than his last win. He's drawn in stall 7 of 9 and whilst he has been known to lead in the past, he invariably races in mid-division. Over this course and distance in a 9-runner field, he'd be better off reverting to a more prominent racing style as highlighted by our pace/draw heat map below.

*

And now to Dundalk for two runners, the first of which, Alfredo Arcano, has 6 wins and 6 places from 17 runs on the Dundalk track, where he does most of his running nowadays. This is a 9-runner, 5 furlong affair worth just over £8,000 and he goes off a mark of 89, down 2lbs from his last run when fifth of nine, beaten by 3.25 lengths here over 6 furlongs three weeks ago.

Third in the weights and drawn in stall one, he drops down in trip to the bare minimum after tackling 6f in each of his last five starts. Prior to finishing fifth last time out, he had made the frame in three races on the bounce, but hasn't actually won a race in his last nine spread over nearly 15 months. He won here over 6f off a mark of 98 and he now runs off his lowest A/W mark since winning here back in November 2018. He's weighted to win here, but whether he still has the ability is unclear. Stat-wise, his record includes...

Those are really good numbers and show that he's now some 9lbs lower than that last, even if it was quite a while ago now. We already know that he's been drawn in stall one and his recent runs have seen him want to be up with the pace. Upfront is where you want to be at Dundalk, so the pace/draw heatmap should make for good reading for his followers...

Good but not great, I'd say. Pulse of Shanghai will, in my opinion, attempt to get across him from stall, in a bid to get to the rail and that might not pan out well for Alfredo, whilst Big Gossey will also look to press early from the widest draw, but that shouldn't impact the two ahead of him. That pace make-up could be good for Alfredo's place chances, though.

*

Our final runner goes a little later in a 6-runner handicap over a mile and a half. Like the previous race, the top prize is a little over £8k and the 7 yr old Jon Ess will seek to defy the effects of a six-month layoff to win here.

His form was largely decent last year, finishing 112 here before running last of 17 in a Premier Handicap on turf at Gowran Park. He then finished second and first over hurdles before ending his campaign in mid-September in 10th of 18 runners at Leopardstown. In his defence, that was a £66k Premier handicap and he was only beaten by 3.5 lengths over 1m5f.

His last win on the A/W was on Valentine's Day 2020 off a mark of 83, so he's half a stone heavier here (as you'll see on IE below), although he was only beaten by a neck off a mark of 92 next time out over course and distance, so 90 could still be a winnable mark for him. His A/W form includes...

As you can see, he has done most of A/W running at other distances, but has a win and a place from three starts over C&D, whilst he has four wins and two places from seven here under today's jockey. He's a confirmed front runner, drawn in stall 2 and the previous race is anything to go by, that could work well for him, let's see the heat map...

It looks like he could be allowed a soft early lead, so much will be down to race management, as his jockey will have to judge the race from the front. Create a big gap and you might not get caught, but you might expend too much energy trying to open the gap, it's a tough call.

Summary

We started with Goring up at Lingfield, he has been out of form of late and prefers racing over a mile rather than this 7f, which is often too sharp for him. I don't see him being involved in the shake-up for this one, he's likely to be be nearer the back than the front, but the one that did interest me was the 9/1 chance Mohareb.

Next up was Alfredo Arcano over 5f at Dundalk, he's got the hood and tongue tie back on to help here and has bagged a plum draw, but recent form hasn't been as good as connections would have liked. He's going to need to make a good start and try to hold on and I'm not convinced he will. Like Goring above, he usually races over further and might find this too sharp with some of the speedsters in opposition here. I'm not saying he can't or won't win this, but I'd not want to risk money on him with the likes of Ecclesiastical and Big Gossey around.

Which leads us to our last runner, Jon Ess, a well-drawn front runner who might be afforded a soft lead. That's likely to be his best chance of success, I feel, as there are better horses here than he has opposed of late. The likes of Grandmaster Flash, The Mouse Doctor and Pure Nature all appeal to me more here and in a 6-horse race, that's not great for Jon Ess.

So, a bit of a damp squib for our three featured runners, but I've one of definite interest at Lingfield and when I see the markets for Dundalk, there might be an opportunity or two there too.

Racing Insights, 3rd March 2021

According to some, Wednesday is "hump" day, whereas here at Geegeez, it's simply free Trainer Stats Report day. And as well as that, we have a selection of full free racecards on offer, such as...

  • 12.30 Wincanton
  • 4.35 Musselburgh
  • 4.45 Kempton
  • 7.50 Kempton

And I think we'll look at the Trainer Stats Report today and the 1 year course handicap form in particular, which gives us three runners across two races to consider...

We'll start with Curtiz in the 1.40 Lingfield...

Curtiz got off the mark at the eighth time of asking last time out when wining here over course and distance despite a 90-day layoff. He looked like he still had something in reserve, so a 3lb rise in weight shouldn't necessarily be his undoing.

We know his yard have a good 12-month record in handicaps, but most of his runners race over shorter trips than today. That said, his 1m-1m2f handicappers are 5 from 18 (26.3% SR, A/E 1.75) here since the start of 2017 and they include 32 winners from 8 (37.5% SR, A/E 3.61) over this course and distance.

Having just 4 A/W handicap runs to his name that have seen him finish 9241, we were never going to get much from Instant Expert, but it is at least good to see that his sole win was on Standard going over class, course and distance. You see he's up 3lb (as I said) for that win and I can also tell you that today's jockey Charlie Bennett was in the saddle, Curtiz wasn't the favourite, he'd been off the track for more than a month (5 weeks this time) and again he wasn't wearing blinkers, as he has in the past.

Leaders tend not to fare well in these types of contests, whilst there's a fairly even split of winners from the three other racing styles, although the win % figures decrease the further back in the pack you race. Curtiz likes to race prominently, which is probably the best tactic, depending on his draw...

...he's actually in stall 4 and there's no real "right place" to be from there, but a prominent position does look his best chance of winning here. I'll make my mind up on him once I've looked at his opposition, but first...

...I need to move on to the 3.55 Lingfield...

...where we have two to consider. Top weight is Hughie Morrison's Rosemary And Thyme, who doesn't appear to have been done any favours by the assessor on her return from a six-month break. She was 5th of 9, beaten by 8.5 lengths over 6f on heavy ground when last seen, "earning" her a mark of 75 and although she's 5lbs lower on the A/W, 70 seems punitive to me about a filly who has shown little to date.

Further bad news comes from the facts that Hughie Morrison's 6f handicappers are just 1 from 13 here, whilst his 3yo fillies are 0 from 15 here since the start of 2017.

Propagation also makes a handicap debut for Charles Hills and the yard is 4 from 13 (30.8% SR, A/E 1.62) with Lingfield handicap debutants since the start of 2019. We know about the yard's record here over the last year, but since the start of 2019, their 'cappers are 3/8 over 6f here and 6/22 as 3 yr olds, and are 5 from 14 at Class 5, which could be could news for a horse making just a fourth start.

His last run was arguably better than Rosemary's, as he was beaten by 2.25 lengths here over 5f five weeks ago. he was doing his best work late on and shaped as though the extra yardage here might help, although he doesn't look the sharpest/quickest.

In a contest where our runners are both on handicap debut, having performed modest in their previous three outings, Instant Expert will tell us very little, so we'll skip straight to the pace/draw angle, as this is likely to be of paramount importance over 6f here, where it pays to lead and if you can't lead, get as far forward as you can. If you can do neither, then frankly you're in trouble...

Propagation is an out and out hold up horse and by passing 8 runners late on here over 6f isn't easy for experienced horses, never mind a 3 yr old handicap debutant, whilst Rosemary has led or raced prominently in two of her three starts and may well move further to the right of that graphic here. She's drawn handily in stall 5 where she can keep out of trouble without being pushed too wide, but Propagation will have to take the scenic route if he's to win from a stall 1/hold-up combo.

Summary

In our first race, Curtiz is up against 13 rivals, so it's going to be tough over ten furlongs, but he's not badly drawn in #4 and he's probably the pace angle in the race, the next ones most likely to race prominently are in stalls 8-14, so he might be afforded an easy lead. If he can hold on, he's a great chance of winning, but I'm not convinced he'll manage it. I definitely see him making the frame, but if he is to win, he's going to have to see off the likes of El Conquistador (11/4). 7/2 is too short for an E/W punt on Curtiz, but I did find Cafe Milano interesting at 9/1 for those seeking a longer priced bet.

We have two in race two and to be honest, I don't fancy either of them particularly. I've too many negatives about each to want to back either at 4/1 or shorter. I prefer Propagation of the two and he could sneak into the places, but I've got the 3/1 River Wharfe as my winner here and you could possibly throw a blanket over four or five horses for the places. It's not a race I'd want to play in.

Racing Insights, 27th February 2021

Last preview piece for the month and the 'feature of the day' is the fabulous Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats report, whilst our full free-to-all race cards will cover the following...

  • 3.00 Kempton
  • 3.10 Lingfield
  • 3.35 Kempton
  • 4.45 Kempton
  • 5.10 Fairyhouse

Re :  the Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats report, there wasn't much on offer that satisfied my fairly strict parameters, although the Skeltons are 10 from 21 in handicaps over the last fortnight and have three out at Kempton, so they might be worth a second look, but I'm going A/W racing for the 3.10 Lingfield, which is a 7-runner, Class 3, Polytrack handicap over 1m4f worth £7,246. I expect Cardano to be the favourite here, but is that justified? The only way to find out is by looking at the race, starting, as ever, with the card itself...

Cardano is top weight here, top rated on the Geegeez Ratings and arrives in great form seeking a hat-trick of course and distance successes inside 7 weeks. Interestingly, both wins were at Class 2 and he now takes a drop in class. He's up another 4lbs for that last win, but a jockey change sees a 3lb claimer in the saddle negating most of that rise, as his jockey from those last two runs now rides stablemate Luckys Dream. Both are trained by Ian Williams, whose handicappers are 8 from 44 (18.2% SR) here at Lingfield since the start of 2020.

Guroor is one of two 5yr old mares in this contest (Torochica is the other) and she tends to be there or thereabouts, though she doesn't win as often as you'd like. She was third here over course and distance last time out and was also third over this trip at Wolverhampton in her other 2021 run. Prior to that she had won four times and been a runner-up twice from her previous nine outings. She's 3lbs worse off than her last run, mind and she does step up in class, so she's not an obvious winner here, but our neural ratings have her as second best.

Lucky's Dream is the afore-mentioned Cardano's stablemate and he's second in the weights (carries 6lbs less) and is a close third on the Geegeez Ratings. Stamina won't be an issue for this one, as he won a 2m A/W bumper here almost six weeks ago and was less than three lengths off the pace in another 2m A/W bumper at Kempton last time despite getting a poor (IMO) ride. Richard Kingscote moves from Cardano to ride this one and he's already got one win and one place from three outings with Lucky's Dream.

Songkran is probably better on turf, where he is 4 from 11 as opposed to 1 from 5 on the A/W, but he did finish a runner-up here over course and distance last time out, when beaten by just half a length last week. On face value that run puts him right in the mix here, but he's 2lbs higher today and up in class, but trainer George Boughey's horses are in great nick right now and jockey Ryan Moore is 19 from 56 (33.9% SR) on this track since the start of 2019, including finishes of 126111311 this year so far.

Night Bear was disappointing when finishing 5th of 7 over this trip in a lower grade at Wolverhampton last time out, but he was only beaten by a length and a quarter in a tight race over this track, trip and class on New Year's Eve. Yet to even make the frame in four starts on the A/W , you'd have to imagine that even the booking of the talented Hollie Doyle won't be enough for this one to win.

Torochica is the other 5yr old mare in the contest and aside from Cardano, the only other course and distance winner on show, acquired two starts and seven weeks ago off a mark just 4lbs lower than today. Normally that would make her of interest here, but she's up in class her and decent runs on the A/W have been few and far between, plus it's 31 rides and 45 days since her jockey last won a race. I'll pass on this one!

Last and probably least here, we have the bottom weight Margaret Dumont, a lightly raced 4 yr old filly. I'm not saying she's a poor horse, but her form line of 31343 flatters her as closer inspection shows her to have been 3rd of 5, 4th of 5 and 3rd of 4 in her three handicap starts to date, She's generally weak in the finish, has never raced on the A/W, has been off the track for six months and has left Mark Johnston's yard during her lay-off. A watching brief at best.

*

These seven runners include 2 x course and distance winners, 3 x course winners, 4 x distance winners and 5 x polytrack winners, Between them they have made the frame in 58 of 127 outings, a respectable 45.7%, including 30 (23.6%) wins. The one best suited to today's conditions should be readily apparent via Instant Expert...

Unsurprisingly, the past winners are all on higher marks than when they last won and both the Ian Williams runners are showing good numbers with Lucky's Dream looking best off for me.

He has the rail to run along here, but is stall 1 a good place to be?

Probably not, to be fair. The stats suggest that stalls 4 to 7 are more fruitful places to be for winners, but stall 1 does make the frame often enough. The draw alone won't break or break a horse's chances, of course, as race positioning and pace is equally if not more important. So where should a horse position itself?

Ideally, you want to race prominently, but not lead and if you can't race prominently, it's best to sit right back off the pace. Obviously the draw can also contribute to how the race gets run and if we look at how the draw and race pace interact...

...we find that almost incongruously, mid-drawn runners sitting in mid division have fared best, but that's because 8 of 9 mid-divisional runners happened to come from a middle draw, whilst other running styles have shared their winners around...

Aside from that possibly anomalous stat, it's as you'd expect from our data, stalls 4 and above racing prominently being the favoured option here. Which all begs the question, how do these seven normally run? Well, as you all know by now, we can show you...

The pace here is likely to come from the fav Cardano in stall 3 with Songkran also seeming to have a good spot on the chart. Lucky's Dream's best chance would likely be if he moved back a notch and sat in. Closer analysis of his running style in last four show that he raced prominently three starts ago, but has been held up in the other three of his last four runs. I suspect he'll be held up for a late run here and that should suit perfectly.

Summary

I suspect Cardano will attempt to win this off the front end and be pursued by Songkran with Lucky's Dream biding his time for a late run in the hands of the experienced Richard Kingscote. I'm of the thinking that these would be the three I'd want to be making my final selection from today and jockey bookings might well be very important.

Cardano is up in weight here and it's not easy for a jockey to judge the fractions correctly and make all here at Lingfield, so we look at the rider and we know Richard Kingscote has "defected" from Cardano to Lucky's Dream and although 3lb claimer Ray Dawson made all to win a Listed event here fifteen weeks ago, that was only over six furlongs and he's 0 from 34 since.

Based on the jockey info and the Instant Expert numbers, I want to side with Lucky's Dream in a possible Ian Williams 1-2, Songkran would be the one most likely to upset that prediction, I'd say.

Lucky's Dream currently trades at 9/2, which is probably about right, whereas Cardano doesn't look to offer much value at 2/1. Not based on the above anyway!

Racing Insights, 26th February 2021

Our four against the field finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th and although I didn't get them the right way around again, I hope some of you are finding me narrowing the field down useful. The horse expected to be a short favourite ended up winning at 4/1 after I said I couldn't back him at 2/1. Had he been 4's last night, my piece might have looked different, but no aftertiming or backtracking on Geegeez! Hopefully some of you did some exacta/trifecta perms as they paid 19/1 and 64/1 respectively.

Those that didn't might need some help finding a bet for Friday, so to assist you, the Horses For Courses report is available to everyone, as are the full cards for the following races...

  • 2.35 Exeter
  • 3.00 Gowran Park
  • 4.00 Dundalk
  • 4.23 Warwick
  • 6.00 Dundalk
  • 6.30 Wolverhampton

And I think I'll have a look at the chances of three horses that interest me from the Horses For Courses report...

Starting with Rakematiz in the 1.10 Lingfield...

Rakematiz was third here at Lingfield over 1m2f and beaten by just a quarter of a length three starts ago off a mark of 62. He ten stepped up to today's trip to win over course and distance off the same mark, but struggled last time out.

He was raised 5lbs for that last run and dropped back down in trip to 1m2f and could only manage to finish 8th of 10, beaten by six lengths.

Trainer Brett Johnson's horses seem to be running better than usual so far this year, making the frame in 12 of 21 (57.1%) runs and going on to win five times (23.8% SR, A/E 1.37), whilst since the start of 2018, his A/W runners racing over trips of 1m4f to 2m have placed in 19 of 43 (44.2%), winning 9 of them (20.9% SR, A/E 1.46).

We know that the horse has a 64.3% place strike rate and a 28.6% win strike rate here at Lingfield, but here's how he has performed generally in A/W handicaps to date...

A solid line of green for the place and a solid amber line for the win suggests conditions are ideal for him here to hopefully go on and make the frame. If he can do that, then it opens the possibility for the win, of course.

We also know that he's drawn in stall 2 and in recent 13-runner contests here , that's the second most successful stall after box 11...

...the heat map above tells us that the ideal pace/draw scenario is to race prominently from a middle draw, but we know we're in stall 2, so Rakematiz probably needs to lead or be held up to maximise his chances and we can see below how he has run in his last four outings...

...and he is indeed, a hold up horse, which is another positive.

We've obviously only isolated him from the field, but without looking at what he's up against, I wouldn't want to commit myself as to his chances, but I see no real negatives so far.

*

And now to the 7.30 Dundalk, which interestingly has two possibles fitting my fairly tight criteria...

Sunset Nova has raced here at Dundalk 10 times in his last 11 starts and has finished 211313 in his last six here, spread over the past three months. He won over this distance here two starts ago, but after a jockey change and a rise in weight, he ended up 8lbs worse off when upped in trip to 7f, resulting in him going down by just over 4 lengths in third place. AJ Slattery, who is 3 from 7 on the horse here at Dundalk, is back in the saddle today, taking 3lbs off as the horse drops back in trip.

Eglish on the other hand, isn't in quite as good a run of form and her best recent run came when second over course and distance three starts ago when runner-up to stablemate War Hero who beat her by half a length off today's mark. She is a former course and distance winner, but most of her wins have been at 7f.

Sunset Nova has the edge on form so far. We already know about their win and place percentages here at Dundalk, but more generally here's how they've performed in all A/W handicaps...

Both stack up really well here and although Eglish's apparent dominance over the distance is mainly down to her 7f form, both look like they could make the frame. I wouldn't say either had the edge on this section, but we should note that both are a few pounds higher than their last winning marks.

These two are drawn in the lowest third of the draw in stalls 1 & 4 and in the last 55 similar contests, stall 1 has 7 wins to stall 4's 4 wins. Par here would be 4.23 (55/13), so stall 4 has slightly underperformed, but stall 1 has the second highest number of wins at 169% of par expectation (IV = 1.69), making Sunset Nova the notional winner of the battle on draw...

So, they're both drawn low meaning that the ideal scenario is for them to lead or at least race prominently...

...but that's not the case and both tend to be waited with. Yet, that's not disastrous if they hang back a little further than the average of the last four races suggest they might. Sunset Nova last achieved a pace score of 1 (held up) three starts ago and his pace profile reads 2212, so I'd expect him to race slightly further forward than his average, but Eglish's last four reads 1132 with her being held up in each of her last two runs, so she may well drop further back today. Not a lot between the two here, but Eglish looks marginally more favourable.

As with the Lingfield runner, I've no real negatives against either of these two for a place so far, but I do need to consider the opposition.

Summary

After going away and looking at the bigger picture of both races, here's where I am...

The Lingfield race looks like G for Gabriel (5/1) or Peace Prevails (10/1) for me, but in behind them I have Dream Magic (18/1), Mister Blue (4/1) and our highlighted runner Rakematiz, currently priced at 9/1. Some bookies are offering 4 places and Rakematiz has a really good chance of making the first four home, but Peace Prevails looks a better bet to me, whilst Dream Magic offers better value.

Whilst, later at Dundalk, I've got the 6/1 Sunset Nova to finish ahead of Eglish, who trades at 8/1 but I don't see either of them winning this. If they're both going to make the frame, however, they're going to have to hope that the 11/4 fav Togoville or 13/2 runner Fridtjof Nansen fail to spark. Sunset Nova is best placed to make the frame of the two we've considered, but 6/1 isn't great for an E/W bet, but neither is the 8/1 about Eglish, so I'd probably leave both alone here. If I did get involved, the 12/1 offered about Fit For Function looked interesting.

 

Racing Insights, 5th February 2021

Well, I was right that Hotspur would try and ultimately fail to win from the front at Southwell this afternoon, but sadly didn't get the right horse to beat him. The course specialist roared back to form and made me look a bit stupid, considering my penchant for stats.

Friday, however, is another day and gives me another chance at solving the puzzle. Feature of the day is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report and our free races are...

  • 12.40 Lingfield
  • 2.30 Catterick
  • 3.20 Chepstow
  • 5.00 Dundalk

And with the following snippet from the H4C report featuring a runner from one of our featured races...

...I think we should look at that 12.40 Lingfield race : a 7-runner, Class 5, 1m, A/W (poly) handicap for 4yo+ horses worth £3429 to the winner. Here's the full card for the contest...

Rogue Tide is the only LTO winner in the field, Thrill Seeker has been runner-up in each of his last two starts and the H4C horse, Accomplice was a winner two starts ago. These three set the standard on form and unsurprisingly head the Geegeez ratings.

Accomplice is a 7 yr old mare and although beaten into fourth place over C&D last time out, she was beaten by less than a length behind Rogue Tide, but she re-opposes 3lbs better off this time. She has won 5 of 19 (as per H4C) here at Lingfield including 5 from 15 over course and distance, including 3 wins from 8 over C&D with David Probert in the saddle.

Thrill Seeker was a runner-up over C&D here last time out going down by just a length 12 days ago and previously was also a runner-up over this trip at Southwell but was well beaten by 8.5 lengths that day. Runs off the same mark here, so might still have a little more to find to win, but his form line will no doubt make him popular. His yard is in good nick and the Trainer/Jockey combo are 12 from 37 here over the last five years.

Rogue Tide won here over C&D last time out, beating Accomplice, of course. He was only a short head in front of the runner-up that day and a 3lb rise to a career-high mark of 75 might prove problematic, as he struggled previously off 73. Yard is 6 from 22 in the last fortnight, however and the jockey rides this track well.

Hector Loza was seventh on that very same (Rogue Tide/Accomplice) race and was beaten by just over 3.5 lengths. He's now 5lbs better off with the winner and normally you'd say that could make him competitive, but the sad fact is that he hasn't even made the frame in nine starts since moving away from Novice company, where his best form (113) happened. Tends to set off too quickly, does too much early doors and fades. A new approach is needed if he's ever to do anything. The in-form Hollie Doyle takes the ride, so that's a positive at least.

Gold Ribbon is a 4 yr old filly yet to make the frame in six starts and hails from a yard whose last 13 runners over a near-three week period have all been beaten. She herself was a well beaten sixth at Wolverhampton ten days ago going down by the thick end of ten lengths off today's mark. Plenty to do here just to get involved.

Warne's Army has made the frame just once in five starts during an on-off career so far. Didn't run well in two starts last June after 31 weeks off the track and now makes a Polytrack debut off just 2lbs lower after another 32 week absence. Hard to get enthusiastic about her chances, but trainer Mark Johnston is no mug, has a great record at this track and has been firing winners in of late (17 from 47 over the last month). Others appeal much more here.

Ruby Gates won here in mid-March over course and distance last year off a mark of 70 and goes here off 67, mainly due to a string of poor runs since that win where this 8 yr old mare has finished last of 10, last of 8, 8th of 12 and 9th of 12 and never nearer than 12 lengths behind the winner. So, yes she's well weighted here and her jockey has a good course record (10 from 57 over the last year), but a return to wining ways looks unlikely.

*

Nothing above changes my mind that will be a three horse race between the three form horses, but let's assess race suitability via Instant Expert...

I've gone with one year form here, as most runners have been fairly active over the past 12 months ad again we've got our three versus the field again with Ruby Gates also showing well, thanks to that C&D win last March. My three main protagonists are drawn across the stalls in boxes 1, 4 & 7 and similar past races have favoured the higher end of the draw...

Draw order gives us an Accomplice / Rogue Tide / Thrill Seeker preference, whilst the pace/draw stats tell us that highly drawn mid-division runners fare best followed by mid-drawn leaders and then those drawn high and are held up. Overlaying our runners gives us this suggested race pattern...

...which would suggest Accomplice / Rogue Tide / Thrill Seeker from our main three runners.

Summary

Alphabetically, it has to be between Accomplice, Rogue Tide & Thrill Seeker based on the above evidence and it's Accomplice that I like best after going through the data etc. He tops the Geegeez ratings, is drawn best of the three, has the best pace/draw make-up of the three and is the horses for courses runner. He fares well on Instant Expert and is in decent enough form, so it's Accomplice for me.

I've very little between the other pair, so it's time for my first look at the market.

Accomplice is currently best priced at 4/1, which is a nice price, whilst Thrill Seeker is the 7/4 favourite (looks short) and Rogue Tide is also priced at 4/1. Ideally for the forecast, you'd want Rogue Tide as a runner-up, but I think all three will be pretty close at the finish. I'm fairly sure that one of these three win, but I do prefer Accomplice.