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Racing Insights, 30th June 2021

Nothing to report from Tuesday, as racing at Hamilton was abandoned following an incident at the track involving two Racetech camera operators, who both had to be taken to hospital.

On behalf of all of us here at Geegeez, I'd like to wish them both a speedy and full recovery going forwards, as we are reminded once again that fulfilling a fixture isn't always a priority.

Last piece for the month now and Wednesday's free feature is the Trainer Stats report, whilst our free 'races of the day' are set to be...

  • 2.45 Thirsk
  • 3.05 Worcester
  • 5.45 Tipperary
  • 6.15 Tipperary
  • 7.35 Kempton
  • 7.55 Bath

And I think we'll take a look at my qualifiers from the 5yr course handicap settings on the Trainer Stats report for today's piece...

As you can see, I have fairly tight criteria, in order to reduce the number of horses I need to look at and Wednesday is no exception with just two trainers fitting the bill and having just the one runner each, so let's assess their chances in order, starting with...

Centurion Song in the 6.25 Bath, a a 9-runner, Class 4, 3yo+ Flat Handicap over 5½f on Good ground for horses yet to win in 2021, where the top prize is £4,347...

The above stats on the racecard refer to Brian Meehan's overall record here at Bath, but I want to focus on his handicap record as on the Trainer Stats report, but I want to extend back to 2014 to get a better sample size and in that time the Meehan handicappers are 14 from 41 here at a strike rate of 34.2% at an A/E of some 1.85. In reference to today's conditions, those runners are...

  • 10/32 (31.25%) from males
  • 5/13 (38.5%) over trips shorter than 6f
  • 4/14 (28.6%) at Class 4
  • 4/11 (36.4%) with 4 yr olds
  • 2/6 (33.3%) over this 5½f  track and trip
  • and 2/2 (100%) with today's jockey, Georgean Buckell, in the saddle.

This race is for horses without a win in 2020, but CS did win over 5f at Southwell on 29th December 2020 and was then a runner-up beaten by a nose on the nod over the same track and trip but off a 4lb higher mark. He then took nearly five months off and returned to action at Windsor where he unseated his rider after being badly hampered and in his most recent run, he missed the break over 5f at Newmarket and had lots to do. He finished strongly, but was a never nearer 4th of 6, 3.75 lengths off the pace and goes off the same mark here.

To date, he has looked better on the A/W than on turf and his best runs have come at Class 5 on a straight track, so I wouldn't say that conditions suit him here and I think this career-high mark of 75 is beyond him right now.

He's drawn in stall 4 of 9, which looks like the worst performing stall here...

And he's also a hold up horse,

...which is possibly the worst thing you can do on decent ground in a Bath sprint...

...so, when we combine pace and draw on our heatmap, you 'll not be surprised to see where his silks lie on our chart...

 

Short of being drawn a little higher, there's not really a worse pace/draw make-up he could have had and when you think that conditions aren't favourable at all...

...then you'd be forgiven for thinking that he's likely to struggle.

*

Or second qualifier is Heptathlete, who runs in the 8.35 Kempton, a 12-runner, 4yo+, Class 5, A/W Handicap over 6f on Polytrack worth £2,862...

As you can see above and on the Trainer Stats report, some good numbers for trainer Kevin Foy, whose first ever runner graced the track less than 32 weeks ago back in November 2020. Since then he has landed 15 winners from 80 (18.75% SR, A/E 1.16) in what has been a great start to his training career. Of those 80 runners, handicappers are 13 from 62 (21% SR) and Kempton runners are 4 from 14 (28.6%), which is how we ended up with our 4 from 12 (33.3%) record for Kevin's Kempton 'cappers.

Twelve runners isn't a huge sample size, of course but they are 15% of Kevin's total output to date and they do include...

  • 2 from 7 (28.6%) from female runners
  • 1 from 4 (25%) at Class 5
  • and 1 from 2 (50%) with 6 yr olds

Today's jockey Rhys Clutterbuck hasn't ridden here for Kevin before and none of the yard's 12 runners here have raced over today's 6f trip. Heptathlete, for the record, is a 6yr old grey mare who has won four times and finished third twice in her eight-race career so far. She's 4 from 6 for Kevin Foy, 1 from 1 under Rhys Clutterbuck. Her best work has been over 7f, but she has won at this level before and she's four from five in cheekpieces. She was beaten on her only previous visit to Kempton, but has won on Polytrack at Lingfield.

She won comfortably at Wolverhampton over 7f last time out, with the race pretty much wrapped up after 5f off a mark of 70. She's up 2lbs today, but Rhys' 5lb claim more than covers that, so if getting the drop back in trip, she's weighted to win again.

She's drawn in stall 7 of 12 here, which is probably at least a couple of stalls higher than ideal from a win perspective, although stall 6 has made the frame often enough.

She may need to get out a bit quicker and edge across to create an artificial draw for herself here and if she can do that and lead, then the pace stats suggest that getting out sharpish is the best policy from both a win and place perspective...

Heptathlete led last time out and generally races prominently...

...and despite that "1" score two starts ago, her 11.2% pace contribution to the race is second highest behind Sendacard, so she's likely to kick on. In fact the report from her run two starts ago says..."raced wide soon tracked leaders...", so that's probably also a 3, which with her other runs would put here here on the pace/draw heatmap...

...which is probably as good as she could hope for given the draw.

Summary

Short and sweet this afternoon...Centurion Song isn't for me, based on form, conditions, pace, draw etc etc. he's mid-division at best and I'm steering clear. Razor Glass & Shalaa Asker look far more likely, but at 4.25pm, I had no prices to quote.

As for Heptathlete, yes, I like her. The drop in trip isn't ideal and she won't have it all her own way on the front end with the likes of Sendacard and World of Windhover also liking to push on, but at odds of 6/1, she's worth a pound or two off me. I looked for a longer priced horse here as an E/W alternative and liked Lethal Angel, but 8/1 is borderline E/W territory for me, but that one could go well and maybe other firm might be a little more generous, as I only had Hills' prices to go off.