UK Horse Racing's Ratings
Case Study: Leicester 1.40 - 10th January 2012
In a day of poor racing there's only two meetings; an All Weather meeting at Southwell and a poor National Hunt meeting at Leicester.
The Leicester 1.40
In a rather poor meeting at Leicester with three Novice races, one selling race we're left with a Handicap Chase and a Handicap Hurdle as the better fare of the meeting.
To be honest, neither of these two races look to be any good and if this our sole offering of National Hunt racing today then the Racing For Change initiative from the BHA simply isn't working.
Two days ago we tried a novice hurdle race. Unbelievbly every horse tried their best to knock themselves out the running so today I've decided that if a horse is going to foul up its jumping it may as well make a mess of the fences proper.
So unless we wish to look at either of the two novice handicaps we're just left with this one race with this low class handicap with seven declared runners. At the moment we've seen no declared non-runners so we have a full complement of runners.
Be warned that this race is classed as Race Class of 82 which means that these are poor runners, especially given their ages, and they really could do better ferrying tourists along the Aberystwyth promenade.
But, we'll give it a go anyway and, one never knows, something may pop out.
The detailed ratings file can be downloaded for this Leicester meeting.
The Overview Page
The first thing which we have noticed is that this is a poor class race with a Race Class of 82. This could indicate that the horses may not run to form too well as these sort of low classed animals can blow hot and cold. So, that's the first warning.
The top two rated have the lion's share of the undescores and it's interesting to see that the top rated horse, Morneto, has a positive WtD figure (which means that he's carrying more than the average weight) has the RAdj underscore. Which means that despite being handicapped more he still comes off best in our Weight/Age table adjustment. Of course this is helped by having a 10lb (ten pound) claimer on board to bring the weight down.
Morento is a good eleven pounds clear of the second rated Edgebury who heads a tightly handicapped field comprising of the remaining runners. So, the first question is; is Morento worth this eleven pound margin?
A quick look at the Backs and Lays section shows is that three horses; Morento, Edgebury and Moscow Chancer have the most positives. It may be no co-incidence that these three are leading in the market at the moment
Note: it's quarter to eleven and Betfair has only been up for just over half an hour so the prices may be a little iffy at the moment. However, this may be an advantage and an opportunity if somethng looks wrong now.
Trainer / Jockey and Other Statistics
Well, none of these trainers have done anything really worthwhile in the last four weeks or their last twenty runs.
In fact none of these statistics over the next few pages give me any form of insight at all.
Therefore our only help is with the Form which starts on page 18 of the ratings.
First up is the top rated Morenito. He's won three times before at this sort of distance in Race Classes 81 and 82. Today, as we know, is an Class 82 so the class isn't out of his range. Looking at the Weight+Class column we see that today's Encumberance Rating of 237 which is the lowest run to date. Morenito is running at the right distance, in the right class and the encumberence is looking good.
The only questions are with this jockey. Not only is he a 10lb claimer also he's never ridden for this trainer before (page 17). Further, he's never ridden at this course before. This has to go down as a huge question mark for me.
Next up is Edgebury and, at least, the trainer and jockey have worked together in the past and the jockey, Elsworth, knows the course. The big problem here is that Edgebury has only chased the once and came in almost ten lengths behind the winner here two weeks ago in a race which was half a mile shorter. The race class may be lower today but the weight carried more than makes up the difference and there is the question of the difference in weight. The only time that the horse has won was over a 16f distance over hurdles and the ground was firmer. Even then the race class and Encumberence figures were better that day.
The trouble is that there's lots of question marks here and no real negatives about the horse. On the other hand, there's no real positives neither and we don't know if the horse can do this extra distance. I am not saying that it isn't likely to win but what I am saying is that I won't be backing it.
Phar Again looks more promising. Has come back to this course and distance and is, indeed, a Course and Distance winner. His last four course and distance runs here have resulted in three wins and one very close second. Whilst the Encumberence figurs aren't perfect but they are close enough and there's nothing to say here that he can't repeat his performances of last January. The price at the moment is over 7s on Betfair which is value.
The form for Moscow Chancer is thin to say the least. Ran at different distances, pulled up on the longes to date (today is a furlong further). Today does give him the best opportunity of his three runs so far but we don't know if he has the ability to run today. Question marks all over this one.
I simply can't be having Tavalu at all (watch it win now!). He won once four and a half years ago and hsi form looks a mess. If he couldn't get better than 30 lengths behind the winner in the race at Fontwell last November which was even weaker than this one then he'd have to have a massive improvement to win this today.
Kercabellac does look interesting. Again, some good form figures for this horse for around this race class and encumberance. Now, there is a downside in that the horse pulled up the last coupld of times. If the reason for that is that the distances of these two trips were ten furlongs too far then coming back to two and a half miles will do the trick. Also, the horse seems to do badly after a long lay off. We've had that blowing air out of the system with a couple of runs before going on the unfortunate marathon journeys. You know, I am starting to warm to this one because of the back story and, especially, the price.
Last up is Le Reveur, the top weighted horse. Top weighted because he's dropping in class. Form all over the shop but despite dropping in class and Encumberance for today's race he has a lot of lengths to make up, though he did come a close second at Towcester but that was half a mile shorter. This is another with a high price which could be value but I don't like him as much as Kercabellac but also at 26s is also good value.
Because of the price available on Betfair I have taken a tentatively small stake on Phar Again. This, it has to be stressed isn't a strong bet but because of the doubts and the number of questions over the others in the race and that the price for Phar Again is good I have taken that small wager. If the price weren't so decent (6/1) then I would have skipped this race entirely.
The same applies for Kercabellac at 26s. This is excellent value and a second small stake is going on this one.
I am not saying that either of these will win. I am just saying that these are good value and it must be stressed that it is for this only reason that I am on.
Note that I haven't excluded Le Reveur neither. At 26s also good value. If the price drifts out much here then I may go for him too.