Return Ticket beat last night's favourite Gaelik Coast by 6.5 lengths at Musselburgh today, so well done to all of you who joined me on it at 7/2 and we also saw a nice run from Swaffham Bulbeck back in third, vindicating my thoughts that he was the best of the outsiders.
And now to Tuesday, where our free feature is the Shortlist report and our races of the day are...
- 1.25 Lingfield
- 1.37 Southwell
- 3.00 Punchestown
- 3.25 Lingfield
- 4.30 Wolverhampton
None of those five really appeal to me, so let's have a look at The Shortlist and see if there's anything for us there. Otherwise, this'll be the briefest piece I've written in all my years here at Geegeez!
I'm now drawn to looking at that 6.00 Wolverhampton race, as we've two possibles there in that 11-runner, Class 2, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on the Tapeta worth £11,828 to the winner. I'm not going to do a full race preview on this one, I'm going to just focus on the prospects of both Top Breeze & Leodis Dream, as they feature on the shortlist.
So we start with the card itself...
...where our runners are 8th and 11th of 11 on the Geegeez Speed ratings and Top Breeze looks the better of the two on form, although of the others, Venturous looks the one to beat. Both are runners have won over course and distance, whilst Leodis Dream's jockey is on good nick and has a good record at this venue (30 C5) The 1 under Leodis Dream's name also signifies one of my saved angles which tells me that trainer David Loughnane has done well here in recent years in handicap contests.
Instant Expert provides us with an expanded numerical overview of the Shortlist report...
Both horses look well suited to the challenge ahead with Leodis Dream's record over this trip the standout figure for me, whilst the swathes of red elsewhere put our runners in a very favourable light.
I'd expect pace and draw to be key here, so we should spend some time dissecting both sets of stats before seeing how the runners might fit into the puzzle...
The blue line indicates a fairly linear reduction in success the higher drawn a horse is in similar contests to today, suggesting Top Breeze drawn in stall 1 should have a much better chance that Leodis Dream in box 10, now onto race positioning...
...which tells us that up front is where you want to be and the further back you race, the less likely you are to be winning and over their last four races, here's how this field has been positioned...
As you can see, Top Breeze does like to get out quickly, but he'll have some opposition from Ornate in stall 5 for the lead, whilst Leodis Dream's usual prominent running style would be a disaster. To give us a clearer picture, we can overlay past running styles with past draw data to produce the unique Geegeez pace/draw heatmap as follows...
Once again Top Breeze is shown in a very favourable light and at this moment, he's the one I'd want to be on in a straight pick between the two shortlisted horses. So let's now take a closer look at each to see if there's enough there for me to hang a bet on.
We may as well start with Top Breeze, who has been knocking on the door of late finishing 2233 in his last four outings, all over 5f and only beaten by a combined distance of three lengths across the four races. He was third over course and distance two starts ago and got the same result at Lingfield last time out.
Bot of those last two runs were off a mark of 91 and he's eased a pound here today down to 90, as he seeks to build upon an impressive All-Weather record of 3 wins and 2 places from eight starts, including 2 wins and a place from 5 over this 5f trip, a win and two places from three efforts at this Class 2 level and 1 win, place from two runs here at Wolverhampton, both over course and distance.
Leodis Dream on the other hand looks desperately out of form if you look at his 035946 results from his last six outings, but in each of his last two starts, he has been just three quarters of a length behind Top Breeze, but he now re-opposes for third time a pound worse off in the weights, making it unlikely that he'll overcome that 0.75l deficit.
He has won two of his nine starts on the A/W, including 2 from 6 over 5f, 1 from 5 at Class 2, 1 from 4 here at Wolverhampton and 1 from 3 over course and distance. He has ability, for sure, but I can't see him beating Top Breeze here and I'd expect him to be a big price.
Top Breeze is clearly far more likely to succeed here and the bookies odds of 5/1 vs 12/1 would seem to back that up, but how do I think they'll fare? To be honest with you, I can't see Leodis Dream beating more than a couple or three to the finish, whilst sadly I think Top Breeze will be an also ran. I don't think he'll be too far away, though and if things really fall his way, he has the ability to land this, but I've not even got him in my top three for this one.
I wasn't doing a full preview and technically, I'm calling this a no bet for me, but for those of you wanting my top three, they'd be Venturous, Ornate and Royal Birth. Venturous will be popular after winning his last two, but he's up in grade and up 4lbs for a one length win at Newcastle last week, so 5/2 looks skinny to me.
Ornate on the other hand is priced at 9/1 and would make a decent E/W punt in my opinion and if I decide to have an action bet later, that's probably how I'll play it.