Channel 4 Racing: Vasily the horse to back at Sandown this Saturday

Vasily runs at Sandown in the 15:50 on Saturday

Tony Calvin runs his eye over a handful of races at Sandown, Chester and Beverley on Saturday and picks out some big priced tips for you to sink your teeth into...

"My final bet on the day has no sexy story attached to it, other than him being an in-form horse on a fair mark. Back Vasily at 15.014/1 or bigger in the 15:50.

He was upped 6lb after winning at Nottingham last month but he has run well on both starts since, and I can see him making a bold bid from the front here."

There is always a dilemma when tipping and punting at courses with well-known draw biases, and that is especially true of Chester and Beverley, who host four of the eight Channel 4 races on Saturday.

And the main terrestrial meeting of the day, Sandown, is hardly known as an "it doesn't matter" track when it comes to where you are berthed, either.

In short, you have to accept that if you side with a well-drawn horse, that is factored into a shortened price. Or you can try and be a smart arse and go against the flow and try and net a big-priced winner.

Running against the crowd is probably the only way to make money long term - it continues to astonish me how many pundits simply row in with the market-leaders, day-in, day-out - and that is the raison d'etre of this column.

Sometimes you have to rein yourself in and get real. Backing a horse drawn 15 of 15 on the sprint track at Chester, Beverley and Sandown is usually akin to betting suicide, however much the inflated odds may tempt you in.

But I have never been one to listen to doubt or inner demons though, and I simply cannot resist a kamikaze-type punt on Caledonia Lady in the Beverley Bullet at 14:30.
 
In fact, at the price, she is probably the horse I have fancied most in this column in the past two or three weeks.

You can make a case for a quite a few of these - and Cheviot was the other on my short list - but despite being handed seemingly the worst draw in 15, Caledonia Lady has a lot going for her at double figure odds. Back her at 17.016/1 or bigger.

Let's get this draw stuff out of the way first. The main reason why I am taking a chance on the selection is run style.

As her trainer Jo Hughes underlined after the horse won a Group 3 over 5f at Sandown last year, this horse has to be dropped out, so she would probably have eschewed the advantage a low draw even if handed one.

She overcame being drawn 9 of 13 at Sandown, when coming late and fast to lead on the line and win by a nose, and I can see her jockey giving her a real seat-of-the-pants ride again here.

I was very taken with her run in the Nunthorpe last week, when she ran far better than the finishing position would indicate. Go and take a look at her run at York, and you will back her. She travelled really well before meeting trouble, and this stiff uphill finish is made for her. She will go close with some luck in running.

Over at Chester, Doctor Parkes looks to have a fair chance in the opener at 14:20.
 
He followed up his Doncaster win when running a solid race under a 6lb penalty at York last week, and is effectively 1lb lower here.

He doesn't have the natural early pace to blast out and make all from stall two. But hopefully he can sit relatively handy on the inner, and adopt the kind of wait-and-pounce tactics that have seen him twice a course and distance winner. He rates a bet at 9.08/1 or bigger.

At the likely prices on offer I can't see much else of interest at Chester, though I was half-tempted by Alejandro in the second.

Over at Sandown, many people will be expecting fireworks from Kingman in the Solario Stakes, and I expect them to get them. But at around 1-2, we will be watching, not punting, thanks.

I was all set to get with Chigun at 6-1+ in the 15:15, but unfortunately she was pulled out earlier today.

I personally would make Zibelina the favourite over Integral, but if there is a bet than it may be Lady's First at a double-figure price. But I will pass and sulk after Chigun's withdrawal has robbed me of what was the best betting opportunity in the race.

I was going to give a betting chance to Fratellino in the opener, but his draw in 12 must be rated a negative given that he likes to dominate so he is reluctantly passed over. I was very surprised to see the handicapper has already dropped him to a mark of just 82, so I think he is definitely a horse to keep an eye on in the near future, if not today.

My final bet on the day has no sexy story attached to it, other than him being an in-form horse on a fair mark. Back Vasily at 15.014/1 or bigger in the 15:50.

He was upped 6lb after winning at Nottingham last month but he has run well on both starts since, and I can see him making a bold bid from the front here.

Recommended Bets

Back Caledonia Lady in the 14:30 at Beverley at 17.016/1 or bigger
Back Doctor Parkes in the 14:20 at Chester at 9.08/1 or bigger
Back Vasily in the 15:50 at Sandown at 15.014/1 or bigger

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