Saturday Racing Tips: Five to follow at Newmarket, York and Ascot

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There's a feast of racing for Tony Calvin to get stuck into on Saturday and he has pulled out five to follow in his latest tipping column...

"Shady McCoy is in his element over 7f in big fields and strongly-run handicaps, and he bagged such contests back-to-back at Ascot and York last October before just being touched off in a similar 19-runner affair at Doncaster."

Two Bunbury bets

I was going to kick off with the line about it being a hectic day on ITV with 10 races etc, but that's a pretty boring intro, so I am going to ditch that idea and go with what I consider to be the best bets of the day.

Back Shady McCoy at 25/1 each way, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook in Newmarket's Bunbury Cup at 13:40 or similar prices win and place on the exchange.

What money has been bet on the race this week seems to have been mainly in the direction of Gilgamesh and Mukalal, and you can see why, but the juice has long been squeezed out of their prices and I think Shady McCoy is a far more attractive bet at around 25/1.

I just hope he isn't drawn on the wrong side in five, but he certainly has three of the four likely pace-setters around him in Mukalal (4), Love Dreams (7) and Muntadab (10).

He is in his element over 7f in big fields and strongly-run handicaps, and he bagged such contests back-to-back at Ascot and York last October before just being touched off in a similar 19-runner affair at Doncaster.

He is 2lb lower now after a series of below-par efforts since but he hopefully showed his turn was nearing on his third start of the campaign at York last time, where he momentarily looked dangerous coming widest on the far side before his run petered out.

He was still beaten only 5 lengths and the handicapper has dropped him 3lb in one sitting, which looks generous to me, as well as being something of a rarity.

There is little doubt that he is back to a mark he can win off, and this ground-versatile eight-year-old does have fair form on this track, too. He has better efforts on the Rowley course to his name, but you can't have everything with an outsider.

Shady McCoy has enough positives for me at the odds, and I am happy to go in two-handed with another 25/1 poke, each-way, in the shape of Burnt Sugar.

He was cantering 2f out in the Hunt Cup last time - it took me about six re-runs of the video before I was sure I had the right horse - only for him to meet slight trouble and drop away a bit tamely on the far side. That was a far better run than the bare form suggests though, and he has been dropped 2lb for it, and the step down in trip will suit.

He is now on the same mark as when running a good race at Ascot on his penultimate start, where he finished well to be beaten just over two lengths after giving the prominent racers a far bigger head-start than he should have.

Burnt Sugar shapes as if he is coming to the boil and he has form figures of 252 on the July course, including a neck second of 17 off a 6lb higher mark than this in a 6f handicap.

Roger Fell has had a brilliant 2018 with 31 winners in the bag already, and his horses remain in great heart. Burnt Sugar does have some pace near to him, with Masham Star two stalls away in 18.

Take a chance on Sir Dance

I am just focusing on races where I have a betting opinion today, and I couldn't live with myself if Sir Dancealot won the July Cup at 14:15 - unlikely, I know - with me not backing and tipping him. Support him at [36.0] win and [6.0] place, or bigger.

Now, I know he could be taken off his feet by Group 1 speedsters here, and he would want another furlong in an ideal world, but that is why we are getting 40/1 and I think he has a better chance than those odds imply.

And there is surely no shortage of pace in this race - indeed, eight of these have made the running before, four on a consistent basis - so it could really suit a closer like him.

I may be getting suckered in because of his excellent record at this track, as he followed up his second to Above The Rest off a mark of 106 here last season with a career-best Group 3 win over So Beloved at this venue last time.

However, he has seemingly shown more speed as he has improved this term and he didn't have any trouble lying up with Harry Angel and Brando at York and he didn't look to lack toe when seeing off Kimberella over 6f at Hamilton, either.

He couldn't lay a glove on the principals in the Diamond Jubilee on his penultimate start but he actually came out of the stalls slower than Harry Angel, and he is better than he showed there.

Back the Bridge at Ascot

It is big prices all the way this Saturday, and Jumira Bridge gets my vote in the 12:45 at Ascot.

This horse ran a race of tremendous promise on his first start for Robert Cowell when chasing home A Momentofmadness in a course-record time over 5f at Kempton in April, but he has not gone on from there.

He hasn't run badly at all, but he has clearly failed to build on that effort, including when tried in cheekpieces and a hood. And he completely blew the start when a heavily-punted 3/1 chance at Chelmsford last time, never getting in the hunt and finishing last of nine.

You miss the kick from stall one over 5f at Chelmsford and you are toast, so we can forgive him that.

The positives are that he returns to turf on a 3lb lower mark as when a three-length seventh of 19 to Mr Lupton at York, and I think this stiff 5f will really play to his strengths.

And let's hope that the "follow Kempton form at Ascot" line holds true, as he is 3lb lower than for that all-weather run in April.

Another Touch looks John Smiths value

Third Time Lucky is a horse that needs things to go his way, but he would have gone very close to winning at Ayr last time but for meeting trouble in running at a vital stage.

He races off the same mark in the 15:10 at York and I must admit that I came close to tipping him at 7/1.

He ran one of his better races when fifth here a couple of years ago in the valuable Clipper Logistics handicap, but I wimped out at the very last minute.

I was sweet on Zaaki for the John Smith's Cup at 15:40 but he was pulled out on Thursday morning after making the cut, so I had to look elsewhere.

I couldn't put you off any of the market leaders but I will keep up the outsider theme of this column - don't worry, I will be backing them all - and put up Another Touch at [21.0] or bigger.

I was initially concerned about his stamina, as his best efforts have come over a mile, including when an excellent third over that trip in a Listed race here last time, for which he is actually 1lb well-in here.

But he seemed to last home fine when third to Ajman King and Dash Of Spice off this mark at Epsom in April, with Thundering Blue back in fifth - that form hasn't worked out too badly, has it? - and then I went back and had a look at his eighth in this race last year.

He was stone last turning in there from his draw in 19 and his rider only switched him to get daylight after 2f out, at which point he stayed on really well to be beaten just over three lengths, finishing closest to the stands' rail on the outside.

Unfortunately, he has drawn the same 19 berth here, so his jockey may have similar problems if dropping him right out, but hopefully connections will have a different plan this time around and I think he is a very lively 20/1 chance.

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