Royal Ascot - Where my contrarian money is going on Day 2....

Last Updated: 20.06.2017

Tuesday, 20th June 2017

Where my contrarian money is going on Day 2….

Wednesday is the slowest day of the week for our purposes at the Royal Ascot meeting….

There’s some great racing to watch but from a betting perspective only the one race appeals. And that’s the 30-runner Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) contested up the straight mile.

It’s one of the most – if not the most – competitive handicaps run on turf in Britain and for many punters the race is little better than a lottery. Difficult is not the word….

But if backers find it difficult, so do the layers and the rest of the market….

It’s an environment in which mistakes are easily made. Horses can be overlooked, underestimated and made available at the wrong price….

That’s exactly what we’re looking for as contrarian value seekers….

We can’t be daunted by the big-field or the complexity of the form lines. We must back our methods, our judgment and our feel for the prices and seek to capitalize on the difficulty rather than fear it….

  • Guest to Boss it….

The connections of every horse in this race will be hoping their horse is well-handicapped enough to win – and simultaneously fearing that there is something even-better handicapped lurking somewhere else on the list….

Being ahead of the handicapper is pretty-much key to winning this race. The horse must be some way better than the official handicapper believes it to be….

Mick Channon’s BOSSY GUEST has been around for a while now. He’s 5-years old, he’s had 23 races and to most minds this horse is well-exposed. But I’m not so sure….

Think back two years and this horse – as a 3yo – was rated as high as 114. He races tomorrow off a mark of 103.

On that bare analysis, this horse could well have the requisite margin in hand over the handicapper’s assessment.

He’s fallen down the rankings for a reason. He had a terrible 2016 season. Excepting a single race, he was dreadful. In July last year, when he all but refused to race at Ascot, it looked like the game might be up.

  • All the right boxes ticked….

Mick Channon put him away after the Ascot shenanigans. In August, Channon had him gelded. Then, he gave the horse a winter off.

The horse returned to action in April’s Spring Cup at Newbury. He ran well. It was particularly noteworthy how he stuck on at the end.

Next up he went to Ascot for the Victoria Cup over 7f. He finished off well once again. The finishing post came a little too soon for him that day.

The gelding appears to have worked the trick. Tomorrow’s step back up to the mile will be ideal. So too will the ground.

It was in this race last year that Bossy Guest put in his single decent performance of the season – finishing 6th on ground that was much softer than ideal from a middle stall (like he gets tomorrow) off a pound higher mark and under tomorrow’s pilot, Silvestre De Sousa….

This time round, on the right ground, having been gelded and showing renewed enthusiasm for the game, I reckon he’s a big player and at 25s I see him as my one bet in the race – each-way.

I think the fast-ground and the track are right up his street. His best-ever performance (in my book at least) came in the 2015 edition of the G3 Jersey Stakes at this meeting as a 3yo. He was 3rd in that behind Dutch Connection

He was a very smart 3yo – one that looked like it was going places. At 4, he didn’t pan out. At 5, he looks like he’s back – or coming back.

A mark of 103 under-estimates the level he can get to. At 25s, he makes a nice each-way bet for tomorrow’s race. 

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Royal Hunt Cup (Wed 5.00 @ Ascot)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – BOSSY GUEST each-way (25s 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 with my take on Thursday’s racing at the Royal meeting.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd