The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 27.07.2018

Friday, 27th July 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

The sequence of valuable handicaps run up the 7f straight at Ascot are one of the threads that help bind the season together for contrarian price-hunters like us....

We get another one tomorrow in the shape of the Gigaset International Stakes....

A huge field of 29 runners will exit the stalls at 3.00 tomorrow afternoon and winning connections will leave the track more than £90k better off than they were when they turned up....

If we play our cards right, and find the right horse at the wrong price, we might make a few quid on the race ourselves. That’s the plan at any rate....

  • Well-treated on a mark of 100....

David O’Meara’s FIRMAMENT is a horse I added to our Watch List following his 6th-placed run in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket a fortnight ago....

That was the 6yo’s best effort of the season to date and he did it off a mark of 101....

The handicapper dropped him a pound to 100 on the back of the performance and whilst tomorrow’s three-figure rating might not scream ‘well-handicapped’, we need to consider that this horse was rated 109 just a year ago....

And he ran multiple competitive races in big handicaps at Ascot and York off that perch. He’s potentially well-treated tomorrow....

That Bunbury Cup performance provides effort provides lots of encouragement and he’s back at Ascot – a track he likes and responds to....

He hasn’t managed to win yet from 11 goes there but he’s produced enough good performances and earned decent-enough money to suggests that he can when things fall right....

Danny Tudhope resumes duties in the saddle tomorrow. And David O’Meara has reached for the first-time cheekpieces – hoping no doubt that they will squeeze out a bit more from the horse....

I think we’re on a going day. The 20s with Coral is nice. The general 16s is more than acceptable.

  • Two-against-the-field....

I’m doing my usual trick and playing two-against-the-field – backing both win only and foregoing the opportunity to play for place money....

The other one I want to back at the prices is Roger Varian’s SPANISH CITY. I can’t for the life of me work out why he’s available generally at 16s. But he is, and I must have it....

The 5yo has been in cracking form all this season and his last performance in the Bunbury Cup, where he was beaten just half a length, was his best yet on my figures....

He’s been consistent all term and has only once been more than a length in arrears to the winner of the race he’s been in....

He’s only run once before at Ascot – in this season’s Victoria Cup – but he ran plenty well-enough that day and the track doesn’t look like an issue for him....

Andrea Atzeni is back in the plate. That’s a plus. And I expect the horse to resume along his progressive curve.

He’s due to go up to 93 but gets to run off 91 tomorrow. I reckon he’s a good few pounds better than that and he can run a massive race at a nice price tomorrow.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Gigaset International Stakes (3.00 @ Ascot).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – FIRMAMENT (20s @ Coral & 16s generally) & SPANISH CITY (16s generally)

Get the latest odds here >>

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 today.

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

I’ll be back a little later today with ATC Extra....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd