No luck from yesterday’s two daily tips, albeit one ran a decent 3rd on ground which in the end may have stretched him. I didn’t expect it to go that soft but knew it was a risk, so no complaints. Onto today and I have repeated the members’ ‘Festival Tips’…I have started to dip into big flat races more this year, in essence playing with the 55 or so points won at Royal Ascot, mainly thanks to Baccus. Newmarket’s July meeting was frustrating, a case of crossing off the winner last from my shortlists and an agonising nose second at 18/1. But, that’s the nature of these races. Today i’ve focused on the big handicaps from Ascot and York. Last year I tipped Flying Pursuits to win at York and while I didn’t tip in the International Stakes, my shortlist 5 or so included the 50/1 winner, Stamp Hill, for Richard Fahey. That horse was running in a first time visor if my memory serves me right, and today i’ve gone for another 50s+ shot from his yard, this one in first time blinkers…we can but dream…let’s crack on…
results summary from members’ post… (with the tips from the free posts, I think we’re up around +310 points since Sept 1st 2017…) Daily Tips (2017 Sept-Dec: 31/176, +110.75) (2018: 17/182,64p, +0.3) (1 point win bets) Festival Tips (2018: +140)
‘Festival’ (big race) Tips
Growl – 1 point win– 15/2 (bet365) , 7/1 (gen)
Flying Pursuit – 1 point win– 10/1 (bet365/WH/PP/BetfS/10bet) 9/1 (gen)
Gallipoli – 1 point win– 66/1 (wh/uniB/BV) 50/1 (gen)
Via Serendipity – 1 point win – 28/1 (BV/lad/coral/boyle) 25/1 (gen)
Mukalal – 1 point win– 28/1 (unib) 25/1 (gen)
York… the rain has arrived and both of these should relish conditions. Not many in this are proven in soft but these two most definitely are and there should be no excuses. Flying Pursuit seemed a bit overpriced to my eyes given his liking for conditions and how he won this race last year. He is well handicapped again and I think the fast ground has done for him this season so far. I tipped him at Hamilton last time out when expecting rain that never arrived, and he just doesn’t put down/pick up when it’s rattling. He should blast out from his low draw and could move over to the far side rail. Whether that side of the track is the place to be, we shall find out, but i’ve got one from either side. Growl…he has some pace to track his side and is well handicapped again, having been around 109 for a time which just seems too high. He ran a very good race in the Stewards Cup last August effectively off 102. IF he were to repeat that run, or the odd placed effort/decent run, in group races, he would win this well enough I think. Fahey has given a positive update and says he couldn’t be going better at home. I get the impression they expect a big run today. Since 2004 there have only been two winners of this in double figure prices, the market usually gets this right. It’s speaking positively for the other Easterby runner who looks to have an ok chance. Enjazaat is the interesting one…were this on faster ground i’d have gone for him I think as he has a different profile to the rest here…however soft is just a bit of an unknown and connections say he wants it quick… he may sluice through it though, but his price at single figures felt short enough in a race like this, given that big unknown. He may win today but is certainly one to watch moving forwards.
there were some stats/trends pointers i’ve used as a guide for this, but I have ignored them for Gallipoli…I just couldn’t resist at this price given that on paper there isn’t loads of pace in this (often when I think that in these big handicaps a load of them blast out and it’s run at a frenetic gallop, so we shall see!). He led the last day and in first time blinkers I just hope they blast out and try and make all up that far side rail. Whether that’s the place to be i’ve no idea, but if he takes to the headgear and settles, he could run a big race. He doesn’t have track experience which is a negative in this race historically and of course he may blow a gasket in this headgear, do too much, and fade out tamely. But I get 66/1 to find out, which is always exciting.
Via Serendipity…well he shows up well on the stats/trends I used and he is just very consistent. He ran very well in the Victoria Cup here on his second run of the season and has run with credit since. He raced prominently two starts back when winning but then was held up the last day, staying on well to get 3rd. I hope that was to keep him ticking over for this, as if racing prominently there he may have won it. I like the fact he stays further and he can race up there. From this draw Harry has the chance to bag the near side rail and he’d be foolish not to try and grab it if he can, and set sail for home. He looked an interesting outsider.
Mukalal…well my hunch is that he may not like quick ground but it’s still an unknown…on the stats/trends/pointers that I used he was the only horse to tick every box for every main stat I looked at…when I get a runner like that, given my approach in these races, when they are this price I find them hard to leave, even if I think they may be out of sorts. He is lightly raced and there will be more to come one day. He has track form and like so many from this ownership, races prominently. He will be up there for a long way in this, it’s just whether he kicks on, or fades as he did at Newmarket LTO. It could be that he is spot on now. In any case, he ticked enough boxes for me to pay to find out. He is the sort of stats/trends pick that if they were to win and I wasn’t on, it’s unforgivable really. I’m more content losing the 1 point then seeing them sluice home unbacked.
Of the rest…well where do you start… clearly it’s likely I haven’t mentioned the winner. Going EW is probably wise but I didn’t want to bet 6 points on the race (1 point EW) and I hate going 1/2 points EW on horses in races like this, but each to their own. I can live with the very quiet fallow periods. Flaming Spear has a favourites chance as he was an eye-catcher the last day. However Ivory’s yard isn’t firing as yet and 6 year olds+ don’t have the best of records in this in recent years, but I won’t be shocked if he goes well, obviously. Given the big priced winners in this in recent years I did focus attention on those 20s+. There are plenty from the Bunbury Cup around 12s, and maybe that’s the formline to focus on, but i haven’t. Cardsharp is worth a mention just because Fahey and Johnston have done very well in this race in recent years, winning 6 of the last 10 between them! 3 year olds don’t have the best of records, but not too many have tried. He could notch a win for the younger brigade but I was a bit worried about his stamina for a test like this. If he stays, he won’t be far away. Ultimate Avenue is of some interest at a big price also… I thought he was a bit too poor the last day but maybe he needs 7f and the tongue tie returns, for the first time since he’s had a wind op. They must think he needs it and it could make the difference. The trainer expects him to win one of these big handicaps one day. Maybe it will be today and i’ll be annoyed I wasn’t on, we shall see. I’ll mention Oh This Is Us at 40s who also shows up well on my stats. I just thought something may be better handicapped but that would be one of those sickeners were he to win, but you can’t back them all!
I may well not have mentioned the winner of either race above, that’s how it goes in these. Hopefully Growl can ensure a profitable day, (or Flying P, but I’ve a hunch the former may outclass them all today) and we can watch and enjoy the 3pm.
GD with any bets,