Welcome to today's Follow The Money from Newmarket and Thirsk...
Perhaps never before has a class 4 handicap been so thoroughly researched by so many people as the 13:45 at Newmarket, this of course being the first leg of a record breaking £10 million Scoop 6 pot. So it is with some interest to report that there has been a significant market move for outsider Zaitsev. The good-to-firm going has arrived just at the right time for our selection, who loves to hear his hooves rattle, and he looks to be coming to the boil at just the right time after an encouraging fifth place at Beverley twelve days ago. He runs off a fair looking mark judged on that run, though today's trip of 7f is an unknown for this gelded son of Guineas hero Refuse To Bend. Punters seem unperturbed by that, having smashed his price in from an early 15.5 in to 9.417/2. The gamble is growing in momentum and Zaitsev is our first back of the day.
We leave Scoop 6 fever for now and head to the 14:50 5f Maiden at Thirsk for today's lay. Al Ghuwariyah has been drifting all morning from 2.111/10 out to 2.8815/8 in the face of extremely strong support for Secret Liaison, who has come to join our selection as joint-favourite from an early high of 3.953/1. Al Ghuwariyah went in many punters' notebooks after a short head second to Spirit Of Xian on debut at Newmarket having stayed on strongly to challenge. It was with some disappointment that this Kevin Ryan filly again took the runners up spot two weeks later at Musselburgh in a field of only four runners. This is way too soon to write this daughter of Acclamation off but she may not be straight forward and the reported strong opposition in the betting tempers enthusiasm somewhat. Lay is the call.
We forego our usual policy of selecting a shorter priced back for today and remain at Thirsk for leg 5 of the Scoop 6. Due off at 15:25, this looks a tricky looking 5f handicap sprint on paper - a typical Scoop 6 race in many ways - however punters are queuing up to back Tumblewind. A dramatic gamble has taken place over the morning to shift the price from 11.521/2 in to a current 7.413/2. A decent looking fifth of eighteen over course and distance two weeks ago should see our filly go close today off the same mark. The good, good-to-soft conditions will be no problem and Tumblewind is taken to keep us on track for that massive jackpot.
Back Zaitsev @ 9.417/2 in the 13:45 at Newmarket
Lay Al Ghuwariyah @ 2.8815/8 in the 14:50 at Thirsk
Back Tumblewind @ 7.413/2 in the 15:25 at Thirsk