Saturday 30 January 2021

1:10 Lingfield Racing Info (30th January)

A late post.

I really need to get up earlier. 

Not too many opinions here but I will give my thoughts. This 7f Maiden Stakes (Class 5) 3yo+ on Standard going. 

The betting suggests this is a four-horse race.

I can't say I have any data on how the weight different for a four-year-old at 10-stone compares to a three-year-old with less of a burden. 

Simon and Ed Crisford do exceptionally well with their horses. Perfect Focus has raced twice. He finished runner-up on debut at two when a 6/4 shot. This son of Acclamation wasn't seen for over two-hundred days, then finishing third when pretty much unfancied in the betting. This May foal has an interesting story. He was originally purchased as a yearling for the paltry sum of just 4,500gns, but a £130,000 Breeze-up purchase at two. It's interesting to note he has another sale's date next month (5th February) which brings a few questions. The price tag of Perfect Focus will go up with a win today, although others may consider this engagement a negative. At the time of writing, he's priced around even money. This step up to 7f should be a positive although whether he can give some of these opponents a 23lb advantage is open to question.

That's a fair chunk of weight.

I have my eye on Charlie Hills' filly Give Em The Slip. This daughter of Oasis Dream, out of a Group-placed mare, who raced at the highest level, cost 42,000gns at the yearling sales. She ran well on debut at Newmarket over 6f back in June 2020. She was slowly into stride but going easily before losing by less than a length. There is always a fear any horse will need the race after such a lay-off. This concern goes for Perfect Focus, too. This step up in distance will help. From a betting perspective, I like horses on their second start. They often run a very honest race and try hard. From a statistical point a view, this three-year-old holds sound each-way claims. If seriously weak in the betting, it would be a negative (reason, again, why is it difficult to assess races before the off time).

Hills fields the debutante West Side Glory. This daughter of Dutch Art is out of an unraced mare. It is worth noting that this chestnut filly, bred and part-owned by Susan Roy has an engagement for the Tattersall's February Sale on (5th). You can make up your own opinion whether this is a positive or negative. Looks to the be second string, and probably priced to chance. Best watched. 

Big Narstie has the most recent form, after making his debut in December (2020), when this son of Cable Bay finished a respectable fourth, beaten three lengths at odds of 20/1. It's worth noting this 52,000 euro yearling purchase, out of a winning mare, made his debut at Deauville, France (Polytrack). He raced over 71/2f, and ridden by Hayley Turner, who keeps the ride today. Racing in the familiar silks of Rebel Racing (Premier III), it's intriguing to know the story behind their venture to France. From a betting point of view (and this is simply based on my two-year-old data) Richard Spencer doesn't have the best stats with horses on their second start. In addition, the place statistics aren't that great either. However, any horse can defy the stats and this horse has a decent profile. If betting, I would rather take bigger odds.

Conclusion: An interesting race. Perfect Focus has ability but needs to defy the age-weight penalty which is a burden for any horse. The sales engagement does seem a slight negative although there may be a very good reason and just how the owner manages their stock. I would respect this colt but couldn't bet at short odds. 

Give Em The Slip could well be an each-way alternative, although I am always slightly concerned about favouring a filly against the colts. However, she has a mighty weight advantage and ran a nice race on debut and looks the type to progress. There is always a worry a horse may need the race after a  lengthy absence. If seriously weak in the betting, it may be a negative. 

Again the sales engagement for West Side Glory is a slight negative and may well need the run. 

Big Narstie has a decent profile and considering this doesn't look the most competitive of races has some hope. It intrigues me why they raced at France and it could be a positive. Most horses are favoured to run well on their second start but Spencer's often struggle to perform. That's based on the two-year-old stats I have and this being a three-year-old may be a different kettle of fish. It would put me off betting at shorter odds and I would definitely want 6/1 or so to bet. 

On balance, I would be looking at Give Em The Slip as an each-way bet if priced 5/1 and less. If very weak in the betting I would take a watching brief.    

Author: Jason Coote

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