IT WAS yet another profitable Saturday for me last week with Awesometank absolutely dotting up at 7/1 and Chelsea Lad getting a place at an SP of 16/1 (tipped at 14/1). Intisaab was also unlucky to miss out on a place finishing 4th.
That takes the column to over 60 points of profit since the start of Royal Ascot which I'm quite pleased with given that I am supposed to be more of a National Hunt man at heart.
Today sees some great stuff at Ascot, Redcar and Newmarket on the flat and there is also a decent card at Footwell over the jumps. Keep an eye open for the wonderful Fayonagh who runs over hurdles for the first time today (3.25pm Fairyhouse). She isn't a bet at odds of 1/6 but regular readers will remember that she did the business for us at Cheltenham this year and we may well be looking to back her later on in the season as she moves up in grade.
Today will be a test of her jumping and these races can be very informative with a view to the big races further down the road.
There's nothing today that tickles my fancy for a bet over the jumps but I'm keeping my eyes open and it won't be long before we lunge into the National Hunt stuff with both feet and studs showing.
A big bet in the first race for us today with an old friend WAADY who is far and away the best horse in this race as far as I'm concerned. He has had a break this season but came back to win an easy race two starts ago and was then a respectable 4th in a very competitive Group 3 last time out. This is a weaker race and a slight drop in grade and with conditions to suit he should bolt up. I would make him something like even money or 6/5 so the 7/4 that is widely available is a good value bet.
At the prices here ALJAZZI is the solid each way bet for me. It's quite an open race and I haven't given up on Nathra who has been knocking on the door all season but I think Group 1 races are perhaps beyond her. Frankie presumably agrees because he rides Persuasive who is a good filly but too short in the market. I'm looking forward to this race, it should be a cracker and I'm pretty confident that Aljazzi will be bang there when they hit the line.
ITV are carrying this race live from Redcar today and rightly so because its a cracking battle between some good two year olds with a huge field of 23 runners going to the post. Unusually for me, where I might normally look for some each way value with this many runners, I am looking at the favourite here.
DARKANNA is miles ahead of some of these and there are about 15 that you can take out of the reckoning straight away. Her 5th place behind the magnificent Clemmie last Saturday in France puts her well ahead of most of these and the only question in my mind is whether Barry McHugh can steer her through a field of 23 two year old horses safely. Well what do you know, we only need to look back to July for the answer to that question where McHugh won on Bengali Boys in the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes at Newbury, a race for 2 year olds with, you've guessed it, exactly 23 runners. If that's not a sign I don't know what is. Come on Barry.
FLAMING SPEAR is a classy horse and the apple of Kevin Ryan's eye. His run in a Group 3 last time is perhaps the reason that we can get 10/1 on him this morning because he finished down the field but that run can be excused due to the heavy ground. This is a classy Group quality horse in a handicap and that means it's time to get involved at these prices. Mojito is the obvious progressive danger and I expect him to be involved at the finish too but he is half the price of Flaming Spear so isn't as attractive a bet.
- 1.50 Ascot – Waady – 5pt win at 7/4 with Ladbrokes, Betfred and Coral
- 2.40 Newmarket – Aljazzi – 2pt e/w at 13/2 with Coral (paying 4 places)
- 3.20 Redcar – Darkanna – 3pt win at 9/2 with Paddy Power, Coral and William Hill
- 3.35 Ascot – Flaming Spear – 2pt e/w at 10/1 with Paddy Power and SkyBet (both paying 5 places)