I have been pulling together some notes- a checklist/blueprint for my developing approach to these sprint handicaps. I thought it would help me if I wrote everything down in some sort of logical order. So, what follows is a kind of checklist/blueprint for questions I should be considering when analysing a flat handicap.
I may have missed something and this may well need adding to – your comments/thoughts are welcome- there will be things that you do that I don’t at present, and I would enjoy hearing about them. For now…
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
(running total = +17.5 points)
4.30 Catt – Secret City – 8/1 *3rd
Well, a never nearer third really, a small return for any each way backers but in truth he never looked like winning come the final couple of furlongs and it was between the front two for some way. Officially a 1 point loss but I hope anyone who did back it may have taken a rare safety first approach. He is clearly running well and will need to be well placed to win at his age- I suppose in a race full of moderate, exposed handicappers where there is plenty of pace. One to keep an eye on as he is ‘in form’ at least.
8/1 feels a bit overpriced for this one, and I could have bottled it and put it in the ‘test’ section but I like his chance here. While ‘official’ results will be recorded for this section as a 1 point win bet, I do think he looks decent EW material as I can’t see him being far away. Firstly he shows up well on geegeez instant expert- having a decent strike rate in the class and the distance compared to all of these. He is also 4lb below his last winning mark of 60, which was his most recent win in these conditions- over 6f, in class 6, on good to firm in the last 5 years he is… 9,1,13 (wrong side track), 3, 1 – his best two runs being the most recent. The training ‘family’ of the Bastiman’s (believe license holder changed- Rebecca taking over from father Robin?) have a record of 10/40, 16 places when using Tudhope – Rebecca 4/10,5 places in flat handicaps. He is 3/13, 5 places on the horse also. The horse has been running well recently and has a 7lb pull with the fav on their Ayr run where he was a couple of lengths behind, albeit that one is open to progress. Tudhope rides him more prominently than some and while there are no out and out front runners in this there are plenty of pace pushers and it shouldn’t be a crawl. He also has the best geegeez speed rating by some way – which I use as a guide, but only that. It is a positive at least. All in all I just thought he had a lot going for him, given the above and he has been running well enough. 8s felt big to me and I would have him as second fav i think. He has placed at the track and I have no concerns on that front and they are also possibly due some showers. I hope it remains good to firm but if it does soften a tad given his form with cut that won’t be a ready made excuse.
The fav is short. Yes he won LTO but that was a maiden handicap and he has gone up 5lb. He did run well before that also, just in front of the selection. He may just pull away from these but this is his first run on good to firm (another reason I hope it stays this way) and that will be new for him. It may be fine but I think he is there to be shot at. Whippound was a bit of an eye-catcher on the AW LTO, travelled well and if it softened he may not be far away but needs a bit more. Amis Reunis would be interesting at 50s if trained by someone else – the trainer now 0/144, 5 places with all runners so far. Very odd. Maybe he is getting the marks of horses down for ‘someone’ – before they move yards and then all bolt up! 🙂 (not a Curley plot is it, not a former stable lad or something!) He would have bits and pieces that could see him out-run these odds.
That is all for this section today.
TTP: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
SPRINT HANDICAP TESTING ZONE
(remember this is a test…)
5.00 Catt –
Singeur – 1 pt EW– 8/1 (general) WON >11/2 (+8 points on race)
Fast Act – 1 pt EW- 12/1 (SJ/Coral) 10/1 (lad) UP*
*well I got one half right and went with the head over gut and got the call right – the pace set up was made for him and unexpectedly, thanks to the other selection, they went a hell of a gallop – even more so than I expected! 1st time headgear and they changed tactics here- to go that fast and hard, and to lead this field, shows his class for me – Fast Act – there is something there to work with, if only they can find the key. In the end he faded tamely, to suggest he still isn’t in form. While he went hard, he faded a bit too readily for me. I will be keeping an eye on him. Low drawn around Chester could be fun if they pursue with those tactics and he can recapture something. I didn’t expect them to try and make all here, given other pace in race, but you can see why, with headgear, they may try it.
Singeur- did it well enough in the end and while the saddle slipped on the second, I don’t think it made a difference given how much he had in hand at the end. Everything went to plan really and he came from the clouds – indicating how hard they went up top. I am pleased for my analysis that Desert Ace ran well as at 12s he was high up in my thinking, ultimately put off by the draw stats. He got across and the saddle slipped and that run can be marked up I think. I will watch the replay a few times and add to my notes, which I will update and send out again over the weekend I suspect.
This looks a right head-scratcher and I am still undecided whether to get involved – but the last time I did that, in what is a ‘test’ section, my fancy went and won at York. I think these races – where there are very few you can discount – should probably be left alone but I have been looking at it for long enough so we will go with these two.
The PACE is more of a ‘way in’ here – in the sense that there looks to be loads of it on – and if something can lead here, and win, well then all credit to them. But, there are 4 out and out front runners in this who will want the lead, as well as a further 4/5 who like to push the pace. They won’t be hanging around here and on paper at least it looks like a race where it could pay to just sit off the pace and pass tiring rivals late on.
Singeur- well the same connections as the ‘Stats/Angles’ horse and I was torn between this one and Money Team – and I still am. I don’t like putting up 3 in a race really, but if this was ‘real life’ or even in the test, and I had say 50+ points to play with I may well have put up all three. This one doesn’t win very often at all – only 2/55 on turf – but he is in form, is well drawn, has loads of pace to aim at, and has Tudhope back up – who was the last jock to win on him. He is 2/7, 3 places on the horse in flat handicaps. He hasn’t been on him for 17 runs now. Interesting enough. All race conditions are fine and it was only September last year he was coming a neck second off 83, running off 77 here. With luck in running he could go close.
Fast Act – well this one was once rated 106 a couple of seasons ago, going close in Group3s and Group 2s. At some point he is just going to hack up by half the track you feel (well, relative for a Sprint, so 2-4 lengths or something). Now rated 83 he has been plummeting down the handicap. He drops in trip here – he has only ever won over 5f to date, drops in class, and gets first time headgear to help. At the start of this season he was rated 100. Clearly he isn’t as good as he was as a 2 year old but he doesn’t have many miles on the clock and at some point it will all click again. For one who tracks the pace, and who is drawn low, I thought he looked one of the more interesting ones at 12s. He is doing plenty different and there are plenty of reasons why a win would not surprise you- for me anyway.
Of the rest – well maybe it is too competitive- All bar the bottom 3 could be given a chance – but then there are bits and pieces where no winner would totally shock you. Money Team was the most interesting other one at a price for me and my gut says I may have picked the wrong one in truth- he has won after a break, ticks plenty of boxes, and could go well. He is 5 and there could be more to come on turf this year. I was a bit put off by the draw – it should be ok but he usually ‘chases leaders’ and it could be he gets stuck a few wide around here, with some pace on his inside. Of course there are plenty in here who are race fit also and his last turf win was 2014. He also definitely needs it good to firm but the looks of things and any rain that gets in may blunt him a bit.Pearl Acclaim could take this and if he were 8s+ i would have had more of a head-ache. He is in form and could be in the perfect spot for ‘when’ the pace collapses. Difficult draw also though.
So, a proper test race where I will learn plenty I think- there are 3 I like at the odds.
TRAINERS IN FORM (of interest/new/a bit of fun for now)
Those of you who subscribe to geegez gold will be aware of the ‘in form’ filters on the race cards, and you will have seen me refer to them in these posts, and in videos. Essentially there are two symbols , both green… a ‘14‘ (5+ runners in last 14 days, either a 20%+ win strike rate or a 51% + place strike rate) or a ‘30‘ (10+ runs in the previous 30 days, either a 20%+ win strike rate or a 51% + place strike rate)
Now, what follows isn’t very scientific but what I am going to do, probably until the end of the month, is go through 1 or 2 meetings a day, with a focus on the all-age handicaps. I am going to focus on races where there are only 1 or 2 trainers, in any given race, that have one of those green ’14’ or ’30’ (or both) symbols next to their name.
I want to see if this is an interesting starter point for further research, and maybe a ‘way in’. In any case, some of you may find it useful to help with your own research. This isn’t a comment on the horse’s chance in the race and clearly some further work would be required. And you may wish to look into the trainer’s form more closely, including at the track. I have noticed winners go in when this has been the case – and there may be nothing to it. It may be a pointless exercise but it takes me less than 10 minutes and may be a worthwhile area to pursue.
4.40 Bath – Wassail – 7/1 (’14’,’30’,+ Course 5 year form symbol) UP
5.10 Bath –
Babyfact WON 15/8 / Secretfact 2nd 28/1 (’30’ Course 1 year form)
Carcharias (’14’,’30’,+ Course 5 year form symbol) UP
5.30 Catt- Fillydelphia – 5/2 (’14’)
6.30 Sand – The Warrior 5/1 (’14’) / Jack of Diamonds 5/1 (’30’)
7.35 Sand- Haley Bop – 6/1 (’30’)
8.05 Sand – Atalan 7/1 (’14’ ’30’)
That is all for today.