Friday, 26th August 2016
Good afternoon, contrarians,
On the menu today….
It’s not the biggest or the best weekend on the programme – but there are a couple of decent contests to take a shot at.
Beverley hosts its richest race day of the year tomorrow afternoon and the feature is the listed Bullet Sprint Strakes (3.10) over the fast 5f.
William Haggas’s Muthmir heads the betting and you can get no better than 11/4 this morning.
The 6yo was a regular feature in the big G1 sprints last term. But he’s been a little disappointing since winning last season’s G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood. He’s been a beaten favourite in his last two starts this term.
He steps back down to listed level in what looks like a confidence-booster. On the best of his form he will take the beating. But I prefer to side with horses doing it right now rather than rely on one picking up the threads of past performances. At the prices I am happy to oppose Muthmir.
Line Of Reason has rediscovered himself of late and is on a nice curve. He also has a few useful bits of form on the track. And he’s on a useful mark. But at 6s I reckon he is short enough.
The one I like at the prices is Bryan Smart’s ALPHA DELPHINI at the general 16s. That’s an each-way price for me.
This is an unexposed horse at the top of its game and one who can rate a good deal higher than the official mark of 96 he goes off tomorrow. This 5yo half-brother of Tangerine Trees, who showed his best form as he got older, arrives on the back of two wins (three for the season) is as fit as a fiddle and can go on again in first-time cheekpieces.
He’s a course and distance winner and this strip suits him perfectly. He wants a stiff 5 or a soft 6 and Beverley provides the former. He’ll be sticking on at the end tomorrow.
He has something to find on official ratings and runs off levels with horses rated higher. That doesn’t bother me over 5f. In sprints I’m more interested in how a horse is going right now than a rating and weight based on exploits a year ago or more. The 16s is a big price about a form sprinter on an upward curve who is expected to go well by a yard which has won this race twice in the last decade.
Down at Goodwood the big handicap of the day is the Goodwood Revival Stakes (3.20) over the 7f trip.
A field of 20 runners go to post – but there’s no beating about the bush in this one for me. The one to be on is Karl Burke’s RIVELLINO at a nice each-way quote of 16s.
This will be the 6yo’s first go at a trip beyond sprint distances. But the way he’s been shaping, the step up could well be the key to him producing his first ever win on the turf.
He ran 6th in this season’s renewal of the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood. And he was belting home at the back end of that race.
He’d done pretty much the same thing the year before when finishing 3rd in the same race from the wrong side of the draw. Once again he was staying on strongly at the death.
The extra furlong on a track he clearly relishes could very well see him get home with his head in front. He isn’t drawn out wide on the track. The ground will be right up his street. He’s got plenty going for him.
On a mark of 100 he is certainly weighted to go well. He ran well in the 2014 Wokingham off a mark of 104. His two Stewards’ Cup performances came off marks of 100. And he has a 7lb claimer on his back tomorrow. He has every chance of figuring strongly with plenty of key boxes ticked.
This horse is overdue on turf and the 16s is a good price given the potential for improvement over the additional furlong.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Bullet Sprint Stakes (3.10 Beverley)....
In the Goodwood Revival Stakes (3.20 Goodwood)....
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 now. I’ll be back with ATC Extra a little later this afternoon.