Saturday ITV Racing Tips: A sextet of bets for an action-packed day of racing
We have ITV racing from no fewer than four courses on Saturday afternoon, and as ever, our big-price tipster Tony Calvin is here to guide you through the best of the action...
"He followed up his Free Handicap third with a battling win in a quick time at Chester last time, the third nearly 5 lengths back, and a 6lb rise hopefully won't stop him following up."
ITV are showing races from three tracks on Saturday - and there is also the matter of the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh for us to consider, too (I will deal with that at the end of the piece) - but I will keep it clean and take the contests in course order.
Don't forget about Carlo if rain arrives
First up is Goodwood's Festival Stakes at 13:55 and I think the layers haven't taken into account the potential of the weather forecast - there is a fair bit of rain about from early tomorrow morning onwards, it seems, maybe 7mm and more - so What About Carlo rates a bet at [6.8] or bigger.
There was 7/1 knocking around on Thursday night, and Betfair Sportsbook were 6/1 on Friday, but the 11/2+ or so on the exchange remains fair.
Now, it could well be that we get close to good ground come the off on Saturday afternoon, and they don't get a lot of rain from now on (it was drying all the time during Friday, and basically good), but I am happy to take my chances.
If the rain does come with any venom, then it will certainly play into What About Carlo's hands and very few of the opposition, perhaps just Billesdon Bess, in fact. It isn't as if the selection doesn't go on good ground, anyway, and he is only 3lb shy of the form horse, Algometer.
What About Carlo has run two solid races in Group 3 company this season - his third to Defoe over 1m4f at Newbury was comfortably the better of the pair - and his record at this course gives you plenty of hope, too.
He won his 2yo maiden here on good ground as a juvenile, and he was only just touched off by Monarchs Glen in a Listed race over course and distance last season, and the winner went on to win a Group 3 at Newmarket on his next start. If he reproduces that form, he shouldn't be far away from winning this.
Hit the layers for six with the Batt at Goodwood
The 7f handicap at 14:30 features a lot of progressive, unexposed types, and a massive eye-catcher from the weekend in the shape of Maverick Officer.
He was beaten ½ length by Ventura Knight at Doncaster on Saturday night, but that doesn't even begin to tell half the story, and he must be on everyone's short list here.
Basically, he should have won easily, so he must be a big player at around 8/1 even off a 4lb higher mark here (he is 2lb out of the handicap), though the step down to 7f may not be ideal and the first-time hood is an unknown.
I have to have him onside at [10.0] or bigger, but my main bet in the race is Another Batt at [17.0].
He doesn't have the sexy profile of horses at the top end of the market but he followed up his Free Handicap third with a battling win in a quick time at Chester last time, the third nearly 5 lengths back, and a 6lb rise hopefully won't stop him following up.
He had a good draw in two at Chester, and has a far trickier one in 12 here, but hopefully 3lb claimer David Egan will take his medicine and the cowards' route and look for a run down the outside instead of hitting and hoping up the inner (if he breaks smartly and gets across, all the better). Any significant rain would be a bonus for him.
Not bets at York but Bridge was tempting
Over at York I don't have a betting opinion in the six-runner Group 3 Fillies' race at 15:05 - it was half-interesting to note that none of the sextet have won over the trip, but Isabel De Urbina is the right favourite after her Goodwood win - and I am not getting sucked into the 5f handicap at 15:40 either.
The amount of times I say "never again" after a sprint handicap is untrue, so I am determined to stick to my guns here.
Regular readers will know that I think Jumira Bridge is far better than a 97-rated handicapper and perhaps the first-time hood will set him back onto his previously progressive path after a woeful effort, albeit from a poor track position, at Lingfield last time.
I was sorely tempted when I saw him trading at [19.0] on the exchange, I can tell you, but I will give the race a swerve. Expect a rather large moan-up on Twitter if he wins.
And not much appeals in three of Haydock's ITV races
We have four races to peruse over at Haydock, and nothing grabs me in the opener, or indeed three of the contests.
The cheek pieces are back on The Grand Visir after they were left off for his poor reappearance effort, and that does make him of some interest in the 14:15. If the longer trip and the headgear spark him back to form, then I think he is on a fair mark, but I can let him pass at around the 11/2 mark.
The Group 2 races aren't getting any of my cash, either.
Battaash has had a wind op since we last saw him, which is a touch worrying if you are backing him at odds-on in the Temple Stakes at 16:00 I suppose.
But if he is in anywhere near the form of his 4-length l'Abbaye win, 5lb penalty or not, then the opposition won't see which way he went.
Kachy and Muthmir are no mugs, but he could take this lot apart if on song, though 8-11 pokes aren't for this column.
The Sandy Lane at 15:25 is as competitive as the Temple Stakes is potentially one-sided, and I couldn't work it out.
If forced, I would take Ascot winner Invincible Army against the field, but odds of around 7/2 aren't exactly bet-inducing in a race of this depth and quality.
Knight can shine in 1m handicap
The 1m handicap at 14:50 is also full of possible winners. Chief among them is possibly Highlight Reel, who should have gone close to winning at Ascot off this mark last time and is a very fair 11/1 chance with the Betfair Sportsbook, even though his draw in 16 is probably far from ideal.
That is also the case with Lawn Ranger, who I think has the raw ability to outrun his massive odds, but I am going to split stakes on Ventura Knight at 14/1 each way on the Sportsbook - or similar win and place odds on the exchange - and Regimented at [36.0] and bigger.
Ventura Knight looks a big price considering he beat a very well-handicapped horse at Doncaster on Saturday, and has gone up only 3lb for it.
Okay, he was very fortunate to beat Maverick Officer, but he is still weighted to go well. He is ridden by a jockey - Silvestre De Sousa - who is operating at the top of his game.
He is actually only 2lb higher than when beating Regimented by a neck at Doncaster last season, and the runner-up interests me, too, at 33/1+.
He will need luck from stall 13 but you can forgive him both his starts over 1m2f this season, as his best form has come over this mile trip, and a 3lb drop in the weights for those runs is a bonus.
Good going, or maybe ground with a bit of dig, is ideal - he should get that here - and I saw enough from him first time out at Newmarket, when he went from the front, to suggest he doesn't deserve to be one of the outsiders of this party.
Three and Four worth a few pence (or pounds) at the Curragh
The Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh at 16:10 looks pretty tough one to call.
If you listen to connections of Elarqam it is simply a matter of their Guineas fourth going down to the start and coming back again, but it's fair to say that the Aidan O'Brien quartet - spearheaded by US Navy Flag and Gustav Klimt - could just have something to say about that.
The unbeaten Zihba, who beat older horses at Leopardstown last time, is interesting but the one that catches my eye is Threeandfourpence.
Now, I know there is the possibility that he could be sacrificed on the front end here, and he has hardly had the ideal prep, but his best form doesn't entitle him to be classed as one of the rags here and I was really tempted put him up each-way at 33/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
He apparently hated the wet conditions in Keeneland last time, and the dirt in Meydan the time before, but this Dewhurst fourth ran a screamer when a ¾ length second to Mendelssohn on his comeback run at Dundalk in March, with the Champagne Stakes winner Seahenge nearly four lengths away in third.
He is a brother to a couple of Group 1 winners and it wouldn't surprise me if he ran a huge race on 1m on decent ground on turf for the first time.
In fact, no, I am not going to bottle it, so I suggest that each-way investment at 33s.
What About Carlo at [6.8] or better in 13:55 at Goodwood
Another Batt at [17.0] or better in 14:30 at Goodwood
Maverick Officer at [10.0] or better in 14:30 at Goodwood
Regimented at [36.0] or better in 14:50 at Haydock
Ventura Knight at 14/1 each way with Betfair Sportsbook in 14:50 at Haydock
Threeandfourpence 33/1 each way with Betfair Sportsbook in 16:10 Curragh