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Racing Insights, 18th December 2020

Chris got Thursday's race pretty much spot on with his runners of interest finishing 1st and 3rd at Hereford. He'll be taking a short break from Racing Insights but hopefully the standard of analysis won't drop in his absence.

Friday’s feature of the day is the Horses For Courses report which is available in its entirety to all free registered users. The free races for free registered users are as follows:

12.37 Uttoxeter
1.35 Navan
4.10 Wolverhampton
4.30 Dundalk
5.00 Dundalk
7.00 Dundalk

All weather sprints often present a bias or two we can take advantage of so that 4.10 at Wolverhampton is of particular interest here and worth further investigation. The race is a class 6, 5f race worth £5,593 and looks an open contest.

Time To Reason has been out of form in two recent runs after a 252 day break. Both of those runs came at Southwell, a course where he had no previous form, so it’s entirely possible that the surface hasn’t suited and these two runs have got him both cherry ripe and 4lbs lower in the handicap.

His sole UK victory came off a 10lb higher mark back in February 2019 over this distance at Chelmsford and he has a solid record here at Wolverhampton with form figures of 63263022. When narrowing it down to runs here at this distance his form reads 32322 and all those runs came off marks either in the high 50s or mid 60s so that form entitles him to plenty of respect here off 54 and he may well have been laid out for this.

Jockey Richard Kingscote knows the horse well, he rides the horse more often than not and was on board for all five of those course and distance efforts. He has a place strike rate of 34.48% overall and that rises to 39.56% at Wolverhampton so this is clearly a venue he performs well at.

His partnership with trainer Charlie Wallis is much more potent on the all weather than turf. The pair have a 21.43% place strike rate when teaming up on turf and a 41.54% place strike rate on artificial surfaces.

Thegreyvtrain outran her odds of 20/1 last time out in first time cheekpieces when 3rd over this course and distance and she now tries first time blinkers in an attempt to eek out more improvement.

The Profiler is capable of shedding some light on how much difference the blinkers could make compared to the cheekpieces.

Looking at the sire data in Profiler for handicaps, offspring of Coach House have a 7.89% win strike rate and a 26.32% place strike rate in cheekpieces compared to a 7.5% win strike rate and 22.5% place strike rate in blinkers so chances are her performance here will be similar and possibly marginally worse than last time.

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This runner has a poor strike rate when it comes to getting her head in front, she’s just 2 from 37. Her place strike rate is much better though (17 from 37) and she’s finished either 2nd or 3rd in 5 of her last 8 starts. It’s easy to see why connections have been reaching for headgear.

The majority of her course and distance runs have come off slightly higher marks than today and her form figures here at 5f read 779253283 so she looks a place contender at best.

Arcavallo is another with a fairly modest win and place strike rate, Michael Dods’ gelding has 3 wins, 5 2nds and 2 3rds from 33 career starts. He’s yet to win from 11 runs on the all weather but has finished 2nd once and 3rd twice.

He’s found a fairly consistent level on her last seven starts with form figures of 4293374 but his mark has been creeping up for not winning. He’s yet to race around here but has put some decent enough efforts in on Newcastle’s tapeta surface. He doesn’t look obviously well handicapped but perhaps racing around a bend will suit this habitual front runner better than the straight track at Newcastle.

Mansfield ran poorly at Catterick on soft ground in October but has never run well in testing conditions and has been withdrawn several times on account of that ground so that effort is easily forgiven. Prior to that he had run well in defeat at Musselburgh and had won here over course and distance off a 4lb lower mark than he carries here.

He won comfortably enough on that occasion in a race where several of those behind have run consistently well since. He seems to struggle at most all weather courses except for Wolverhampton and Lingfield. He’s run six times over course and distance, winning one of those and placing a further twice. It’s worth noting that when he won here he was ridden more prominently than usual (can often be held up) and he’d also shown more early enthusiasm on his previous run too. It could be that not getting too far behind is ideal for the horse. His trainer does have just a 2.13% win record here though and a WIN PL of -86.

Red Allure, a maiden elsewhere, has two wins over course and distance but was slightly disappointing last time out here when a well enough beaten 6th. The response of his connections to that run has been to reach for a first time visor. It’s worth noting that he is 0-15 without headgear and 2-11 with headgear. When he wore blinkers for the first time he was a winner here so the switch in headgear could be what he needs.

His two wins have come off marks of 45 and 47 and he’s rated 50 here so certainly not out of it on that score but he isn’t the most consistent runner.

Superseded has a similar profile to Time To Reason in that he recently returned from a long break (257 days) and has put in two poor performances since. What’s different here is those runs haven’t come when trying a new surface, they have come here and also at Newcastle.

He's done the majority of his racing on the all weather (22 of his 30 starts have come on artificial surfaces) and both his career wins came here over course and distance off much higher marks, but that was almost 18 months ago now.

He's run poorly in all five course and distance runs that have followed those victories so it’s certainly not a case that this venue could spark a revival and it’s difficult to build a case for him in this.

The main positive is the current form of the John Butler yard.

He’s had 6 winners from his last 17 runners at the time of writing with a further 3 places in that sample.

Raspberry is potentially very interesting. She hadn’t shown much in her previous six runs (beaten 10+ lengths in five of those runs) before showing signs of life off a much reduced mark here last time out. She’s now dropped from a mark of 75 (has finished 2nd off 67) down to 48.

That run last time came off the back of an 87 day break so whatever had been bothering her may well have been sorted and that looked a decent enough race for the grade (the winner has placed since and the runner up won on Thursday).

She's finished 2nd off 67 over 5f at Newcastle, 7th (beaten 4.5 lengths) off 67 again here and 4th last time off 49. Given that last race looked stronger than this she’s of interest here off the current mark based on all three of those runs.

Jessie Allan has done most of her racing over 6f and 7f but drops back to 5f here. She’s never got closer than 3rd over the minimum distance and has been unplaced in 10 out of 11 attempts at 5f. She’s very easy to oppose on that basis.

Rank outsiders Trulove and Diamonds Dream are also easy to oppose. The former is on her last winning mark but she hasn’t placed in over a year and beat just two home off the same mark here last time out. Diamonds Dream has been beaten over 9 lengths in all 4 starts to date and was beaten 16 lengths on handicap debut last time out.

Over this course and distance there is an edge towards front runners and those who race closer to the pace, as demonstrated by the historical pace data shown in the pace tab.

The further back in the field a runner is placed, the less likely it is to perform well.

A possible contested pace here according to the Geegeez Pace Map which could compromise the chances of likely pace angles Thegreyvtrain and Arcavallo. The former looked place only material on the form check and Arcavallo didn’t have amazing claims for win or place so neither would stand out as likely bets now based on the pace map, despite the advantage pace horses often have here.

Red Allure should be well placed from his low draw and has good claims on his previous course and distance form but he's no guarantee to give his running.

Mid division is probably as far back as you want to be here, even with contested pace, and Raspberry and Time To Reason plus outsiders Trulove and Diamonds Dream are likely to be placed there, but the latter two are drawn wide and therefore may have to race wide or race even further back than ideal.

In this field size there is an edge for those that are drawn middle to low. The PRB (Percentage of rivals beaten) highlight an advantage to those in the lower stalls and an equal disadvantage to those that come from the higher numbers. That would be a slight concern for Arcavallo who is drawn in stall 6 which is on the middle to high end of the scale in this field.

Summary

The main trio I would be interested in here are Time To Reason, Red Allure and Raspberry. Time To Reason would be an interesting place only bet given his course and distance record but he does look vulnerable for win purposes and will probably find one or two too good. Red Allure is interesting but risky. He’s not the most consistent and is trying new headgear which is a bit of extra risk but chances are he will run well too over a course and distance he generally enjoys.

Raspberry stands out at the early prices though. She’s been rated much higher in the past, seems to go pretty well on tapeta over the minimum distance and gave a strong hint last time that she was on her way back in what was probably a better race. The fact that her best effort by far during that run of six poor races came here is an added bonus.