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Yesterday was another poor Saturday. We were quite unfortunate not to get a win with Marsabit, and Monsieur Lambrays travelled the best before not finding much when asked to pick up. Two selections from Pontefract for Sunday's racing:
It's always an annoying thing to deal with when you fancy a horse who is quite good odds, but the race only has seven runners, which means there is only 2 places on offer. More often than not I will back the selection just to win, and that is the case today. Knowing my luck, BRIAN THE SNAIL will finish 2nd and could've been used as an EW play, but for 2 places, it's not something I like. Fortune favours the brave, so hopefully the snail can win at decent odds.
Brian is a bit of an enigma, and will pop up a couple of times a season and you'll sit there scratching your head thinking how has he just won, as he's shown nothing in his previous handful of starts. That's the risk you take when backing this horse, he will either go close or be out the back of the tv, but I think today he has the conditions he needs for running on turf. His best form when running on turf has come on a quick surface, and that should be something which he gets today, as it should remain Good To Firm, and I think that is essential. His runs with ‘Soft' in the description, whether that's Soft or Good To Soft is: 7th/8, 14th/16, 15th/18, 4th/6, 16th/24, 6th/10 and 12th/19, that is since the start of 2020. However, his runs in the same time period on a faster surface is: 4th/14, 5th/11 (1 length behind winner), 3rd/27 and 3rd/12, which shows he is much better on that kind of ground. Due to the fact he has been mostly raced on a slow surface, his handicap mark has dropped to 80, which makes him very well treated, as he went close in the Glorious Goodwood Stewards Cup last year, finished 3rd behind Summerghand off a mark of 90. His three wins on turf which have come when he had a mark (2 were from his first 2 runs as a 2yo, without a rating) were off 85, 95 and 95 again.
At the age of 7 he is still very capable, as shown by his AW campaign during the spring and winter months of late last year, and early this year. His All Weather rating went from 89 to 101, which saw him win three times, and being placed on a couple occasions, including finishing third in the All-Weather Sprint Championships.
I think he will continue to be overlooked in the market due to his inconsistent profile, but I think he can outrun his odds.
WHERE'S JEFF has been in good form this year, winning twice and being placed last time out at Hamilton, where he was quite unlucky not to win. He's been put up 2lbs for that run, which is annoying, but that shouldn't be enough to stop a strong run in this contest today.
He was trapped in on the rail for about a furlong or so, and was boxed in and couldn't get out when he probably wanted to. He eventually did find the gap, and ran on strongly, but was narrowly beaten. He was in front of Regal Mirage that day, and I can't see how the 3lbs swing in the weights will reverse the placings, as Where's Jeff was well in control of that match-up, despite Regal Mirage suffering a small amount of interference (very small, wouldn't have made a slight difference). The extra furlong should confirm those places, as Where's Jeff was definitely staying on the strongest between those two runners.
Happy is the interesting runner in the race, and will attract support due to the fact he is a 3yo, and interestingly, William Buick takes the ride. A 3yo has not won this race in the last 10 years, and there have been a few who have ran in it, they have gone close, but haven't managed to win, and I can't see how Happy would break the trend. He has a very nice pedigree, being by Galileo, out of a Group 3 winning Mare, but he hasn't really shown anything out of the ordinary so far. His seasonal reappearance was a career best, but his most recent run wasn't that great, even though the form of that race has worked out quite well. He weakened very early in that race, so it wasn't like he didn't stay the 12f, as he was paddling way before the 10f point. He get's the weight for age allowance, but some of that is negated by Joanna Mason's 3lb claim on Where's Jeff.