Saturday Racing Tips: Shepherd can guide us to huge-priced Newbury winner

As ever it's just the massive prices for Tony on a big Saturday of racing

Tony makes picks from north and south of the border with big-priced fancies at both Ayr and Newbury

"Secret Art is now 3lb lower than when an excellent fourth in an ultra-competitive 1m fast ground handicap at Glorious Goodwood last summer, and I thought that he shaped with plenty of promise on his return from a five-week break at Kempton last time, when not beaten far."

Secret Art is handicapped to run a big race in the Spring Cup and he rates an excellent bet at odds of 30.029/1 in the 15:25 at Newbury.

I'm just about to make a compelling case for this big-priced poke, so stay tuned ladies and gents.

He is my idea of the best handicapped horse in the field. He is better known as an all-weather performer these days but he is 5lb lower on turf, and he is certainly no slouch on grass.

He is now 3lb lower than when an excellent fourth in an ultra-competitive 1m fast ground handicap at Glorious Goodwood last summer, and I thought that he shaped with plenty of promise on his return from a five-week break at Kempton last time, when not beaten far.

He was a 12-1 shot when disappointing in this race last year but I expect a much better run on this faster ground, and the icing on the cake could be the booking of 7lb claimer Callum Shepherd.

I must admit that he hadn't appeared on my radar before he steered Salient to a narrow win earlier this month but a look at his 2015 stats this morning - six wins from 22 rides - suggests he is good value for his claim.

I will kick myself if Pearl Ice wins at a massive price but I just think a strongly-run race over 1m will find him out here, and my other selection in the race is Mister Music at 28.027/1.

He would have been a bit bigger price if a couple of loudmouths hadn't ventured forth on Twitter this morning - only joking Dave and Nick- but he still rates a fair bet at the current price.

He travelled noticeably well for a long way in Doncaster's Spring Mile on his reappearance and he has dropped to an attractive mark of 87. If he strips fitter today, then he has a decent shout in what is obviously a highly-competitive race. The stable are two from three in the last fortnight, as well.

There was only one better homeworker than Arab Spring at Sir Michael Stoute's last season - and that was Cannock Chase, and not Telescope - and I was tempted to side with him on his return in the John Porter at 13:45.

The problem, as ever, is the price and I have to walk away at around the 3-1 mark as the opposition for this Group 3 is very strong.

I do love the horse though - he look destined for the big stage when winning the Duke Of Edinburgh, albeit off a mark of only 104, at Royal Ascot last season - and it wouldn't surprise me in the least were he see off an above average field for this race. But no play for me at the current prices.

You will be hearing a lot of "if she stays, she wins" with people assessing Tiggy Wiggy's chance in the Fred Darling at 14:15 but I can't have the filly at odds-on.

A plea to RUK and C4 producers tomorrow, though. Please go and seek out Tiggy Wiggy's part-owner Chris Giles, as he has the most impressive - and rather expensive I'm led to believe - suit and waistcoat, which features a picture of the filly winning the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury by daylight in its' lining. I assume he will be donning it.

Anyway, I fear that Chris could be disappointed tomorrow as, for all her natural brilliance and speed, this is her first attempt at 7f and who knows if she has trained on. And anyone backing her at odds-on is braver than me, especially as they clearly think a fair bit of John Gosden's Jellicle Ball.

I was thinking of backing the course and distance winner Russian Punch at 17.016/1 but her trainer's recent form is a little off-putting.

But I do think Toocoolforschool is the wrong price in the Greenham and he rates a bet at 17.016/1 in the 14:50.

This is obviously a high-class contest but those odd are more than a touch insulting for a seven-length winner of a Mill Reef.

Trained by a bigger name and he would be half those odds, and I don't think the fact that the Mill Reef win came on soft ground here is too much of a negative. He was only just touched off in an Acomb on fast ground and it could be that the first-time cheek pieces that he wore when winning on this course was a big factor in his improvement, too.

He is simply the wrong price given his form claims.

Seventh Sky is my fancy for the Grade 2 novice chase at Ayr, but the drying ground may not be ideal, so he is passed over. But Cinders And Ashes is a worth a poke at 18.017/1 in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at 14:35.

He has come a long way down the racing ladder since winning the 2012 Supreme Hurdle but there were definite signs that he was on the way back - well, to a limited degree - at Haydock, before being carried out early doors at Aintree a fortnight ago.

The drying ground is a potential issue but I have to be with him off this mark at the price after that Haydock run.

My Scottish National tip is another horse who didn't get very far at Aintree - he unseated at the first in fact - and that is Al Co at odds of 15.5 in the big one at 15:45.

He is only 5lb higher than when winning this race last year and he had shaped really well over hurdles before that Aintree lapse, and I thought he was pretty solid at the price.

Good luck, and have a profitable weekend.

Recommended Bets
Back Cinders And Ashers at 18.017/1 in the 14:35 at Ayr
Back Toocoolforschool at 17.016/1 in the 14:50 at Newbury
Back Secret Art at 30.029/1 in the 15:25 at Newbury
Back Mister Music at odds of 28.027/1 in the 15:25 at Newbury

Back Al Co at 15.5 in the 15:45 at Ayr

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