The pick of the prices this weekend....

19th April 2019

The pick of the prices this weekend….

It’s a busy Easter weekend for price-hunters in the big handicaps....

We’ve got decent action on the flat up at Musselburgh tomorrow afternoon....

Over the jumps a horse in one of the Challenger Series Finals at Haydock catches the eye....

  • Up at Musselburgh....

Musselburgh’s Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap (3.00) has been brought forward to April this year. They normally run it in June....

We don’t mind when they run it. A field of 17 horses goes to post on ground described as good and the one I like at the prices is Mick Appleby’s SAAHEQ at the general 14s....

He’s one of the few in tomorrow’s field whose been on-the-go across the winter and he’s not had a bad campaign on the AW....

Back on turf there could be more to come yet from this horse off a mark of 85....

He was very progressive on turf for Appleby last term after switching from Brian Meehan’s yard. He won his first two for the yard and was plenty competitive on his third go....

He’ll be fitter than most tomorrow, he gets in on a nice low weight and he’s handily berthed in stall 15....

And let’s not overlook the fact that Appleby knows how to win this race. He’s done it twice in the last 5-years with Demora and Caspian Prince....

A little later in the Queen’s Cup Stakes (3.35) I can’t argue with any punter who want to back Austrian School or Ulster. Both stand out as highly-competitive types with the capability to win. But their prices make no appeal and I am happy to take both on....

At the better prices LUCKY DEAL looks like one who could outrun the market’s assessment for Mark Johnston and Franny Norton and is worth backing at the general 8s & 9s....

Two runs back he caught the eye at Chelmsford with a dominant display over the 2-mile trip. Last time the race wasn’t run to suit but the opportunity should see him cherry-rip for tomorrow’s assignment

He will surely be sharper than a good deal of those he is up against. Nine of the 14 runners will be making their first start for more than 3-months. That match-fitness is an advantage at this early stage of the season over the 14f trip. You can be sure this 4yo will see it out in searching style under Norton....

  • Up at Haydock....

The turnout at Haydock for the Challenger Series Finals is not what it could be. The chase handicap fields are particularly disappointing....

But I will be backing Sue Smith’s THE PADDY PIE in the Staying Chase Series Final Handicap Chase (2.40)....

The generals 4s is not a typical price for this column, but in an 8-runner field the price does under-represent the true chance of the 6yo going in – at least that’s my opinion....

He showed his best form at the track back in February on good ground and is only 3lbs up in the weights for that and I think the step-up in trip could see him to better effect still for a yard that goes well with its chasers and well at the Lancashire track....

The Pick of the Prices….

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

In the Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap (3.00 @ Musselburgh).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SAAHEQ (12s & 14s generally)

In the Queen’s Cup Stakes (3.35 @ Musselburgh).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – LUCKY DEAL (8s & 9s generally)

In the Staying Chase Series Final Handicap Chase (2.40 @ Haydock).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – PADDY THE PIE (4s 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 this week.

Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd