I think it is wise to tread carefully as the Flat season notches up a gear, and that is very much what I had on my mind when I looked at the opening day on the Craven meeting on Tuesday.
So, instead of me waffling on about all four ITV races, I am going to concentrate on the only betting heat of the day for me, and that is the 6f handicap at 13:50.
It’ll keep the sub happy if nothing else.
Ostilio has tested the patience of a few in the past two years or so, and his only win since October 2020 came at odds of 10/11 in a Lingfield claimer in January, after which he was claimed foir GBP16,000 by present connections. But I reckon he is worth a win-only bet here at 33/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
The horse’s best performances have come when forcing the pace, so I think the booking of Silvestre De Sousa is a sign of intent that they will try to revert to those tactics here. He rode the horse aggressively to win the Britannia on him in 2018 when in the care of Simon Crisford, and this is the first time he has been on board since.
The stalls are in the centre but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if De Sousa took him over to the rail from his draw in two, and tried to make all against the fence.
As the pace map below illustrates, he certainly can’t expect an uncontested lead.
He is definitely back on a winnable mark though, after seven straight runs on the all-weather, during which time his mark has come down 7lb on both codes, and 4lb for his run last time.
Indeed, he is now 9lb lower than his last run on turf, when 21st of 24 at 14/1 in the Ayr Gold Cup in September 2021, so the potential off 87 here is obvious.
Put it this way, if he returns to the level of his August runs at Beverley and York last summer, then he could take a fair bit of whacking.
He clearly hasn’t been running to anywhere near that level in recent outings but he is one from one on this course and he ran a bit better than it looked at Lingfield last time, as he got cannoned into quite badly on leaving the stalls and his race ended there and then.
Phil McEntee’s horses are going well enough, with a recent winner and others performing well – his Porfin only got touched off in a bunch finish under De Sousa at Kempton last week – so I am happy to take my chances at the price. Any 20/1 and upwards would be okay, but try and grab that 33s if you can.
Full Authority provides useful back-up
I am going in two-handed, with Full Authority my back-up at 20/1 win-only with the Sportsbook.
Jane Chapple Hyam’s horses aren’t really firing but at least this horse showed a fair bit on his debut for the yard at Wolverhampton last month.
Rated 93 at his peak for Richard Fahey, he was bought for a mere 7,000 guineas at the sales last August. I bet connections were chuffed with his fourth at Wolverhampton, a race in which they reined him back in after a quick break from stall one, and thereafter he travelled kindly enough before getting tired on the rail close home.
Dropped a further 2lb to a mark of 85, he needs to show he can do it on turf (he has won at Chester but all his best form has come on the all-weather) , but at 20/1 he is worth chancing, 16/1 and bigger is fine.
There is potentially a lot of pace in here, but I expect him to sit in midfield and pounce late if he can.
A note on my winning Grand National tip…
Finally, on a point of housekeeping, I think I play very fair with my profit and loss, settling at Betfair SP (and not at odds at time of going live) and tipping with only one set of prices, but I am going to over-ride the system this once.
I tipped Noble Yeats at 85.084/1 for the Grand National last Friday morning, and 70.069/1+ was widely available on the Exchange for the next 24 hours.
Indeed, one of my sons got GBP15 at 80.079/1 on Saturday apparently, but he must have hidden his present of a bottle of gin.
But fair is fair, I don’t think recording my profit and loss at the Betfair SP of 29.1 is representative of the market as a whole – we discuss this on the Weighed In podcast, so tune in there – so I will go with the industry SP of 50/1 as my settling point.
That seems a very fair compromise to me, given the horse was trading at 60.059/1 at the off.
13:50 Newmarket – Lead/Prominent: Ostilio, Gale Force Maya, Bergerac, Chipstead, Boogie Time, Punchbowl Flyer; Midfield: Popmaster, Full Authority; Held Up: Dancinginthewoods, Raatea, Beyond Equal, Stone Of Destiny, Strike Red
14:25 Newmarket – Lead/Prominent: Power Of Beauty, Honey Sweet; Midfield: Tacarib Bay; Held Up: New Science, Ribhi
15:00 Newmarket – Lead/Prominent: Father Of Jazz; Midfield: Bell Rock, Megallan, Brunch, Catch Twentytwo?; Held Up: Master Of The Seas, Chichester
15:35 Newmarket – Lead/Prominent: Cachet, Flash Betty; Midfield: Hello You, Rishes Baar, Ribbon Rose, Almohandesah, System; Held Up: Perfect News, Romantic Time
Profit and Loss since March 26
Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022, with a four-month break)
P/L: + 183.1
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