Tipster extraordinaire Tony Calvin casts his seasoned eye across the weekend's racing, offering up some big-priced tips across Doncaster and Kempton...
"Dance And Dance is a candidate for being the most frustrating horse in training, but he can finally deliver in the Spring Mile at 15:15. Back him at 10.09/1."
Sweet Lightning has an awful lot going for him in the Lincoln, and he is worthy of a decent punt at odds of 18.017/1 or better in the 15:50 at Doncaster.
The recent rain that has turned the course soft won't be any concern to this horse, as he sluiced up in the Irish Lincoln by 3 ½ lengths at the Curragh in heavy ground last March when trained by Tommy Carmody. He is now actually 2lb lower, and handicapped to win this if back to his best.
He didn't cut much ice in three runs in Dubai, but at least that saw his mark fall, and a big field handicap on a straight track is what he needs to shine.
Indeed, he won this very race by 2 1/2 lengths three years ago when trained by Michael Dods - and off a 6lb higher mark too. And, perhaps tellingly, after spending the winter in Dubai, as he has done this time around.
The tongue-tie is back on today, and it wouldn't surprise me were he to be the punt of the race and go very close indeed.
I was toying with savers on One Word More and Tres Coronas, but I will stick with just the sole selection.
After seeing him priced up at 16-1 by one bookmaker on Thursday night, I was all set to unload on Jimmy Styles in the Cammidge Trophy - and then I checked and saw the course had been hit by the rain, so I held fire.
All the horse's best form has come on good or faster ground - even though he does have some form with cut - so I will have to take a very reluctant swerve at the time of writing.
But if it dries out, or doesn't ride too soft, then he has a much better chance than that 16-1 quote implies. And I will back him if the ground doesn't look too bad, so keep a watching brief there.
He goes well fresh, loves it here, and finished second in this race two seasons ago.
Dance And Dance is a candidate for being the most frustrating horse in training, but he can finally deliver in the Spring Mile at 15:15. Back him at 10.09/1.
He has now slipped to a very exploitable mark of 90 - he would have gone close to winning off a mark of 94 with a clear run in the Bunbury Cup last July - and he ran well when third at Lingfield in January.
Like Jimmy Styles, there is a doubt about the soft ground, and it is a concern. But a study of his form shows that he can act on it and has in fact won on it in the dim and distant past. He is so well-handicapped it is worth the risk, especially with the stable going well and talented 3lb claimer Oisin Murphy on board.
I was also tempted by Butterfly Queen in the Doncaster Mile, but it does look a very trappy contest, so I will sit that one out, too.
There are some unexposed types in the Rosebery at 14:55 at Kempton - but I am going to side with the tried and trusted, and progressive, Rebellious Guest.
George Margarson has always held Rebellious Guest in the highest regard, but the horse has been held back by a number of setbacks in the past two years and is only now beginning to fulfill his potential.
He is on the cusp of becoming a Group 3 performer, and he looked really good when winning on his first start at this track over 1m2f earlier in the month, after which he went on to contest the Winter Derby at Lingfield last week.
And he can be rated a fair bit better than his seventh there, as he met plenty of trouble in running. His stamina over this trip is an unknown, but he certainly didn't look to be stopping on his penultimate start, and I think that he has a big race in him in this competitive handicap, even off a mark of 100.
He rates a bet at 9.08/1 or bigger.
Absolutely So is worth chancing at odds of 7.06/1 or better in the sprint handicap at 15:30.
They tried the horse over 7f at Lingfield last time, and he ran respectably, but I think a strongly-run 6f will suit him a lot better.
He had earlier run two cracking races, and he bumped into a fast-improving horse in Discussiontofollow when second over course and distance in January.
He is lightly-raced, and there is the prospect of more to come from this big individual, and a mark of 89 could seriously underplay his long-term potential. Let's hope that starts to be realised here.
Best of luck if you are punting on the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday.
It doesn't really float my betting boat - there are too many unknowns - but there is apparently plenty of confidence behind Hong Kong speedster Amber Sky in the Al Quoz Sprint and he looks a fair price at around the 7-2 mark if you want a nibble in the desert.
Back Sweet Lightning at 18.017/1 in the 15:50 at Doncaster
Back Dance and Dance at 10.09/1 in the 15:15 at Doncaster
Back Rebellious Guest at 9.08/1 or bigger in the 14:55 at Kempton
Back Absolutely So at 7.06/1 or bigger in the 15:30 at Kempton
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