Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 07.07.2017

Friday, 7th July 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

Regular readers will know that I’m a massive fan of Bryan Smart’s Alpha Delphini….

He won the Bullet Sprint Stakes for us at Beverley last year. And this term I’ve put him up in the Temple Stakes at Haydock and the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting. He ran with great credit in both races and the 6yo is still improving….

I just know he’s going to win a decent race at some point. He’s in the form of his life right now and the stiff 5f at Sandown in tomorrow afternoon’s Coral Charge (1.50) might well prove ideal for him.

But there is no room for sentiment in this game. This column is all about prices and value. At 6s Alpha Delphini is short-enough for a horse drawn in stall 11.

If he wins, I’ll be pleased for the horse. But he won’t be carrying my cash tomorrow….

  • The pick of the prices in the Charge….

Battaash is widely fancied at 3s and shorter….

He won a listed race at the track last month. That was off the back of a lengthy break and I wonder if he’s a candidate for the bounce. He’s got a nice draw in stall 2, but he’s short enough for me.

So too Muthmir….

He ran a nice race in 4th in the King’s Stand Stakes on the back of winning a G2 in France. He’s clearly going well. But he’s giving 5lb and more to every opponent tomorrow and that’s a tough ask….

The one for me at the prices is Paul Midgley’s LINE OF REASON at 14s

On the face of it, he’s a handicapper stepping up in Grade – coming into the race off the back of two consecutive handicap wins off marks of 97 and 100.

He’s up to 104 now and maybe it looks like Midgley is throwing the dice. And maybe he is. But let’s not forget that this horse was once rated 111 – higher than all the runners in tomorrow’s race (excepting Muthmir) are rated now.

He could still be that good. Midgley believes he is. He’s capitalized on what will prove generous marks. Now he deserves to take another chance at this level.

Midgley and his team lost the horse for a while – whatever the reason – but they’ve certainly got him back now. He’s obviously fit and firing and that’s important with sprinters. They get on a roll and they can keep doing it – and it’s easier for them to overcome class rises than it is for a route horse….

And Line of Reason is nicely berthed in stall 3 tomorrow. That’s a plus. He likes fast-ground and he’ll get that tomorrow. He’s a player at a nice price.

The place terms of 1/5 1-2-3 make no appeal to me. I’m playing win only.

  • Madness at the price….

There’s no doubt in my mind that David O’Meara’s MYTHICAL MADNESS is a better proposition over the mile than he is over 10f….

And I can draw a line through his run in the Wolferton Handicap at the Royal meeting over the longer trip….

Prior to that the horse had looked as good as ever when finishing 2nd at Epsom and then winning at Haydock off marks of 95 and 96 – with those races run over the 9f trip and the mile.

He’s up to 101 now – his highest turf mark. And in some quarters, he is expected to struggle now. But, I’m not so sure.

Most of his work in handicaps has been done at the 10f trip. He’s relatively unexposed at a mile in turf handicaps – having run in such races just twice to date.

And if he’s going to excel on his current mark, it is going to be in a decent-sized field on decent ground over a mile – exactly what he gets tomorrow in the Coral Challenge (2.25). He’s pretty good going right-handed too.

There are plenty in this race with chances. My assignment is to find the one that can run a bigger race than his price suggests and Mythical Madness at 20s is that animal.

Take out the Ascot run and judge the horse on his two performances prior to that and whatever way you twist it, 20s is an attractive price. And with the bookies paying out on the 4th place, it’s an each-way price too.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Coral Charge (1.50 @ Sandown)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – LINE OF REASON (14s generally)

In the Coral Challenge (2.25 @ Sandown)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – MYTHICAL MADNESS each-way (20s 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 now.

I’ll be back in your inbox a little later today with ATC Extra.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd