Friday, 7th September 2017
Look at the weather forecast for the next 48-hours over Haydock Park and you’ll see there’s going to be plenty of rain….
Officials at the track have already changed the going from good to soft to soft earlier this morning….
And I reckon that could change again. By the time they go to post for tomorrow’s renewal of the Sprint Cup Stakes (2.25), there’s a good chance the underfoot conditions could be heavy….
Heavy ground is a great leveller in any race.
Flat horses are not bred to run on that kind of ground and when it comes up that way, class and ability can be overcome by lesser horses better-suited to slugging it out in the trenches….
Harry Angel’s credentials will certainly be called into question on a testing surface. Tasleet, Brando and The Tin Man might find conditions more to their liking, but the market is on to their chance….
I want a price and given the rain and the likely state of the ground, I’m going to nail my colours to the mast of GROWL. I reckon he’s under-estimated at this morning’s 33s – and he ranks an each-way bet in my book….
For sure, he has quite a bit to find with the best of these. But the ground will level things out and this battle-hardened handicapper will go through it better than most….
The 5yo has the stamina to stay 7f (which will be useful tomorrow), he handles a soft surface and let’s not forget that this horse was 2nd in the G1 Champions Sprint Stakes as recently as last October. On back end ground, he can certainly make his presence felt up against the big boys….
He’s been running most recently in big handicaps off 109. That’s not easy work for any horse – giving weight all round to progressive up-and-coming types.
Even so, he produced a smart piece of form the time before last on soft ground in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood – finishing 4th. That’s a class performance from a horse who, when he gets conditions to help him, is a class act.
He gets those conditions tomorrow. And this class act can go close at a big price. If you’re following me in, get on each-way….
Over at Ascot in the Cunard Handicap (2.45) I am sweet on Kevin Ryan’s LUALIWA at the generally-available 16s.
The 3yo has been progressing nicely all season, producing 3 wins from six runs and never finishing outside the top 3.
The race at York in May where he finished 2nd behind Battered has proved to be strong form producing several winners….
Lualiwa won his next two over tomorrow’s 7f trip before finding just one too good last time at Ascot over 6f….
He started the season on a mark 79 and turns out tomorrow on 95 – up 2lbs from last time. Back at 7f on a surface with some desired cut on a track he seemed to appreciate last time, I think there could be more to come.
There are clearly plenty of others you could make a case for. But he’s the one at the price I like. David Egan takes the ride. He hasn’t ridden too often for Kevin Ryan this term – but when he has he has done the business. The pair are 2 wins from 2 collaborations this year.
I thought about going each-way but opted instead for two-against-the-field with K R Burke’s MJJACK my second selection at 12s.
He’s another lightly-raced sort going the right way. Last time out over course and distance in July, he went very close to landing the valuable International Stakes – finding just one too good.
He shows up here tomorrow on a mark just 4lbs higher. I don’t think that puts the stopper in him. Royston Ffrench gets another crack in the saddle and this is another horse that won’t mind the September cut in the ground. 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 afternoon….
In the Sprint Cup Stakes (2.25 @ Haydock)....
In the Cunard Handicap (2.45 @ Ascot)....
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 now.
I’ll be back a little later with ATC Extra.
Until then. Stay tuned.