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Racing Insights, 17th February 2021

Midweek is upon us already and Wednesday aka Hump Day features the Trainer Statistics report as our free-to-all item, whilst our free racecards are for the following races...

  • 2.40 Wetherby
  • 2.55 Dundalk
  • 3.05 Hereford
  • 4.20 Wolverhampton
  • 4.45 Kempton

And whilst the Trainer Statistics report is an excellent tool, the first of our free races is the second most valuable race all day and it's an open looking Class 2 contest, so today's piece will revolve around the 2.40 Wetherby...

Nine runners are set to go on soft (heavy in places) ground and I'd expect eight of them to fit within a fairly small odds range of maybe 3/1 to 10/1 with Secrete Stream likely to be twice as big again.

Midnight Shadow concedes weight (and plenty of it to some rivals) all round, but he is the only class dropper here. Miah Grace, Nightboattoclyro and West To The Bridge all step up a grade, whilst En Meme Temps ran at Class 4 last time out.

All nine have had a run in the last 10 weeks or shorter and all have had around four weeks or more rest since their last outing so none are thrown back in, but none should have got rusty and we've plenty of positive stats for trainers and jockeys here, especially with the likes of West To The Bridge, Secrete Stream, No Comment and Good Boy Bobby, whilst our Geegeez Ratings are headed by Miah Grace (144) just ahead of Albert's Back, En Meme Temps and Nightboattoclyro all on 142 :  suggesting a tight encounter, perhaps.

Individually, here's how I briefly see the nine runners...

Albert's Back is a more than useful hurdler, winning four of five (runner-up after a 423-day break in the other) including three from three here at Wetherby. He's 3 from on soft over hurdles and won his only heavy ground contest and has won at 2m3f, I'd expect him to be a major contender here seeking a hat-trick despite another 8lb rise.

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En Meme Temps has had a wind op in the past to help him out, but looks out of his depth here. Just one (class 4) win from 13 attempts to date, his form at this level reads 360. He was, admittedly, only 2.5 lengths off the pace when a runner-up last time out, but he's up 4lbs, 3 furlongs and two classes here, so it's very hard to make a case for him in this one.

Good Boy Bobby's hurdle form reads 1311, but he hasn't seen a hurdle for over 22 months since winning by seven lengths at Ffos Las. Since then, he has two wins and four places from eight efforts over fences, including a 4th of 17 in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham two months ago. Overall he has 6 wins and 5 places from 13 on soft/heavy ground, he's 2 from 2 here and stays a couple of furlongs beyond today's trip. If re-adjusting to the smaller obstacles should be a major player.

Miah Grace is, at 6 yrs old, the youngest runner here and the only mare too. She's a useful type who after making the frame on both bumper runs, has gone on to win 3 times and make the frame a further 4 times in her nine efforts over hurdles. She's never won here in five attempts at Wetherby but has made the frame four times, she has 3 wins and 4 places from 8 on soft/heavy and stays 2m5f. She's not an obvious winner here, but must make a shortlist of possibles.

Midnight Shadow is probably the class horse of the race and a winner of 4 of his dozen starts over hurdles. That's not as prolific as some of his rivals here, but most of his running has been done in Class 1 company including two wins and a place from four Grade 2 attempts. He acts well on soft and heavy ground. He didn't seem at this best last time out, finishing weakly and there's a worry that he's carrying too much weight here, but he is dropping down from Grade 3 today. He'll be in with a shout, but others appeal more to me.

Nightboattoclyro comes here on a hat-trick, but step up a class and is 5lbs higher than last time out (8lbs inc jockey claim). He's going to need a career-best effort here, but he remains relatively unexposed. His recent form will make him popular in the market, but I just fear that a lack of experience at this level and the likelihood of not having things all his own way might just foil him here. I'd not be amazed to see him in the frame, but I'm not sure he wins this.

No Comment isn't getting any younger at 10 yrs old but was only beaten by a short head last time out, having been caught on the line over a furlong further than this contest. The drop back in trip is sure to help, but he's up 3lbs for not winning and isn't known for stringing back to back decent efforts together. In an easier race, I'd give him a chance but there are too many stronger-looking runners here.

Secrete Stream might well be a former course and distance winner who only lives down the road from here, but I'm not convinced he'll cover the diesel bill to get here. He's probably the weakest of the nine runners here and it's over a year now since he last ran well. he probably needed the run when beaten by 32 lengths last time out, but you have to wonder how much a 12 yr old can bounce back. As you'll see very shortly, his career form stands up well on Instant Expert, but I don't see him doing anything here, sadly.

West To The Bridge represents Team Skelton who are both in good form and have a good record at this venue. Sadly, this horse isn't one of the yard's superstars and although he has won four times over hurdles and gets soft ground, has disappointed in recent runs and was beaten by 27 lengths in a lower grade last time out. He's clearly capable over hurdles, but this looks too good for him.

This filed have won 39 races between them and have plenty of form in the mud, so a quick look at Instant Expert should highlight who'd be best suited to the task ahead...

...which suggests that No Comment and En Meme Temps are likely to be up against it in most areas. West To The Bridge doesn't score well on the going and that's a key element here, so I'm going to eliminate those three along with Secrete Stream from my calculations, giving me just five to consider as I assess the pace angle.

That pace angle suggests that you want to be up with the pace to succeed in this type of contest...

...which doesn't bode well for Nightboattoclyro and I'm now discarding him at this point.

We've no obvious front-runner from our highlighted quintet, but the disregarded En Meme Temps is quit likely to take up the pace and lead them round for a while, so hopefully it won't descend into a falsely-run tactical affair and my preferred quartet can run their normal race.

Summary

Of my four to watch, Albert's Back is the logical pick/starting point and I've got him right at the top of my workings alongside Good Boy Bobby. Betway have Albert's Back at 4/1, whilst Good Boy Bobby is currently as long as 9/1 with Hills. The latter seems long at that price and I wouldn't dissuade you from backing either, especially if you went E/W on Good Boy Bobby. I really have very little separating the two and the latter looks great value.

As for the minor honours, Miah Grace shades it for me over Midnight Shadow, who despite his class and breeding just isn't striking the right notes with me. A mix of poor finishing and top weight just put me off him here. Miah Grace has ability and if she goes with the expected leader, could well put too much distance between herself and the field for her to not get caught. She's very interesting at 7/1, albeit a little short for an E/W punt.

Whatever happens here, I think this will be a cracking race.

Racing Insights, 26th December 2020

Matt here again, on Christmas Day duty, and wishing you all the very best of the day/season.

It's a bumper Boxing Day menu though, understandably, not quite as bulging as usual. No problem for us, of course, as there is more than enough to go at.

Today's free races of the day are ALL OF THEM!

Today's free feature of the day is ALL OF THEM!

Register here if you've not already to access all we have from now until New Year's Day.

So much to go at is not always a positive, so a little bit of considered whittling is required. Using the card filters and selecting handicaps only, 8-10 runners helps considerably: 41 races down to five!

There is no real standout race from those, but the one with the most exposed form and, therefore, the least guesswork - in theory at least - is probably the 1.28pm from Wetherby, a 2m3f handicap chase on soft ground. Due to rail movements it is actually a 2m4f race, an extra 168 yards added to the advertised distance.

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My first port of call is to see if there's any sort of pace bias and, in this case, the pace blobs tell us that this track/trip/going/field size combination seems pretty fair, with the exception of held up runners who have struggled.

That tempers enthusiasm in Demi Sang based on recent run style history but leaves the rest of the field as credibles.

Instant Expert is next, from which it is clear that the favourite Johnbb is well suited.

Indeed, clicking on the distance block for him shows he was a course and distance (and class and going) winner last time out. As a six-year-old against older, generally more exposed, horses he has more scope to step forward again; and as a prominent to midfield runner he should have no issues with being too far back.

Another last day winner, Mercian Prince, has won on soft but his overall profile (1 from 8, just one further place) is uncompelling, and his three wins in recent years have all been on good ground. He has back class and looks otherwise well suited to conditions but that going concern is not especially factored into odds of 4/1 to my eye.

Time To Get Up is hard to weigh up. He's run well in defeat a few times and this is his second start in a handicap. We can see from the bottom row that Jonjo O'Neill, his trainer, does very well with those running under such a circumstance. He is also in excellent recent form.

The horse himself was second to Monkfish, subsequent Cheltenham Festival Grade 1 winner, beaten 11 lengths. That one had a hurdles mark of 152 when winning the Albert Bartlett meaning 133 is potentially very well in for this fellow. He's easily the most interesting horse in the race.

Ravenhill Road has fallen the last twice, which must surely have dented his confidence. Moreover, a high winning rating of 127 against a today rating of 133 about this relatively exposed nine-year-old means he's not for me.

While Twotwothree has had less goes than many of these, and tries a different combination of trip and going, he doesn't excite me as a win proposition for all that it wouldn't shock if he won.

Demi Sang is capable on his day, but his day is generally on quicker turf and he'll  likely be ridden quietly at the back: as we've seen above, that's not normally the way to prevail here.

Of the trio of outsiders, Mr McGo makes most appeal: he has a good seven-pound conditional making him rating/weight competitive and, except for his most recent race - a clunk - had been in the mix in his previous seven contests.

Verdict

Probably not as competitive as it first appears. Johnbb looks a legit contender and, if it is either 'not today' or 'I don't like getting my head in front' for Time To Get Up, he has a very strong chance of winning again. But that Monkfish formline is outstanding in the context of this race; and the O'Neill runner is entitled to step forward for his second spin after almost a year off.

It's one of those where I'd kind of like to see what happens with the market: if Time To Get Up was strong around 11am he's probably the bet at 5/2 or better. If he drifted towards 4/1, maybe there's something missing.

At the prices, I'd want to be against Mercian Prince, who looks better suited to quicker turf in recent years, though he may get the run of things on the front. From an each way perspective, Twotwothree and Mr McGo are moderately compelling, but this race centres around the Jonjo runner for me.

- Matt

Racing Insights, 14th October 2020

Wednesday's free feature of the day is the Trainer Statistics report, one of my favourites as you'd probably guess, so let's head straight there and it's the Trainer + Course 5 year form that interests me today and I've highlighted Jedd O'Keeffe purely because he has more than one runner tomorrow, but doesn't have too many to look at in one article...

As you can see he's comfortably above all my parameters for number of qualifiers, win & place percentage, A/E and IV, plus as an added bonus he's profitable at Industry SP at a rate of more than 50p in the pound. Tomorrow he runs two Class 3 hurdlers over 2 and 3 miles respectively on Good to Soft ground (with more rain due), both to be ridden by regular jockey Joe Colliver.

Both have been off the track for around seven months, but both were in great form when lockdown arrived and will be seeking to pick up where they left off, but you'll see that for yourself shortly on the racecards.

I want to start by looking at Jedd's 8 from 32 record here at Wetherby, because it's very important to understand exactly what a stat represents and not everyone might be aware that Jedd is a dual purpose (ie Flat & NH) trainer and that Wetherby is a dual purpose track, so for the purpose of today's analysis, I want to disregard hie Flat and Bumper (NH Flat) runners at this track, leaving us with the following over the past 41 months...

Even better figures that the starting point with the ROI more than doubling and with respect to today's races, those 14 Wetherby jumpers are (and forgive me if I go a bit statty here)...

  • 5 from 13 (38.5%) under Joe Colliver
  • 5 from 12 (41.7%) from male runners (not ideal for Miah Grace admittedly)
  • 4 from 12 (33.3%) with the word soft in the going description
  • 3 from 12 (25%) over hurdles
  • 2 from 8 (25%) over a 2m trip & 1 from 2 (50%) over 3 miles
  • and 1 from 2 (50%) at Class 3
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Not huge sample sizes to hang your hat on, but the win % figures are promising and I now want to turn away from the query tool to look at the racecards, speed ratings, instant expert and the report suite for each race, starting with Mr Scrumpy as follows...

As you can see, Mr Scrumpy has two wins and a runner-up finish over the last year, he was a winner last time out at Newcastle in a Class 2 contest on Soft ground, having kicked off that sequence/season with a win here at Wetherby in early November in a 15-runner soft ground Class 3 affair. He'd been off the track for 201 days that time around, yet stayed on to win by four lengths, so a 214 day layoff doesn't concern me too much.

The reports back up the trainer statistic details and also show how well Jedd's horses get on with Joe Colliver on their backs generally and not just here at Wetherby.

The speed ratings for the race are as follows...

...and they too offer encouragement for those seeking to place a bet at a reasonable price. next up is the Instant Expert tab of the racecard and that doesn't really tell us very much...

...other than the first note of caution. Mr Scrumpy runs off 129 today, a career high and some 5lbs higher than his last run/win, so a best-ever performance is needed. That said, this is technically an easier race to win that either of last season's two successes and if in the right frame of mind first time up, 5lb might not be able to anchor him. After all, it's only a bag of spuds 😉

And now to the 5yr old mare, Miah Grace (reminds me a little of my 15 yr old daughter, Mia who herself is a bit of a mare sometimes but without the grace)...

...who like stablemate Mr Scrumpy was in fine form pre-lockdown, winning three times and placing twice from five efforts over hurdles under Joe Colliver. The runner-up finish was her only previous crack at the Wetherby hurdles, when beaten by just a length and a half over course and distance on soft ground. In fairness, that was a Class 2 contest and this should (on paper if nothing else) be an easier task.

Like the earlier race, the speed ratings show her in a favourable light...

...whilst Instant Expert again doesn't tell the whole story, but does point the way...

All her hurdling has been done on soft or worse ground at +/- half a furlong of today's trip under today's jockey, so she'll certainly be used to the conditions faced here, but like Mr Scrumpy, she also needs a career-best effort after being bumped up 9lbs for her last run/win of the previous campaign, so that might explain why she's twice the price of her stablemate.

Again, she's another who goes well after a break, her opening run/win last season came after six months off the track, so once again I'm not too peturbed about the lack of a run.

Summary

The stats point to good runs from both O'Keeffe hurdlers at Wetherby and I like the look of both. The only potential fly in the ointment has to be the increase in weight, but both horses have performed well in a higher grade suggesting they might be better than they'd need to be here. Clearly with a smaller hike in weight, Mr Scrumpy would seem to have a better chance, but at double digit odds, the mare might be a nice E/W flutter too.

Stat of the Day, 2nd March 2020

Saturday's pick was...

6.30 Southwell : Charlie D @ 10/3 BOG WON at 9/4 (Made all, clear from 2f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on strongly and won unchallenged by 2.5 lengths)

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.40 Wetherby :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.15am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

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Who?

Casual Cavalier @ 4/1 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 4, Handicap Chase for 4yo+ over 2m3½f on heavy ground worth £4,809 to the winner...

Why?...

This 12 yr old gelding was a winner last time out when scoring at today's class and trip under today's jockey on soft ground at relatively nearby Catterick 31 days ago and despite going up in weight, he still runs off a winnable mark today.

He now has 6 wins and 6 further places from 23 efforts over fences and today's conditions look ideal for him as those 23 races have yielded...

  • 6 wins, 5 places from 17 at odds of Evens to 5/1
  • 5 wins, 6 places from 20 at Class 4
  • 5 wins, 6 places from 19 in cheekpieces
  • 5 wins, 4 places from 14 after less than 5 weeks rest
  • 5 wins, 4 places from 14 off a mark (OR) of 100-110
  • 5 wins, 3 places from 11 at trips of 2m½f to 2m4f
  • and 2 wins, 2 places from 6 on heavy ground

...and Casual Cavalier is 4 from 6 (66.6% SR) for 12.12pts (+202% ROI) when sent off at Evs to 5/1 wearing cheekpieces in a Class 4 chase over a trip of 2m½f to 2m4f off a mark of 100-110 after less than five weeks rest, including 2 from 2 for 4.81pts on heavy ground.

His trainer Tristan Davidson has had an excellent last couple of years and has been profitably follow blindly across all three (Flat, A/W & NH) disciplines, a feat rarely achieved, but we're obviously just going to look at his record in this code today, because...

...his NH runners are 22 from 72 (30.6% SR) for 52.33pts (+72.7% ROI) over those last two years and here are just 10 of the ways he got those winners under conditions faced today...

  1.  21/61 (34.4%) for 59.8pts (+98%) in races worth less than £8,000
  2.  20/62 (32.3%) for 49.9pts (+80.5%) from male runners
  3.  20/52 (38.5%) for 64.4pts (+123.8%) within 65 days of their last run
  4.  18/60 (30%) for 50.9pts (+84.9%) with Harry Reed in the saddle
  5.  18/41 (43.9%) for 30.8pts (+75.1%) at odds of 5/1 and shorter
  6.  16/54 (29.6%) for 31.7pts (+58.7%) in handicaps
  7.  12/32 (37.5%) for 51.1pts (+159.8%) over trips of 2m½f to 2m6f
  8.  12/32 (37.5%) for 32.6pts (+101.9%) at Class 4
  9.  6/11 (54.6%) for 25.6pts (+232.4%) during March to April
  10.  and 5/14 (35.7%) for 8pts (+57.1%) over fences...

...whilst males sent off at Evens to 5/1 under Harry Reed for less than £8k within 65 days of their last run are 12 from 19 (63.2% SR) for 34.4pts (+181.1% ROI), including...

  • 10 from 16 in handicaps
  • 8 from 12 at Class 4
  • 6 from 8 over 2m½f to 2m6f
  • 5 from 5 in March/April
  • and 3 from 7 over fences...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Casual Cavalier @ 4/1 BOG as was available from BetVictor, Hills & Unibet at 8.00am Monday, with plenty of 7/2 elsewhere but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 3.40 Wetherby

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 2nd March 2020

Saturday's pick was...

6.30 Southwell : Charlie D @ 10/3 BOG WON at 9/4 (Made all, clear from 2f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on strongly and won unchallenged by 2.5 lengths)

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.40 Wetherby :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.15am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Who?

Casual Cavalier @ 4/1 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 4, Handicap Chase for 4yo+ over 2m3½f on heavy ground worth £4,809 to the winner...

Why?...

This 12 yr old gelding was a winner last time out when scoring at today's class and trip under today's jockey on soft ground at relatively nearby Catterick 31 days ago and despite going up in weight, he still runs off a winnable mark today.

He now has 6 wins and 6 further places from 23 efforts over fences and today's conditions look ideal for him as those 23 races have yielded...

  • 6 wins, 5 places from 17 at odds of Evens to 5/1
  • 5 wins, 6 places from 20 at Class 4
  • 5 wins, 6 places from 19 in cheekpieces
  • 5 wins, 4 places from 14 after less than 5 weeks rest
  • 5 wins, 4 places from 14 off a mark (OR) of 100-110
  • 5 wins, 3 places from 11 at trips of 2m½f to 2m4f
  • and 2 wins, 2 places from 6 on heavy ground

...and Casual Cavalier is 4 from 6 (66.6% SR) for 12.12pts (+202% ROI) when sent off at Evs to 5/1 wearing cheekpieces in a Class 4 chase over a trip of 2m½f to 2m4f off a mark of 100-110 after less than five weeks rest, including 2 from 2 for 4.81pts on heavy ground.

His trainer Tristan Davidson has had an excellent last couple of years and has been profitably follow blindly across all three (Flat, A/W & NH) disciplines, a feat rarely achieved, but we're obviously just going to look at his record in this code today, because...

...his NH runners are 22 from 72 (30.6% SR) for 52.33pts (+72.7% ROI) over those last two years and here are just 10 of the ways he got those winners under conditions faced today...

  1.  21/61 (34.4%) for 59.8pts (+98%) in races worth less than £8,000
  2.  20/62 (32.3%) for 49.9pts (+80.5%) from male runners
  3.  20/52 (38.5%) for 64.4pts (+123.8%) within 65 days of their last run
  4.  18/60 (30%) for 50.9pts (+84.9%) with Harry Reed in the saddle
  5.  18/41 (43.9%) for 30.8pts (+75.1%) at odds of 5/1 and shorter
  6.  16/54 (29.6%) for 31.7pts (+58.7%) in handicaps
  7.  12/32 (37.5%) for 51.1pts (+159.8%) over trips of 2m½f to 2m6f
  8.  12/32 (37.5%) for 32.6pts (+101.9%) at Class 4
  9.  6/11 (54.6%) for 25.6pts (+232.4%) during March to April
  10.  and 5/14 (35.7%) for 8pts (+57.1%) over fences...

...whilst males sent off at Evens to 5/1 under Harry Reed for less than £8k within 65 days of their last run are 12 from 19 (63.2% SR) for 34.4pts (+181.1% ROI), including...

  • 10 from 16 in handicaps
  • 8 from 12 at Class 4
  • 6 from 8 over 2m½f to 2m6f
  • 5 from 5 in March/April
  • and 3 from 7 over fences...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Casual Cavalier @ 4/1 BOG as was available from BetVictor, Hills & Unibet at 8.00am Monday, with plenty of 7/2 elsewhere but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 3.40 Wetherby

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!