IT WAS a poor day on Friday for me with two placed horses being the only return but we go again on Saturday for the final day of the Royal Ascot festival.
Have a listen to the Gambla racing podcast (Part 2) where we discuss Saturday's racing. It looks like the ground has dried out a little bit so perhaps soft ground form won't be essential but equally it isn't going to be rattling fast. The first race again is available on Sky Sports Racing (channel 415 for many) and the remainder are all screened live on terrestrial TV by ITV/STV.
In addition to the tips on the podcast I have another bonus tip in the 1.15pm – see below for details… My selections for Saturday are as follows:
The opening race is tricky but BURMESE WALTZ looks like a good prospect to me. She is a very lightly raced four year old who got the season off to the perfect start in her first race at Kempton. This is a different prospect altogether but I think she can continue to improve and could be very well handicapped.
A very interesting thing to take out of Friday's racing was the win of Dandalla. Her first race of the season was run over the same course and distance (Newcastle, 5f) and on the same day as PELEKAI won her race and remarkably Pelekai won in a fractionally quicker time. There are a number of explanations for that but if you take that fact literally then Pelekai looks like a massive price for this at 25-1 and is worth an each way punt.
This is a really hot race with some good quality fillies. There are two that I like but my main selection is RUN WILD who to me looked really impressive last time out. She was quick away and set a great tempo but was able to kick on again and see out the race over two furlongs farther than this trip. That tells me she will stay the trip on what is likely to be a testing gallop on sticky ground. My alternative selection is LOVE LOCKET but we will need to be clever about our bets. She has a bit to find on ratings and form but Aidan O'Brien's fillies almost always improve considerably in their 3 year old season and she isn't too far behind. My recommendation is to use the ‘each way Xtra' function on Bet365 and select 4 places each way (standard for this race will be two places). They are currently offering 18-1 for that bet which to me looks like fabulous value.
I am giving PINATUBO the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he perhaps needed the run last time. Even if he runs to that level he will only have Wichita to beat but I think he will return to something close to his 2 year old form and his price is very generous.
In an exciting 6 furlong sprint my vote goes to ONE MASTER who is versatile ground-wise and has plenty of stamina for the distance so should see the trip out no problem.
This race is fascinating and I could have picked out 4 that look like potential value. TINTO is my first selection after a good win first time out this season. He is versatile with the ground and is an improving four year old.
GULLIVER was 25-1 in places but now is a best priced 16-1 so I hope that some podcast listeners managed to get that early value. He doesn't want the ground too firm and after a few mediocre runs by his standards he has been dropped down to a workable handicap mark and gets the bonus of Ryan Moore taking the ride. I can see him going very close.
The last race of the festival is this marathon staying test for flat horses and I tipped up WHO DARES WINS at 3-1 on the podcast. That value is now gone at the time of writing with the horse being well backed and Mekong coming out so the 6-4 that is now on offer is about the right price. He is the clear choice on ratings and form and is versatile with the ground so I can see him running a big race. The alternative choice would be Grand Visir who won so well here in the Ascot Stakes last year.