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Racing Insights, 12th February 2021

Friday's feature of the day is the Horses for Courses report , whilst the free racecards will cover the following...

  • 7.15 Chelmsford
  • 7.30 Dundalk
  • 7.45 Chelmsford

Once again, it's an all-weather only day, as the cold spell continues to wreak havoc with the racing programme, so let's take a look at the two qualifiers from my Horses for Courses settings of 30% win and 50% place off at least 10 course handicap runs...

We start with Luscifer in the 3.45 Southwell...

Luscifer has finished 11265 in his last five runs, all here at Southwell. He won back to back Class 6 handicaps over a mile off marks of 51 and 57 in November/December of last year. He was then raised to a mark of 62, resulting in a near-two length defeat in another C6, 1m hcp on 20th December.

He struggled in January though, firstly beaten by 22.5 lengths over a mile at Class 4 off 63 and then beaten by just over 10 lengths at Class 5 over this 7f course and distance last time out, also off 63. He now drops back to Class 6, but is only eased 1lb and is still some 5lbs higher than that last win.

With regards to his suitability for today's contest, Instant Expert tells us that he has achieved the following...

He's 0/4 on Std-Slow going, as all his best A/W form on been on Standard, where he is 4 from 16 (25%), he has done well in this grade and at this track, of course. He's more of a 1m horse in my opinion, where he has 2 wins and 2 places from 7 efforts,  What the above doesn't tell you is that he is 3 from 9 after 16-30 days rest and 1 from 3 over course and distance.

He's drawn in stall 5, which is neither here nor there, based on eight recent contests...

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...and here's how that draw translates into running styles...

When we overlay Luscifer's last four runs, it's not really a favourable picture

...but if he was to ditch the hold-up tactics employed in the two recent heavy defeats and revert back to his previous prominent running style, I think that would suit him better.

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And now to Nonios in the 6.45 Chelmsford...

Nonios was a winner over 1m on a Class 3 at Lingfield and was subsequently a decent third over 1m0.5f at Wolverhampton stepped up to Class 2, but has lost his way of late, finishing 770006 in six runs since. He was beaten by nearly nine lengths her at Chelmsford over a mile at Class 3 and now drops in class, weight (down 5lbs). He's stepping back up to what I think is his best trip and he's now some 8lbs lower than his last winning mark. Some of these details are replicated in Instant Expert below...

...and for a horse likely to be a fairly long price, those numbers are good. And if he's a decent price, then an E/W bet might come into play. It's worth adding to the above stats that he has made the frame in exactly half of his 22 runs on Polytrack, winning six times and he has 4 wins and 3 places from a dozen runs over course and distance.

With the E/W bet a current possibility, here's his numbers from the place element of Instant Expert...

...and they make excellent reading. He's not got the best of draws out in box 8, but stalls 5 to 7 get the fair share of winners, so he's not entirely out of it and I'm always wary of one stall having freakishly low returns compared with all the others...

Being drawn high, we ideally need Nonios to run prominently or in mid-division. Trying to lead or being held-up will harm his chances according to the pace/draw heatmap...

Sadly, Nonios has been held up in each of his last four runs documented by our pace tab. In fact, that's pretty much how he always runs, so there's not much scope/hope for change here, but it's tough to win from being held up off a high draw here....

...and this is backed up by the graphic above, showing the extent to which hold-up horses have struggled.

Summary

Two horses with good course records, but I don't see either of them winning to be honest.

Luscifer has finished 6th of 8 and 5th of 6 in his last two runs and if he's any better than 6th of 7 here, he'll have exceeded my expectations. He's out of sorts right now, as is his yard (1 from 41 in the last fortnight), he's too high in the weights for me, he probably needs quicker ground and he's better off over a mile. Other than all that, he's fine.

Currently priced as 9/1 sixth favourite of seven, the bookies probably have it right and Luscifer is to be avoided. Palazzo probably wins here, but at 5/1 Iva Reflection is interesting.

As for Nonios, there's no doubting his place credentials, but he's not winning this race in my eyes : I quite like Baystom Hill & My Target at 5/1 and 7/1 respectively here, but I disagree with the 18/1 offered about Nonios by Bet365. I've got in equal fourth on my own notes and wouldn't have to perform much better than I'm anticipating for him to grab a place. It's a bit of a punt, but at 18/1, I think the potential reward justifies the risk for a small E/W flutter.