Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 11.08.2017

Friday, 11th August 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

‘Whoo-hoo!! It’s Shergar Cup day at Ascot tomorrow!!’

I’m sure the organisers and the authorities intended the Shergar Cup to be that kind of occasion – one where racing fans are unable to sleep the night before because of the sheer excitement coursing through their veins….

And they do try very hard to talk the thing up – promoting it like it really is something very special and very meaningful. Something to be cherished….

But for me, it falls flat. I don’t care about the Shergar Cup. I don’t give a tinker’s cuss for it. It means precisely nothing to me who wins it. Nothing….

All that high-fiving and the forced razzamatazz and the stilted ‘Yay! We’re a team, guys’ nonsense – I watch it with dead eyes, a cold heart and a brooding soul….

If there’s a good Saturday to clean out the septic tank, this Saturday is that golden opportunity….

The Shergar Cup is handicap racing though. Not as we know it perhaps – but handicap racing nonetheless. If we can put those ‘us versus them versus that lot and the other mob’ distractions to one side, there’s still a bet to be had tomorrow….

  • The playing field with a slope?

The Shergar Cup Dash (1.05) produces an interesting mix of horses that have been going okay and others that haven’t been doing a tap.

I don’t know how the Shergar Cup works or how the horses are sourced to take part and allocated to the riders, but the playing field doesn’t seem to be particularly level….

In an event of this nature, you’d surely want every horse to have shown something recently – so that everybody is on something that looks like it might be in form. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

If you’re down to ride Willytheconqueror or Doc Sportello, for instance, you’re praying they do a bit more than they’ve been doing recently….

But that’s none of my business. I’m getting sucked into the distractions. Back to the job in hand, finding the pick of the prices….

  • The pick of the prices…. 

Lexington Abbey – representing the resurgent Kevin – arrives with nice form in the book and holds obvious claims. So too Pipers Note. But the market has found those two….

Mirza may be a 10yo but he demonstrated that the fires still burn brightly last time out when he followed Battaash home at Sandown.

The Charlie Hills horse has since won a King George V Stakes, and whilst Mirza was a good 3l in arrears to him, that Sandown form is good….

He’s interesting at this morning’s 13/2 with Coral but I’m mindful that Rae Guest reckons he doesn’t really like getting his toe in as much as he did when he was younger….

But, all things considered, I’m going to go with Dean Ivory’s STAKE ACCLAIM. He’s the one that’s potentially over-priced for me.

He ran below his recent level in last weekend’s Stewards’ Cup. That can happen. It was the biggest field he’d ever encountered. It was the most valuable race he’d ever contested. And he ran down the field.

Prior to that he’d been in a vein of excellent form – running some decent races and I can forgive the Goodwood run, given the circumstances.

If he can bounce back to the level he’s been operating at then he can figure. 7 days on he drops back to the 5f (ideal with the stiff finish at Ascot) he gets ground he can go on and he’ll have assistance of Jamie Spencer up the Ascot straight that nobody rides better and that few manage to ride as well.

I’ll be going in win only. You can get him at 7s and bigger right now. The 7s is generally available. William Hill are up at 8s. Sunbets are up at 17/2.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Shergar Cup Dash (1.05 @ Ascot)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – STAKE ACCLAIM (7s generally, 8s William Hill& 17/2 Sunbets)

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 did have a look at the Shergar Cup Mile (2.50) but I can’t see past Breakable in that one – and the market is already onto him.

Manson was interesting at 8s in the first-time cheekpieces – but the ground has put me off him. He wants top-of-the-ground and he won’t get it….

No ATC Extra this weekend. There’s no extra race I wish to target tomorrow.

I’ll be back in your inbox on Monday. Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd