July Festival Day 1 Tips: Tony Calvin's going for a Treble at Newmarket

Newmarket race finish
Tony fancies a Treble on the first day of Newmarket's July Festival
View market

The high class action continues on ITV Racing on Thursday with day one of the July Festival at Newmarket, and our top tipster Tony Calvin has a 25/1 shot to consider...

"If he can come forward from that effort, then he is no 25/1 chance for a stable that do well on the July course."

Treble Treble at 25/1 each-way, five places, with Betfair Sportsbook in 15:35 at Newmarket

As I touched upon in my ante-post piece on Tuesday, the ITV action has come thick and fast since racing lockdown ended on June 1, and quality has certainly not been lacking on the track.

And that is the case again on Thursday.

Unfortunately, quality doesn't always translate to a good betting medium, especially when lightly-raced juveniles and 3yos are locking horns, and that is largely my take on the terrestrial races at Newmarket and York.

And we are all guessing about how much more rain we get at HQ in the next 24 hours as well.

I like Aasy in Bahrain Trophy but not the price

First up at Newmarket on the Roger Mellie is the eight-runner 1m Listed race at 13:50 in which three unexposed colts pit their wares against proven Group races operators like Al Suhail and Mystery Power, the latter having won the Superlative Stakes here last year.

Al Suhail sets the form standard on his narrow second to Military March in the Autumn Stakes last season but it takes a fair leap of faith to back him at 4/1 here after his dismal performance in the Guineas, in which he was too keen from the outset and looked a horse with possible physical issues when floundering in the centre of the track late on.

It is no surprise therefore to see the sexy trio of last-time-out winners of Lord Campari, Magical Morning and Tislit dominating the market, but choosing between those three is not a job I am inclined to take on at their prohibitive prices.

The Betfair Sportsbook initially dangled an each-way carrot by offering the talented 11-race maiden Ropey Guest at 20/1, but that quickly got gnawed into 10s, so the race gets a big fat pass from me.

The Bahrain Trophy at 14:25 has also attracted the dead eight but it is another really hard race to call.

The one I liked most was Al Aasy, but I was expecting bigger than [3.75].

He had a good reputation in the spring and, in hindsight, he faced a monumental task when fifth to Mishriff and Volkan Star at Newmarket over 1m2f on his reappearance, a race in which he was also a colossal pre-race drifter.

But he was very impressive down in class and up in trip to 1m4f last time, and I think he could be going places as a stayer.

However, he is rated only 91 at the moment and he has plenty to prove in this company if the form horses perform. At 4/1 I would have taken my chances - and he did open up at 10/3 in a place on Tuesday - but not at his current odds.

Newmarket July Festival action 1280.jpg

Nothing makes my old mince pies - the old Cockernee rhyming slang is getting a good run out today - glaze over more than a 10-runner juvenile race in which none of the field have raced more than twice.

Unless it was a bigger field, obviously.

So good luck in solving the Group 2 July Stakes at 15:00 as you are on your own.

You probably don't need me to tell you that Tactical has the best time and form claims on his Windsor Castle defeat of Yazaman, and the extra furlong here will not be a problem, though it was slightly surprising to see Coventry runner-up Qaader shade him for favouritism in the early betting.

Dancing has to have a big chance in the sprint handicap

Thanks heavens for the 20-runner 6f handicap at 15:35 then and that is something you don't hear very often.

Normally, I am the first person to shy away from horses with glaringly obvious chances in a race like this, but I wouldn't necessarily put anyone off Dancing Inthestreet at around 7/2 on the exchange.

Sure, bookmakers tend to get richer laying horses of this profile, but she clearly met all the trouble going when third to Group 1-winner-in-waiting Art Power at Ascot, and the handicapper probably could have been harder on her than a subsequent 2lb rise.

The extra 1f here will be no issue but her draw in 19 or 20 may be - though she has pace around her - and of course traffic problems could rear their head too, so they may decide to ride her more forward here. She has gone on in the past, which is the best way to stay out of trouble if nothing else.

With a fair shake of the stick, she has to be on the premises, but the 9/2 this morning is a distant memory and I can't play myself.

A single each-way bet on a Treble

Treble Treble has to be the bet at 25/1 each-way, five places, with the Sportsbook, though.

He posted a good time figure when beating a next-time-out winner at Haydock last season (on good to soft ground), but then lost his way, beating just two of 22 rivals on his next brace of starts.

But he was gelded afterwards and he shaped really well when fourth in what I think was a strong Leicester handicap on his return. The winner went in again at Haydock at the weekend, and the placed horses have run well in defeat since, too.

If he can come forward from that effort, then he is no 25/1 chance for a stable that do well on the July course.

I would rather he was drawn middle-to-high rather than in five - though Will To Win on his inner in four has made the running in the past - but you can't have it all at these prices. He is well handicapped on that Haydock win, and maybe on his comeback Leicester run, too.

Newmarket Guineas action 1280.jpg

The Group 2 Princess Of Wales' Stakes at 16:10 is yet another trappy, dead-eight, contest.

A lot could be decided on how much rain the track gets in the next 24 hours, so I will sit tight for now, though I am normally a sucker for a headgear stat with Charlie Appleby. If the first-time cheek pieces work for Old Persian (the trainer is 19 from 65 with this angle since 2016), then he must go very close to winning this.

There are three ITV races at York - one of which is a 2yo race, where the favourite Sardinia Sunset looks to hold outstanding claims after her Queen Mary fourth - and we are in the weird position of seeing the Musidora and Dante being run after the Epsom Classics at the weekend.

I could sit here and tap away how much I rate the likes of Highest Ground, and think he is a great bet at around 5/6 on the exchange, but I don't think he is particularly - and I don't bet at those prices anyway - and races like this are simply a non-punting means to an end to me.

Watch and learn, and no betting.

Give me a big-field handicap to solve every day of the week.

Tony Calvin's Profit/Loss

June 1 to July 8 2020 Inclusive
+39.13

Previous P/L
April 14 2017 to March 15 2020 inclusive (all recommended exchange bets are settled at Betfair SP)
+303.4

Tony Calvin,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles