Is NH racing dead? Have we seen the last of Consitution Hill?

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The World of Sport
Is NH racing dead? Have we seen the last of Consitution Hill?
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Sean Trivass and I have been chewing the fat over several topics this week, including, are we watching the death throes of NH racing in Britain, have we seen the last of Constitution Hill? If the financial checks being imposed on punters that bet online only, and punters can bet in betting shops, or on course, without financial checks, what is the point?

The main topic though is, why start the flat season….then stop it again? Virtually no flat racing since the Doncaster Lincoln meeting and three all weather cards per day?

TOPICS OF CONVERSATION

  • Are we witnessing the end of NH racing in Britain?

I had a look at the BHA Industry stats before we went live and found that between 2018 and 2022 jumps field sizes shrunk year on year, from 8.48 runners per race in 2018, to 7.73 per race in 2022 and, without a shadow of a doubt, that decline has continued.

In 2018 19.5% of all jumps races had fewer than six runners, in 2022 that had risen to 28%….I’d say it’s pushing 50% now, especially midweek.

In 2018 they had 55.5% of all NH races having eight or more runners….in 2022 it was down to 46.5% a near 10% drop/decline, call it what you like….these figures are BHA figures, so why has nobody taken any action?

I cannot think of a single positive innovation coming from BHA Headquarters. Everything has been tinkering around the edges, robbing Peter to pay Paul,

Four and five runner races have been the norm recently, we’ve seen meetings held with fewer than 20 horses at a meeting, one card opening with a walkover.

  • Should the flat season start later, with the Lincoln taking place the week after the Grand National?
  • If punters will be able to bet in betting shops and on racecourses, without the checks being imposed on online punters, what is the point?
  • Do you think we’ll ever see Constitution Hill again?

KEMPTON 2-05

Nice to see a double figure field for a good race!

Nine of the last 10 running’s of this race have gone to 4-y-o’s and eight of the last 10 winners were also trading front two on the tissue so, it has to be one of:

  • MANY TEARS
  • CHOISYA

I’m looking now at the record of seasonal debutantes and both fit perfectly as four of the last five winners were but two things point me in the direction of MANY TEARS.

First, she’s trading favourite and five of the last 10 winners also went off the jolly.

Secondly, draw….MANY TEARS has five to break from, CHOISYA comes out of seven….and six of the last 10 winners were drawn five or lower….and three have actually won from stall five in three of the last eight years.

Not a lot to work with but everything I see points to MANY TEARS

RON – MANY TEARS

SEAN – MYSTIC PEARL – E.W.

CURRAGH 2-55

Given the current weather situation I felt we had to pad this out with a race at The Curragh, which will also be run on very heavy ground.

Plenty of back history to the race and as you might expect, it has been dominated in recent years by Aiden O’Brien, who has saddled four of the last six winners.

Since 2016 this has been won by five 4-y-o’s and two 5-y-o’s so they are my go to age groups.

Horses carrying 9st 5lb have won the last three renewals, and four of the last five so I’m looking for a four or five year old, carrying 9st 5lb

  • WHITE BIRCH
  • MAXUX
  • VILLAGE VOICE
  • CRYPTO FORCE
  • THE SHADOW LINGERS

I’m now looking at whether or not the market found these winners and with nothing bigger than 6/1 winning in the last nine years I’d suggest it did. I’ll take the following forward from here:

  • WHITE BIRCH
  • MAXUX

The only trainer to land this with the favourite in the last 10 years has been Aiden O’Brien, all four of his winners returned favourite but tomorrow he saddles GREENLAND, currently 6/1, having opened up 5/1 so, drifting.

MAXUX is trained by Joseph O’Brien and he won this with BUCKHURST back in 2020. I’ve seen this horse attracting support – 11/2 > 4/1 but he’d be a 20/80 only as he has never run on heavy, is 0-2 trip and 0-1 track.

RON – MAXUX – 20/80

SEAN – WHITE BIRCH

KEMPTON 3-15

A 14 runner marathon and only a race I’d ever get involved in for Podcast purposes. However, eight of these are proven over two miles and four of them have three ticks regarding surface, trip, and track.

