Channel 4 Racing Tips: George can put poor Newmarket run behind him

Will Aidan O'Brien's George Vancounver bounce back from his disappointing run in the English 2000 Guineas?

A tricky day of racing lies ahead on Channel 4 on Saturday afternoon, but unperturbed, Tony Calvin sets about finding some double figure selections for you to consider...

"But I can't believe that was his true running and a look back at Aidan O'Brien's Newmarket also-rans in this race give me plenty of encouragement to go in again.

Back George Vancouver @ 14.013/1 or better - Curragh 15:20


It really is a fearfully difficult Saturday to be finding winners on Channel 4.

There are some pretty unfathomable big-field handicaps and Group races, in addition to ultra-tight and trappy small-field conditions races.

I was really struggling for an angle until I noticed that the channel were also showing the Irish 2000 Guineas from the Curragh, and that George Vancouver was priced up at around the 14.013/1 mark for the 15:20.

That is tempting enough for me to get involved.

I may be in danger of following this horse over a cliff this season, as I had a big win and place bet on him on at Newmarket earlier in the month, only to see him run no kind of race and finish 10th of 13.

That was very disappointing considering the impression he made upon me when I was fortunate enough to be in Santa Anita when he won the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, confirming the Group 1-placed promise he showed in the Morny and in the Dewhurst.

His poor run on his reappearance is hard to fathom but maybe he just wasn't cherry ripe there.

And the Betfair betting in the immediate lead-up to the race certainly suggested there wasn't much general confidence about him, as I kept on pressing the back button as he drifted and drifted, all the way out to a Betfair win and place SP of 26.18 and 5.51 respectively.

Now, what idiot wrote a column in the Racing Post recently about going in harder the bigger the price gets? Ah, that would be me!

But I can't believe that was his true running and a look back at Aidan O'Brien's Newmarket also-rans in this race give me plenty of encouragement to go in again.

Power finished 17th of 18 at Newmarket before winning at the Curragh last season, and the season before Roderic O'Connor only beat two home there before winning this race.

And even top class horses like Mastercraftsman, an Irish 2,000 Guineas winner who went on to win the St James Palace Stakes and finish second to Sea The Stars at Epsom, only managed fifth at Newmarket.

So, bizarrely, it looks like O'Brien is not overly-concerned if he doesn't have his horses fully tuned up for the first UK Classic of the season. It' s a long season after all.

Let's hope that the trend continues with George Vancouver, who should have his favoured fast ground here.

It doesn't surprise me that his stablemate Magician is the favourite as he was very highly-rated by the O'Brien yard even before his Chester win - there was even talk of him being the top Classic colt at Ballydoyle beforehand - but whether a mile is his optimum, I doubt. He could end up being a top-notcher over 1m2f.

Elsewhere, on the Channel 4 coverage, if you want to throw a dart at one of the handicaps, then Fitz Flyer could be the one in the 14:55 at York.

It does look desperately hard but Fitz Flyer is slowly running into form on the evidence of a course and distance fourth to Ancient Cross here last week - several in that race re-oppose today - and if he returns to his 2012 best then it could be his day today.

He is now 4lb lower than when a good third at Ascot last September, having been unlucky when occupying the same position at this course on his previous start.


Recommended Bets

Back George Vancouver @ 14.013/1 or better - Curragh 15:20
Back Fitz Flyer @ 16.015/1 or better - York 14:55


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