Instant Expert is your simple at-a-glance overview of how all the runners in a given race have previously performed under similar conditions. It's unique to Geegeez and has rapidly become one of our Gold subscribers' favourite tools. But on Thursdays, you don't need a Gold sub to access this report, because it's totally free to ALL users for ALL races every Thursday to help simplify races for you including our free 'races of the day' which are...
- 2.30 Warwick
- 4.15 Warwick
- 5.35 Kilbeggan
- 6.25 Exeter
- 6.45 Chelmsford
- 7.55 Exeter
The first of that bunch of races looks the most competitive and most suitable one for analysis, so today's piece will centre on the 2.30 Warwick, an 8-runner, Class 4 Handciap chase for 5yo+ runners over two miles on Good (firmer in places) ground for a pot worth £3,594 and here's how they line up...
Darling du Large is the only mare in the race and has to carry 12 stone as top weight here, although I'm unsure how she arrived at a mark of 112 over fences, other than by virtue of being eased 3lbs for a 36.5 length defeat on chasing debut in December. She was subsequently beaten by 13.5 lengths in a bumper and fell on her next/last start off today's mark. A winner of just 1 hurdles race from 12 career starts, weak finishing has almost become her trademark and she's going to have to up her game carrying such a big weight. Handicap chasers carrying 12-0 or more here at Warwick are just 4 from 38.
Atlantic Storm had a really good run of form to start last season (3222612) at both Class 4 and also Class 3. He struggled on soft ground in a couple of winter runs, but was third last time out on quicker ground and is now 1lb lower than when winning at Hereford in October at a higher grade.
Larch Hill was a course and distance winner here over hurdles back in January 2019 and was 1st and then 3rd in his first two efforts over fences, both at Market Rasen in April 2019. He fell at Carlisle on his return from an 18-month absence last October and then ran in a couple of selling hurdles to get him going again. He then returned to chasing three weeks ago and was a runner-up at Southwell, beaten by just 1.25 lengths despite having had another 20 weeks off the track. The winner of that race was raised 5lbs for the win and has since reappeared to be beaten by just a neck in this grade.
Elisezmoi won over hurdles in France, but was 10th of 12 (beat by 66L) on his UK debut and unseated 2 out on his second attempt. he then switched to chasing and was a 15 length runner-up at Lingfield before being pulled up late on twice. A change of tactics last time out saw him back leading, but ran out of steam late on in a 7.5 length defeat on quick ground. He might fare better here dropping back 2f and 2lbs.
Deise Vu finished 211 over trips of 1m7.5f to 2m1f in back to back contests from mid-October 2018 to early March 2019, but has failed to get anywhere near that form since. He was beaten by 66 lengths two starts ago in August 2019 and then by 63 lengths last time out some 11 months later. He's now 13 yrs old and is having another crack after nine more months away and personally, I'd not bother.
Gouet des Bruyeres is a French-born 5 yr old who seems to be improving with each run over fences and has finished 5312 this year so far. He was a winner by nine lengths at Wetherby at the start of the month and then was beaten by less than 2 lengths just 3 days later when asked to travel 2f further so soon after his win off a mark 7lbs higher, so that was a really good effort. That said, he's up another 3lbs here and that might make things a bit tougher.
The Granson has won just 2 of 27 starts to date and since winning a Novices Chase by a head at Tramore in mid-August 2019 he has struggled in seven runs in which he has been pulled up twice and has been beaten by an average of around 40 lengths per race in the other five. He's now 15lbs lower than that win, but I wouldn't be rushing to back him.
No Ceiling is 4 from 25 over hurdles/fences which is a reasonable return, but hasn't run well since his last win in early December 2017. He has failed to complete three of his last four races, going down by 53 lengths in the other. He's now 11 yrs old and it's fair to say his best days were a long time ago and I'd swerve him here stepping up in class.
From the above, I'm actually going to eliminate three runners from my enquiries immediately as I really don't like what I've seen about Deise Vu, No Ceiling or The Granson. I'll remove them from the Instant Expert graphic to make the image more compact, you can also do this for other races by simply clicking the X next to their name. So here's my compact view...
The one I'm initially drawn to here is Atlantic Storm, who has really good numbers (particularly for places) from a fairly large sample size and has won off 1lb higher than today. Gouet des Bruyeres is the standout for wins, but we need to note that it's a small sample size and he's now 10lbs higher than his last win. That, of course, doesn't rule him out and he probably still looks a better bet than Darling du Large or Elisezmoi at this point.
As for race pace, we're advised that a prominent runner tucking in behind the leader(s) is the best position to be in, but leaders do still win more than their fair share of similar contests. Whether the numbers do say is the mid-division or further back is a tough place to win from.
Above is how past performances suggest these eight runners will break out and there's every possibility that Gouet des Bruyeres will try and win it from the front, whilst of my favoured five, Darling Du Large and Atlantic Storm would be the most disadvantaged.
From my original five, the first of the two I've going to omit now is Darling du Large, due to weight, Instant Expert, pace and form, then the final cut is with Elisezmoi. He's not too badly positioned on the pace tab, but his recent form hasn't been great either, so it was a fairly easy decision.
This leaves me with (alphabetically) Atlantic Storm, Gouet des Bruyeres and Larch Hill. Of those three, Larch Hill would be the least likely for me as a winner and I'm got him a little way behind the other two on my ratings. That said he's closer to those two than he is from Elisezmoi, so I'm expecting him to make the frame.
As for a winner, well, I don't really have very much between Atlantic Storm and Gouet des Bruyeres and there are pros and cons about both of them, but I think that age and the extra weight carried by the former means Gouet des Bruyeres just shades it for me here, but I do mean just.
The market would seem to agree with my choice of winner as GdB is currently 11/4 and that's probably fair, but Atlantic Storm does look big at 15/2 and could well be worth backing for a place. Larch Hill, however, looks short at 3/1 (as does Darling du Large) an is probably best left alone.