Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 12.08.2016

Friday, 12th August 2016

Good morning, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Two against the field in the Great St Wilfrid….

Two-against-the-field in the Great St Wilfrid….

We’ve got York’s Ebor meeting to enjoy next week. That kicks-off on Wednesday and runs through to Saturday. And we’ll be taking in the best of the betting heats en route….

First we get to warm up this weekend at another Yorkshire course. We pay our once-a-year visit to Ripon where the Great St Wilfrid (3.55 Ripon) – a class 2 handicap over the straight 6f trip for horses aged 3yo+ – is the feature race of the day.

It’s wide open both on paper and at the prices. It’s not hard to find the David Nicholls-trained Orions Bow and the market has obliged.

He’s been in a rich vein of form this term, winning 5 of his last 6 (he was 2nd in the Stewards’ Cup last time out) and going up the weights to the tune of 32 pounds since the end of April. He tops the market at a general 9/2. Nicholls won this race in 2005 and 2008. He’s enjoying something of a renaissance this term and Kimberella – another running well – also represents.  

I think there will be money for Nino Tristan. Richard Fahey has a good record in this race and his horse is clearly on-song – 3rd in the Sprint Stakes at Goodwood last month when getting no luck in running.

David O’Meara has won the race 3 times in recent years. Intisaab looks to be the live one for him.

You can back any one of those at prices between 8s and 10s and nobody could take issue with you. They are in-form, improving and in some cases both.

But the job here at ATC is to seek out the value – to find the horse the market is underestimating at the prices. And at 16s one that appeals on an each-way basis is the top-weight PERFECT PASTURE.

He was put up a big 10lbs for his last-time-out victory in the Scurry Stakes over at the Curragh. That puts him a mark of 109. And winning a handicap off that mark is a big ask, for sure. Just 10 of the last 238 horses to try and win a handicap in Britain off that mark or higher obliged. But another 38 did hit the frame.

The higher-rated horses are not completely weighted out of it. And I reckon there’s definite scope for a competitive effort from Perfect Pasture.

He did it very it comfortably at the Curragh – finishing his race strongly and putting 2 lengths between himself and his 18 opponents – giving the impression that there is more to come.

The 10lb rise in the weights seeks to factor that in. But with a claimer taking 5lbs off, a good draw, ground that isn’t too quick and a horse reported to be in rude form, there’s every chance tomorrow won’t be the day the horse hits the buffers. I think he can go well despite the mark, and I like the price.

Nameitwhatyoulike is interesting at the general 20s. Bryan Smart’s 7-year-old is something of a Ripon specialist. He’s only been out of the front 3 on one of the 7 occasions he’s appeared at the track and at this meeting last year he was just touched off in the consolation race.

He threw in a clunker last time out at Hamilton. That’s always a concern – one that is factored into the price. But I am mindful that this horse has frequently put a bad run behind him and put in a big run next time – especially when showing up at Ripon.

But I’d rather be with the other Bryan Smart runner – the younger, less exposed and lower-drawn, MYTHMAKER at 25s.

He ran a cracker at York off 94 behind See The Sun back in May – with some smart horses in behind him. He’s only 2lb higher tomorrow and he can go well again.

Forget his last time out effort at Newcastle where he was drawn on the wrong side. He can bounce back from that.

If you’re looking for the clincher then heed the fact that the horse has been gelded since the last time he ran. That will serve to focus his mind and could be the source of the improvement we are looking for tomorrow. If the big snip works the trick then Mythmaker will be there at the business end.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Great St Wilfrid (3.55 Ripon)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – PERFECT PASTURE each-way (16s generally) & MYTHMAKER each-way (25s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.


That’s all for now. I’ll be back a little later with ATC Extra.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd