Where my money is going on Day 4 at York....

Last Updated: 25.08.2017

Friday, 25th August 2017

Where my money is going on Day 4 at York….

BATTERSEA’S whole season has been mapped put around tomorrow’s Betfred Ebor Handicap at York (3.35) – and I want to back him at this morning’s generally available 14s.

He was 4th in last season’s renewal – running out of stall 18 and off a mark of 107. This time round he goes out of stall 15 (which connections might be slightly happier with) and effectively 7lbs better off having dropped to a mark of 105 and with 5lb claimer David Egan booked for the assignment….

The 6yo hasn’t been seen on a race track since May when he disappointed in the G3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. But I’m not concerned with that.

Varian is on record saying that this race has been the ‘plan for a good while) and you can expect him to have been tuned-up to the minute. And he’s run well off break before….

He was a bit busier in the build-up to last season’s race. A less demanding preparation is clearly part of the plan to improve him this time round….

He was gelded back in December. Who knows the effect that procedure might have? The rain has gone and the ground is drying. That will be in Battersea’s favour….

So too the trip. Maybe he didn’t quite get the 2-miles at Ascot in May. But he gets tomorrow’s trip well. The hood has also been removed for tomorrow’s assignment – another slight adjustment made by connections to squeeze more out of the horse….

I like the price about a horse that has proven suited to the race and has been specifically targeted at this season’s renewal.

  • Two-against-the-field….

If you’re looking for a bit of value in tomorrow’s Ebor, you could do worse than open a new betting account with Racebets….

They’re offering to lay 100/1 on any horse in the Ebor to new account holders. You can only get on to the tune of £1.00 but 100/1 is value about every single runner in the race – and represents a real bonus whatever you fancy backing. Get the price here….

The other one I want to be with tomorrow in the Ebor is James Fanshawe’s STAR STORM at 16s.

Fanshawe is effective at targeting big handicaps and he’s gone very close with two runners of his three runners in this race since the turn of the century. The last of those ran in 2005. He’s waited more than a decade for another horse that gives him a shot and I reckon Star Storm will be primed to produce a big run tomorrow.

Last season the 5yo was contesting Group races almost exclusively – an arena in which he didn’t disgrace himself but proved short of the required class.

Connections seem to be conceding that point in moving him back to handicap company this term – now that his mark is just 3lbs shy of the highest it’s ever been….

But no matter. The drop to handicap level helps. He ran a sound race at Ascot in June in a handicap over 12f and tomorrow’s step up in trip promises to produce improvement too. He didn’t quite get the 2-miles at Newcastle last December, but tomorrow’s trip should be perfect for him.

Just two runs this term suggest the season has revolved around this target. The booking of James Doyle is certainly an eyecatcher. And the price – he’s 16s in this morning’s market – is more than acceptable.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Betfred Ebor Handicap (Time @ Track)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – BATTERSEA (14s generally) & STAR STORM (16s 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 – when I’ll be looking at additional races from York and Goodwood….

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd

P.S

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