Tuesday, 22nd August 2017
Mattmu won Saturday’s Great St Wilfrid at Ripon and not too many saw it coming. I certainly didn’t. I’m starting to feel like Blind Pew.
Fair enough, the 5yo has been a Group-level operator. And he was having his first-go in handicap company. But when you get beaten an aggregate of almost 40 lengths in your last three sprint starts, it kind of leads punters to believe you’re well out of form….
Maybe I’m just a poor loser. Maybe I simply underestimated the powers of the witch doctors at Tim Easterby’s yard….
After all, the stewards were not moved to call in Mr. Easterby and have him explain the 14-day transformation in his charge. He got smashed at Doncaster in a 4-runner C3 conditions race on the 5th. On the 19th he gamely beats 19 horses to the post to win a £47k pot. It’s a bit of a chin-scratcher….
It makes you wonder how this game works. But, as I say, the stewards were unmoved. Group horses in handicaps do this kind of thing – and that explains it….
I’m hoping the same kind of thing works for MOVIESTA in tomorrow’s opener at York – the Symphony Group Handicap (1.55).
Gluttons for punishment, who have been with this column for a large portion of their adult lives, might recall the 7yo is an old friend. He won the 2013 edition of the King George V Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for us….
He looked like a sprint star in the making at the time. But it hasn’t been straightforward since….
He didn’t quite make his mark at the top level. The high point came in the 2014 renewal of the Prix De L’Abbaye when he was beaten a half-length into third by Move In Time (who also shows up for the York race tomorrow).
He moved from Bryan Smart to Edward Lynam in 2015 and most of his best efforts since then have come on the all-weather at Dundalk….
So, it’s interesting that Lynam has shipped him over to York for this. The horse had a decent break, came back in July and he’s shown up well on all-weather – and turf.
He’s looked like a horse on his way back to something approaching his best, he drops back to his preferred 5f for this and, if he is on-song, then he is plenty good enough to win this. The general 12s is a nice price.
The 12s about Moviesta is not an each-way price for me. I’m going two-against-the field – backing both horses to win and looking for one to do the business and land a profit….
The other one I want to back is SHAMSHON at 14s….
He’s going to need the gaps to appear and everything to fall right as and when he comes with his customary late run. But if he gets what he needs then he weighted to go very close under Jim Crowley….
He’s on a mark of 90 – two pounds below the 92 he won off at the back end of last term – and he carries bottom weight.
He’s also been in the kind of form required to take advantage of his current perch. And you can ignore his last run when he was a beaten favourite. He was handicapped that day by having his blindfold removed too late in the stalls.
He can run a big race at a nice price….
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow at York….
In the Symphony Group Handicap (1.55 @ York)....
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 today.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my take on the action on Day 2 at York’s Ebor meeting….
Until then. Stay tuned.