The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 19.10.2018

Friday, 19th October 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

Andrew Balding’s SOUTH SEAS looked like he was going to be pretty good when he was a juvenile back in 2016....

He opened his account with three wins on the bounce and finished off that season with a runner-up performance in the G1 Criterium International at the Arc meeting in Paris....

As a 3yo he went back to France for their version of the 2000 Guineas. He finished down the field in that. Something clearly went wrong. He wasn’t seen again for a year after. And it’s been a struggle ever since....

There have been signs of life though this term. He ran a couple of decent races at Chester back in May despite missing the break on both occasions. And he caught the eye at Sandown in July....

He’s an interesting contender tomorrow at prices as big as 20s in this morning’s ante-post market....

For a start, he ran his best race in a long while last time at Goodwood. It was only a 9-runner class 2 job, but he was attempting to give loads of weight away to all his opponents and wasn’t that far away from pulling it off.  The performance advertised that he’s in good heart right now....

And tomorrow, for the first time in a while, the 4yo will get the soft ground he appears to need to excel....

Andrew Balding sent the horse to France for two of his three G1 assignments. He went there in search of soft ground. And the Criterium performance suggests that give underfoot is exactly what this horse needs. It’s interesting too that Balding chooses this assignment to reach for the first-time cheekpieces.

The horse has no form at Ascot and will need to take to the track. But, if he does, then the soft surface could well see him to better effect than he’s been seen for a while. He’s worth a bet at the price.

  • Two-against-the-field....

The other horse I want to be with in this race is another that will appreciate the soft conditions underfoot tomorrow....

Ralph Beckett has been sparing with his assignments for MITCHUM SWAGGER since the horse joined him from David Lanigan’s yard last November....

Back in March – on early-season soft ground – he was sent to Doncaster for the Lincoln where he finished 3rd. And then that was it until the end of last month....

I don’t think the horse has been injured. I think he’s been saved for the back-end. The ultra-quick ground we had this summer would have been no use to him. It’s only now he’s going to get the underfoot give he needs, and he will be heading into the race a much fresher horse than most....

He was well fancied on his return last month at Haydock but disappointed. The ground was drying-out that afternoon, and that might have been against him. Whatever, first-time-up off a break can always find a horse out and he will be a better animal tomorrow for the run....

The two horses that beat him home at Doncaster in March are proper Group horses. Addeybb is rated 117. Lord Glitters is now rated 116. They were entitled to beat Beckett’s horse off 99 and 107 respectively....

But their subsequent and respective travels up the order pay Mitchum Swagger a compliment. On ground he likes, he’s entitled to go very close tomorrow on a mark of 104 and the 20s available about him this morning is worth taking....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Balmoral Handicap (4.30 @ Ascot).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SOUTH SEAS (20s generally) & MITCHUM SWAGGER (20s 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 now.

I’ll be back in your inbox a little later with ATC Extra....

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

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd