The contrarian word on Day 2 at Royal Ascot....

Last Updated: 19.06.2018

Tuesday, 19th June 2018

The contrarian word on Day 2 at Royal Ascot….

The 2018 Royal Ascot meeting gets underway this afternoon....

I sent out my contrarian picks for Day 1 yesterday. If you missed that coverage, you can catch-up here....

Today, we take an ahead-of-time-look at tomorrow’s Royal Hunt Cup (5.00) – hoping to bag the best of the prices....

It’s no easy assignment. A field of 29-runners heads to post before emerging from the stalls and charging up the straight mile....

It’s a bit like taking two ordinary big-field handicaps and stitching them together to make one race. No wonder a lot of punters won’t touch races like this with a bargepole....

But here at ATC we love races like this. They provide us with plenty of excellent betting options at big prices. We trust our methods and have faith in our ability to pluck such bets put....

  • One that gets my antenna twitching....

Ever since Jamie Spencer gave Keyser Soze an enterprising ride into 3rd place in this season’s edition of the Spring Cup at Newbury in April, I’d assumed he would ride the 4yo if the horse got into the Royal Hunt Cup....

The horse did get in – sneaking in at the bottom of the weights. But Spencer isn’t on him....

Instead, Spencer rides RAISING SAND for Jamie Osborne and that’s a pairing that tweaks my antenna and attracts my attention at 20s generally....

Osborne has a decent record in the Royal Ascot handicaps – especially those up the straight with 3 of his last 17 such participants winning and another 3 placing....

Spencer needs no introduction either in the straight handicaps at Ascot. No rider rides the straight strip better....

And the pair have some form together in handicaps up the straight at the Royal meeting. They won the 2016 edition of the Britannia with Limitless. And they were 4th in the 2012 edition of this race with Field of Dream.

Raising Sand has only been seen once this term and on the face of it he produced a poor effort in the Victoria Cup over the 7f at tomorrow’s venue – he was 16th of 27 albeit only beaten 6-lengths....

But the 6yo was slow away that day. And he made ground late on under Dougie Costello. The mile will prove much more up his street and

In terms of Ascot, the horse is probably best judged on his win in a handicap over a mile back in 2016 – where he came late under George Baker (another rider who had the knack up the straight at the track). No doubt Spencer will be looking to do the same tomorrow.

  • Two-against-the-field....

In a field this size I’d rather go for broke and be two-against-the-field than be playing for place money with the one selection....

I had a good look at Cape Byron. And I had a good look at Mubtasim. But the other one I want to be with at the prices is the john-Gosden-trained TRICORN – at 25s with William Hill and 20s generally....

Gosden is better known for his Pattern exploits than for being a targetter of handicaps. But this is not any old handicap. It’s one of the most prestigious run in Britain – on with plenty of history – and I reckon Gosden likes to have a real crack at it. 

He’s won it twice with Royal Oath and G M Hopkins. He’s placed with two more runners. Another three of is 12 runners in total since 2007 have made the top 7.

In a race consisting of 25 to 30 runners most years, those finishes can be almost considered as good as places. In short, he frequently sends one out to be competitive....

I’d imagine Gosden has had this race in mind for Tricorn ever since the horse finished 3rd in last season’s Britannia – a race for 3yo handicappers run up the same strip as tomorrow’s race....

He’s run well enough in his two appearance this term – without setting the place on fire. But this will be the race for which he’s been trained. The first-time blinkers are on and he’s nicely drawn on the high-side of the track.

There are loads in with chances. But I expect this one to run his race and he seems generously priced given his form at last year’s Royal meeting and his connections.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00 @ Ascot)

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – RAISING SAND (20s generally) & TRICORN (25s William Hill & 20s 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.

Get the latest odds here >>

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing....

I’ll be back in your inbox tomorrow with my contrarian take on Day 3 at Royal Ascot....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd