horse racing

I should Coco?

I fear I may have spoken too soon the other day when I suggested that racing had managed to get through the other side of the snow bomb!?!

National Hunt meetings are again taking a battering and being lost to the elements…but have no fear, All-Weather Davy is here!!

This time NTF’s resident All-Weather expert David Punshon is heading to Chelmsford for the 7f handicap, due off at 7.00pm



  • Stall 3 – FINAL FRONTIER is 0 from 9 on the AW, 4 of which were over 7f but he did lead over CD back in October 2019 for one of his better AW runs when finishing 3¼L fourth of 11 and although that was a Class 5 this doesn’t look too much stronger and he does look the type of runner that does better off lighter weights against better rivals rather than of high weights against lesser rivals. Did win a Group 3 in 2015.
  • Stall 4 – JOHNNY REB is 2 from 12 on the AW with both wins coming when making all over 6 and 7 furlongs at Kempton. He has only been out of the placings on 4 of those runs beating 73.3% of his rivals but this doesn’t look any weaker than the CD Class 4 in which he finished just over 1½L third of 10.
  • Stall 5 – BRUNEL CHARM is 1 from 8 on the AW winning on racecourse debut over 6f at Kempton. He has generally struggled since leaving Novice Company but he has dropped 10lbs due to that. He has led on 4 of his 10 career starts but has never finished within 2L of the winner in doing so. This is his first run here and wearing the Blinkers which could either light him up to go forward or the reverse, either way the yard’s runners have a poor record in the first time Blinkers.
  • Stall 8 – GLEN COCO is 6 from 10 on the AW and has either won or been placed on 50% of his AW starts. He is 4 from 11 at the track and 3 from 7 over CD with all those wins coming off marks higher than today. He is now 11lbs lower than his last winning mark and today’s capable jockey takes off a further 3lbs. Marco Ghiani has ridden for this yard 7 times so far in 2012 and has won on 5 of them. I am not concerned by the 46-day break as all of his career wins have come when returning from a minimum break of 3 weeks


  • Stall 10 – MASKED IDENTITY is the second of the S Keightley and I am presuming Josephine Gordon had the choice of runners considering she has ridden Triple Distilled the last twice. This one has at least won on the AW ant Southwell over a mile and at Wolverhampton over 7f. His last win came over this trip at Newmarket in July when tracking the speed, he has now dropped back down to that mark and more importantly back down to 7f.


  • Stall 6 – STRAWBERRY JACK is 2 from 9 on the AW, 2 from 5 at the track and 1 from 1 over CD. He also won here over 8f. Judged on his other runs at the track I would expect him to race in the third phase of runners. He has dropped to 3lbs below his last winning mark and drops back in to Class 4 Company after 2 qualifying runs in Class 3 races.
  • Stall 11 – OLD NEWS won here over a mile when last seen in October. He has left Richard Hughes since to join Mrs Stubbs who is 0 from 25 with her newly acquisitioned runners.
  • Stall 12 – SEAS OF ELZAAM is 2 from 4 on the AW and has won over CD when racing in mid-division in September and that was followed up by a win over the straight 7f at Newcastle. He was raised 9lbs for those 2 wins but struggled last time out.


  • Stall 1 – CASARUAN has won at the track twice, the latest over CD off an 11lbs lower mark and previously over 8f off a 16lbs lower mark. He was held up for both of those wins but looks to be getting handicapped at the minute and likely to find these rivals too tough. Does get the first time cheek-pieces but that isn’t a positive for this yard.
  • Stall 2 – MOSTAQQER is most definitely on My radar having only his third run for this yard since leaving Dermot Weld. He has done very little in 2 Lingfield AW Handicaps for Mr Wigham but would definitely be worth monitoring in the market although I have My suspicions that there is a nice little 0 to 60 with his name on it somewhere down the line.
  • Stall 7 – DUTCH DECOY is a difficult runner to gauge regarding likely run style, he has led but that was at Southwell which can be mis-leading as many connections send their runners forward at that track as they believe it is the only way to win. He has won over this trip on the AW at Kempton in July off a 2lbs lower mark in what looked a slightly tougher race and several winners have subsequently come from that race with the second placed runner now rated 85 and the fourth placed now rated 90.
  • Stall 9 – TRIPLE DISTILLED is another difficult runner to gauge regarding likely run style. He has only raced twice on the AW being soundly beaten on both occasions including on New Year’s Eve over this trip at Lingfield off just 1lb higher. This is only his third start for this yard and although he could be on a decent mark now 7lbs lower than for a soft ground turf win over this trip in July I expect connections may want a few more lbs removed. 1 of 2 runners for S Keightley.


We don’t look to have a guaranteed front runner only several possible front runners and I don’t really take much notice of the draw here over this trip as there is around 3f of a straight before the first turn.

Final Frontier from stall 3 (11% chance of leading) did lead on his only run over CD but was unfancied in the market and has been restrained recently over 6f at Wolverhampton.

Johnny Reb from stall 4 (14.66% chance of leading) is 2 from 12 on the AW with both wins coming when making all over 6 and 7 furlongs at Kempton but his early sectional averages look slow.

Brunel Charm from stall 5 (14.67% chance of leading) has led for 3 of his last 4 runs but again was generally un fancied in the market and last time out when he was fancied he was happy to take a lead and chase the leaders.

Glen Coco would have the best early sectional average but is just far too unpredictable/versatile to nail down.


Glenn Coco and Johnny Reb are closely matched on CD Final Pace Ratings for their run last time out when Johnny Reb finished 3½L in front of Glen Coco but quite simply Glen Coco was too far back when 4¼L behind Johnny Reb with 3f to go. Glen Coco does have some of the best Final Pace Ratings and recorded the best Final Pace Rating of 82.5 here over a mile when finishing a short head second in January.

Masked Identity does have some decent Final Pace Ratings but is behind Glenn Coco on those recorded here


He isn’t the most predictable runner and although he doesn’t look to have been obviously handicapped, I do have a sneaking suspicion Glenn Coco is ready to strike. Theoretically a 4lbs turn around for 3½L shouldn’t see a reverse of placings but I feel Glenn Coco could finish in front of Johnny Reb if Glenn Coco is on a going day and ridden handier. He is 6 from 10 on the AW, 4 from 11 at the track and 3 from 7 over CD with all those wins coming off marks higher than today. He is now 11lbs lower than his last winning mark and today’s capable jockey takes off a further 3lbs. I am not concerned by the 46-day break as all of his career wins have come when returning from a minimum break of 3 weeks and Stuart Williams has had 8 winners from 22 runners in the last 14 days plus Marco Ghiani has ridden for this yard 7 times so far in 2021 and has won on 5 of them.

Masked Identity is the intriguing runner, he finished ¾L in front of Glenn Coco over CD in October when 5lbs wrong at the weights. He had to give Glenn Coco 8lbs that day when officially only rated 3lbs better, today they are on correct terms and he only has to give him the 6lbs but in the last 90 days S Keightley has had no winners on the AW from his last 47 runners with only 7 reaching the places.

Strawberry Jack is 2 from 5 at the track and 1 from 1 over CD, he has dropped to 3lbs below his last winning mark and drops back in to Class 4 Company after 2 qualifying runs in Class 3 races and although he has a 120-day absence to overcome his CD win in November 2019 was on the back of a 103-day break.

Another fascinating read from David, plenty food for thought and in-depth analysis to give us a real feel of the contest.

Thanks again to David for allowing his work to be shared here on NTF and best of luck if you are getting involved in the Chelmsford action this evening.

Again, if you want to make sure you don’t miss any future posts from David then simply sign-up to the free NTF mailing list >>HERE<<

Cheers – Ben (NTF)

42 responses to “I should Coco?”

  1. I could have gone on forever in this race but I was already up to two full pages on my word document. To be honest there aren’t really many you could confidently rule out and there wouldn’t be a winner here that shocked me. I have had a few pound only on Glenn Coco as I thought at 14/1 he was just a little too big.

    • Ben and Myself have chatted at length about this and fear it would dilute the quality of analysis if it became every day as to be honest some days just don’t merit spending a couple of hours analysis. We have discussed maybe posting my ratings or systems on a daily basis if the interest is there

  2. Another excellent analysis and agree with David this looks pretty open. But also think 14/1 does look generous.

  3. Another excellent piece of analysis.
    I notice Hugh Taylor has gone for Triple Distilled in the same race and it’s interesting to note the same owner has two horses in the race.

    • Niether would be out of place winning this and both are at the right end of the Handicap but I was just worried by the Yards form

      • I did notice that but to be honest I think I’m right in saying a good proportion of his recent runners have gone off at some big prices including 100-1 and 200-1.

        • Agreed but possibly for that reason. Like Derek Shaw he was on a 200+ run of losers and he has recently hit a bit of form. These runs end and usually at decent prices. Personally and that’s all it is, I’d like to see a few more hitting the frame but I wouldn’t put anyone off backing them either

  4. So many so called “experts” are jack of all trades and quite frankly are not worth listening too. David you are an exception as you focus on an area of racing (AW) and how a race will develop (Pace/Times) that are often overlooked. The result is an analysis that we can have confidence in. You might not pinpoint a winner every time but we can be sure we will get a run for our money. I have Dutched previous short listed horses you have put up and am in profit. Keep you the good work. Thanks.

