The pick of the prices in the Toronado....

19th May 2017

In this week’s issue….

  • Our target race….
  • I’m two-against-the-field in the London Gold Cup….
  • The pick of the prices…

The pick of the prices in the Toronado….

We’re at Newbury tomorrow for our target race – the Toronado Handicap (5.10) which was formerly known as the Planteur….

A field of 17-runners goes to post for the straight-mile-contest on ground that is currently described as soft.

I don’t think there’s too much chance of the track drying out markedly with the rain forecast for tomorrow morning and into the afternoon….

There have only been two renewals of this race to date. So, there isn’t too much data available for the trends-based punters to get to work with….

  • Fancied sorts….

The Spring Cup – run over course and distance last month – is working out very nicely. Multiple horses have come out of that and won or placed in decent handicaps. Not least at Ascot last Saturday where placers at Newbury dominated the frame in the Victoria Cup….

Of the Spring Cup contingent only El Hayem (5th) turns out – but he’ll be very much of interest to form-frank punters.

He’s already been out once since the Newbury race – finishing 2nd at Chester in a decent handicap – and he’s only gone up a couple of pounds to 92. Being gelded at the back-end of last year appears to have refocused his mind to the job on the track. His yard and jockey are in very good form….

Sinfonietta was 4th in this race last year off 91. She goes off 92 tomorrow. She’s not been over-used by David Menuisier in the meantime but showed she is in good heart when runner-up in the Spring Mile at Doncaster. She handles soft-ground and is another it is easy to make a case for.

We’ll get to my selections in a moment. First a word on another good betting-heat being run at Newbury tomorrow afternoon….

  • I’m two-against-the-field in the London Gold Cup….

Over on my paid ATC service we had a nice winner earlier in the week at York – Tasleet landing the big sprint having been advised at 16s….

No joy on day 2 – but the way we play we don’t expect to win every single race we target. Tomorrow we are having a crack at the London Gold Cup at Newbury.

It’s a quality handicap for 3yos and some previous winners have been high-class types who went on to succeed at Group level.

I think the soft-ground is key to tomorrow’s outcome. Some of the runners will prove better-suited to it than others. And I’m backing two of those horses against-the-field at nice prices….

You can get immediate access to these extra bets on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….

Get my London Gold Cup selections right now….

  • The pick of the prices….

Richard Fahey hasn’t been at his most prolific over the last fortnight but sufficient of his runners have been going well enough to suggest it is only a matter of time before he bags another big race – and WITHERNSEA can oblige tomorrow.

This horse needs everything to fall right and is on a losing run that stretches back to November 2015. But there have been good runs within that sequence and one thing that really brings the best out of the horse is present at Newbury tomorrow – ground with cut.

The 6yo has been running better this term than the bare form figures suggest. In both the Lincoln and last week’s Victora Cup, he was down the placings but not too far away and finishing his races off in encouraging-enough style.

His mark has dropped now to 93. That’s his lowest rating for 18-months (just 4lbs higher than his last winning mark) and I’m mindful he's produced decent runs off higher marks. On genuine soft ground I believe 93 is very workable for this horse.

Paul Hanagan is back onboard. His form figures in partnership with the horse read: 35230. There's one blip but overall these are figures that suggest horse and rider get on. That’s a plus. Two decent previous runs at Newbury suggest the track will suit too.

The other one I want to be with is Paul Henderson’s MEDBURN DREAM. He’s a couple of pounds out of the handicap, but the booking of 5lb claimer Richard Oliver more than negates that and I think this horse is good value for his mark of 85 back on soft ground.

He’s run okay in his two races to date this term – running up-to his mark at Windsor and at Goodwood. Those two runs will have helped him reach fitness.

But if is soft ground that brought the best out of the 4yo last term – he produced four wins on ground with cut (and beat some decent sorts on his last winning appearance at Chepstow) – and the soft ground can see him produce more improvement at Newbury tomorrow.

His yard is in good heart right now with 3 wins from 11 runners in the last fortnight - albeit in NH races – and the ground has come up just right. Under a light weight, he can outrun what will be a double-figure price.

There are no prices up as of 3.30 on Friday afternoon. I have an appointment and can’t hang around waiting for the bookies to pull their respective fingers out. I envisage 14s to 16s about each horse (any bigger is a bonus) and I think both are best at 12s or bigger….

  • WITHERNSEA @ 12s and bigger
  • MEDBURN DREAM @ 12s and bigger

The standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. It’s unlikely that any of the firms will offer a 5th place. And it will only take a couple of defections to reduce the place terms to 1/4 1-2-3.

That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra