Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 13.10.2017

Friday, 13th October 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

Some people consider tomorrow’s Cesarewitch at Newmarket (3.40) the last race of the flat season and the first race of the jumps season – given that it’s contested by horses from both codes….

With 34 runners gong to post over a 2-mile 2-furlong trip that starts in one county and finishes in another, it does have something of a Grand National feel to it….

And it is similarly hard to call. Multiple horses go into the race with a serious chance and luck-in-running plays a big part….

  • Every chance at the weights….

Iain Jardine has had a cracking season and his SHREWD can put the cherry on the icing by winning this tomorrow. He’s a good bet at this morning’s 20s.

He has the look of a well-handicapped horse. He was 2nd in last season’s Ebor at York off a mark of 100 and then placed in last season’s Cesarewitch trial off a mark of 102.

He ran down the field in the actual Cesarewitch off a mark of 103 with his jockey asking for his finishing effort a little earlier than ideal but it hasn’t put connections off having another crack. 

He goes tomorrow off a mark of 96 having produced his best effort of this season last time in the Cesarewitch trial – in which he appeared to be running into form at just the right time. He was 3rd again, finished off well and can come on.

What really goes in the horse’s favour at the weights is Jardine’s decision to use his classy claimer Jamie Gormley on the horse for just the second time – taking off an additional 7lb.

Jardine rates Gormley a top prospect with a good clock in his head and a shrewd (excuse the pun) racing brain. With him aboard, the horse will effectively be going off a mark of 89. And he starts from a handy enough berth of stall 9. 

  • Two-against-the-field….

I’m going two-against-the-field and my second is pick is the Willie Mullins-trained LAWS OF SPIN also at 20s.

Ryan Moore probably had the pick of the Mullins horses and chose to ride Lagostovegas. Fair enough. But he can only ride one and his choice doesn’t put Laws Of Spin out of it.

The 4yo heads to Newmarket in good form having improved last time out when winning a valuable handicap at Leopardstown. And the step back up in trip tomorrow can see him to even better effect.

I must confess to being drawn to the booking of Andrea Atzeni. I’m a fan. He’s only ridden once in the past couple of seasons for Mullins. That was on Wicklow Brave in last season’s Goodwood Cup. He rode the horse closer to the pace than was usual – and the horse outran his double-figure odds in 4th.

I wonder if Mullins made a mental note. Whatever, Atzeni gets the ride on Laws Of Spin tomorrow and he’s a fine ally to have in the saddle in this race.

You need a good clock in your head in the Cesarewitch. Go too hard too early and you’re done for. Atzeni has won a Cesarewitch (when still a 3lb claimer) and he’s placed on two of his other 7 rides – some of which were on no-hopers. He knows how to get the best out of a horse over this extreme trip in this big-field. And I like his chances of proving so once again.

  • Underestimated at the price….

Up at York in the Coral Sprint Trophy (3.15), Richard Fahey’s MR LUPTON looks over-priced at this morning’s 18s in the ante-post market with bet365 and 16s generally.

He’s gone well the last couple of times at Haydock – without troubling the scorers….

He was well beaten in the G1 Sprint Cup. But he’s not up to that level. Next time in the rescheduled Gold Cup – a handicap – he ran well enough in 4th off 108. Both races were run on heavy ground that wouldn’t have seen him at his most dangerous.

He’s dropped now to a mark of 105 – 8lbs below his career-high and 2lbs below his highest winning mark. Fahey has booked a 7lb claimer to take the ride and at a track where he’s won a valuable big-field handicap over tomorrow’s trip, he probably merits a little more respect than the price confers.

The ground will be more to his liking than was the case at Haydock and he can make it three 3 wins from 6 at handicap level if he produced what he’s capable of. He’s worth an each-way bet at the prices.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Cesarewitch (3.40 @ Newmarket)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SHREWD (20s generally) & LAWS OF SPIN (20s generally)

In the Coral Sprint Trophy (3.15 @ York)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – MR LUPTON each-way (18s bet365 & 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 a little today with ATC Extra.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd