My contrarian plays on day 4 at York....

Last Updated: 19.08.2016

Friday, 19th August 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Tawdeea at 20s in the Ebor (Saturday 4.00)….
  • The Last Lion can laugh last in the Gimcrack (Saturday 3.25)….

Tawdeea at 20s in the Ebor….

The Ebor (4.00) – the most valuable flat handicap event run in Europe – headlines the final day of the York meeting that carries the same name…..

With 6 winners in the last 8 seasons going off at prices between 14s and 33s, the Ebor is a race that has become particularly attractive to contrarian punters like us who like to take the market on….

The rains have come and for me that makes David O’Meara’s TAWDEEA an attractive proposition at a general 20s.

Cut in the ground is ideal for him – as evidenced by his win in the Old Newton Cup over 12f at Haydock in July.

After that race jockey Danny Tudhope felt there would be more to come from the horse when stepped up in trip. With that in mind it was probably an error to drop him back to 10f for the John Smith’s Cup. As well as being the wrong trip, the race might have come too soon for him too.

Next time out at Goodwood over the 14f trip the ground would have been firmly against him. So too his position in the race. It paid to be toward the front that afternoon. Tawdeea was held-up towards the rear. 

I can draw a line through both those runs. I’m content to look at the Haydock race as the true marker and on that evidence tomorrow’s trip on a flat track and ground softened by rain looks absolutely ideal for the 4yo.

I just think the price is generous and Tawdeea is the one I want to be with on an each-way basis.

The Last Lion can laugh last in the Gimcrack….

The Gimcrack Stakes takes place a little earlier on the card (3.25) and Mark Johnston’s THE LAST LION looks over-priced at 16s.

Mark Johnston likes to keep his horses running and they get plenty of experience. And The Last Lion has had more runs than any other participant in tomorrow’s field.

I think in races like this for young and unexposed horses – and I don’t discount myself from the observation – the market is often looking for the horse to make the next big leap.

Sometimes that is the right way. But other times that approach serves to ignore what a more experienced animal has already put in the form book.

The Last Lion has some decent form in the book – especially on ground with a bit of cut.

And the only horses that have beaten him in his last 4 runs are considered good enough to take their chance as juveniles in this afternoon’s G1 Nunthorpe Stakes.

If stablemate Yalta and Prince of Lir are considered the most forward juvenile sprinting talents on the block at the moment, then that view pays The Last Lion something of a compliment.

I think the price ignores all those factors and I want to take advantage. It’s a pure value play. At 16s and with some of the bookies going ¼ 1-2-3, I want to be on each-way.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Ebor (4.00 York)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – TAWDEEA each-way (20s generally)

In the Gimcrack Stakes (3.25 York)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – THE LAST LION each-way (16s 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 from me for now. I’ll be back a little later today with ATC Extra.

Stay tuned for more contrarian big-race insight & analysis next week.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd