There's plenty of racing on ITV on Sunday and despite the small fields Tony Calvin has found two Forever horses to back at Newmarket and the Curragh...
"...she must be a huge player on her Group 1 exploits at Ascot last season, when placed in the Commonwealth Cup (where she finished second and had Hello Youmzain a head behind in third) and Champions Sprint."
Finding bets in small fields is not impossible, but very unlikely if you tip and punt as I tend to do.
So I was immediately deflated on seeing just the 23 runners - with the prospect of withdrawals to come, no doubt - in the four ITV races at Newmarket on Sunday.
It was obvious early doors that it was a [1.01] job that this would be my shortest tipping column ever.
The seven-strong 2yo Fillies' Listed race at 14:45 starts the terrestrial action and it will come as little surprise to regular readers - I very rarely play in juvenile races - that there was nothing doing here.
The same applies to the 6f handicap at 15:20 which has attracted just four runners, but there could be some mileage in Wait Forever in the 15:55.
Fitness and step back up in trip means we don't have to Wait for a bet
Now, the ground could be an issue if it rides on the fast side, simply because he has never raced on it before. And you have to suspect he could be pulled out if no more appreciable rain arrives.
But there is a bit more forecast after Friday and Saturday's precipitation and we know good ground would be fine for him, as he showed when a good third here on his return over 1m, and I like the angle of his assured fitness combined with him going up 2f in trip.
He has been largely kept to a mile but he has a good record when racing in excess of that trip, including a 1m1f Group 3 win in Italy, and that shouldn't come as a surprise given his sire Camelot is a strong stamina influence.
He is not a stunning bet by any means but he is the best punt on this lacklustre Newmarket card at [6.0] or bigger.
You can obviously make a case for all of the quintet, and Elwazir could prove the most troublesome, as he has gone well when fresh before and has been gelded, but Wait Forever is the bet at 5/1+.
Useful handicapper who arrives on the back of a creditable third of 10 in handicap here (8f) 21 days ago. Stamina not proven at this trip, however.
|07/06/20||Newmarket (Rowley)||3/10||Flat||1m||Good||9st 5lbs||Ben Curtis||9.68|
|07/03/20||Meydan||-/13||Flat||1m 209y||Gd/frm||9st 0lbs||Andrea Atzeni||123.49|
|20/02/20||Meydan||3/15||Flat||7f 210y||Good||9st 0lbs||Ben Curtis||16.1|
|30/01/20||Meydan||9/16||Flat||7f 210y||Gd/frm||9st 2lbs||Antonio Fresu||20.32|
|09/01/20||Meydan||3/13||Flat||7f 210y||Good||9st 3lbs||Daniel Tudhope||44|
|12/12/19||Chelmsford City||7/8||Flat||1m||Slow||9st 7lbs||Stefano Cherchi||13|
|16/11/19||Lingfield Park||4/10||Flat||1m 1y||Std||9st 10lbs||Stefano Cherchi||24.93|
|09/06/19||Milan||6/7||Flat||7f 210y||Gd/frm||9st 4lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|19/05/19||Rome||3/4||Flat||1m 209y||Soft||9st 2lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|24/03/19||Milan||1/5||Flat||7f 210y||Gd/frm||9st 3lbs||-|
|04/11/18||Rome||4/11||Flat||7f 210y||Heavy||9st 2lbs||Gerald Mosse||-|
|21/10/18||Milan||4/10||Flat||7f 210y||Good||8st 12lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|23/09/18||Milan||2/9||Flat||1m 209y||Gd/frm||8st 12lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|01/07/18||Milan||1/8||Flat||1m 209y||Gd/frm||8st 9lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|10/06/18||Milan||2/8||Flat||7f 210y||Good||8st 7lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|20/05/18||Rome||5/12||Flat||1m 2f 206y||Gd/frm||9st 2lbs||Maxime Guyon||-|
|29/04/18||Rome||1/12||Flat||7f 210y||Gd/frm||9st 2lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|25/03/18||Pisa||1/8||Flat||7f 210y||Gd/frm||8st 9lbs||-|
|05/11/17||Rome||2/9||Flat||1m 209y||Gd/sft||8st 11lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
|09/09/17||Milan||1/6||Flat||7f 100y||Gd/frm||8st 11lbs||Dario Vargiu||-|
No bets at Windsor
The seven-runner Listed race at 16:30 is easily passed by too, as little separates the form horses and clearly there is no each-way shape to the race, either.
Runners are hardly plentiful in the three ITV races at Windsor either, but at least two of those can boast fields of eight or more (at the moment, anyway).
To be honest with you, I couldn't find anything approaching a bet - Tell Me All, stepping down in trip in the 1m handicap, came closest - and If I am not punting myself then I am certainly not tipping.
Dreaming of a winner at Curragh
The class angle on ITV on Sunday is in Ireland where we have Group 1 and 2 action.
Five (hopefully) go to post for the Pretty Polly at 16:45 where Magical returns.
It is anything but a straightforward reappearance for her though, and I imagine connections will be desperate to get a Group 1 win into her stablemate Fleeting. So tactics will be interesting here.
For some reason I found myself thinking of Lancaster Bomber in the 2018 Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Fleeting was the most infuriating horse of 2019 for me, as she probably should have won at least once at the top table - her fourth at Ascot on her final start haunts me, not least for the fact that I was on each-way (and she would have won with a clear run, too) - and I reckon she could be good enough to put that Group 1 hoodoo to bed after her pipe-opener at the Curragh.
And surely even she will struggle to find trouble in a field of five. But, as a betting medium, I wish her well but no thanks, as True Self and Cayenne Pepper are horses I like, too.
However, I have found a second Sunday bet in the shape of Forever In Dreams in the 16:15.
On the face of it, her reappearance sixth at Naas was a disappointment but she needed her first run last term, and she must be a huge player on her Group 1 exploits at Ascot last season, when placed in the Commonwealth Cup (where she finished second and had Hello Youmzain a head behind in third) and Champions Sprint.
Proven on any ground, she surely holds a class edge over this field at her best - however narrow in parts, with Make A Challenge a big and obvious rival after an impressive comeback win - and maybe the first-time cheekpieces will help her, too (though the trainer is 0 from 6 with this headgear angle).
The first firm to price up this race made her a 17/2 chance, which I thought was an insult and way out of kilter, but she, surprisingly, remains backable at 8/1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook.
That will do for me.
The ground - it was good on Saturday morning after 2mm overnight - could turn testing here if some of the forecast downpours materialise throughout Saturday but she has won on fast ground and proved she handled heavy going if needed when a 66/1 third at Ascot in October, and she is a clear bet, even if the stable form (no winner since May) is a concern.
Indeed, given her knee action and that Ascot run in the autumn, my confidence in her would increase if it turned soft.
Wait Forever at [6.0] or bigger in 15:55 at Newmarket
Forever In Dreams at 8/1 each-way in 16:15 at Curragh