The pick of the prices in tomorrow's Thirsk Hunt Cup....

Last Updated: 29.04.2016

29th April 2016

Good afternoon, friends,

In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….

  • Heading to Thirsk this week….
  • In case you missed it….
  • This week’s ATC Extra selections….

Heading to Thirsk this week….

Every weekend on ATC Extra we target a big-field handicap and take a shot at the big prices….

We head north for our annual visit to Thirsk this weekend – and a tilt at the prices in their big seasonal feature race, the Thirsk Hunt Cup (3.55)….

This is a Class 2 handicap event for horses aged 4yo+ and it is contested over the left-handed mile

A field of 18 runners go to post on ground described this afternoon as soft.

We’ll get to this week’s selections in a moment. First, a few words on the stance I’m taking at Newmarket tomorrow afternoon….

Get hold of this weekend’s Newmarket advice….

Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon I’ve highlighted my contrarian selections for the 2000 Guineas and the Suffolk Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow….

  • I’m taking on the favourite, Air Force Blue, in the 2000 Guineas. He’s an early foal, there are doubts about his stamina and the ground might be a tad too slow for him. I’m opposing him with one available at double-figures….
  • In the Suffolk Stakes over the straight 9f I’m siding with a horse at an each-way price that has shown improvement, likes to lead and could get an easy time of it under a jockey who knows how to capitalise on that scenario….

If you’re looking for a couple more bets for tomorrow afternoon you can access those picks free of charge right now by taking a FREE test-drive of my Against the Crowd service….

And on Saturday night you’ll get my advice on for Sunday’s 1000 Guineas….

Just sign up here and instantly access my selections on the website….


This week’s ATC Extra selections….

A few important considerations to bear in mind as we approach the Thirsk Hunt Cup….

It hasn’t been a source of really big-priced winners over recent times…. 12 of the last 14 winners were returned at single-figure SPs….

Fitness has been a significant edge in this early-season contest with 11 of the last 14 winners having been on the track at some point during the previous 5 weeks….

And the draw is a significant factor. The left hand turn into the straight means it is something of a disadvantage to be drawn wide in a high-numbered stall….

All that taken into consideration, the pragmatist in me is minded not to shoot too high for just the sake of it. Decent prices are decent enough in the context of this particular race.

STORM ROCK looks an interesting contender at the 10s with William Hill.

He’s on the right side of the draw and he’s in around the bulk of the horses I expect to set the early tone. That will help him. Franny Norton will be able to sit in behind and come with his run late on.

The 4yo has already been out this term – in the Lincoln at Doncaster. He didn’t set the world alight that afternoon. But he wasn’t disgraced either and will come on for it. You’re Fired was behind him that day – and he came out and won last week.

The soft ground will very much suit and the yard has been in decent heart over the last fortnight. The price is a bit shorter than we’d ordinarily be looking to bet in a race of this nature, but the horse ticks plenty of the right boxes.

First time up might be the time to catch KING TO BE at a more than acceptable 12s.

This former inmate of Richard Hannon’s yard seemed to lose his way post-spring last term and his reward is a close-season transfer to the care of serial horse-improver, David O’Meara.

On the best of the 4yo’s form a mark of 89 could prove to be a very reasonable starting point for new connections. Before his form went astray last year he’d looked progressive – winning at Goodwood, finishing 5th on his handicap debut at York off 85 when giving weight to the horses that beat him home, and placing again at Goodwood. 

He’s drawn wide – that’s not ideal but it’s not impossible either. And I’m not worried about a lack of soft-ground form in his profile. His sire has produced plenty of group level winners on soft ground in France and tomorrow’s surface is as likely to suit as not.

How I’ll be playing….

Remember, we don’t have to be betting in hundreds to make the game worthwhile or fun. A spend of a few quid is plenty to be going on with….

Note: The bookies will be 1/4 1-2-3-4 on this. One or two might offer enhanced terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4-5. So if you’re backing each-way, you may be well-advised to wait and see who goes up with what.


That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Until next time, be lucky.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra