The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 11.05.2018

Friday, 11th May 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

There’s only one race worth targeting for us tomorrow – on a weekend that falls between Chester’s May meeting and the Dante meeting at York next week – and that’s the Victoria Cup at Ascot (4.00)....

A huge field of 29-runners goes to post for the valuable C2 handicap up the straight 7f strip. The ground is described this morning as good to firm.

It’s a competitive race as you’d expect. You can make the case for plenty of these runners. But one thing I am sure about this morning is that I want to be with Saeed Bin Suroor’s SILENT ATTACK at the general 12s available this morning....

I think he’ll be shorter than that by the time they go into the stalls tomorrow afternoon. And the price is fair enough in that context....

This horse has had his problems. He missed the entire 2017 turf season, but he put that behind him on his reappearance on the all-weather at Lingfield last month....

His performance illustrated why connections have persevered with him He won readily after being well-backed. On my figures it was a clear career-best. Whatever was wrong with him, there was no sign of it at Lingfield.  

For sure, he’s gone up 7lb on the back of that win and tomorrow’s race is a much tougher assignment, but there is plenty of potential for more to come....

He’s lightly-raced for a 5yo with just 11 runs in total under his belt. He could still have a tonne of progression to deliver and the commanding nature of his return performance suggests that progression is set to emerge in the weeks to come....

He likes a strong pace to shoot at and he will certainly get that tomorrow afternoon. I expect a big run under Silvestre De Sousa, who replaces the 5lb claimer used at Lingfield.

  • Two-against-the-field....

I’m going to do my usual trick and go two-against-the-field – backing both horses to win and foregoing the opportunity to play for place money....

My second selection is Roger Varian’s SPANISH CITY at the general 16s....

He’s another horse that produced a winning performance off a long break – winning on the all-weather at Newcastle last weekend following a 10-month lay-off and a gelding operation....

There was no shortage of confidence behind him. He was backed off the boards and he duly delivered in ready fashion on his first go at 7f under Andrea Atzeni who is onboard again tomorrow afternoon....

Varian has turned his charge around quickly. That suggests he’s come out of last weekend’s race in good heart. He runs off a mark of 88 – 4lbs higher than when last seen on turf – but that’s well within the compass of this still lightly-raced 5yo.

On the back of what was a career-best performance on my figures at a new trip, he can progress again.

Spanish City is another horse who likes to shoot at opponents off a strong pace. Tomorrow’s race delivers just such a scenario. A field this size will be something new for him. But he’s clearly in good heart, he’s on a nice weight and I expect a strong showing....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Victoria Cup (4.00 @ Ascot).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SILENT ATTACK (12s generally) & SPANISH CITY (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.

Get the latest odds here >>

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing....

No ATC Extra today. But I will be back in your inbox tomorrow with some news that I think is going to be of great interest to you. Keep your eyes peeled for that....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd