THE flat season has been good to me this season and this week sees two of the end-of-season highlights – Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and The Curragh in Ireland and the St Leger meeting at Doncaster.
Neither are as exciting for me as Cheltenham or Aintree over jumps or even Royal Ascot and The Ebor meeting on the flat but both provide really good racing with lots of horses that we are now much more familiar with after a summer of flat racing.
In the St Leger itself I don’t have a strong selection and would probably side with Lah Ti Dar if you put a gun to my head. If Dee Ex Bee drifts to a silly price like 20-1 I might have a small eachway nibble because he cannot be as bad as his last two runs again surely?
There are also tons of other races today across the country and I have selections at Musselburgh and Chelmsford where I think I have found two with good chances.
The first bet of the day is probably the trickiest one with 20 runners lining up in this six-furlong sprint. I like Muscika and Dougan at big prices who are both in good form at the minute and fairly handicapped so if you don’t mind having more than one bash at a race like then feel free to get something on them. My selection however is GOLDEN APOLLO for Tim Easterby and David Allan. The horse has looked like he is ready to win one of these big races this season, missing out narrowly at York two runs back. He is a course and distance winner and conditions today should be fine.
BRETON ROCK might not come from one of the big powerhouse owners or stables but he is a cracking horse who is consistently underrated by the markets. Group 2 races over 7 furlongs on decent ground is absolutely his domain, he has won this race two years ago and is rated joint top on ratings. He should be about 4-1 here in my book, maybe less, and we are getting 8-1. I can’t see him out of the top 3 today.
The all-weather at Chelmsford perhaps isn’t the sexiest place on a Saturday afternoon but this is a right good race and presents the perfect opportunity for CLUBBABLE to win a nice pot. She is drawn nicely in stall 2, is a course and distance winner and although Megan Nicholls isn’t the most prolific conditional jockey she is perfectly capable and takes a handy 5lb off the weight today which makes things even more attractive.
Five minutes later we are off up to Scotland for my next selection which is COBWEB CATCHER for Richard Spencer. This is low grade stuff and although the horse hasn’t shown tons in his maidens he has been delicately handled and has been given a very lenient handicap mark to start off on.
If I am right about this then this could be the best value bet of the day. ESCOBAR was painfully unlucky in running at Goodwood two runs ago and despite finishing 8th should actually have gone close to winning. The handicapper actually put him up 2lb for finishing 8th which apart from being very harsh tells its own story about his run that day. Last time he stepped into Group 3 company and was disappointing but that wasn’t anywhere near as valuable as this handicap and you might find that he will bounce back to his best today.
- 1.50 Doncaster – Golden Apollo – 2pts e/w (12-1, William Hill and 10Bet – both paying 6 places each way)
- 2.25 Doncaster – Breton Rock – 2pts e/w (8-1, Paddy Power, Betfair)
- 3.25 Chelmsford – Clubbable – 2pts e/w (6-1, Bet365, Coral, BetVictor)
- 3.30 Musselburgh – Cobwatch Catcher – 3pts win (11-2, Coral, Betfair, Paddy Power)
- 7.10 Leopardstown – Escobar – 2pst e/w (10-1, Betfair, Paddy Power, Betfred – all paying 5 places each way)