Tony Calvin: Tanzeel the horse to back at York on Saturday

Bossy Guest runs in the International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday
Bossy Guest runs in the International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday

Racing tipster Tony Calvin is back with his regular antepost column and two horses have caught his eye from the weekend's racing...

"If making a quick appearance after winning at the Curragh by two lengths on Saturday, then Perfect Pasture is quite an attractive 9.28/1 poke, but last year’s winner Tanzeel is probably more interesting, and a far better bet, at 11.010/1 or bigger."

I am very surprised that Dartmouth was the only horse to be supplemented into Ascot's King George on Saturday and the race really does look to be Postponed's for the taking.

There are only 10 entries and if the field cuts up to seven runners or less, taking out the each-way angle in the day-of-race market, from 10am on Thursday onwards, than he could easily go off at 2-5.

He doesn't actually have that much in hand on the likes of a peak-form Highland Reel but he has looked imperious, and a much-improved horse both in terms of ability and physically, in his three victories this year.

He dismissed a proper Group 1 filly in Found with utter contempt in the Coronation Cup at Epsom last time, so little wonder that he trades as the 1.558/15 favourite on the exchange. Basically, if he turns up fit and well, he probably wins this by four lengths or more.

But horses do run below par and meet with late setbacks, and anyway there is still over a quarter of million quid up for grabs for the runner-up - it's a pity only Paddy Power have priced up a 'without favourite' market at the time of writing - so I am little surprised that the likes of Hawkbill wasn't supplemented.

Sure, I know they have decided to stick to 1m2f with the Eclipse winner but he would be favourite if something happened to Postponed this week and obviously money is no object for connections.

And, while I know he is trained in America now, I thought Juddmonte would consider a left-field entry from Flintshire in such a weak renewal, as he would be a strong second favourite in this race on his favoured fast ground.

My old mate Shogun will finally get his ground but whether they stick the blinkers back on and use him as a pacemaker is anyone's guess. Either way, this is a race that makes limited betting appeal at the moment.

The International Stakes looks a far more lively betting contest and the 7f handicap has attracted the small matter of 47 entries.

Librisa Breeze is the 8.07/1 favourite and that is predictable enough given his punted second in the Hunt Cup off just a 3lb lower mark - his high draw may have been his undoing there, even if he did come to win his race and trade at 1.330/100 in the run - but the step down to 7f on what will be presumably be fast ground is a worry.

He has never raced over the trip before or on anything quicker than good - let alone a combination of the two - so he may not even run. There are local thunderstorms forecast this week, and a few showers are around in the Ascot area on Friday, but we clearly look set to race on (watered) fast ground.

My idea of the correct favourite at this stage is Suzi's Connoisseur, and he is a fair price at 13.012/1, even if he has already been well-supported in recent days.

I backed him when he was a 12-1 second at Newmarket recently, and his back-to-form effort there means that he is 3lb well-in today. He is inconsistent but he is only 1lb higher than when just touched off in a valuable course-and-distance handicap in September.

He is handicapped to go well, as are Right Touch and Heaven's Guest after similarly good recent efforts, and course-and-distance winner Brazos is another interesting one at a big price under a 3lb penalty after his Doncaster success. He goes well here.

A lot of people will have given up on Lincoln now but I may have risked a few quid on him at 33-1+ had he not also had an alternative engagement at York on Saturday. Instead, I am going to give Bossy Guest a whirl at 30.029/1.

Now, he is also entered at Pontefract on Sunday, and at Goodwood next week, but connections must surely run him in such a valuable handicap on a track he loves.

Granted, his run in the Bunbury Cup last time worried me slightly and he is due to race off lower marks in future, but at the price I am willing to take a chance.

That Newmarket run last time will put a lot of people off - not least those out there who always side with a traveller when betting and tipping - as he undoubtedly was very slow to warm to his task after a slow start, and looked like tailing off early doors.

But, having watched the race back a few times, I don't think Charles Bishop was at all hard him on there and he was beaten only four lengths at the line without his jockey going for him at any stage.

He had earlier finished an excellent sixth on unfavourable soft ground here in the Hunt Cup, and a reproduction of that run - not to mention his course-and-distance third in last year's Jersey - back on fast ground gives him winnable claims. And the Mick Channon stable is back to form with a vengeance, with four winners and a host of runners running well in defeat on Saturday.

There is plenty of good racing elsewhere on Saturday and the Dash and the York Stakes are also available on the exchange.

The Group 2 York Stakes over an extended 1m2f sees a worthy odds-on poke in Time Test at 1.738/11 and he will prove very hard to beat if getting his favoured fast ground, but the Dash is obviously a lot harder to call.

If making a quick appearance after winning at the Curragh by two lengths on Saturday, then Perfect Pasture is quite an attractive 9.28/1 poke, but last year's winner Tanzeel is probably more interesting, and a far better bet, at 11.010/1 or bigger.

He was making his seasonal debut over 7f in the Bunbury Cup - he beat only three home but wasn't even beaten five lengths - and I imagine, and hope, he will run here instead of at Ascot on Saturday, as he can race off 98 at York as opposed to off 101 in the early-closing International Stakes.

In fact, this has probably been the long-term plan for the horse, who is now only 2lb higher than when winning this race, by two lengths at odds of 11-2, last season after being dropped a very generous 3lb for that comeback run at Newmarket.

On fast ground and back over 6f, the distance of all three of his successes, I wouldn't be surprised if he went off at the same price as he did last year and we got the same result. Back him at 11.010/1.


Recommended Bets

Back Bossy Guest at 30.029/1 in the International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday
Back Tanzeel at 11.010/1 in the Dash at York on Saturday

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