Friday, 23nd September 2016
Good afternoon, contrarians,
On the menu today….
I can certainly understand Third Time Lucky’s favouritism in the overnight market for tomorrow’s Cambridgeshire at Newmarket (4.10).
He won the the race last year off a mark of 95 but is only rated 100 this time round and with crack 5lb claimer Adam McNamara in the plate, he effectively runs off the same mark as last year.
And McNamara is already a very good rider – certainly as good as many of the established inhabitants of the weighing room – and the 5lb he takes off is just the extra bonus he brings to the table. He didn’t win his first race until January and he’s already nailed an Ebor for Tony Martin.
Indeed Martin was very complimentary about McNamara earlier this week and expects him to have a big future in the sport.
Back to the horse…. He ran a very decent trial last time at York and should be just about right for this defence of his title after taking his time to come to hand earlier in the season.
He’s only run three times this term and should be fresher than most but at 8s I cannot justify backing Richard Fahey’s charge – not in a 35-runner race.
The one I like at the prices is David O’Meara’s TREASURY NOTES at a general 25s.
He’s partnered with his usual pilot, Danny Tudhope, whose stock in the game is rising.
In the wake of James Doyle’s demotion from automatic number one status at Godolphin, Tudhope has been booked to ride Silver Line for Saeed Bin Suroor in tomorrow’s G1 Middle Park Stakes.
It must be a boost to the rider’s confidence – and confidence is no bad thing heading into big races….
The horse is in the form of his life right now. He’s won three of his last four races – all of them at the mile trip – and in the last two at Haydock and Ripon he needed every yard of the track to get his head in front.
That serves to suggest that the step up to 9f should be absolutely ideal for him and I anticipate him finding more improvement for the extra furlong off the back of the inevitable fast pace.
I’ll be backing the horse each-way. I imagine you’ll be betting each-way in the race too – whether you follow me or do your own thing. Be aware that Skybet are paying 1/4 the odds on the first 6 home. Bet365, Betfred and Winner are already up with place odds of 1/4 1-2-3-4-5.
The G1 Cheveley Park Stakes is run a little earlier on the Newmarket card (2.35) and the one I want to be with is ROLY POLY at what looks like a relatively generous 6s with quite a few of the firms.
Lady Aurelia is the easy favourite at 4/6 and based on her performance in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she trounced the field 7 lengths, that’s fair enough.
She came out of that meeting talked about like she is some kind of wonder horse. And the Frankie Dettori link – which is playing out in the press this week like some kind of Mills & Boon love story – only serves to deepen the impression that Wesley Ward’s charge has been produced out of moon-dust by the Gods.
It might well prove to be the case. But cynicism is a helpful trait for a contrarian punter and I prefer to recall that the Ascot race was run over 5f on soft ground and that the filly wasn’t quite so spectacular at Deauville next time out on quicker ground over 6f.
She might have needed the French run a little. But there’s no arguing with the fact that she was flatter than at Ascot. And there’s no guarantee she’s going to show up tomorrow – where race circumstances resemble those at Deauville more than they do those she encountered at Ascot – and produce that stellar performance all over again.
If she does, that’s all well and good. I will tip my hat. And there will be no sour grapes. But, as a bet, Roly Poly appeals more.
I’m not quite sure why Queen Kindly is half the price. For sure she beat the O’Brien horse last time at York. But she was in receipt of 3lbs she doesn’t get tomorrow, Ryan Moore is back in the plate for Roly Poly and on another day Roly Poly might even have beat her at York. Certainly after the race Seamie Heffernan thought he’d been unlucky.
There’s probably not much to choose between the two horses. But there’s quite a difference in their respective prices. And that seals the deal for me.
I’ll be going for gold and backing Roly Poly to win – but if 6s is an each-way price in your book then don’t let me be the one to put you off playing for the place too.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon ….
In the Cambridgeshire (4.10 Newmarket)....
In the Cheveley Park Stakes (2.55 Newmarket)....
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 today. Stay tuned for more contrarian big-race insight & analysis next week.