Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 18.05.2017

Thursday, 18th May 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

Just one race is of interest to me on the final day of York’s Dante meeting – that’s the Betway Jorvik Handicap over the 12-furlong trip (4.05).

It’s not a typical renewal of the class 2 affair. You’d normally expect a double-figure field heading to post. But with the rain having fallen, just nine will contest this season’s edition of the race….

Not to worry. We must work with what we have and, at the prices, I want to be two-against-the-field, backing both horses to win and foregoing the opportunity to play for the place money.

  • A soft-ground performer….

The first one I want to be on is Tom Dascombe’s CYMRO at 9s.

Dascombe doesn’t have too many well-handicapped older horses in his ranks this term. This season should prove to be one of transition – with a lot of younger horses coming through.

I’m not sure that Cymro is incredibly well-handicapped on a mark of 100 – but he did win off that very mark at Haydock last term. And that was on genuine good ground – which wouldn’t have been ideal.

Tomorrow this horse should get the cut in the surface he needs to be at his very best. The going at York is soft as I write on Thursday. And it is forecast dry today. But there is more rain about tomorrow. And I’d suggest the ground will remain on the soft side.

He had a pipe-opener at Pontefract last month and when his chance was gone he wasn’t knocked about by Richard Kingscote. He should strip fitter for that. On soft ground on his current mark, he’s in the mix.

  • Stepping-up on a suitable surface….

Soft-ground and the step up to the 12-furlong trip could make the 14s about ASHKOUL seem a little generous in hindsight.

He’s only had two runs for Michael Appleby since moving from France and Alain De Royer-Dupre’s care. Both runs have come over the 10-furlong trip.

First-time he was disappointing at Pontefract. Next time at Doncaster over he produced a much more encouraging effort – staying on at the end on good to firm ground.

He was beaten that day by Sir Michael Stoute’s Fidaawy. That one re-opposes tomorrow. Last time he was in first-time-hood and he had his own way of things up-front. Fair enough, he won in good style and that’s why he’s four times shorter in the betting for tomorrow’s race.

But the soft ground and the additional two-furlongs might just put a different complexion on things. Ashkoul was a two-time winner on soft ground in France and he’s been shaping like this step-up in trip is what he’s crying out for.

Fidaawy is stepping up too. And he might also appreciate it. But I’m not sure about him on the ground. He got beaten on soft when sent off favourite at the back end of last term. And it might just do for him again.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Betway Jorvik Handicap (4.05 @ York)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – CYMRO (9s generally) & ASHKOUL (14s 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.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with my take on the weekend action.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd