24th August 2018
You find me in good spirts this afternoon….
After hitting the woodwork with Holmeswood and Kynren earlier this week at York – bagging the best of the prices 24-hours before the off – Titus went in for us this afternoon….
Sent off at 8s, he was advised in ATC at a very swanky 18s and 20s yesterday. One worth waiting for – and I’m hungry for another….
On action-packed weekend with plenty of good handicaps to enjoy we’re going to have a crack at two races….
We’re going to have a dig at the Melrose Handicap at (2.25) up at York – a class 2 for 3yo horses rated 105 over the Ebor trip of 1m6f….
And we’re going to fire a shot at the Sky Bet Handicap (4.50) also at York – a class 2 handicap for horses aged 3yo+ and rated 0 to 105….
Andrew Balding’s Berkshire Blue and Ian William’s BLUE LAUREATE fought out a cracking finish in the 12f handicap run at the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot a couple of weeks ago – with the former just edging out my selection….
They meet again tomorrow in the Melrose and the market favors the Balding horse to confirm the form. Berkshire Blue is 10s whilst my selection can be backed at 16s….
I find myself in disagreement with that assessment. I thought the Williams horse was staying on the better of the two – though he got pipped – and he was ahead a few yards beyond the winning post.
I think he’ll improve again for the extra yardage and prove the better stayer of the two….
And I didn’t like the way the Balding horse darted about up the straight. Maybe he was a bit green. Maybe he’s a little bit lacking in straightforwardness. Perhaps he doesn’t really want it under pressure.
Whatever, Blue Laureate was certainly the more professional of the two – and he can run a big race for his excellent team who have a knack of doing well with horses they inherit from other yards. And he can do it at a decent 16s….
Before we get onto my selection for the 10f handicap, a quick world on the other races I’m targeting this weekend over on my paid ATC service….
It’s a cracking card at York tomorrow and the obvious feature for a handicap punter like me is the Ebor – the most valuable handicap for middle-distance and staying horses on the programme….
I’ve gone two-against-the-field. I’m with one that’s been prepared for the race for several months and another that could run a massive race at a huge each-way price….
I’m also playing the same way down at Goodwood in the 20-runner handicap over the 7f trip….
You can get immediate access to these extra bets on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
Back to tomorrow’s target races and the Sky Bet Handicap at 4.50….
I'm with Ian Williams again for this one - coincidence rather than any bigger plan....
BANDITRY’S last couple of runs appear to put a bit of a question mark against him. He was well beaten at Epsom in June and then again at Ascot on his return in July. But you could make excuses for both runs....
He certainly wouldn’t be the first horse to throw in a clunker at Epsom. And I doubt the soft ground helped him that day.
At Lingfield he was up at 12f, minus the hood that had seen him to best-effect earlier in the summer and up against just 5 runners – which is less than ideal for him....
This horse needs pace to shoot at. And over tomorrow’s course and distance in May he ran a cracker - off just a pound lower then he goes off tomorrow - finishing 2nd behind Thundering Blue....
The pair pulled clear of the rest and the winner has added burnish to the form since – finishing 2nd in the John Smith’s Cup back at York, winning a Group 2, running with credit in a Group 1 and earning himself a mark of 109....
Thundering Blue was rated just 93 and Banditry was conceding weight to him when beaten just over a length in that York race. On that evidence Banditry’s mark of 96 tomorrow is plenty workable – and the hood is back on….
He will need to bounce back from those last two lack-luster performances, but York is a track on which I’d back him to do it. He gets the big-field pace. That will help.
Bet365 have just gone up with 13/2. I think better will be available as the evening progresses. I’d be delighted with 8s.
I can’t wait any longer to see how the market develops. I need to submit my copy. But take the best price you can get.
The Pick of the Prices....
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Melrose Handicap (2.25 @ York).
In the Sky Bet Handicap (4.50 @ York).
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 this week.
Enjoy your weekend.
Win big in the Big Apple…
The US Open starts on Monday. Last year my colleague and tennis analyst Tom Wilson named the 40/1 winner, Sloane Stephens.
The year before, he picked out 33/1 runner-up Karolina Pliskova, for a juicy Each Way payout.
Clearly, Tom is a man worth listening to in New York. Lookout for your chance to join him for the US Open and put his advice to the test. I’ll email you on Sunday with the details…