Two against the field in the Duke Of York Stakes....

Last Updated: 11.05.2016

Wednesday, 11th May 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Better ground than I anticipated….
  • Two against the field in the Duke of York Stakes (3.15)….

Better ground than I anticipated….

I’m on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border and it’s been raining all night. Up at York though they report that it’s been dry since 3am and the going is good, good to firm in places.

With just a smattering of rain forecast across the rest of the morning up until off-time we’re going to get decent-enough racing ground. That’s better than I expected.

The Musidora is the race for the headline writers this afternoon. Seven go to post for the Oaks trial with John Gosden’s So Mi Dar expected to underline her classic credentials.

That race is purely for watching as far as I’m concerned – a sporting heat as opposed to a betting heat.

From a punting perspective I’m much more interested in the Duke of York Stakes (3.15)….

Two against the field in the Duke of York Stakes….

This G2 sprint over the straight 6f trip brings together a decent field….

Twilight Son is short for a horse having his first run of the season – one his trainer has intimated he might need – and who has to concede weight to the field.

Magical Memory has had a run – a winning one at that – which may account for the market’s view that he’ll beat Henry Candy’s horse for the first time on what will be his 4th attempt.

They are the top-rated two in the field on the official handicapper’s list. But neither horse appeals to me as a betting prospect.

In a race of this nature I am never going to be playing the market fancies. Sprints are great levelers and the percentage play is always to focus your betting attention further down the price list.

EASTERN IMPACT turns-out for his first run of the year and I think he’s a nice each-way price this morning. Paddy Power are up at 20s and 16s is generally available.

Richard Fahey had his charge ready to do the business at the first time of asking last term and that encourages me to believe the horse will be fit enough to do himself justice. On the best of his form he wouldn’t be too far behind the principals here and his price undervalues him.

The other one I like at a big price is David O’Meara’s French-import SUEDOIS – available at 20s with SportingBet and a general 16s this morning.

He won a G3 in France and in the G1 Prix De La Foret over 7f at the back end of last season, against some very good genuine G1 horses (the likes of Toormore & Gordon Lord Byron), he certainly wasn’t disgraced.

On his first appearance for O’Meara at Doncaster in a listed contest last month – his first run since being gelded over the winter – he produced a very promising effort which his handler and jockey (both are York specialists) will have learnt much from.

The horse is highly thought of. They plan to head to Royal Ascot with him after this and I expect improvement today from the Doncaster run. If that improvement is produced then he should be on the premises at a big each-way price.

Kevin Ryan’s Flaming Spear comes out of a Newmarket race in which the form is working out nicely (highlighted in this column last week) to run in the 6f handicap at York this afternoon (2.40)….

But, at risk of enduring another Galileo Gold and another Kimberella scenario, I’m happy enough to let him go off at this morning’s 13/2 without my money onboard. That’s not my kind of price in a 6f handicap in which 19 go to post….

I’m sitting the handicap out. I’m happy to stick with my Duke Of York bets this afternoon….

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the Duke of York Stakes (3.15)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – EASTERN IMPACT each-way (20s Paddy Power & 16s generally) & SUEDOIS each-way (20s SportingBet &16s 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.


That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow...

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd