Daryl Carter Tips

Daryl Carter's Tips: 11/1 Sandown selection is a gift if he is ready

Daryl Carter
Daryl Carter is keen on a Charles Hills horse

Daryl Carter offers his thoughts on the ITV Races on Saturday. He has televised selections, with further to follow....

*One selection was added at 07:18 on Saturday morning. Best of luck.

Listen to Racing Only Bettor...

13:15 Sandown - Back Pitney @ 7/24.50 1pt

Pitney - 7/24.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - looks good value to confirm he is ahead of the handicapper, having caught the eye at Chester last time when suffering a horrid trip. The three-year-old was hampered initially and forced wide for the entire race before being denied a clear run. Still, despite covering the most ground at Chester, he finished off his race strongly and left the firm impression that he was ready to strike.

A two-pound rise for that effort should not be enough to stop him, with Billy Loughnane taking over in the saddle from a good draw here in stall two. He is entirely unexposed on turf with just two outings under his belt, and he progressed with every run as a two-year-old last term. It's wise to entirely put a line through his effort at Newmarket on his seasonal debut, particularly as his latest effort was a giant stride forward.
He gets the vote over the unknown quantity, Storm Star, and the course and distance winner, Spanish Blaze. The latter got the first run last time and was slightly fortunate to come out on top, but he takes up plenty of this market.

Back the selection at 7/24.50 or bigger.

13:50 Sandown - Back Desperate Hero @ 6/17.00 1pt

It's well worth giving Desperate Hero - 6/17.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - a chance to back up the impressive Hamilton demolition job, considering the excellent time he clocked. He was swift through the early part of the race, and he was exceptional with how effortlessly he travelled at a strong clip before being able to pick up off a fast pace and still record the fastest final two furlongs.

This horse had promised to come good in spits and spats last season, and his latest run may be a coming of age for the four-year-old. The form has worked out very well, with the second, third, and fifth all scoring next time out, and there have been multiple winners down the field. Given his price tag, the market doesn't believe the performance, but he beat the Epsom Dash winner last term and had the Group 2 Temple Stakes winner behind at Bath when he needed the run on his seasonal debut.

This division lacks a star, and while Desperate Hero has a way to go to prove that it is him, he is unexposed and arrives firmly on the upgrade. Rain falling on Friday will inconvenience the two ahead of him in the market and enhance his chances. He is drawn well in stall four and will enjoy this stiff finish with the rail likely to help, and he gets a good vote of confidence.

Back the selection at 6/17.00 or bigger.

14:05 Haydock - Back Align The Stars @ 8/19.00 1pt

Dramatic Star represents connections with a fine record in this race, having scored with all three of their representatives in the past three years. This is undoubtedly competitive, but William Haggas' runner will surely relish this move up in trip on handicap debut. He did his best work late at Hamilton last time, recording a fair time to score in his final qualifying run for a handicap rating.

This opening mark of 87 looks within reach on the balance of his three runs to date, and he was only just picked up by a subsequent winner on his penultimate run at Nottingham. It looked as though Cieren Fallon was simply kidding his mount as he made up ground quickly and taught him to go through runners rather than round them, and he was caught by surprise by the eventual winner, who came over the top on the outside.

Still, he left the impression he has more to offer, and while this is his biggest test to date, he is open to further improvement over this distance from a good draw in stall four. He is very much priced accordingly, though, so while the case for him is strong, it's not worthy of 11/43.75, and I'd be more keen to get involved at 7/24.50 - I do like his chances.

Align The Stars - 8/19.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - is worth a win-only bet, considering this relentless galloper is well drawn to get a prominent ride and has been crying out for this move up to 1m6f. The Johnston yard has a good record in this contest also, and the three-year-old is a steady improver. He arrives on the back of a strong Thirsk victory, where he hit the line and took a pull.

Align The Stars visually leaves the impression that he can be better than this grade in due course, and today's move-up in trip for the brother to the smart Al Aasy, can unlock further improvement.

There are others to consider. I can't believe I was as wrong as it looked at Sandown about Games People Play. However, the headgear addition looks like I might have been.

I will be playing this race accordingly with Dramatic Star on side, and should he become a more reasonable price - I will update in the column.

14:25 Sandown - Back Cicero's Gift @ 11/112.00 NAP 2pt e/w

I can't believe that bookmakers opened up Cicero's Gift - 11/112.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - at double-figure odds as I made him more of a 4/15.00 chance and I was being generous. That does concern me a little bit, given Charles Hills' runner returns from an absence, but even on an average day, he should be in the thick of things here.

He was last seen running in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting last year - a race for which he was the 3/14.00 ante-post favourite and just 9/25.50 on the morning of the race. He was a huge eye-catcher when denied a clear run continuously in the home straight, having been tucked in against the rail. He travelled powerfully through a well-run affair and was hampered as the fading Galeron fell into his lap. He was then denied room when trying to quicken by the weakening Craven winner Indestructible. He was weak in the market that day - out to 12/113.00 - but impressed, stepping up in grade, having won only a Conditions race at Goodwood.

At Goodwood, he was very impressive when he easily took the scalp of Kolsoi (103), and again, was only lukewarm in the market. Still, he was a decisive winner and the runner-up who went on to run a screamer when unlucky next time in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom behind Highland Avenue and Regal Reality.

The selections's seasonal debut last term saw him efficiently dispatch the subsequent three-time scorer and Britannia winner Docklands, who is now a Group 1 runner-up (Queen Anne at Royal Ascot) and rated 115. The selection held a 2,000 Guineas entry last year, and connections think very highly of him.

Given that Cicero's Gift's latest run was only the fourth of his career, he is open to significant improvement and has already shown himself to be a genuine Group 1 performer and to go well fresh.

Today, he drops into a handicap from a rating of 107, which means he is impossible to ignore. This race has been fought out between plenty of top-weights in the past. In 2022, Checkandchallenge (108) (2nd) and Sinjaari (105) fought out the finish, and Magical Morning, Maydanny, Montatham, and Dark Vision all carried big weights to success or the runner-up spot.

The selection must be interesting, with Billy Loughnane booked for this seasonal return. He is undoubtedly the best horse in the race if he is straight up the first time--I suppose that is the concern. However, the price has so much compensation that he has to be backed. Considering his past performances in the betting ring, this is not a selection I will let a market drift put me off.

Charles Hills' runner has been granted the plum draw for a prominent position. This is a compressed handicap with only 12 lbs between all bar two runners. The angle is the market overreacting to the absence and the rating next to his name.

I can't let this one go without having a good bet. Hopefully, he doesn't "need the run". Best of luck if you follow me in.

14:40 Haydock - No Bet

Despite the quick turnaround, Tiffany 5/23.50 must be respected for her excellent Newcastle victory last week and looks a class above her rivals in this race. There are one or two that nearly lured me in, though. Lady Boba and Sea Theme are sure to improve on their seasonal return, second and fourth behind Queen Of The Pride at Haydock last week, and there is a case for a form reversal. Still, 4/15.00 and 6/17.00 hardly had me gagging to get involved.

Sweet Memories could go well at 7/18.00, and she is much bigger across the board. However, with this seasonal return and entries down the line, there may be another day to catch her.

Other than the quick turnaround, it's tough to find negatives with the favourite. She is priced correctly, so I quickly moved on.

15:00 Sandown - No bet

Our 28/129.00 Royal Ascot Sandringham winner, Soprano, is undoubtedly the correct favourite for this and 2/13.00 is very fair. She is unexposed at 1m, holds the best two-year-old form, and is highly likeable, so I am not here to put you off one bit.

She is short enough for a place in this column on a Saturday, and I never like wasting profit from a big price by following it up with a shorter one the next time. I guess the time to back her was when she was 28/129.00 rather than 2/13.00.

For those looking for a price, William Haggas' Tiaraqueen - 50/151.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - is not out of this if she takes a step forward from her seasonal debut at Wetherby. Haggas threw up a surprise in this race last year with a similarly lowly-rated filly at big odds, and she will go forward from a low draw and be in with a place shout. It's unlike her trainer to throw one in without a chance, and she could be a surprise package. It's risky but worth a £0.50p e/w of anyone's money.

15:15 Haydock - Back Epic Poet @ 10/111.00 1pt e/w (5 places)

Epic Poet - 10/111.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - looks like a fair each-way play in this competitive handicap following his excellent run at Royal Ascot when second to the brilliant Crystal Black. He did the best of those from off the pace and was checked in his run when making his challenge.

Connections took a similar route with their winner of this contest two years ago in Get Shirty, and I expect Epic Poet to be very competitive from just three pounds higher.

The five-year-old has only been with the yard for two runs, and his back form for former connections in France suggests he is not to be overlooked off this mark of 100.

His draw in stall 15 should pose no issue, considering he will be dropped in from off the pace. With an unexposed profile in handicaps, he looks good value for at least hitting the frame at 8/19.00 or bigger with five places on offer.

15:35 Sandown - Read Eclipse Runner-By-Runner Guide Here

City Of Troy is no betting proposition at 1/31.33, but he is a big draw for those like me heading to Sandown on Saturday, and I can't wait to see him.

I am looking in the without market here at Al Riffa, who has been entirely written off by the market despite the strength in his form. It's worth putting a line through his run in America last time, and he is better judged on his effort in the Prix Ganay in France, which looks strong, considering the fifth run Auguste Rodin close at Royal Ascot. At the same time, his excellent second to Ace Impact just three starts back looks like some of the strongest form on offer.

It's a race to play outside of the favourite, but don't be tempted to waste the winning part of the bet with each-way bets.

Now Read: More horse racing tips here

Recommended bets


2024 P/L = Next update (monthly) AUG 1st

2024 P/L = +76.04 ROI 12.81%

BSP P/L = +62.9 ROI 10.60%

2024 P/L Ante-post = +4


2021 P/L = +187pts 12% ROI

2022 P/L = + 137.1pts ROI 8.72% +22.7pts BSP 1.44% ROI

2023 P/L = +112.63pts ROI 8.86% +99.4pts BSP 7.84% ROI

2023 P/L (Incl ante) Total = +146.63 ROI 11.5%


New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £50 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.