Saturday Betting Tips: 22/08/2020
A strong day yesterday with Enbihaar winning at (9/4) and of course, our NAP Angel Power winning impressively at (7/1) while Dark Jedi placed second for returns at (15/2). Here are today’s selections and have a great day.
POGO (13.50 York, 0.5pts each-way @6/1)
David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters won this race in 2018 and there’s obvious claims of him repeating the feat two years later. The seven-year-old is the only C&D winner in the field so the drop back in trip shouldn’t pose any sort of problem but POGO has enjoyed a fruitful 2020 campaign thus far, placing at Newmarket on debut when beaten only half-a-length before running a big race to finish third in the Royal Hunt Cup (better off at the weights with winner Dark Vision today).
He then made all the running to win by five-lengths in a Listed race at Windsor before chasing home the high-class Persian King over in France at the highest level. A reproduction of any of those performances entitles him to the utmost respect with Ryan Moore booked to ride, which is a further plus. I was going to put up Dark Vision as an alternative selection. However, the ground is likely to be against him having shown all of his best form on a fast surface whereas Pogo does handle cut in the ground and is almost banker material to finish in the top-three while in the form of his life.
FISHABLE (14.25 York, 0.5pts each-way @22/1)
KIPPS (14.25 York, 0.5pts each-way @5/1)
(All odds are with bookmakers paying 4 places)
This is tricky with most of these looking very well-treated at the moment. The time-figures FISHABLE achieved last time out suggested he’s worth a shot at this sort of level, and I can’t quite believe he’s available at double-digits. A 5lb rise in the handicap for today’s race looks manageable based on the way he seemed to have more in hand then the winning margin indicated at Ripon last time out.
He has shown a huge amount of potential to date, winning the last twice and I loved just how much improvement he has made in each start for connections. From a form and handicapping perspective, he remains way too big in the betting to be dismissed given his initial mark of 89 might have slightly underestimated him. With a good draw in stall 4 and David Allan remaining in the saddle, and at the prices, he’s definitely the one I’m most interested in.
KIPPS could be still well-handicapped on a mark of 88 with Ryan Moore remaining in the saddle. He stayed on nicely from off the pace to be a never-nearer fourth at Newmarket when last seen where he had to row his own boat on the far side of the track so he had nothing to aim at which wouldn’t have helped matters, and this track should play to Hughie Morrison’s three-year-old’s strengths being left on an unchanged mark. Those who have been drawn in stall 1 in this race from previous years hold the strongest record in the contest, which could be a blessing for Kipps who has been handed exactly that, while his stable remain in good form.
SAFE VOYAGE (15.00 York, 0.75pts each-way @11/2)
I was very frustrated when SAFE VOYAGE was denied a clear run throughout the whole of the final two furlongs in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood as I was adamant he would have at least finished second if he endured a smooth passage. To his ultimate credit, he absolutely sprouted wings once daylight arrived to take third, just missing out on the third place, but crossing the line on the bridle.
The winner Space Blues, boosted the form by winning a Group-1 next time out, so it showed you how good Safe Voyage ran in defeat under the circumstances. He’s proven himself to be useful at the highest-level having plied his trade well with some of the best horses around over various distances. In fact, he’s been unfortunate to have been just touched off by Space Blues twice this season with valid excuses each time and there’s nothing in today’s race that is in the same calibre as Charlie Appleby’s smart youngster.
Based on overall form, it’s very hard to find any chinks in his armour with only slight niggle being that he’s never run at York before. But otherwise, he ticks all boxes, he’s proven on any ground and she surely holds a class edge over this field. Safe Voyage has the gears to execute a big race manoeuvre when needed to and with the likelihood of him getting a much clearer run down the home straight on the Knavenshire track, I’m quietly confident he will have too much quality for today’s opposition. He comfortably rates a rock-solid each-way proposition with almost certainty to be involved in the finish given he’s just too classy not to be.
VERDANA BLUE (15.40 York, 0.5pts each-way @10/1)
GHOSTWATCH (15.40 York, 0.5pts each-way @10/1)
(All odds are with bookmakers paying 5 places)
As expected, the feature race of the week is always an absolute minefield to dissect with 20 plus runners going to post each year with this year no different, so it might pay to have a few runners on side.
Nicky Henderson’s Grade-1 winning hurdler VERDANA BLUE ran a cracker back on the flat at Royal Ascot on her seasonal debut where she was beaten only one length off top-weight 9-10 over 2m3f. She might well have won with a clear passage too having met trouble in running two furlongs out before cruising into the lead at the furlong marker. The form of that race has been well-advertised with the horse back in third Summer Moon winning this week. This high-class dual purpose sort remains unexposed in this sphere and the assessor has only put her up a couple of pounds for that monster performance last time out which evidently makes her very well-treated.
With form figures on the flat reading 1, 2, 2, and 2 below Group level and her only try on the flat in pattern company saw her finish a creditable fourth at Ascot where again, she was denied a clear run but was beaten less than three lengths and the three who finished in front of her all rated 108 or higher. Today's race is much easier and her ideal draw today in stall 13 should allow Ryan Moore to get a nice position on her at an early stage as I’m convinced middle is where you’ll want to be with the drop back in trip proving no hardship.
There’s a good chance she will have improved from her latest outing and it’s significant to note Nicky had decided to wait for this race with her since last time. Her vital top-class form and proven ability (beat former dual champion hurdle winner) can see her cruise past most of the rivals “providing she gets a clear run this time” before Ryan Moore hits the accelerator which will hopefully see her devastating turn of foot come into play. She represents great value in all things considered.
It’s interesting to see Charlie Appleby’s only runner on the card GHOSTWATCH contests this fiercely-competitive. He’s progressive and if you take away his only below par performance which was on the back of a near two-year absence, his form is completely rock-solid and a further plus is that he’s a proven C&D winner. He has shown he retains his ability in his three comeback runs this year and off what looks a lenient mark of 106, I think he has enough in reserve to raise his game and be in the mix for the boys in blue.
LAUDED (16.10 York, 0.75pts each-way @11/2)
MACHO PRIDE (16.10 York, 0.25pts each-way @33/1)
Ben Macdui has leading claims based on his runner-up effort at Glorious Goodwood behind Steel Bull but I get the suspicion that he’s up against two real nice horses today who represent better value at the prices. While he might just be simply better than this field with the strongest form in the book I’m not convinced enough to warrant him on my selections.
I’m quietly confident LAUDED can win this having bypassed an engagement yesterday in order to run in this much easier contest. Tom Dascombe’s smart two-year-old was an impressive winner on debut on similar ground to what he will encounter this Friday. He finished a respectable seventh in the Coventry Stakes Royal Ascot where he travelled extremely well, looking the winner for a brief moment before the sticky ground along with the high-draw looked viable excuses for the lack of turn of foot in the closing stages. He looked back on track when a good third when last seen in a warm Group-2 and the switch in races by connections should prove beneficial given he’s not short of speed and the five-furlong distance could easily be his optimum trip.
I am also going to give another chance to MACHO PRIDE who makes plenty of appeal as an outsider on paper. He won impressively on debut before he acquitted himself well when finishing fifth in the Group-2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. He then finished a creditable sixth in a Listed event at Sandown where he made the most until weakening out of contention inside the final 100 yards. It seemed that the sensible reasoning that happened was due to the stiff climb to the finish and that’s a viable excuse despite running with credit against good horses.
With that being said, York is a more flat galloping track and it tends to suit front-runners which will definitely see Macho Pride to better effect, and if given a soft enough lead, he’s highly likely to take advantage of that on the front-end. He’s drawn nicely in stall 3 which should allow Harrison Shaw to get a decent early position and I have a half sneaky feeling that he won’t fold out of contention towards the end of the race this time, which clearly makes his double-digit quoted odds look too big to ignore given his Royal Ascot form is probably the strongest in todays line-up. He holds his enthusiasm extremely well and deserves to win a race like this.
FIFTH POSITION (16.40 York, 0.5pts each-way @8/1)
(All odds are with bookmakers paying 4 places)
Another red-hot handicap on today’s card but it might be worth taking another chance on FIFTH POSITION who finished a good third in the John Smith’s Cup off this mark when conceding 9lb to the winner Sinjaari. He travelled beautifully throughout before getting caught in a pocket two furlongs out and then keeping on nicely in the closing stages. Roger Varian’s four-year-old is much better off at the weights with the winner this time, and that indicates him having a strong chance of reversing the form. Fifth Position raced far too keenly at Glorious Goodwood when eighth behind Maydanny, but again, has a massive weight pull from the other market rival so providing he can settle better on an unchanged mark, I can see Fifth Position being very competitive.
SPOOF (13.30 Sandown, 1pt win @11/4)
OUR OYSTERCATCHER (13.30 Sandown, 0.5pts each-way @10/1)
I’m eager to go double-handed in this race as I’m fairly confident we have this race covered with two decent bets.
SPOOF was very impressive when scoring easily at Windsor back on soft ground earlier this week. He’s turned out under a penalty here but he takes a significant drop down in class and the time-figures and other bits and pieces he’s achieved by of late indicates a positive chance of him following up again. If you go back to earlier form as three-year-old, all angles point to him remaining an extremely well-handicapped horse for the Charlie Hills team who will be on a high after Battaash’s win yesterday at York.
OUR OYSTERCATCHER is a course specialist who’s form figures at this level over C&D read an impressive 2, 1 and 2 off marks of 68, 68 and 72. He only just missed on success here three starts ago in a class 4 race which resulted in a three-way drive to the finishing line, eventually taking third off a 1lb higher mark before finishing fourth back over the same C&D last time out. Indeed, all those horses who were just in front of him are all rated 80, so the assessor has been quite light on him by only dropping him 1lb along the drop down in class for today’s race being another help towards his chances. Therefore, I’m optimistic that he will be given full assistance to try and burn this field off with his natural early pace and that he can monumentally reward us with a fair each-way return at least.
DEAN STREET DOLL (14.40 Sandown, 0.5pts each-way @11/2)
I most certainly sound like a broken record by selecting DEAN STREET DOLL for the fourth consecutive race, but I strongly suspect she will win a nice prize at some stage, and their is a good chance of that happening in this very race. She showed strong when formerly trained in Ireland and has started to learn her trade well since joining David Menuisier by showing steady but sweet enough progression on each start. Of course, there’s plenty of dangers lurking everywhere you look in this wide-open event but this fillies’ last couple of efforts have warranted enough to suggest she can be right in the sandwich given she drops down in grade. The handicapper has left her alone on a mark of 91 with Sean Levey booked to ride, which provides likely indication that a bold showing can be anticipated from the filly.
DRUMCLIFF (15.20 Uttoxeter, 0.5pts each-way @15/2)
Quite often, DRUMCLIFF has been a quirky character for connections over the years but there is no doubting his ability and talent when on song. For instance, his last success came over C&D back in 2018 off a mark of 139. He’s 4lb lower today and shaped quite nicely in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen last time out without threatening to get involved, and today’s race represents a drop down in class for Harry Fry’s runner. The stable also hold an impressive 52% place strike-rate at this track so that bodes well for chances of Drumcliff, who no doubt has the ability to shake this race up if taking a step forward from his seasonal debut along with Richie McLernon booked to ride.
SUCELLUS (17.00 Sandown, 1pts each-way @6/1)
My best bet of the day comes in the last race at Sandown who is the Roger Fell-trained SUCELLUS (NAP) who has been found an excellent chance by his handler to gain a much-deserved first success for connections. He looked smart when trained by John Gosden which included a win over C&D off a 3lb higher mark for which he beat the 91-rated horse Cape Cavalli. In context to today’s race, that piece of form makes him extremely well-handicapped here. He’s shown loads of promise in all five races for this yard in much deeper-company off stiffer marks, looking a shade unfortunate on a couple of occasions having endured luckless passages. The couple of drop down in grades along with a 3lb lower is a welcome addition, and he deserves his place towards the head of the market. On the form available, he should be a lot shorter than 6/1 and is given one more chance to finally come good and capitalise on this excellent opportunity.