Saturday Racing Tips: Eccleston is ready for another crack at Ayr

Tony Calvin has three bets at Ayr on Saturday
Tony Calvin has three bets at Ayr on Saturday

Tony Calvin selects his bets at Ayr and Newmarket on the what's likely to be a rainy Saturday of racing...

Recommended Bets

Back Eccleston at 17.016/1 in the 14:35 at Ayr

Back Two For Two at 11.010/1 in the 15:10 at Ayr

Back Teak at 34.033/1 or bigger in the 15:50 at Newmarket

Back Snoano at 9.08/1 or bigger in the 16:20 at Ayr

As you may have read earlier, I am very keen on the chances of G Force in the big one at Ayr on Saturday - find it here - but Eccleston also appeals a fair bit at odds of 17.016/1 or bigger in the Silver Cup at 14:35 too. .

He has been dropped 3lb following five runs this season but I think there have been varying shades of promise in each one, particularly when fourth at Thirsk last time where he wasn't presented with the kitchen sink and asked to wash up and put the dishes away. That should have set him up nicely for another crack at this race - he was beaten under four lengths in sixth last season off a 5lb higher mark - and I was expecting him to be nearer 10/1 than 16/1.

I would prefer a bit more rain for him, but he is fully effective on good ground, and he has plenty of big-field handicap form. And he also won his group in the Great St Wilfrid last season off this mark.

He looks pretty solid to me.

I don't have a strong opinion in the 14:00 - though Delectation's Thirsk win is moderate and leaves her with a lot to find on form, her stable did win this with a 33/1 outsider in 2009 and in 2007, too - but Two For Two looks to have very fair claims in the 15:10.

There is nothing hidden or sexy about this one. He is a dual course-and-distance winner - and one just touched off here by a nose over track and trip in July - who comes here in good form and on a fair mark. What's not to like? He could be good enough take this at odds of 11.010/1.


Expect plenty of non-runners at Newbury


Not a lot floats my boat at Newbury, though racegoers may need one after 74mm of rain on Thursday night changed the ground to heavy.

Expect plenty of non-runners, and the first high-profile withdrawal is Mokarris. Until the rain, I thought fast-ground lover Mokarris was likely to justify short-priced favouritism in the Mill Reef at 14:15 but he has just been pulled out as I write. No surprise there.

Heavy ground is an unknown for Dartmouth in the Group 3 at 13:45 and he also has to carry a 5lb penalty for his Hardwicke win on good to soft. But main market rival The Grey Gatsby will be even more inconvenienced by the conditions, and the grey rates a likely non-runner.

I slightly favour Boom The Groom at the odds in the Group 3 sprint at 15:25 - he has done all his winning on good ground or better or on the all-weather, but he does have heavy-ground form - but my only financial interest at Newbury was going to be in the 14:50, where I thought the favourites Autocratic and Scarlet Dragon were to set dominate on decent ground.

Highly unoriginal I know, and not like me, but I was all to set to recommend Autocratic as a small interest at 8.07/1 or bigger, or at 6-1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Ryan Moore will be down to near, or on, his minimum weight on this one at 8st 8lb , and that probably tells a story about a well-regarded colt. He beat off all bar a back-to-form, and excellent subsequent Goodwood second, horse in Ode To Evening at Newmarket last time and he has the scope and potential to defy a 5lb rise in the weights as a result.

The form of his earlier Sandown win worked out okay - the second, fifth and seventh have won since - and this is a lightly-raced 3yo firmly on the up. But he is totally unproven on this type of ground, as is Scarlet Dragon - though the latter has form on soft, at least - so I am reluctantly going to give the meeting a total swerve.

And apologies if any of the horses I have mentioned have been pulled out in the time between me filing this piece, and you reading it.


Going off piste at Newmarket and Ayr


In the circumstances, I am going to go outside of my terrestrial remit - well, not really, because the main action of the day is only on More4 - and put up Teak at a massive price in the Cesarewitch trial at 15:50 at Newmarket.

It is slightly worrying that he has also held entries over hurdles recently - which suggests his trainer may have one eye on that sphere too - but connections' minds must have been made up for them when they saw the handicapper has dropped him to a mark of just 80.

Not many horses get dropped 8lb for just two runs - and two runs not totally devoid of promise, too - and that leaves him on a winning mark once again. He is 10lb lower than when a good third in last year's Shergar Cup over 2m and a return to any one of four runs in 2015 would see him go very close to winning here.

All of those four starts have come when he was wearing cheekpieces - they replace the blinkers here - and when forcing the pace. He hasn't managed to get on or near the lead on his last two outings, and it could be game on if he jumps sharply from his midfield draw, and they switch back to front-running tactics off this lowly mark.

He could well have gone at the game as an ageing nine-year-old but I am going to pay to find out at these odds. He is a dour stayer and he also has a good seventh in the 2014 Cesarewitch on his CV.

Back him at odds of 34.033/1 or bigger.

And while I am going off-piste I will also be chucking my final few quid at Snoano in the 16:20 at Ayr - last chance saloon and all that - so feel free to follow me in if you want. He has flattered to deceive ever since winning at York in May but he is now only 3lb higher, I'm convinced 1m2f is his trip, and Tim Easterby has had seven winners in the previous three days. And maybe this easier ground will help the 'oss, too. Back him at 9.08/1 or bigger.

Good luck.



Recommended Bets
Back Eccleston at 17.016/1 in the 14:35 at Ayr
Back Two For Two at 11.010/1 in the 15:10 at Ayr
Back Teak at 34.033/1 or bigger in the 15:50 at Newmarket
Back Snoano at 9.08/1 or bigger in the 16:20 at Ayr

Already recommended
Back G Force at 25.024/1 or bigger in the 15:45 at Ayr

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