  5. Dave/Ben,

    Fabulous piece of race analysis in what is a very tough and open betting race. Reading through it has reinforced my initial view that this is one to miss from a betting perspective.

    Suberb read and I’m really looking forward to your next one. Thank you.

    • Many thanks John, that is the aim of the Column. Sometimes we are better judged by the bets we don’t make. Revolutionise on Saturday was a standout to me but they don’t come along often

  6. Couldn’t agree more with this analysis, rarely ‘dutch’ but am on Strawberry Jack and Glenn Coco yesterday evening at decent prices (BOG), just wish I could still avail of Paddy Power and Skybet for four places! It’s an open race as you say and my main fly in the ointment is Dutch Decoy.

  7. Great piece of work again and I will have to agree with you that an everyday approach will be the wrong approach as you rightly said it would delute the information as not everyday has the kind of race you specialised in.
    You chose a tough race today 😉
    I’m now considering a forecast with Dutch decoy last race at southwell they sent him to the front with 1furlong to go he was still there before fading away the race he won have since worked out well 32 runs8 wins and Johnston is in good shape .
    Maybe you could post some tracker horses rather than an analysis of a race on a daily basis with the ideal conditions.
    Thanks for the great work 😊

  8. A great write up and great insight into the race.
    I worked the race early this morning myself and backed Glen Coco at 14/1 so it’s very re assuring that you have highlighted your reasons and I have come to similar conclusions.
    It’s also top rated by RPR IN THE Racing Post.
    Good luck for this evening David and to all that are playing.

  9. I have a simple system for AW racing which is based on apathy and ignorance. Back Fanning on Johnson/s horses and write off the stake immediately. BUT I did enjoy reading this anaysis.

    Staywell everyone. Let;s hope the marathon chase and the Pertemps qualifier at Warwick survive.

    • To be fair the first and second were side by side 1.5f out, I thought the winner always had a bit in hand. Good run from the second but Strawberry Jack might be getting a red squiggle although the late jockey change might not have helped.

  10. Well Done again David and the interest you questioned is definitely there.
    Also, Well Done to Eric, simple & efficient !

  11. That worked out well 😜 the forecast and Dutch decoy at 7/1 David if you had not made the case for the second I would have missed the forecast shame they both got heavy backed .
    Dutch decoy was a tracker horse for me with the ideal conditions.
    Thanks again 😄

  12. I just want to thank you all for the great feedback. We’ve had a couple of near misses and at the end of the day it is a numbers game but the feedback has been outstanding 👌

  13. Hi David,
    Fascinating reading again today, with regards to the final pace ratings, are you using the overall time of the race or using sectionals ? If so, from what marker and how do you calculate?

    • I use both and not being smart I use different points at different tracks depending on where I feel the majority of runners make their move ie Newcastle they generally make their move around 3f

  14. Late reply, having a short stay in hospital but your analysis was another excellent example of how to read a race. Each way was good enough for me to brighten my day. But the articles are pleasure. A welcome if unexpected addition to the NTF stable.


  15. ” We have discussed maybe posting my ratings or systems on a daily basis if the interest is there ”
    i think the interest is here !! hope this happens !!

  16. Hi David, Thankyou so much for your hard work and detailed analysis. Glen coco ….so close….it surely gave people a good run for their money, PLEASE keep posting your thoughts !!!

    Hi Ben, thank you also for giving David a spot on your site. I have a question….with Cheltenham in mind. A few weeks ago you mentioned that even backing all Irish horses blind at Cheltenham over the past 3/4 years would have yielded a very nice return.
    Is there any chance you could run the stats on how this splits between Handicaps and non handicaps ? ( i.e. All Irish horses / Year by year / Handicaps Versus Non Handicaps / Profit or Loss ) this would be very interesting for me.
    Keep up the great work !

    • Hi Martin

      I’ve made a note and I’ll look into it, will hopefully find space to post it up on the blog at some point pre-Cheltenham 👍

      Cheers and thanks for the comment – Ben (NTF)

  17. Morning all, I have look and looked and struggle to find anything that I would be comfortable to put forward as a bet.

  18. Love to read such in-depth race analysis . Is the analysis shown on a platform on a daily basis even if its a subscription service ?

    • Hi Trevor

      Great to hear you’ve been enjoying the posts.

      Dave posts on his Twitter page a few times a week but we are looking to move towards a small subscription based service shortly.

      I’ll keep everyone informed on that but he will have more here on the free blog in coming weeks.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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