Saturday Racing Tips: Back Van Percy to score at Newmarket

Tony fancies the equine version of this man to score on Saturday
Tony fancies the equine version of this man to score on Saturday

After a successful week's tipping at York's Dante Festival Tony Calvin has delved into Saturday's Channel 4 races to come up with a quartet of selections for you to consider...

Newmarket 14:20 - Van Percy

"He is a pretty straightforward selection. He ran well when fifth in a competitive handicap over 1m4f here last time, the handicapper has generously dropped him 1lb, and I think the step back up to 1m6f on good ground should suit him well."

Newbury 14:40 - Burano

Every punter has a "cliff" horse, and Burano is in danger of becoming mine. I may be standing on the precipice but I have to stay loyal to him at odds of 11.010/1 or better on Saturday.

In his two starts since returning from a stint in Dubai, I think it is fair to say that he hasn't enjoyed the best of luck in running.

At least the handicapper has played ball, and dropped him 3lb - he could easily have left him alone given the obvious promise of those efforts - and I am convinced that he has races in him off that mark.

The issue here is the step back to 7f, the first time he has tackled the trip since his fifth start back in February 2012, and he was acquitting himself with credit over 1m2f at Meydan during the winter.

But he has travelled so well in both his races over 1m here in the Spring Cup, and 1m1f at Newmarket, this season that I am not overly-concerned. And if Jimmy Fortune can avoid the traffic this time and bring him with one sustained, flowing, effort then I think he will prove very hard to beat.


Newbury 15:50 - Sruthan

The Aston Park Stakes at 14:05 is probably as strong a listed race as you will see, but I can't get excited by anything at the prices, and the same looked pretty much true of the Lockinge at 15:50 at first glance.

Or so I thought.

Olympic Glory deserves to be favourite on his overall level of form, but even money first time up in a Group 1? No thanks.

I was going to let the race pass until I centred on a horse which, I'll be honest, I'd never heard of before. But the more I looked at Sruthan, the more I thought he was overpriced at 26.025/1+.

Admittedly, he would have a lot on his plate if Olympic Glory is close to his best, but he has only had seven runs and looked a much-improved performer judged on his 1 ½ length beating of the 108-rated Custom Cut in a Group 3 race at the Curragh on his reappearance.

He didn't do anything in a hurry there but was well on top at the line - the more I watched it, the more taken I was - and he definitely shaped as though a return to a mile will be very much in his favour.

The hood that he wore for the first time there stays on, and what makes that win all the more meritorious is that connections said afterwards that they hadn't "drilled" him to be 100% for that comeback run, so there could be a lot more to come.

There needs to be, but at odds of 26.025/1 or bigger, count me in.

The 15:15 looks a very hot handicap, and Cannock Chase and Satellite both come here with decent home reputations, in relation to their current handicap marks at least.

But there are six others in the race that you certainly can't rule out either, so I have to give that race a swerve.


Newmarket 14:20 - Van Percy

Over at Newmarket, Van Percy is my idea of the winner in their Channel 4 opener and he gets my vote at odds of 5.04/1 or bigger.

He is a pretty straightforward selection. He ran well when fifth in a competitive handicap over 1m4f here last time, the handicapper has generously dropped him 1lb, and I think the step back up to 1m6f on good ground should suit him well.


Newmarket 14:55 - Toofi

Deeds Not Words is possibly the likeliest winner of the 6f sprint at 15:30, but for my last bet of the day I am siding with Toofi in 14:55 at odds of 8.07/1 or better.

He has a fair bit to find with some of these on official ratings but could have bumped into one in Magnus Maximus in a valuable sales race - are there any other kind? - over 6f here last time, and the pair pulled over two lengths clear.

Back up to 7f, with that run under his belt and having just his sixth start, he could improve past these. It is worth noting that Roger Varian had a high opinion of him last season, at one stage considering the Middle Park for him.


Recommended Bets

Back Burano @ 11.010/1 or better - 14:40 Newbury
Back Sruthan @ 21.020/1 or better - 15:50 Newbury
Back Van Percy @ 5.04/1 or better - 14:20 Newmarket
Back Toofi @ 8.07/1 or better - 14:55 Newmarket


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