Friday, 9th June 2017
Nothing can go at 100 mph non-stop. And that includes the racing….
We had the Derby meeting last weekend at Epsom. We’ve got Royal Ascot the week after next.
There must be the odd lull in-between-times and that’s where we find ourselves this weekend. There’s no out-and-out top meeting to feast on. There’s no out-and-out top race to get our teeth into.
The bottom-line is that we can’t have fine dining every weekend of the year. There will be weekends when the steak is off the menu and we must make do with beef-burger to quell the hunger pangs….
The beef-burger for tomorrow comes in the form of the John Sunley Memorial Handicap on Newmarket’s July course (3.40).
A field of 16 horses goes to post for the class 2 event which is contested over the 14-furlong trip. The ground at the track is described this morning as good. There’s a smattering of rain forecast a little later today but none tomorrow. I’d say the ground will be perfectly fair when the gates open….
The bookmakers are playing it cautious this morning. They’ve got half a dozen in the field in at prices at 8s to 9s. They see it as competitive and they want to cover as many angles as possible. Fair enough. That’s their business….
I’ll be supporting BYRON FLYER at a best price of 11s this morning….
You might know Ian Williams’s charge best as a hurdler. He was 5th in a good handicap at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April – but connections have long felt he has a good flat race in him.
He’s only had two runs on the turf flat. The second of those came in a handicap at Chester last month where the horse was backed into favouritism.
On the face of it he was a well-beaten 7th of 10. But you can ignore that result. He was repeatedly denied a clear run in the final furlong and, in the end, he was eased and allowed to coast home under Franny Norton.
He gets another go at landing a pot tomorrow. It’s a slightly better race but the Williams yard is in a nice bit of form and I’m expecting this horse to be spot-on.
The track will probably suit better than Chester and its tight turns. That race turned into a bit of a sprint finish. Tomorrow’s big field might produce a more truly run race and given this horse stays two-and-a-half miles over hurdles, that will play to his strengths – especially under bottom-weight….
I think Byron Flyer is good value at a double-figure quote. But the 10s is not an each-way price for me.
I’m going to forego the opportunity to play for place money and go two-against-the-field – backing both horse win only….
My second pick is Michael Bell’s BATTS ROCK – also in at 10s this morning. He’s had just two runs since being gelded last term and last time out at Goodwood he was stepped up to tomorrow’s trip for the first time.
On the face of it he was well beaten. But he was travelling very well and making his move when he clipped heels 2f out. He couldn’t recover from that and the distance he was beaten doesn’t tell the full story of his race.
The time before that the 4yo showed that he was in good form at Ascot and he can progress again tomorrow on ground that will suit for a yard that is going well.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the John Sunley Memorial Handicap (3.40 @ 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 now.
But I’ll be back in your inbox a little later today with ATC Extra….
Until then. Stay tuned.