With eight races being shown live on Channel 4, some help in finding the winners wouldn't go amiss and nor would some free bets for that matter...read on!
With Royal Ascot just around the corner, a few winners to boost the betting bank wouldn’t go amiss and this afternoon’s eight Channel 4-televised races provide us with such an opportunity. Here are my thoughts…
1.45 York: winner.co.uk Handicap, 1m1f
The Lady Cecil-trained WESTERN RESERVE was very impressive when shredding his maiden tag at Chelmsford last month and Ryan Moore, who is back on board, was very complimentary about him after, saying: “He’s a nice colt who is going the right way.” The bare form may not amount to much and the second Miracle Ninetynine has been beaten since, but the selection won going away by four and a half lengths and connections must think he’s capable of winning a decent handicap like this one off his current mark of 89. He’s hardly the most original of selections as he’s been put in as 4/1 favourite by Paddy Power, but I Iike him.
2.00 Sandown: Queen Mother´s Cup Lady Amateur Riders Stakes (Handicap), 1m4f
Last year’s winner Pearl Castle will have been trained with a repeat bid in mind and, despite being 5lb higher in the weights, he must go well under the excellent Serena Brotherton, who is looking for her fourth success in this contest. However, at an each-way price (20/1 Betfred) I’m going to take a punt on Mick Easterby’s AMBLESIDE with the stable in form and off a mark not far above his last winning one. He perhaps should have won at Beverley in April and has run creditably in competitive handicaps here the last twice. A first-time visor and a lady jockey might just cajole him into putting his best foot forward.
2.20 Sandown: Winner Sports Handicap, 1m14y
Bookmakers are going 6/1 the field and you wouldn’t rule out any of the 16 runners, but one who should go well and at an each-way price (33/1 Paddy Power) is the Mick Channon-trained WEE JEAN. Her form figures of 809480 don’t inspire much confidence, but she’s tumbled down the weights as a result – she runs off 93 having been as a high as 105 – and has been keeping better company than this. She wasn’t beaten far when fourth in Listed contest at Goodwood in early May and the rain softened ground was against her when well beaten in a Lingfield Group 3 two starts back. She’s a top of the ground filly and, providing the weather forecast is correct, she will her conditions on the Knavesmire.
2.35 York: JCB Stakes (Handicap), 7f
This race is if anything even more competitive, but I can’t resist a little of bet365’s 16/1 (4/1 a place) on old favourite BERTIEWHITTLE. He’s a frustrating character for sure, as his 3-43 record along with a string of near-misses suggests, but a fast-run 7f in a big field is ideal and he’s got himself well handicapped, now 12lb lower than last season’s peak rating of 103. He’s a seven-year-old but has shown enough in three runs this term to suggest the old ability is still there and his trainer, the in-form David Barron, has him entered in next month’s Bunbury Cup.
2.55 Sandown: Winner Bet & Watch Scurry Stakes (Listed Race), 5f6y
Barron fields the likely favourite here in Likely who has not been seen out since winning a Carlisle maiden by five lengths last May due to injury. If she’s close to peak fitness after her 383-day absence, she could well a winning return to action. However, that’s quite a big ‘if’ and there are no such worries over Clive Cox’s PROFITABLE (7/2 Betfred), who landed a similar race to this at York last time and is actually rated 1lb higher. The last five renewals have gone to horses either drawn in the highest stall (twice) or lowest (three times), so the selection is perfectly placed in stall one.
3.10 York: Ian And Kate Hall Macmillan Ganton Stakes (Listed Race), 1m
This looks between Wannabe Yours, who was highly progressive last term, winning his first three starts, and old adversary HORS DE COMBAT. The latter easily came out best when they last clashed in a Newmarket Group 2 last autumn, but to be fair to Wannabe Yours he’d probably had enough for the season and he remains a horse of potential. However, this is his first run back, whereas the selection is race-fit and will find this far easier than the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes he contested last time. He’s the bigger price of the pair too at 4/1 (bet365).
3.25 Musselburgh: William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup (A Heritage Handicap), 5f
A cracking sprint handicap and the one to back is the Kevin Ryan-trained ONLINE ALEXANDER, who is a 7/1 shot with Hills behind their 4/1 favourite Red Baron. The pair clashed at Thirsk last time and it was Eric Alston’s runner who came on top, winning his third race in five starts, with a two-length gap back to the selection in fourth. Red Baron will take some stopping, but there must be a very good chance the selection can turn the tables on 11lb better terms, when you take his rider Shane Gray’s 3lb claim into account. She needs proper fast ground to show her best and should get it if the latest weather forecast proves accurate.
3.45 York: 888Sport Charity Sprint (Handicap Stakes), 6f
The front pair of Scalzo and Twilight Son take a big chunk out of the market, with bet365 going 7/2 and 4/1 respectively, with a gap back to Magical Memory at 10/1. They might be getting too much respect, though, as Scalzo might be better over 7f, while Twilight Son is likely find the ground faster than ideal. I’m going to take them on with EXPLOSIVE LADY, who will find conditions ideal and looks cracking each-way value at the 16/1 on offer at Coral, who are betting down to five places. A classy juvenile, who ran third at Royal Ascot and was possibly unlucky not to win a valuable sales race at the Curragh on her final start, she showed she had trained on when finishing third in a Listed contest at Haydock on her reappearance. She should do even better with that run under her belt and now back in handicap company, with her favourable high draw in stall 17 the final piece of the jigsaw.
There are free bets up for grabs at bet365, thanks to their Channel 4/1 offer. Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above races and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4. If that also wins at 4/1 or bigger, get another free bet and so on.