Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 28.07.2017

Friday, 28th July 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

SWIFT APPROVAL is right down towards the very bottom of the betting for tomorrow’s International Stakes – the big 7f handicap at Ascot (3.00).

The layers have him in at quotes ranging from 40s to 50s – and I think that’s too big. I want to be with the horse each-way.

The 5yo changed ownership and shifted yards at the start of the season – moving from Kevin Ryan to Stuart Williams.

His first three runs produced a trio of duck-eggs. He was well-beaten in March, April and again in May.

Then he was given a 10-week break before returning in the Silver Bunbury Cup at Newmarket. He was fitted in a tongue-tie in combination with – for the first time – a hood.

Whether it was the break or the headgear or some other factor, the horse bounced back to something like form – running 4th against some decent sorts.

Two of those that beat him – not by miles – re-oppose tomorrow at much shorter quotes. And I keep it mind that running off his break, Swift Approval might just have needed that Newmarket run. He’s certainly entitled to progress from it.

Was the Newmarket run a fluke? An anomaly? Possibly. But, at the big price, I’m prepared to take the view that Stuart Williams used the break to do something or find something – the upshot of which was that improved showing.

This horse has been rated as high as 101 on the AW and as high as 98 on turf. Now on 92 he sits on his last winning mark and a nice racing weight for tomorrow’s race. With a 7lb claimer in the plate, he’s going to feel like he’s running loose. The soft ground shouldn’t be an issue.

The bottom line: he can go well at his big price. Better than the market presumes.

  • A second pick….

At the price, Swift Approval is an each-way bet for me in a field of 27-runners….

But I can’t resist having another stab at finding the winner and the one I like is one of those that beat Swift Approval home at Newmarket – FAWAAREQ. He can be backed at prices as big as 25s this morning – and that’s another each-way price for me.

He wasn’t beaten far by Mazkeem at Newmarket that afternoon – yet he’s three times the price of that one. And I take the view that Mazkeem would have been a bit fitter on the day having seen more racing earlier in the season.

That day at Newmarket was Fawaareq’s second appearance of the year and his first since April. He was entitled to need it and he can improve for it.

He’s certainly fresher than plenty of tomorrow’s opponents. And with just 9 runs in his legs, he’s less exposed and open to more progression than them too.

I think the cut in tomorrow’s ground will improve him. I also think he’ll appreciate the stiff 7f at Ascot – which will feel more like a mile.

He’s got a good profile for this race and at 25s he’s a good price too. I think he’ll run a big one.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the International Stakes (3.00 @ Ascot)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SWIFT APPROVAL each-way (40s and 50s generally) & FAWAAREQ 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 now.

I’ll be back in your inbox a little today with ATC Extra. Then again on Monday afternoon with my take on Day 1 at the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Until later. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd