19th October 2018
We’re off the beaten track this week….
It isn’t often that Catterick provides the focus of our attention. But the North Yorkshire venue gets its moment in the spotlight this weekend….
We’re targeting the Catterick Dash – a C2 handicap event over the straight 5f strip for horses aged 3yo+ and rated 0 to 100….
A field of 14 goes to post on ground described this afternoon as soft….
Last year’s winner Storm Over turns out again to defend his crown. He’ll have to improve again. He’s 7lb higher in the rankings than he was when winning last term….
That said, he has won off 89 on the all-weather. And he’s had a sparing campaign. No doubt he’s been held back for the ground to turn. So, he gets what he like tomorrow afternoon. Fran Berry rides the horse for the first time….
Last year he won the race out of stall 15. This year he might have his work cut out to do the same thing from stall number 2….
Up the straight on soft ground at Catterick they often come over to the stands side. It is the high numbers that are favored in those circumstances….
We’ll get to my selection for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
First a quick word on the other bets I’m placing this weekend….
It’s Champions Day down at Ascot tomorrow – with a clutch of G1 races that will keep the connoisseurs happy….
Over on my paid ATC service, our focus is on the race that closes the Ascot card – the Balmoral Handicap over the straight mile….
A field of 20 horses goes to post. I’m going two-against-the-field – siding with a pair of horses at prices that are ready to put their best foot forward at this late stage of the campaign….
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….
Back to tomorrow’s target race and the pick of the prices….
BENGALI BOYS is a fair old quote to go in at 14s with sponsors William Hill….
It’s been frustrating for his connections having to wait for the soft-ground that is key to the horse delivering his best….
The 3yo showed last terms what a potent operator he is on a soft surface when putting the Weatherbys Super Sprint field to the sword at Newbury – trouncing the rest by 6-lengths….
He’s not quite managed to deliver on the promise of that performance since. He went up to 105 post-Newbury but has slipped down to 93 since then on the back of a sequence of relatively underwhelming efforts….
He was gelded back in June and he’s potentially very well-handicapped right now. He’s certainly one of the few in the field that probably isn’t entirely exposed….
The key aspect of this bet is that tomorrow will be the first time the horse has had the proper soft conditions he relishes since that Newbury performance….
Last time at Ayr in the Silver Cup, it did come up heavy – but it was probably too deep for a small horse carrying a big weight that afternoon….
And the horse didn’t help himself by misbehaving prior to the start. A repeat of those shenanigans tomorrow, will not do him any good – but, at the price, I’m prepared to take it on trust that he’ll be a professional….
William Hill are the only firm up with prices right now. I’m happy with the 14s they’re offering….
My publisher needs my copy asap today and I can’t wait to see what price other firms open at. But if you want to hang fire until later and they go bigger than 14s, then better still….
The Pick of the Prices....
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Catterick Dash (3.30 @ Catterick).
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.
Our tennis analyst Tom Wilson is on a roll…
And going into today’s tennis, members of Tom’s Ones to Watch service have got a 22/1 shot in the Moscow semi finals…
“You're absolutely amazing Tom, simply the best in your uncanny knowledge of tennis…”
“Tom, Thank you so much for the tips. Your knowledge of the sport is commendable…”
The autumn tennis continues next week with the prestigious WTA World Tour Finals in Singapore, plus tournaments in Vienna and Basel. Last year Tom named a 25/1 winner at the Vienna event!
Don’t miss next week’s picks. Get in on the action…