Channel 4 Racing Tips: Scatter Dice worth a chance at a huge price

Can Resurge (right) give the column another winner?

After a fine week at Royal Ascot, with four winners including a 17.016/1 shot, Tony Calvin is back to find more big priced winners from Saturday's televised races...

"Scatter Dice has a powerful kick from the front, and if PJ McDonald can get a good position and deliver it at the right time, then I can see her outrunning massive odds."


Mark Johnston is a very hard trainer to read as a punter; his horses flit in and out of form too often for comfort for me.

But there can be little doubt that he has his horses in rude health at the moment, which leads me to take a flier and side with his, perhaps aptly-named, Scatter Dice at odds of 75.074/1-plus in the Northumberland Plate at 15:15.

She is actually the biggest price of the four Johnston runners in the race, but that doesn't concern me at all. What is striking is that all the stable's runners appear to be running out of their skins at the moment. Going into Friday's racing, the form figures of his runners in the past three days read 1-4-1-1-1-1-0-3-2-3-1-3-3-1.

Now Scatter Dice has some obvious negatives, not least the fact that she is drawn in 19 - not ideal for a horse that likes to lead (though Overturn overcame a worse berth recently) - and is unproven over this trip.

But she is returning to form, as evidenced by her third in the Ulster Derby last week, and she is exactly the kind of horse that Johnston could actually eke some further improvement out of over this longer trip. She has a powerful kick from the front, and if PJ McDonald can get a good position and deliver it at the right time, then I can see her outrunning massive odds.

How the ground rides at Newcastle is up in the air a bit at the time of writing with rain falling on watered ground, but Scatter Dice has form with cut. And she is well-handicapped too - on the same mark as when third to Sun Central at Salisbury in May and she is weighted to beat that much shorter-priced rival today.

What makes her even more attractive from a betting angle is that there is a trading element attached to her. She traded at 1.292/7 in running at Salisbury and at 1.341/3 at Down Royal last time, so I am going to be putting in an in-running lay at 8.07/1 for her to cover my stake.

At Newcastle, I also like the look of Dubawi Sound in the 14:05 and Noble Citizen in the 15:50, at are what are sure to be big odds. They should be both trading at 20.019/1-plus when the markets settle down.

A word of warning though: if the ground turned soft, my confidence in the pair would lessen appreciably.

Jack Dexter looks the obvious one to beat in the opener after his fourth to Sole Power in the King's Stand, stepping down in class and with this extra furlong sure to suit.

But Dubawi Sound also makes a quick reappearance after not being beaten far in the 7f Buckingham Palace Stakes at Ascot, and I think he has chances of upsetting the favourite stepped down to 6f.

He won at this course last year, travels really well in his races - so there may be a trading angle there if you so wish - and I get the impression there is more to come from him. There will need to be, admittedly.

The third bet at Newcastle is Noble Citizen in the 7f handicap, and I think he is worth chancing from 2lb out of the handicap.

He has been slipping down the weights, though, and is well-treated on his 2012 form, and I thought there was enough promise in his seventh at Sandown last time to make him worth chancing here.

Fig Roll is likely to be all the rage in the 14:20 at Newmarket, after her fourth in an above-average Queen Mary, but she is worth taking on over 6f.

And the one that caught my eye against her was David O'Meara's Sunny Harbor. The form of her Redcar win has worked out OK, and certainly the manner of her win was impressive.

But what really seals the deal was that she posted a very decent time-figure there and I reckon she could be a very smart filly for a yard normally associated with improving horses from other stables. This time I think they could just have found one of their own. I think she is worth backing at 10.09/1 or better.

Resurge did us a big favour when winning on his reappearance at his beloved Epsom, where he could not be given away in the betting.

The weakness in the market that day was apparently due to a setback he had in the spring, and if he wasn't cherry ripe there, than I want to be with him off just a 4lb higher mark. He didn't run well in this race last season, but he has run well and won away from Epsom and I am willing to give him another chance. Look for odds around the 15.014/1 mark in the 16:05 at Newmarket.


Recommended Bets

Back Dubawi Sound in the 14:05 at Newcastle at 20.019/1 or better
Back Sunny Harbor in the 14:20 at Newmarket at 10.09/1 or better
Back Scatter Dice in the 15:15 at Newcastle at 75.074/1
Back Noble Citizen in the 15:50 at Newcastle at 20.019/1 or better
Back Resurge in the 16:05 at Newmarket at 15.014/1 or better


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