ITV haven’t had a lot of luck on the numbers front when selecting their “away” races, and only seven line up for the 6f handicap at Newbury at 14:05.
I did have a good look at the race though – honest, guv – but nothing came of it, so let’s head straight to the Knavesmire, starting with the ever-so-easy task of solving the 16-runner 2yo 5f Listed fillies’ contest at 13:50, a race in which only two have run three times, eight are once-raced and we also have a newcomer for good measure.
‘The ultimate no bet race’
Clues are somewhat thin on the ground then, and I don’t need a second invitation to swerve a juvenile heat at the best of times.
I don’t think many will object too strongly with the 5 1/2-length Newmarket debut winner Miami Girl heading the betting at 7/2. But apparently she is a bit of a hothead and I get the distinct impression those who train for the Amo Racing Limited owners, not unknown to move their horses around, are very keen to have their charges fully revved up first time out.
That form is some way ahead of Daytona Lady’s Chelmsford win, as everything that has come out of that race has been beaten, but apparently she is well-regarded and she did win well in the end. However, I’d be looking for at least double-figures about her.
In short, it is the ultimate no-bet race for me.
Perfect News biggest danger to Grand Dame
I’ll leave it to the gossip merchants and time bandits to sort out. The 3yo fillies race at 14:25 is a variation on the same theme of unexposed females going at it hammer and tongs.
And, once again, there is absolutely zero surprise to see Grand Dame head the betting at 5/2, as she looked potentially top drawer when beating winners on her debut (albeit she was getting 6lb from them) at Ascot.
She oozed class there and also showed a good attitude to overcome obvious inexperience, and you can see why John Gosden left her in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
She doesn’t have a lot to find to reach the level of the form horses, and I am not inclined to take her on, for all I can let her go unbacked and untipped at the head of the market.
As the betting suggests, 7/2 poke Perfect News is the biggest danger, having been thought to have needed the run on her comeback in the Nell Gwyn and whose pedigree strongly suggests the step up to 1m will suit.
Early Parachute price looks massive
On to the 1m2f56yd handicap at 15:00, and whether What’s The Story reappears 24 hours after his run here on Thursday is anyone’s guess – I am working on the basis of “no” – but in any case Parachute stands out for me here.
He opened up at a general 12/1 late on Wednesday morning, including with the Betfair Sportsbook, and that looked a very fair price indeed.
Massive, in fact.
Strangely for a horse who has won over 1m4f and finished a 3/4 -length third in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot over that trip last season, it appears that his trainer Ed Walker is not a true believer in his stamina.
In his Weekender column on Wednesday Walker said: “There is every reason to think he doesn’t stay a mile and a half.”
Nonsense obviously, but I do get where he is coming from, in that I think he could be even more effective over this shorter trip.
And, to be fair, the horse did look to empty over 1m4f at Epsom last time, for all that I think that could have have had as much to do with him not entirely handling the track close home.
Another reason for him failing to get the job done there could also have been a matter of concentration, so I fully get the first-time blinkers angle, too (though his trainer is an underwhelming 4 from 57 with this option).
Whichever way you cut it though, he is 1lb lower than that close third at Royal Ascot, he ran well at Epsom last time, and he had the pace to run Hurricane Lane to two lengths over 1m as a 2yo.
And this is a very winnable handicap.
I rate his chances, and I am happy to back him each-way at 12/1 with the Sportsbook.
In fact, I’d happily back him at 8/1 and bigger win and place, maybe even a point or so shorter.
Tashkan is the coming force
The five-runner Yorkshire Cup at 15:35, is a touch underwhelming in the absence of Trueshan and Kyprios, so I thought Tashkhan was the stand-out bet at 11/2 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
The market strongly suggested he would need his Ascot comeback (went off at a Betfair SP of 8.83) and so it proved, but he shaped well enough there and 11/2 is far too temping a price on his second to Trueshan in the Long Distance Cup in October, a race in which Stradivarius was 2 1/2 lengths away in third.
Okay, John Gosden’s stayer was not at his best there but Tashkhan is the coming force as a 4yo here, and I’d have him as more of a 4s poke, if that.
He has also run blinders on both outings here, including when fifth in the Melrose, a race in which he shaped even better than his good finishing position and narrow beaten distance, and he is definitely the bet.
Nothing appeals at the prices in the 16:10, so I will keep the sub happy and leave it there, short and snappy.
Good luck, all.
Profit and Loss (from March 26 does not include Wednesday and Thursday’s results)
Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022)
P/L: + 183.1
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