After a profitable week, our resident tipster is playing up some of his winnings and four selections this afternoon, including an 11/1 shot at York.
There’s competitive racing action wherever you look this afternoon with Haydock, Newmarket and York all staging races in front of the Channel 4 cameras.
The day’s most valuable prize is the 888sport sponsored Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock (due off 3.45pm), with the ten runners including the Henry Candy-trained LIMATO, who is bidding to take his unbeaten record to six. A smart juvenile, with his romp in Redcar’s Two-Year-Old Trophy the highlight, he got off the mark for this season when winning at Ascot on April, despite not being fully wound up. The second and third have advertised the form since and, providing there isn’t too much rain overnight, he’s going to be tough to beat, especially as his main rival Mattmu is best with some cut. Bookmakers agree, unfortunately, and we’re being asked to to take just 11/10, but that’s no reason to oppose him and he can become the eighth winning favourite in the last ten runnings.
There are bigger odds available on CABLE BAY, my fancy for the 7f Timeform Jury Stakes run earlier on the card (2.35pm). Like several of these, he ran in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes behind Night Of Thunder and he did best when finishing fifth in that race. Breton Rock finished a couple of places behind and it’s understandable that bookies have him as favourite as he was having his first run for 211 days and was narrowly pipped by Penitent in last year’s renewal of this race. I just wonder whether there will be enough juice in the ground for him, though, as he’s a different horse with some cut.
They were calling it “good” on Friday and, while showers are forecast, I’ll be surprised if the word “soft” is added to the going description. Cable Bay is less ground dependant and is rated a 1lb superior on the official ratings. What I really like about him, though, is the fact his trainer Charlie Hills is in far better form now, having endured a quiet start to the season, and he apparently – according to his Weekender column – has “never had him so good.” Granted, he hasn’t won since his two-year-old days, but he’s ran some fine race especially in defeat and this looks the perfect opportunity for him, with the trip and good ground ideal.
Fast ground is almost certainly going to prevail at Newmarket – it usually does on the Rowley Mile and leads me to take on Penhill, who is short as 2/1 favourite for the 1m4f handicap on the card (3.20pm). A three-time winner last season, he always looked the type to do better as a four-year-old and so it proved at Ascot on his reappearance, where he just held by a short head from New Year’s Eve. He may have been idling in front but a 7lb rise still looks harsh and he’s never won on anything faster than good.
At four times his price, I’d rather another son of Mount Nelson in MAJEED, who hails from the in-form stable of David Simcock. He’s a year older at five but looks to be at the peak of his powers, and arrives here chasing a hat-trick following wins on the all-weather at Chelmsford and Kempton. He showed he was just as effective on turf when finishing third at Goodwood last summer – he was unsuited by the slow gallop that day – and he stays at least this far. His new mark of 90 may still underwater him by a few pounds and his burden is reduced further by George Buckell’s 5lb claim, meaning he gets 8lb from Penhill.
I’m going to have a crack at the big five-furlong sprint up at York (2.55pm) and, despite the big field of 20 runners, I’m very sweet on the chances of Kevin Ryan’s BOGART. A smart sprinter on his day, as he showed when chasing home Muthmir in last season’s Portland Handicap, he should be now cherry ripe after a couple of runs this term. He goes well at York too, including a victory over course and distance, and I’m convinced he can win one of these off his current mark of 94. With Shane Gray taking a handy 3lb off his back know and with his stable in form he looks well worth an interest at 11/1.
Both yesterday’s bets won at 3/1 and 7/2 and that was following on from Tullamore Dew (advised at 10/1) and Jersey Breeze (6/1) earlier in the week.