It’s now the third week of the Sports Betting Tips preview of Channel Four Racing on a Saturday. The first two weeks have gone done exceptionally well, and last week we were unlucky, with only one winner, but we hit the post in the Chevely Park, which would have got us into profit. Oscar Rock was our winner at 4/1, while Illuminate came second in the Chevely Park by half a length from Lumiere. We had an outlay of 6 units and after the one win, we ended up with a loss of 1 unit, taking the overall profit of the column down to +3.98 units, which we’ll hopefully start building up the further we get into things.
This weekend sees the Arc meeting, and all signs point to Treve, not least because of the rumours circulating that the French are doing all they can to scupper British hopes by watering the ground to within an inch of its life. Slow ground isn’t going to suit Golden Horn, as we have seen, while Treve couldn’t give a damn. If Golden Horn can take the Arc this weekend, he’ll be overcoming all the odds and will definitely go down in history. If Treve can do three back-to-back wins, she’ll cement her place further in the history books as an equine legend.
But before all that, let’s look at Saturday’s televised racing on Channel 4 and see what winners we can find to get the weekend off to a flyer. We have a bumper selection of racing on offer, with the main racing coming from Newmarket and Ascot, but we’ll also take a trip up north to Redcar for the Listed Two-Year-Old Trophy, a surefire sign for ones to watch next season.
The first race of the day is the Tattersalls October Auction Stakes, which is for two-year-olds and is run over 6 furlongs. It is a Class 2 race, so expect to see some decent runners come out of this race next season. And with 28 to pick from, you’re definitely going to see a lot of them winning next season.
Twin Sails will go off plenty short enough, given the size of the field and the potential for an improver to come surging out of the pack, and his recent form hasn’t been as spectacular as that earlier in the season. I would be mindful to look for a bit more value than this colt.
Poet’s Prize has some good form in the bag and should improve with this step up in trip, as he was eating up the ground last time out when he won – he wasn’t for stopping. The horse that finished second in that race has gone on since to win, albeit in Class 5 company, so the form is holding up well enough as you can expect at this level.
So avoid the favourite here, as he’ll go off plenty short enough, and hopefully we’ll get some value about Poet’s Prize in what is shaping up to be a trappy, trappy race.
The Rous Stakes is the second race of the day, and it’s a Listed 5 furlong dash, so only the speedsters need apply here. We have one of the oldest swingers in town, Kingsgate Native showing up here, but for me, this is all about the youngsters.
Grand Beauty is on a hat-trick here, but this is a huge step up in class for this three-year-old. Instead, the value here is on Rathaath, who is getting the three year-old allowance, and has course and distance form under his belt. He’s open to improvement, after a relatively light season compared to others in the field, and in an open race, he’s definitely where the value is at.
Back to Newmarket for their big two-year-old fillies race of the day, the Tattersalls Millions 2-Year-Old Fillies Trophy, which is run over 7 furlongs and is another Class 2 race for us to get our teeth into.
To be honest, this is all about Alice Springs. She ran well last week in the Chevely Park and is turned out quickly to try and claim a slightly easier prize. She’ll appreciate the extra furlong today, and has to be in with a huge chance given the form of a lot of the field.
Engage looks the best of the rest, as she already has a nice win under her belt in what was her only start. If she’s a real progressive type, should could trouble Alice Springs, but I think that form of the Chevely Park last week is far better than any other two year-old filly form this year, so, even though she’ll be going off at a short price, Alice Springs (NAP) is the selection, if not the most novel one of the day, for me.
The second race on the card at Ascot is the Cumberland Lodge, which is a Group 3 over 1 mile 4 furlongs and has attracted a good-looking field of middle distance specialists attempting to grab this late-season prize.
You would be hard pressed to look past Star Storm here given his pedigree and his recent run of wins, but this is a huge step up from his last race, a handicap at Yarmouth, and there are horses that have been there and done that in the past that require more of a look.
Romsdal’s third in the King George is the best form on show in this race, but he went wrong last time out, coming virtually to a standstill. Sure, that might be a one-off, but I don’t like backing horses that are coming back after going wrong last time out for no real reason.
Instead, we’re going to be backing Hillstar who seems to come to life at this time of the year. He’s had a relatively quiet year, after Group 1 success in Canada last October. He should be in good shape for this race, the stable is going as well as can be expected, and in what should be a tight race, he gets the nod from me.
Next up, it’s the Tattersalls Millions 2-Year-Old Trophy, another Class 2 over 7 furlongs for two-year-olds only, but this one is open to all, not just the fillies. It’s not as clear cut as the fillies’ race looks either, which is always nice. We’ve got a tricky field to sort through, though, as there are not many clues to work it out.
Zhui Feng has course form, and won’t mind this extra furlong. He looks a nice two year-old, and should be at the head of the market come the off.
Waterloo Bridge has perhaps the best form line, beating Log Out Island last time out, but that was over 5 furlongs, and he was outgunned over 6 furlongs, so this big step up after a relatively long season doesn’t seem like the ideal time to be backing him. He could go well, sure, but preference would be for others without that question mark over the distance.
Gifted Master’s second behind Buratino back in May has worked out exceptionally well, with Buratino pushing Shalaa close last weekend. He won’t mind this step up in trip, but on form with Log Out Island, he seems to have a bit to find with Waterloo Bridge.
East Indies is an obviously interesting contender, with John Gosden’s stable flying at the moment, and very interesting choice to drop him right back in trip from 1m 2 furlongs to this quick 7 furlongs.
While East Indies piques my interest purely because there’s questions as to why he’s being run in this race, and the fact his trainer is going well, preference here is for Zhui Feng, as he’s going to love the trip, he goes well at the course, and Amanda Perrett’s stable will have him primed for this.
The big race of the day up north in Redcar is the Two-Year-Old Trophy, and on a big day of racing for two-year-olds up and down the country, this Listed race is hotly contested, with 23 runners declared.
Log Out Island sets the form here, having placed in Group 2 company, so dropping down to Listed Class would seem to make his task just that little bit easier. However, he’s had a long, tough, season and could be vulnerable to an improver.
Orvar has some good form on the board, too, winning a big race in Turkey last time out. However, like Log Out Island, he’s had a tough season and, again, there are likely improvers in this field that should give him a real challenge.
Mayfair Lady has good form on the book, too, winning the Betway Stakes at York. Last time out in Group 2 company, she was outclassed, and didn’t look as straightforward as she had in previous races. She can be forgiven though, and should go well.
However, I like the look of Haley Bop at what could end up being a big price. She has course and distance form, winning here at the end of May, and won very well at Hamilton at the end of August. She has a bit to find, but she looks like she’s going to be an improver and is well worth a punt at a much bigger price than the market leaders.
The John Guest Bengough Stakes are next up at Ascot, another Group 3, this time over 6 furlongs. Only a small field going to post, but it looks to be a competitive race.
The winner of the Wokingham, Interception (NB) looks in with a good chance to bounce back to form here. He like the course and is looking prepped for this, after a very lightly campaigned season.
Eastern Impact is an obvious danger, as his July Cup form looks great on paper. He also won Chester to races ago, but lost his way on softer than ideal ground at Haydock in Group 1 company. If he can bounce back from that, he’ll definitely go close.
At level weights, you would expect Naadiir to get the better of Polybius, and they do set the standard in terms of recent form. Naadiir, however, didn’t come on for that second and was fourth last time out over a furlong more. Polybius finished behind Interception in the Wokingham, getting 2lbs, so it’s tough to see a turnaround there.
If Interception is geared up for this, he should take some stopping.
Back to Newmarket for their feature race of the day, the Sun Chariot Stakes, a Group 1 for fillies run over a mile and all eyes are on Esoterique for Andre Fabre and Integral for Sir Michael Stout.
Esoterique has had a much better year in 2015 than she did in 2014, that’s safe to say. Having been campaigns mostly in France, though, the quick ground expected at Newmarket might not play into her hands.
Instead, we have to look at last year’s winner, Integral as she bids competitive racing goodbye in this race. She’s only had two runs this season, going well in the Lockinge on her reappearance before disappointing in the Duke of Cambridge. But if she can reproduce the form that won her the race last year, Esoterique shouldn’t even get a sniff.
The final race on Channel 4 today is the Challenge Cup, the day’s big handicap race, which sees a large field take on this Class 2 race over 7 furlongs. As you would expect from this race, finding the winner takes some working out, but hopefully I can do that for you, or, at the very least, guide you in the right direction.
Ayr Silver Cup winner Tatlisu looks a danger on paper, but that win at Ayr seemed to be a bit out of the blue given previous form. No surprise to see Talisu go well again, but the form line through Don’t Touch, winner of the Ayr Gold Cup, actually points to Buckstay, who finished a close fifth in the Ayr Gold Cup this year. At the bottom of the handicap, Buckstay should go very well indeed, and although he’s looking likely to go off as favourite, he’s taken over Mr Win purely because of the latter’s 6lb penalty. If Mr Win had a classy claimed on his back to take that weight off, things might have been different, but it’s not.
The Ayr Gold Cup looks like being some excellent form, and Buckstay looks well-weighted to get home in front of the cavalry charge.