Posts

Racing Insights, 27th October 2021

Our free feature every Wednesday is the Trainer Statistics (TS) report. This is, in fact, four reports in one, containing 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 five years, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

In addition to a daily free feature, we always have a selection of free races too and for Wednesday, they are...

  • 2.40 Fakenham
  • 3.15 Fakenham
  • 3.30 Dundalk
  • 4.00 Dundalk

And here's how my Trainer Stats report looks for Wednesday...

...where the presence of Vision Clear basically says I should be covering the second of our free races, the 3.15 Fakenham. This is a 7-runner (was 8), Class 4, 3yo+, 2m3yds (plus 158yds, so effectively 2m0.75f) Handicap Hurdle on good ground and here's the card...

Vocal Duke looks the pick on form, being the only LTO winner and indeed the only one with a recent win, but he's up a class here, whilst featured horse Vision Clear is up two classes, but the pair of them have won at similar trips to this, as has Glimpse of Gold who has done it here at Fakenham. Grouseman, Ottavio and Vision Clear are positives on the trainer form, whilst Glimpse of Gold, Grouseman, Vocal Duke and Vision Clear are the ones with jockeys to watch. Our Geegeez Sr figures suggest a tight contest with Ottavio, Dionysis and Glimpse of Gold leading the way.

As for past performances in similar conditions, place form...

...would seem to tell us more than win form...

...and the experienced Glimpse of Gold looks the one to beat on those numbers with Vocal Duke/Ottavio the best of the rest.

The pace stats for similar contests would suggest that the further forward you race, the more chance you have of winning...

...and with this bunch running as follows of late...

...you'd have to favour the first three on the list, Dionysis, Glimpse of Gold and Ottavio.

Summary

Vocal Duke is the form horse and is unexposed over hurdles, but only won a Class 5 by a neck last time out and is now up in class and up 4lbs and whilst that might not stop him, I canb't be backing him at 15/8. There's a definite danger that this decision might bite me on the backside, but that's racing for you.

So, I'm really looking at Glimpse of Gold,  Ottavio and possibly Dionysis as the ones I might want to back here. Sadly the non-runner means just two places for conventional E/W betting, but the exchanges will still offer 3, I'd guess. So let's have a look at the three I've got left...

  • Dionysis is still a maiden after 8 cracks at hurdling, but ran well for much of his last run at Market Rasen, even if he was left to fend for himself for most of the race. He was soon clear, but idled/got lonely up front and was caught 2 out. He weakened on the run-in and slipped from 2nd to 4th, but the drop back in trip here shuld help him see the race out. Likely to have more company here too and could run a decent race at a big price.
  • Glimpse of Gold, at 10 yrs of age, is the seasoned campaigner here. He was only beaten by half a length at Worcester off a mark of 106 a month ago, before looking well set for another top 2 finish at Huntingdon off 110 a fortnight ago. Sadly he tried to run out and when his jockey attempted to correct him, he slipped/jinked and unseated the rider. He has already won over course and distance this year and could be a big player today.
  • Ottavio stayed 1m4f on the Flat in France, winning at that trip on soft ground and has turned in three successive solid runs over hurdles here in the UK. He went down by less than six lengths LTO on handicap debut and has been eased a couple of pounds to make this a bit easier, definite place chances I'd have thought.

Of those three, I have to say that I like the old-timer Glimpse of Gold best and at 9/2, he's worth a couple of quid of my money. Ottavio should run a good race, but offers little value in my eyes at 7/2, but Dionysis looks massive at 16/1. An unlikely winner, granted, but at those odds, he's surely worth a couple of shillings as an E/W poke or a place only exchange bet?

As for the other horse, Nadein, from my Trainer Stats report ... I think he's more chance of finishing last than first in the 7.15 Kempton. I'd not be anting to back him anyway. It's a very competitive race, but I think the market has it right and I expect a battle between the 9/4 fav Candleford and the 7/2 Bandinelli for this one.

Racing Insights, 20th October 2021

Not only is the Trainer Stats (TS) report our free feature every Wednesday, it is also actually 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 five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

In addition to this multi-faceted report, we also have our usual daily selection of 'free' races, which will be...

  • 2.20 Navan
  • 3.40 Fontwell
  • 3.58 Worcester
  • 5.15 Navan
  • 6.30 Kempton

My settings for the TS report are fairly stringent...

...so that I'm not wading through reams of possible qualifiers each day. And those settings have generated just one to look at on 5yr course handicap form...

...and just one other on course 1yr handicap form...

...so these two horses will be the focus of today's piece, starting with the 2.13 Worcester, a 12-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ Novices Handicap Chase over 2m7f on good ground, where Amy Murphy sends Hawthorn Cottage to do battle.

Amy is of course 7 from 14 (50% SR) in handicaps here at Worcester, all ridden by today's jockey Jack Quinlan and with today's contest in mind, those 14 runners are...

  • 5/12 (41.7%) on good ground
  • 2/6 (33.3%) at Class 4
  • 2/4 (50%) over fences
  • 1/1 (100%) in Class 4 chases
  • 0/1 in Novice handicaps, but that was over hurdles.

Hawthorn Cottage won back to back Class 4 hurdles at the start of 2020 before finding a raised mark of over 120 a bit beyond him, although he ran enough to finish 2nd of 11 in a Class 2 contest on his last hurdle start, back in March. He was then last of three on chasing debut but landed a 3m novice handicap at Warwick on his next/last outing in late May. I'd expect him to go well if 21 weeks off track hasn't made him rusty, but I'm sure that Team Murphy will have worked him well and they have done well with runners returning from a break as you can see below the racecard entry...

Jack Quinlan's 7/23 for Amy compare to his overall 9/46 speaks volumes for me too. Other than that last of three on chasing debut, this horses tends to want to get on with things. He was in rear on that first crack at fences because he made a right mess of the first fence which effectively ruined his race, but normally he gets on with things and that's the preferred tactic here at Worcester...

That first run aside (2LR) his average pace score is 3.66 over the three races, which suggests he'll be looking to lead here too and his Instant Expert profile (based on both hurdles & chasing, obviously) lends more weight to his credentials...

...meaning he could well be a player here. More on him later after we've looked at our second race, which is the...

...3.50 Newmarket (Rowley), a 10-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ Fillies Flat Handicap over 1m Good To Firm ground, where Ed Walker's 3yr old Random Harvest will make just her second start. Ed Walker's 5/14 record here in handicaps over the last twelve months includes a runner from 21st October 2020, so he's 5 from 13 (38.5%) this season, including...

  • 3/10 (30%) on good to firm
  • 5/9 (55.5%) were placed LTO
  • 4/8 (50%) with 3 yr olds
  • 3/5 (60%) on the Rowley course here
  • 2/4 (50%) over a mile
  • 1/4 (25%) at Class 2
  • 1/3 (33.3%) with females
  • and 1/1 in female only races

Random Harvest won a Class 4 Novice contest over a mile on soft ground for her 2yo debut at Yarmouth a year ago, racing prominently and running on to win by 1.5 lengths under today's jockey William Buick. She was then off the track for 337 days before emerging at Kempton in a Class 5 novice event over 1m on std-slow polytrack, where she acquitted herself well enough after the break to finish third of twelve, a little over 3 lengths away from the winner.

That was just four weeks ago and both the winner and fourth placed horse have won since, whilst those placed second, fifth and sixth have all ran and made the frame, suggesting that it might have been a reasonable race for a Class 5 novice fillies stakes! That said, she is up three classes for her handicap debut here. Mind you, Ed's handicap debutants are 16 from 79 (20.3%) on the Flat over the last four seasons, including of note today...

  • 13/60 (21.7%) with 3 yr olds
  • 10/40 (25%) on good to firm
  • 5/29 (17.2%) after a top 3 finish LTO
  • 6/23 (26.1%) at 21-30 days since their last run
  • 4/21 (19.1%) over 1m/1m0.5f

Her racecard entry is as follows, denoting much of what I've written...

...but also showing that William Buick is riding well, likes coming to Newmarket and has a good record for this yard.

Instant Expert won't tell us too much about a horse with just two outings under her belt, but we should look anyway...

So, if nothing else, we should assume she'll get the trip easily enough and she doesn't mind company, so they're positives for us. She's drawn in 7 of 10 so mid to high and whilst there's not a massive draw bias here...

...I think I'd rather be on the higher side too. She has been up with the pace in her two starts so far, which should be useful here...

...and those charts align to produce the following pace/draw heat map...

...which would suggest she'd have a chance here if the step up in class isn't too much to handle.

Summary

Both of these stand a decent enough chance of at least making the frame in things went their way, I'd have thought.

Hawthorn Cottage is clearly the most experienced of the pair, yet is still unexposed over fences. A more than competent hurdler who seemed to have put the jumping errors from his chase debut aside when winning last time out, should definitely be in the mix this time too. He's currently 9/1 in several places and at those odds, I'd be happy to back him E/W. I'm not over convinced he's winning here, but should be close and the ones he'd need to beat are the likes of Wigglesworth (7/1) and Coral (7/2)

As for Random Harvest, there are too many unknown variables for me to put money down on her. An opening mark of 81 isn't particularly lenient, nor is a price of 13/2. She could very well make the frame, but I'd want a little more juice from the odds. Instead, I'd probably lean towards the 10/1 Don't Tell Claire (I say this quite often!) and/or the 9/1 Madame Tantzy.

Racing Insights, 6th October 2021

The Trainer Statistics (TS) report 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 five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

And we offer this report free to everyone every Wednesday to supplement the daily free races, which for this Wednesday are...

  • 1.38 Sedgefield
  • 1.45 Navan
  • 3.05 Nottingham
  • 4.40 Navan
  • 5.50 Nottingham

My own settings for course 5 year handicaps on the TS report threw this at me when I just looked...

...so I think I'll assess the chances of those two runners in the 2.48 Sedgefield, an 11-runner, 4yo+, soft ground, Class 5, Handicap Chase over a testing 3m3f...

Both horses raced against each other 19 days ago with Joey Steel winning a 4-runner, Class 4, handicap chase over 3m2f at Newton Abbot with his stablemate back in third place, some 20.5 lengths adrift. Both obviously drop in class here, Joey Steel is far better form, although Cage of Fear has been running well enough without much reward. After jockey allowances, Joey Steel still gets a 6lb pull from the top weight and in Nick Scholfield, has a jockey in good form.

Trainer Christian Williams' first runner here at Sedgefield was on 12th Jan 2018 and he's sent ten horses to run in handicaps here so far, achieving 5 wins and two runner-up finishes so far. With today's race in mind, those runners are...

  • 1/1 at Class 5
  • 4/7 over fences with two more placed
  • 2/8 with 1 placed from 8 yr olds (JS)
  • 0/1 from 7 yr olds (CoF)
  • 1/2 dropping down a class
  • 1/3 with one placed for jockey Jack Tudor (CoF)
  • 1/2 with the other placed for Nick Scholfield (JS)
  • 3/4 with the other placed from LTO winners (JS)
  • 1/1 over course and distance, albeit over hurdles
  • 1/1 on soft ground (C4, 3m2½f chase)

Cage of Fear was a winner just over a year ago in a Class 4 handicap chase over 3m½f at Perth whilst still with Fergal O'Brien. Truth be told, he hasn't really set the wrold alight in three runs for Christian Williams, but the drop in class, a career-low mark and a race at the yard's favourite track might just be the final spark he needs. He's certainly good enough to make the frame here and the ground/trip should be fine for him.

Joey Steel, on the other hand is going the other way and after finishing 2121 in his four outings this summer, he's now at a career high mark of 93. The yard have been patient with him and it took him a while to get the hang of things, but the boking of today's jockey Nick Scholfield for those last four races seems to have helped massively and I think they'll be the ones to beat here down in class.

Relevant past form...

Both have won on similar ground conditions and Joey Steel has won over a similar trip, but don't read too much into that 1 from 7 record at this grade, as he's also 1 from 3 at Class 4. He's now 4lbs higher than his LTO win, whilst Cage is some 13lbs lower than last year's success and could be dangerous off that mark, especially with Tack Tudor taking another 3lbs off.

And from a place perspective...

...suggesting that both of them are well suited to at least making the frame here.

Cage of Fear normally races prominently, whilst Joey Steel tends to come from off the pace, although he was much more advanced last time out. That was possibly because it was only a four-horse race and didn't want the leader to have an easy passage...

...but our pace analyser suggests that he might well want to repeat those tactics again here...

...as these would seem to suit Cage of Fear far better than Joey Steel.

Summary

For me, based on all the above and looking at the others in the race, Joey Steel isn't only the better of the two Christian Williams runners, he's also the one to beat here full stop. As for Cage of Fear, I really think he could make the frame and might even get a 1-2 for the yard. He'll not have it all his own way, of course and the likes of Grey Atlantic Way and Crank Em Up could very well outrun their odds and get involved.

I wrote the above by 3.30pm before the markets had formed, when I returned to my desk at 5.45, Joey Steel was the 2/1 fav, which is a bit skinny in my opinion. Cage of Fear, however, was available at 10's and is worth a small E/W bet, too.