Friday, 20th May 2016
Good afternoon, contrarians,
On the menu today….
It’s Friday afternoon and that means just one thing. I get to put my money where my mouth is, stick my head above the parapet and have a crack at the weekend’s big races.
I’m an out-and-out contrarian. I want to get the fancied horses beaten and to have my dollar on the participants poised to capitalise at big prices.
It’s not a strategy that suits the temperament of every punter. But it’s the way we roll here at ATC. We bet against the crowd – not with it.
Our strength is our weakness – opposing the crowd means we back our fair share of losers. But our weakness is also our strength – when we get it right we do so at prices that make up for losing sequences and a bit more besides….
The really big race tomorrow afternoon is the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh (5.40)….
I’ll get on to my contrarian selection for that race in a moment….
First, there’s no harm in having a Hollywood bet. A Combination Tricast offers a tilt at a potentially big prize for a low downside investment. I play for fun….
Where the Tricast Indicator points….
Our Indicator tool expresses an assortment of opinions. It highlights which horses rank as ‘win’ and ‘place’ finishers on a series of scales relating to ratings, strike-rates and other measures.
Multiple horses in tomorrow’s Irish 2000 Guineas ‘win’ (yellow) or ‘place’ (blue) on at least one opinion scale. But some score better than others. Taken as a whole, the data predicts the following horses will fill the first 3 spaces home….
The last 4 winners of the English 2000 Guineas to pitch up in the Irish version produced form figures of 2111.
On those figures Galileo Gold is worth top berth in the market. He’s been there, done it and he’s the one to beat. Trainer Hugo Palmer says his horse has eaten every oat since Newmarket and has got bigger and stronger.
Air Force Blue flopped when heavily fancied at Newmarket. Aidan O’Brien – who has won 7 of the last 14 renewals of this race – took him home, changed the way he works and blamed himself for maybe pushing the horse too hard.
The noseband and the tongue-tie – in place at Newmarket – are absent this time. That might help. But earlier this week O’Brien was still saying he wouldn’t believe the horse gets a mile until he actually sees it. Hardly a vote of confidence.
The horse is on a retrieval mission and at 11/4. His sire has had plenty of good juveniles that haven’t cut it at 3 and I’m not feeling the faith.
It was the long hot summer of 1976 when Kevin Prendergast last won this race with Northern Treasure but his AWTAAD can repeat the feat tomorrow at a perfectly acceptable 11/2.
He’s won his last three races comfortably – with bare figures in the book that underplay his potential. He’s clearly progressive and has been talked about as an Irish Guineas horse since last autumn. His seasonal reappearance will have taken the fizz out of him and I expect him to be ready to leave his existing figures well behind.
Rider Chris Hayes says the horse fills him with confidence and ranks as good as anything he’s sat on. He will improve for the mile and for good ground but with the possibility of rain it is a definite bonus that the son of Cape Cross goes on any ground – unlike some of his opponents.
The 11/2 is not big enough to represent an each-way bet for me – not at 1/5 1-2-3. But I wouldn’t argue with you if you wanted to play for the place as well. Your call.
Up at Haydock it is the G2 Temple Stakes (4.10) over the fast 5f that draws my betting eye….
No shortage of talent goes to post – Muthmir, Meccas Angel, Sole Power and the up-and-coming Waady.
The weather is going to be the key factor here. The ground is good to firm right now but, with 10mm of rain forecast from this evening through tomorrow morning, the ground will be nowhere near that come the off. And that’s why Meccas Angel – a G1 winner who needs cut – tops the market this morning.
If the rain comes and she runs then she’s going to be a tough nut to crack – even without the benefit of a run this season. But that’s factored into the 9/4 price tag. And that’s no kind of price in a sprint for a contrarian player like me.
WAADY has done very little wrong over the last 12 months and progressed again for his seasonal reappearance in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket at the end of last month where he was 3rd behind Profitable.
John Gosden’s horse is surely more progressive than the Clive Cox horse and can reverse that Newmarket form tomorrow. He was only beaten 0.75 lengths and a softer surface will suit him more than it will Profitable.
The progressive Gosden horse is supportable enough at 7s – but at that price I’ll be playing solely to win.
The one I like at an each-way price is PEARL SECRET. He’s got a lot going for him at a general 16s. He goes well first-time up, he likes cut, he won this race last term and he has a pretty good record at Haydock generally.
The minimum trip works best for David Barron’s horse as he showed last term by winning this, finishing 4th in the King’s Stand Stakes and running with great credit from a wide draw in the Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp in the autumn.
Before that his trainer had talked of him as potential Nunthorpe winner over the fas6t 5f at York. He ran well in that race too – when you consider that he boiled over down at the start thanks to a delay and ran from out the back from a poor draw.
Pearl Secret is better than his profile and his price might suggest – especially at the minimum trip. He’s gone close in some big races. And 16s could underestimate him first-time-up tomorrow on ground he will appreciate more than most.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Irish 2000 Guineas (Curragh 5.40)....
In the Temple Stakes (Haydock 4.10)....
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.
I’ll be back in your inbox a little later today with ATC Extra and my take on tomorrow’s Spring Sprint up at York.
Enjoy your weekend.
Against the Crowd