If need be, I’ll use that profile, but we’ll start as usual with age grouping.

Horses aged four, five or six have taken nine of the last 10 running’s and my first shortlist consists of:

  • NOVEL LEGEND
  • SPIRIT MIXER
  • MANU ET CORDE
  • SOLENT GETAWAY
  • FLEURMAN
  • SPLENDENT
  • AQWAAM
  • GALACTIC JACK
  • DUTY OF CARE
  • SWEET FANTASY
  • CIRCUIT BREAKER

We only shift three of the 14 but we’ll now see if we can trim this back via weight ranges. The last three winners have carried the most weight of any in this last decade….9st 8lb, 9st 5lb, 9st 12lb….prior to 2021 we’d have been banking on a weight banding of between 8st 5lb – 9st 2lb….and with everything in here carrying more than 9st tomorrow, I cannot go near weight banding to create the next shortlist so, it’s the market that will come into play now.

Eight of the last nine winners sat front six on the tissue as the gates opened:

  • NOVEL LEGEND
  • SPIRIT MIXER
  • AQWAAM
  • DUTY OF CARE
  • SWEET FANTASY

Down to five “possibles”

Now we get down to working with stats/trends that come lower down my pecking order like, favourites…. here they run well, without winning as often as they might. Six of the last eight favourites have finished either 1st or 2nd but, only one has won.

So I drop SWEET FANTSY, the current 10/3 market topper

  • NOVEL LEGEND
  • SPIRIT MIXER
  • AQWAAM
  • DUTY OF CARE

Now, despite the trip, I’m looking at something that surprised me. Potential draw bias. Only two of the last 10 winners came from a stall higher than five, and five of the last seven winners were drawn 3, 3, 2, 1, 3….all sounds very “Chester!”

If I take the pair drawn no higher than five we work with:

  • NOVEL LEGEND (5)
  • SPIRIT MIXER (2)

Given the bias towards stalls 1,2,3 in the recent years I’ll put up SPIRIT MIXER as a 20/80….currently around the 8/1 mark and his trainer, Andrew Balding has the best level stake profit in this kind of race here….106 runners, producing 22 winners, and a profit of 45.71 points.

RON – SPIRIT MIXER – 20/80

SEAN – CIRCUIT BREAKER – E.W.

KEMPTON 4-55

I only have seven previous running’s of this race to work with, so I’ll work with what I have but don’t be expecting much!

Four year olds won four of the first five running’s of this race but the last two years have seen horses aged seven and five so who knows what happens tomorrow.

Weight ranges…forget it….the last four winners have carried 8st 4lb, 9st 6lb, 7st 12lb, 9st 4lb….the only clue there is that we have no clue!

Market position gives us an idea of sorts with five of the seven previous winners sat front three on the tissue so with the three currently occupying those positions all 4-y-o’s, all carrying more than 9st, I’d be happy dutching them….but then, you look at the form of horses arriving for this race and to date, not one of the previous seven winners arrived having won last time out….but all three that “qualify”, did….so now you understand why I need far more back history to a race to enable me to Profile it correctly.

I’m confident I’ll nail the winner in 2028 but right now….and purely for Podcast purposes only, I’ll bung up AZURE ANGEL as the pick because she’s 4-4 on all weather tracks, 2-2 on polytrack and is a CD winner.

RON – AZURE ANGEL

SEAN – KNEBWORTH – E.W.

OMMS

ANGEL’S CALL – 25/1 > 10/1 – WON 14/1

SHE’S CENTIMENTAL – 16/1 > 8/1 – WON 7/1

MIGHTY NEBULA – 12/1 > 5/2 – WON 85/40

SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND

RON – LUCKY 15 plus an E.W. ACCA

  • MANY TEARS
  • MAXUX
  • SPIRIT MIXER
  • AZURE ANGEL

SEAN – MYSTIC PEARL & KNEBWORTH

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