Our resident tipster fancies several horses at Salisbury this afternoon, including a value 12/1 shot.
There are four British meetings to bet on today, but it’s the flat action at Salisbury that gets my punting juices flowing.
The Wiltshire venue stages a mammoth eight-race card and Richard Hannon can get off punters to a flyer with his RACQUET a confident selection (albeit at a shade of odds-on) in the opening maiden auction over six furlongs (1.55pm). He was a promising fourth on his debut here last month and the form has since been boosted by subsequent wins for the third and sixth. He will have a far better idea of what’s required with that experience under his belt and should prove hard to beat with today’s extra furlong in his favour.
The second division of the maiden auction (2.25pm) looks between Galileo Gold and BLACKLISTER, both of whom finished second on their debut, and narrow preference is for the latter at bet365’s 7/2. Mick Channon’s colt was beaten just a short head at Leicester last time and he should come on a bundle for that first run, as the stable’s juveniles invariably do. Channon, who described him as a “real nice horse” in a recent Stable Tour, has gone to the trouble of booking Ryan Moore and the stable is firing on all cylinders.
At a much bigger price, it could be worth take a chance on Hugo Palmer’s ZIGGURAT overcoming his lack of experience in the 6f maiden (2.55pm). He’s making his racecourse debut here, while several of his rivals have already seen some action and the best of these may be Richard Hannon’s Holland Park, who finished third in a 7f Newmarket maiden last June when last seen out. However, I’m not sure the drop back to 6f is going to suit him, whereas the selection is bred to be suited by trips short of a mile and is highly regarded by Palmer, who described him as a “lovely unraced horse” in a Stable Tour. Have more on if the market speaks in his favour, but whatever the outcome today he’s one to keep a close eye on.
The handicaps are trickier as you’d expect but one who could go well at a price is AUSSIE RULER, who carries top weight in the 5f contest (3.25pm). He’s still a maiden after nine starts, but ran some cracking races in defeat at two and ran his best race in three runs this term when fourth over a furlong further at Doncaster last time. Despite that run, the handicapper has dropped him 5lb to a career-low mark of 70 and his burden is reduced further by Eddie Greatrex’s 7lb claim. The young rider advertised his talents when winning a £50,000 handicap on Oaks day and I doubt he’ll be claiming 7lb for long. The selection may well get him one win closer as not only is he well handicapped but promises to be suited by the drop drop back to 5f, with first-time cheek-pieces another potential positive.
Later on the card I like the look of Jonathan Portman’s MAYBELATER in the fillies’ handicap (3.55pm) after she ran respectably in a Listed contest last time, whilst LEAD A MERRY DANCE will take some stopping in the closing 6f handicap (5.25pm) in her bid for a quick-fire hat-trick.
Salisbury 1.55, Racquet @ 10/11 bet365
Salisbury 2.25, Blacklister @ 3/1 bet365
Salisbury 2.55, Ziggurat @ 10/1 bet365
Salisbury 3.25, Aussie Ruler @ 12/1 Betfair
Salisbury 3.55, Maybelater @ 8/1 Ladbrokes
Salisbury 5.25, Lead A Merry Dance @ 7/4 Paddy Power