A new week awaits us and there's apparently some big NH meeting on later in the week 😉 , but we've Monday to navigate first and to help you, we offer the Pace tab to all readers for all the day's races and our free-to-all full racecards are for...
- 1.55 Punchestown
- 2.03 Stratford
- 2.10 Taunton
- 2.17 Plumpton
And these are a PTP flat race, a class 3 handicap chase, a class 4 maiden hurdle and a class 5 novice chase. The second of the four is the best of the bunch, so we're off to Shakespeare country for the 2.03 Stratford, an 8-runner (hope it stays at 8 for all you E/W bettors), Class 3 handicap chase over 2m7.5f (after rail movements) on good to soft ground, that will be soft in places and these are the runners contesting the £7,018 top prize...
Commodore Barry : Yard is in good health with 10 wins from 35 over the last month and 8 from 28 here over the last five years. Jockey also going well (4/14 last 14 days, 10/39 last 30 days and 61/295 over the last year), he is also 5 from 21 at this venue over the last year and 10 from 60 in the last five. And together the partnership is 10 from 25 over the last month, 4 from 10 here over the last year and 7 from 21 over the last five!
Sadly, the horse has been out of touch for some while with just one win by a head being the highlight of the last 15 months in a run of form reading R4106P. He hasn't raced since being pulled up at Newbury 11 weeks ago and is best watched here.
Orrisdale : yet to win any of four starts over fences, but has made the frame on both handicap chases to date. He made the frame three times in give bumper/hurdle runs, winning twice and the ground should be no worry here, nor should the trip after finishing third over 3m0.5f on heavy ground last time out off this mark.
AccordingtoGino : very consistent over hurdles with a run of form reading 25332331, but was well beaten (42L, 6th of 8) on chase debut returning from an 8 month break, but did win next time up by 10 lengths over 3m2f at Warwick. He wasn't as good next/last time out when pulled up at Bangor over 3m (heavy) when he seemed to run out of steam.
He's had a three month break to recover and his team are in great form. Yard are 9/56 over the past fortnight and 25/121 over the last month, the jockey is 24/96 over the month and they're 104/468 together over the last year.
Kapgarry : just a pound higher than when making all to win this race last year, but Sam Twiston-Davies' place in the saddle is taken by a 3lb claimer and the horse has only had two starts since that win, running disappointingly both times. He was pulled up at Ascot in December on his first start in over nine months before going down by almost 25 lengths at Hereford three weeks later. He's more than capable of landing this, but recent form wouldn't suggest he's about to, although to be fair to the jockey, he is riding well after 6 wins from 28 over the last four weeks including 4 from 14 in the past fortnight.
Subcontinent : a winner on the A/W, the Flat, over hurdles and in chases, this versatile 9 yr old veteran of 35 races won by five lengths when last seen at Ludlow (C3, 3m, Heavy) almost three weeks ago. He's up 7lbs for that win, so more will be needed here but the ground should be less arduous in this contest. Yard in fine fettle right now, though, with 7 wins from 20 in the last fortnight, whilst jockey Charlie Deutsch is 6 from 19 in the same period, including 6 from 14 for the yard.
Joueur Bresilien : just one win from eleven over fences and that came four starts ago back in mid-October 2019 off 4lbs lower than here. He won by 12 lengths that day over 2m5f on soft ground at Ffos Las, but hasn't been seen on a racetrack in over fourteen months, so could quite well need a run. That said, this is a much inferior contest to his last race, a Grade 3 soft-ground chase over 3m5f at Warwick, where he was beaten by some 41 lengths. he's not one I'd be too keen on.
Mcnamaras Band : started racing life with a bumper win at Worcester in June 2017 and wasn't seen again for almost 18 months when falling on his hurdling debut at Chepstow. Two further/better runs followed at Chepstow (3rd, then 1st), before another 7 months layoff. He was then 10th of 11 (bt by 58L) over hurdles at Uttoxeter, had another year off and then a chase debut also at Uttoxeter (13th of 18, bt by 33L) and since then, just the one outing where he was pulled up at Exeter three months ago. Trainer Philip Hobbs is 16 from 56 in handicap chases here since 2013, but I don't see this being winner 17.
Ramonex : bottom weight, but up in class as he battles to return to he kind of form he had when finishing 120P2F1 over fences from 2018-20. Now rated a pound lower than his last win, the step up in trip might help him here as he did most of his best work late on last time out. He was, admittedly, beaten by 10 lengths over 2m3f on soft ground, but kept on late in the piece to pass several rivals on his way to fourth place.
As for past career records...
Commodore Barry shows best here, I'd say, but that needs to be tempered by his lack of recent form and the same could be applied to Kapgarry, Mcnamaras Band and Ramonex, so we might get a better picture, if we just considered more recent form...
From a pace perspective, horses that have raced prominently or in mid-division have fared best...
Where IV is a good indicator of success. 1 is par and the higher you go, the more successful you are. So Prominent runners at 1.53 suggests they win far more often than you'd expect. The mid-division tally isn't reliable off such a small sample size and held up horses have struggled, so let's assess how we think these horses will run here...
I'd probably only discount the bottom two on pace alone, but I'm also discarding them on form and the lack of regular action. Kapgarry's form is also a concern, so he's not for me either and you might be surprised to see me ignoring AccordingtoGino so early too. Yard and jockey are in great form, but the horse hasn't been the most reliable over fences and might need the run after a three month break.
So, I'm down to four now, Commodore Barry, Orrisdale, Ramonex and Subcontinent for my final consideration.
Plus and minus points for all four remaining, but of that group, I think I like Subcontinent best. He has been running consistently well in his last few runs and won well last time out. there is the 7lb rise to contend with, but the ground will be less demanding here and 4/1 looks a tad generous.
It might not fit the narrative of the data, but I also liked Orrisdale almost as much as Subcontinent and at 10/3, he's probably just about the right price as my second choice.
Trifecta punters wanting me to pick between the remaining two will see that they are both fairly long in the market and might both be worth an E/W punt, but the 10/1 Commodore Barry holds slightly more appeal to me than the 12/1 Ramonex for the trifecta, although I did think their odds might be the other way around.
So, that's where I'm at for this, but don't be shocked if the Skeltons work their magic and AccordingtoGino romps home : that would sum up my form right now!