The pick of the prices this weekend....

Last Updated: 22.07.2016

22nd July 2016

Good afternoon, friends,

In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….

  • The bookies make the easy money….
  • More big-race bets on the ATC site….
  • The pick of the prices tomorrow….

The bookies make the easy money….

This weekend we target the prices in a couple of handicaps – one at Ascot and one at York….

But, before we get to the pick of the prices, let’s take a moment to reflect on a subject I’m sure is close to all our hearts – easy money….          

For the average Joe on the street, easy money is hard to come by. But not for the bookie…. Easy money frequently flows in his direction like a river swollen by spring rains.

Take what happened just this week with tomorrow’s big race – the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot (4.30) – for example….

A lot punters fancied Postponed to repeat his win in the race last year. As of last weekend he was the stand-out candidate – a year or two older than ideal but the horse with the high-grade form in the book. And he wouldn’t be facing much top-drawer opposition either….

He was 4/6 in last weekend’s ante-post market. Not my kind of deal. But plenty of punters thought differently and took the plunge. So much so they forced the price down to 1/2….

Don’t ask me what they were thinking – going in so far ahead of time at such a short price. I quit the world of amateur psychotherapy many moons ago….

But I imagine the foolhardiness must have had something to do with thinking of that widely-available 4/6 as value. Fair enough. Each man to his own way of walking….

But, speaking personally now, I would want to see the horse down at the start and having sprouted a pair of wings before handing my stake over at an odds-on quote.

At odds on the very real risks outweighs the potential reward. I like things the other way round. And a lot can go wrong – even at odds-on. We are dealing with horses – made of flesh, blood and bone – after all….

And on Wednesday it did go wrong for those ante-post punters with good money down. It went about as wrong as it can. Postponed was scratched from the race – suffering from a respiratory infection….

Those punters who backed the horse at odds-on lost their money without the horse even being loaded into the horse box and sent to the track….

The bookies were happy enough though. And why wouldn’t they be? Easy money surely doesn’t get any easier than that?

On Thursday I posted some more detailed thoughts on this issue on the ATC website….

You can check out my take on things right here….

More big-race bets on the ATC site….

Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon we’re targeting the prices in the International Stakes at Ascot and the Skybet Dash up at York….

  • Here are two big-field handicaps and there are live competitors at big prices in both contests….
  • I’m two-against-the-field in the International Stakes (3.55 Ascot)….
  • And I’m backing a progressive horse at a price in the Skybet Dash (4.10 York)….

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….

You can access my value picks for both races right here


The pick of the prices tomorrow….

Fifteen go to post in the Woodford Reserve Handicap (3.20 Ascot) and I want to be with the bottom-weight PIROUETTE at 10s.

She’s a fast improving filly and the manner of her last-time-out victory at Doncaster a fortnight back suggests there is much more to come.

She travelled nicely for Charlie Bennett, moved very smoothly into contention 2 furlongs out and, despite having to be angled out to get by the two horses in front of her, she made light work of it and put the race to bed with a sweet turn of foot.

It was a very promising effort on only her second turf appearance, she is much better than the bare form and I take her to deliver on at least some of her promise tomorrow afternoon.

Trainer Hughie Morrison knows what it takes to cut the mustard in this race – having won it with Chil The Kite back in 2012. He’s turning his charge round quickly from her Doncaster assignment – which suggests to me she’s come out of the contest well and is bouncing at home.

The yard is in very good form right now – with 7 winners from 23 runners over the last 14 days. I expect a big run from the filly. A double-figure quote is very acceptable.

In the Read Richard Fahey's Column At Stakes (3.00 York), where he’s something of a course specialist, David O’Meara’s ALFRED HUTCHINSON is worth an interest at 9s.

O’Meara has only had the horse for 4 runs and he will certainly be looking to win a decent pot with this new inmate at his local track – especially given that all the horse’s best days have come at the venue. And this race represents a decent opportunity.

There’s a suspicion in some quarters that on a mark of 100 the handicapper has got the horse where he wants him. But I’m not so sure. I don’t think the new mark is necessarily beyond him.

Off 96 in May last year he was only beaten 1.5 lengths in a big handicap at York by So Beloved. That one ran off 95 on the day and is now rated 113.

Last August at York Alfred Hutchinson put in another big run off 96 behind Chil The Kite – also subsequently lifted to a mark of 113.

And there was nothing wrong with the horse’s seasonal debut at Haydock – where he clearly needed the run – off tomorrow’s mark.

If O’Meara can squeeze a bit more out of his new inmate – be it through method or just a change of scene – I don’t think the new mark is necessarily beyond him.

For sure, the horse has thrown in a couple of clunkers since Haydock – at York and at Newcastle with a decent enough effort between times back at York. But I think this has been a target. O’Meara has landed the race twice since 2010. Alfred Hutchinson has a big chance of making it three tomorrow.

The ATC Extra bet recap….

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….

In the Woodford Reserve Handicap (3.20 Ascot)….

  • PIROUETTE @ 11s (Skybet)  

In the Read Richard Fahey's Column At Stakes (3.00 York)….

  • ALFRED HUTCHINSON @ 10s (Skybet) 

Note: Standard place terms apply to both races. Don’t let me put you off backing the selections each-way if that’s the way you like to play.


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

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra