Posts

Racing Insights, 21st June 2021

After looking at two horses for Saturday, I didn't fancy either and I left them alone. As it happens, Bint Australia finished seventh of nine and Baby Alya was a non-runner (she ran Friday instead and won). Instead of suggesting bets on those tow, I preferred other runners in each race and I ended with a 13/2 runner-up (Gold Souk) and 7/1 winner in the shape of Elvrika, so looking at those two races wasn't a lost cause after all.

Monday's 'feature of the day' is free full access to the PACE tab for ALL readers for ALL races including, of course, our free 'races of the day' which will be...

  • 2.05 Southwell
  • 3.20 Newton Abbot
  • 4.40 Ballinrobe
  • 6.00 Windsor
  • 6.30 Windsor
  • 7.40 Ballinrobe

I'm not sure whether Windsor will go ahead and I'm not keen on the Irish card for Monday, so I'm down to two choices for my preview. Sadly, the Southwell race is a mares bumper, so we're sort of left with the 3.20 Newton Abbot! But it's an interesting-looking small field affair, as it's a 5-runner, Class 4, Handicap Chase for 5yo+ over 3m2f on Good (Good to soft in places with rain due) ground worth £3,594 to one of...

Of these five, only Mr Mafia is without a win in his last five starts, but none of them were good enough to win last time out. To aid his chances, Gangster drops in class as the only class mover. Three of the field have raced in the last three weeks, but Optimistic Bias has been off for ten weeks, whilst likely favourite Easyrun de Vassy hasn't raced for 41 weeks, but he along with Gangster have both won over this 3m2f trip before, as has Mr Mafia who did it here at Newton Abbot. None of the others have won here before. Four of the field are at the veteran stage now, aged 10-12, but Easyrun de Vassy is only 7 and he heads a tight 3lb weight spread from highest to lowest.

Easyrun De Vassy got off the mark at the ninth time of asking when winning a 5-runner chase by 5.5 lengths over today's class/trip at Fontwell off a mark of 109. He then reappeared three weeks later at the same class, track and trip off today's mark of 114 and was last home of seven, beaten by eleven lengths. That was his last run and he now has to put both that run and a 41-week layoff behind him to run here against more experienced rivals.

Mr Mafia is getting on a bit at 12 yrs old now, but won here over course and distance at a higher grade back in 2019 and when he last came here in September 2020, was a runner up over track and trip again at Class 3. He had three indifferent efforts after that, but looked like coming back to form last month when only beaten by half a length at Worcester and might still be well treated here off a mark of 113.

Optimistic Bias landed a 3m soft ground contest at Uttoxeter four starts ago (Nov '20) and although didn't fire in two subsequent efforts, ran a decent enough race to finish third at Plumpton last time out over slightly further than today, he 2lbs lower than that race now, but would need a similar or better effort to feature here.

Gangster is an out and out stayer, but inconsistent with it, as epitomised by the four runs he's had since the start of March : 6th of 7, beaten by 47L, a 14-length win over four miles and then two fifth place finishes beaten by 50L and 25L. Every so often he just throws in a good performance (he won off 9lbs higher last year!), but can't be relied upon, I'm afraid.

Ballyegan Hero has been running pretty well this summer season after finishing third of ten at Plumpton over this trip, he then stepped up to Class 3 to win by seven lengths on good to soft ground over 3m3f in conditions similar to what he'll face today. More was expected of him back down to this grade at Hexham earlier this month, but the 6th of 9, 25 lengths adrift doesn't tell the whole story. He made a bad mistake early that knocked the stuffing out of him and he never got into the race, so I'm inclined to overlook that and hope for a repeat of the previous two efforts.

Relevant form via Instant Expert says...

...that Easyrun de Vassy is best suited by these conditions, but the caveat here is that two runs is a small sample size that needs to be treated with caution, he's still 1 from 10 and is 5lbs higher than his sole win. Mr Mafia goes well here, loves any trip at 3m and beyond and the market is usually a good indicator of his chances. Optimistic Bias is certainly proven at Class 4, he likes small fields and is another about whom the market is usually right, but he'd prefer a shorter trip.

Gangster's record at Class 4 is also good and he fares well after only a short break, but I think he'd prefer a longer trip on softer ground, but if lots of rain comes, he might be happy. Ballyegan Hero is probably better than Instant Expert would suggest. He's 1 from 1 on good to soft and that's probably where we're heading, he hasn't won at Class 4, but did win at a higher level two starts ago and that was over 3m3f, so there are excuses for his poor showing on IE.

As this is an NH race, we obviously don't have stalls and therefore don't have draw data or a pace/draw heatmap, but we can tell you about pace. Pace is a bit of a misnomer in NH contests, because it doesn't really mean who is the fastest etc, it's more to do with race positioning and for this type of contest, it pays to be up with the pace, as coming from anywhere too far back is difficult to win from...

We can show you how these have tended to race based on their last four outings...

...suggesting that Mr Mafia & Easyrun de Vassy are likeliest to take it on.

Summary

Based on the pace profile above, it could well be that Mr Mafia & Easyrun de Vassy take it on and whilst history dictates that this tactic is best here in this sort of race, I'm not convinced it'll pan put here. I'm concerned that Easyrun de Vassy is coming off a long layoff to run off a mark at which he was well beaten at LTO and there's a real chance he tires and goes back through the field or pulls up.

This would leave Mr Mafia in the boxseat and the one I like from the pack would be Ballyegan Hero if can keep in touch with the leaders. He won a better race than this two starts ago and if running to that same level, has possibly the best chance of all.

I'm aware that I'm relying on ifs and buts here, but the way I see it is that if Easyrun stays, he's got a great chance, but I don't think he will stay. If Ballyegan reproduces that run from two starts ago, then he also has a great chance. I think a reproduction is more likely than Easyrun staying 3m2f from the front.

So, based on those assumptions, I'm siding with Ballyegan Hero at 7/2 with the equally priced Mr Mafia as my backup, as he's 8 from 27 (29.6%) at odds of 5/1 or shorter.

Finally a last word about Easyrun de Vassy : irrespective of whether he stays or not, he's not a 13/8 shot here in my eyes! (I await egg on my face!)

Stat of the Day, 19th September 2020

Friday's pick was...

2.45 Ayr : Nomadic Empire @ 4/1 BOG 2nd at 5/1 (Prominent, ridden to challenge over 1f out, ran on well final furlong but beaten by half a length)

Saturday's pick runs in the...

5.20 Newton Abbot :

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

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

Who?

Midnight Magic @ 3/1 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 5 Handicap Chase for 4yo+ over 3m2f on Good ground worth £3,165 to the winner... 

Why?...

Having lost out narrowly on successive days up at Ayr, I was sorely tempted to try again with Thursday's pick being turned back out again, but this 8yr old gelding then caught my eye, so it's chasing in Devon instead.

Our boy's overall career record of 2 from 26 isn't the most inspiring, but he has finished 151 in the three contests where he has worn a visor in a field of 8-1 runners at a trip beyond three miles. These include 2 from 2 in September/October, 1 from 2 under today's jockey David Noonan and 1 from 1 here at Newton Abbot, acquired in a course and distance success here last time out, eleven days ago.

That C&D win was what piqued my interest, because I remembered that Newton Abbot is one of a handful of courses where I look out for LTO C&D winners as since the start of 2017, such runners are 15 from 47 (31.9% SR) for 9.3pts (+19.8% ROI) profit at this venue and these include of relevance today...

  • 14/38 (36.8%) for 15.9pts (+41.9%) from males
  • 12/33 (36.4%) for 18.8pts (+57%) in fields of 5-9 runners
  • 8/14 (57.1%) for 11.6pts (+82.9%) at 6-15 dslr
  • 7/19 (36.8%) for 2.95pts (+15.5%) over fences
  • and 3/6 (50%) for 2.93pts (+48.8%) over this 3m2f course and distance

...whilst males + 5-9 runners + 6-15 dslr = 6/8 (75% SR) for 13.56pts (+169.5% ROI) inc 4 from 5 (80%) for 9.62pts (+192.4%) over fences and 2 from 3 (66.6%) for 1.41pts (+47.1%) over this 3m2f trip : all over fences.

