Tony Calvin's Ante-Post Tips: Trip and track ideal for Bennys King

Tony Calvin
Tony Calvin has found two more selections worth backing

Tony Calvin's Betfair Chase ante-post selection was submitted on Monday but the man is back with two extra selections at both Haydock and Ascot this Saturday.

"He has won on his second start of the season in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020, so his recent pulled up effort over 3m does not concern me at all."

I covered the Betfair Chase here on Monday evening but the Sportsbook have priced up six other weekend races - and the Stayers' Handicap Hurdle market is also active on the exchange - so let's get stuck into them.

It looks like Bravemansgame looks set to take his chance in the 13:50 2m5f127yd Graduation Chase at Haydock, and those who take the current 4/5 about him will be praying that he does rock up.

But, for all he was super impressive in beating Fusil Raffles at Newton Abbot on his chasing debut, this race will potentially take a lot more winning than those odds suggest. Mind you, how many of his eight rivals, as it stands, will line up against him is the issue.

Form horse Espoir De Romay, a 5/1 chance, is priced up as if is he is taking up an alternative weekend engagement at Ascot. Indeed, Itchy Feet, Alnadam, Mr Hendricks and Secret Reprieve could all go elsewhere this week too, so this race unfortunately has the potential to cut up. A watching brief for now then.

On to the Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle at 14:25pm , then.

"Career best run" bodes well

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And, if not exactly filling their strides, the bookmakers are clearly very wary of Emmet Mullins' Rightplacerightime (who runs in the colours of The Shunter) , who comes here via a chase win at the start of the month and is 5s with the Sportsbook, and rightly so, though he does need two to come out in order to get a run.

The other market leaders clearly have strong claims, too. However, I have been waiting for Dans Le Vent to run ever since he ran a race brimful of promise when second in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and I have to put him up at 14/1 win-only, here.

If the 14s goes - and he is the same price on the exchange - 12/1 would be fine.

Now, I don't know if he is an intended runner - so normal comments apply about doing your money in cold blood with ante-post bets - but this is his only entry and I can't believe Evan Williams will pass up the chance of winning the 57k first prize with a horse that could be tailor-made for the race.

Granted, he has yet to show his best form over 3m to date but I think he stays it well enough and he comes here on the back of what his trainer believes was a career-best run at Ffos Las on his return, a race in which he travelled well throughout and finished off strongly from off the pace. He could have been ridden more aggressively.

Admittedly, the overall form has not worked out as well as it might, given it was run in a very good time, but the winner ran well enough when sixth in the Greatwood Hurdle and the third, Leoncavallo, did run a stormer when second in a hot handicap at Ascot afterwards.

The handicapper has played pretty fair in raising him only 1lb and he will love the expected good to soft ground, and he excelled when second in a big field at Aintree last season. Expect him to be delivered late here, though personally I like dubious stayers (and I have to accept he does have a doubt there) to be ridden more prominently than to be dropped out last.

I am playing win-only because of the stamina concern and, as I expect the race to stand up numbers-wise, we will get enhanced place terms on Thursday and Friday.
Incidentally, of the opposition, only If The Cap Fits has an alternative engagement this week, so the favourite is not a certainty to get a run.

King can reign supreme

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I found the extended 3m1f handicap chase 15:35pm Ascot, which has attracted a healthy 21 entries, too much of a headscratcher at this stage, so I will wait for the final field here.

Outside of the closing bumper, Saturday's five-day fields at Ascot are worryingly small, and there are only 31 entries for the three ITV races.

That said, I think Bennys King is plenty temping enough at 12/1 each way in the 2m5f Grade 2 race at 2.05pm.

He may not have the necessary class to win and his record suggests that softer ground would be preferable (good to soft is a fair working assumption for Saturday) , but he has won on the likely going and what he will have here are his ideal trip and track conditions.

And that would be 2m5f around here, as all his best form have come at this course over 2m3f and this distance.

He clearly doesn't stay 3m, so his reappearance run over that trip here last month was very likely a tee-up job for this, and his record second time out is phenomenal.

He has won on his second start of the season in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020, so his recent pulled up effort over 3m does not concern me at all.

I was going to leave the race alone but, having looked at the opposition, three of whom have to give him weight, none of them particularly scare me, so I am going to back him and tip him at 12/1 each way, three places, in the Sportsbook.

And, while the ground is a worry, I think Dan Skelton will run him - indeed, he said so in a Racing Post stable tour this week - and I see Bridget Andrews is already jocked up.
This is one race I won't be moaning about if it really cuts up, so guilty to hypocrisy there, m'lud.

I can fully see the case for Buzz in the Coral Hurdle at 2.40pm, as the staying hurdle division looks very weak and he could be the hero they are holding out for after his Ceserawitch win, but that has been fully factored into the ante-post market as he has been priced up at just 5/4.

I am not in a mad rush to oppose him, though.

Nothing floats my boat at the prices in the 2m handicap chase at 3.15pm either, so I will leave it there.

Good luck. Back on Friday morning.

PROFIT AND LOSS 2021 FLAT SEASON PROFIT/LOSS (STARTED APRIL 14)

Staked: 154pts
Returns: 331.36pts
P/L: +177.36

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