Posts Tagged ‘Glamorous Spirit’

Why stall 1 wins at Chester – even when it’s stall 9

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Yesterday’s City Wall Stakes was a fascinating race to watch from many perspectives, and well worth a second look for as long as the video link here holds good.  We wrote beforehand about the draw statistics at Chester, which were completely against the eventual winner, Blue Jack, drawn in stall 9.  Our favoured runners were drawn 1 and 2, with Glamorous Spirit, in stall 2, the best previous front runner in the race and therefore predicted to lead early.

The prediction was right – Glamorous Spirit set off at a furious pace and quickly led towards the inside rail.  However, the pace was indeed furious.   Glamorous Spirit must be one of the fastest breaking horses in training.  She was also our front-running prediction in the Epsom Dash a few weeks back, when drawn on the unfavoured inside rail there – indeed she did break best, but her poor draw meant her race was quickly over.

In the context of yesterday’s race at Chester, she effectively burned herself out early on, and faded to be last – though even with this explanation, her run was still some way below her best form.  (She may be seen to better effect on a straighter track where her early speed will not be blunted, as when winning a valuable race at the Curragh prior to yesterday’s outing – though the trainer seems to think otherwise.)

However, from the perspective of the Chester draw, Blue Jack, the winner, provides us with the most interesting run from this race.  There’s no better use for the cliche “the exception that proves the rule” than his run.  Blue Jack broke slowly, as indeed our lagger statistics over at the Betwise Members’ area (available until next Saturday) also correctly predicted.  Blue Jack was given over a 50% chance of starting the slowest in the race before it began.  As the commentator noted, Blue Jack was indeed slowest out of the stalls and “lost a few lengths at the start” – at least in relation to the rest of the field being carted along by Glamorous Spirit.  However, Blue Jack’s jockey, Richard Kingscote, used that negative to good advantage and rode a very shrewd race, dropping her in behind the field early and hugging the inside rail position around the Roodee’s tight bends.  It’s this position that produces the strong bias to stall 1, with any runner that sticks to the inside rail covering far less ground than those racing wide.  The fact that R Kingscote managed to obtain it from stall 9 was a nice bonus.  With the pace at which the leaders set off, he was able to let Blue Jack gain momentum in his own time – but the crucial point is that this was done on the inside rail.  So “stall 1” wins at Chester, even when it’s stall 9…

Today’s Chester draw bias for each runner

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Chester, our favourite course for demonstrating the effect of the draw, plays host to a nice listed contest over 5 furlongs today in the 3.20.

Some very nice sprinters on display here, but how well will they be able to show their ability?  At Chester, more than anywhere else, the inside rail is always the place to be.  We’ve written about this well known bias on a number of other occasions, especially in terms of spotting front runners whose superior early speed can get them to the inside rail spot early.

In Racing Ahead this month, we go further by quantifing the draw effect in general, to give punters a handle on exactly what advantage there is.  Combined with front runner ratings over at the Betwise members’ area, the draw often presents the best chance of understanding what will influence the race outcome most over the minimum distance – outside a horse’s natural ability and form.

However, the picture is not “one size fits all” – field size makes a difference.  So let’s have a look at the bias by stall, tailored for the field at Chester today using our Smartform draw model:

Whilst stall 1 (against the inside rail) comes out best over field sizes of 10, the advantage is not as pronounced as in larger fields, and, ability aside, does not reflect the current price differential between Borderlescott and Glamorous Spirit, drawn just to its outside.  Now, which of the two has a better chance of breaking early?  Head over to the Betwise Members’ area and find out.

Derby Day Front Runners

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

With the most interesting race of the day, the Epsom Derby, set to go off at 4 pm, we turn out attention to front runner analysis in a couple of the earlier sprints being run before the big race.  This continues June’s Saturday analysis theme using our Smartform model as outlined in this month’s Racing Ahead article and previous posts.

First up, the Epsom 2.10.  Not much evidence to go on, since this is listed race for 2 year olds, most of whom have raced only once or twice.  As a race type it ranks amongst the most unreliable for the ratings.  Two reasons for this – firstly, a higher class, non-handicap race means a potentially wide ability gulf between the runners rendering our predictions based on previous races redundant.  Second, each runner has had little chance to establish a real profile.   However, from the evidence we have seen, there may be an angle in the ratings.  Here are the top two (percentage leader prediction, followed by draw):

Dubawi Gold, 0.24, 8
Where’s Romeo, 0.24, 2

A tie for top ranked front runner does not look too promising, but the third rated, Singapore Lilly, rates only 12% likely to lead and likelier to start slowly, leaving Premier Clarets rated fourth, also at 12%.   So as a starting point, we can say there is stronger than 50% chance that Dubawi Gold and Where’s Romeo will break and try to lead early.  Of the two, Where’s Romeo has raced twice over the minimum trip and led, whereas Dubawi Gold has raced once over 6 furlongs and led – so, Where’s Romeo’s early speed may be stronger.  Also, Where’s Romeo is drawn towards the inside rail, which is generally an advantage over 6 furlongs at Epsom.  Last but not least, there is better price margin in Where’s Romeo’s price for an in-running play.  Currently available at 8.2 on Betfair, we’d expect it to trade much lower if has been leading after the first few furlongs.   Too many form and ability unknowns to try and call the winner, however.

Next up, the top two from the Musselburgh 2.35.  All the caveats on race type mentioned above apply, since it is also a 2 year old race with little previous form to go on.

Excel Bolt, 0.43, 4
Misty Morn, 0.22, 7

The ratings speak for themselves on this one, we should not look outside these two in order to try and predict the front runner.  However, Misty Morn has a rag’s chance and is rated just as likely to start slowly.  Excel Bolt has one run to his name and is also the favourite for the race.  Not much margin for an in-running play, with the price already at 2.12 on Betfair.  However, if Excel Bolt breaks from the front over 5 furlongs at Musselburgh, he will take all the beating.

Last but not least, we should say a word about the most valuable sprint of the day, the so-called  Dash or Epsom 3.15.  Here are the top two:

Le Toreador, 0.11, 3
Glamorous Spirit, 0.11, 1

We’ve left this to last, because these ratings are not the strongest. Basically the field is full of high class sprinters, most of whom are capable of breaking well. However, there are some nice prices on our top two, so whilst it could not be a strong fancy, Glamorous Spirit also has a hitherto spotless lagger record, and is therefore worthy of further consideration at 38.0 at the time of writing.