I could stop there, but I just couldn't put up a son of Midnight Legend with out referring to (as many long-standing readers will know!) one of my all-time favourite NH sires, who sadly is no longer with us, but his offspring continue to win races. I have a plethora of angles relating to Midnight Legend progeny, so here's one for today's contest...

...in hcp chases over 3m1.5f to 3m2f since the start of 2017, they are 17 from 70 (24.3% SR) for 20.63pts (+29.5% ROI), from which they are...

  • 14/37 (37.8%) for 39pts (+105.3%) at the age of 8 or 9
  • 13/51 (25.5%) for 15pts (+29.4%) from males
  • 10/26 (38.5%) for 25.3pts (+97.4%) with 8/9 yr old males
  • 4/13 (30.8%) for 2.5pts (+19%) here at Newton Abbot
  • 3/8 (37.5%) for 5.5pts (+68.7%) from males here at N.A.
  • 3/6 (50%) for 5.7pts (+94.8%) from 8/9 yo here at N.A.
  • and 2/4 (50%) for 5.7pts (+142.9%) from 8/9 yo males here at Newton Abbot

...pointing to... a 1pt win bet on Midnight Magic @ 3/1 BOG as was widely available at 8.35am Saturday (bigger in places!), but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 5.20 Newton Abbot

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

Here is today's racecard

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Stat of the Day, 8th September 2020

Monday's pick was...

3.20 Leicester : Shady McCoy @ 9/2 BOG non-runner (Withdrawn by vet : heat in leg)

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

2.05 Newton Abbot :

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

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

Who?

Cotton End @ 9/2 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 5,  Mares Handicap Hurdle for 3yo+ over 2m1f on Good ground worth £3,249 to the winner... 

Why?...

We start, as is often the case with the visual clues on the racecard...

...which tells us that we have an LTO winner who has won over course and distance (also LTO) and is top ranked on the Geegeez Speed ratings and will be ridden by a top jockey who has a good record at this venue.

I'm not going too deep into the ratings issue, as I'm not privy to how they are calculated, but I'd just say that the name "Speed" can be misleading, they're more of a neural rating taking the specific race into account, so they do still have merit beyond a 6f sprint!

As for jockey Richard Johnson, no surprises to see him have the C1 and C5 icons next to his name, courtesy of 21.4% and 19.5% strike rates respectively. He's a top jockey and as such is often over-bet, so whilst he wins his fair share here in Devon, one needs to be selective about the ones backed.

If I didn't want to pick his rides on a race by race basis, I'd focus on the lower end ie Class 5 & 6, where I feel the top jockeys earn their money by getting that little bit more out of average horses. Following Dicky on these lower grade runners since 2015 would give you this...

...numbers we can live with!

Finally for this morning, I want to look at the chances of our pick winning back to back course and distance contests after just a short break and I'm heartened by the fact that since 2015, horses turned back out at odds of 7/1 and shorter here at Newton Abbot less than three weeks after a course and distance win are...

...not the biggest sample size, but a near-41% strike rate yielding over 83p profit from £1 staked isn't to be dismissed lightly and despite only having 27 qualifiers in the 2015-20 timeframe, the following snippets are of relevance today...

  • 11/23 (47.8%) for 26.47pts (+115.1%) in fields of 5-12 runners
  • 9/18 (50%) for 27.75pts (+151.1%) off a mark raised by 6lbs or more from LTO
  • 7/19 (36.8%) for 8.12pts (+42.7%) on Good ground
  • 7/18 (38.9%) for 16.84pts (+93.6%) over hurdles
  • 7/17 (41.2%) for 10.19pts (+59.9%) won by 4 lengths or less LTO
  • 5/14 (35.7%) for 21.39pts (+152.8%) at odds of 5/2 to 7/1
  • 3/7 (42.9%) for 4.74pts (+67.7%) in 3yo+ contests
  • 3/5 (60%) for 1.71pts (+34.2%) in 2020
  • 2/5 (40%) for 7.39pts (+147.8%) from female runners
  • and 2/5 (40%) for 4pts (+80%) in September...

...whilst hurdlers in 5-12 runner contests off marks 6lbs or more higher than an LTO C&D win by 0-4 lengths are 4 from 7 (57.1% SR) for 13.15pts (+187.9% ROI)...

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

...click here for the betting on the 2.05 Newton Abbot

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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