The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 09.11.2018

Friday, 9th November 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

Kevin Ryan’s horses have been in decent form over the last 7-days and his ERIK THE RED is weighted to produce a big run at 16s in tomorrow’s final big handicap of the 2018 flat season – the November Handicap at Doncaster (3.15)....

The 6yo hasn’t managed to win in any of his four runs to date this term and he’s dropped  from a mark of 99 to 96 as a result....

That puts him just a pound in advance of the mark he was on when he ran 2nd in this race in 2016 – getting beaten 0.75 lengths on the day – and he can take advantage....

Doncaster is a track where he’s produced a decent effort on more than one occasion. He’s relatively lightly-raced for a horse at this stage of the season and it would come as no surprise if this turns out to have been the plan for him....

His last two runs give cause for encouragement. On ground that would have been too heavy at Ayr in September, he wasn’t beaten miles. Last time at York he produced another decent effort in a defeat that was by no means a trouncing....

It is a rare occurrence for this horse to carry less than 9-00 in a handicap. He is certainly not over-burdened carrying 8-13 tomorrow and he can run a big race at the price....

  • Two-against-the-field....

I want to be two-against-the field in this race and another one that is weighted to go very well is EDDYSTONE ROCK at 14s....

John Best’s charge has been rated as high as 102 and he was rated 100 for last season’s edition of the race – where he was 3rd and beaten just 2.5 lengths....

This time around he is rated 9lb lower on a mark of 91 – and that must give him every chance tomorrow afternoon....

Horses tumble down the ratings for a reason – because they are not producing on the track – and this horse is no exception. Look at the formbook and you’ll see he’s been well beaten in six of the seven races he’s contested since June....

But that doesn’t tell the full story....

Two runs ago he was 3rd and not disgraced in the G3 German St Leger. The time before last at Goodwood – where he was beaten 38-lengths – he did attract a bit of money. And the margin of defeat had plenty to do with being badly hampered by a fallen horse....

And last time out at Naas on Sunday – in the Irish version of the November Handicap – he produced an effort that was something much more like it....

He was slow away before tracking over to the inside towards the rear of the field. I’m not sure he got an ideal passage through the race, but he made good ground and finished off nicely – finishing 5th of the 20 runners and only beaten 4-lengths at the post....

That was a promising return to form. I’m taking it on trust that he can be turned around effectively enough in the space of 6-days. But he’s in good heart and is too well-handicapped for me to leave alone at the price....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the November Handicap (3.15 @ Doncaster).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – ERIK THE RED (16s generally) & EDDYSTONE ROCK (14s 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 later with ATC Extra....

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

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd