Horse Racing Tips

Saturday Racing Tips: Kate Tracey has some big plays in competitive handicaps on Saturday

Kate Tracey likes plenty of big priced runners on Saturday

"Despite him running well he’s very generously been given 2lb back for it which sees him nicely treated now on a mark of 94. There should be plenty more to come from this horse and there is also likely to be plenty of pace in this race which should suit his hold up style."

Kate Tracey likes plenty of big priced runners this weekend at Haydock, York and the Curragh with each-way alternatives to those at the head of the market...

There is a plethora of racing on Saturday with competitive handicaps aplenty. I've gone in with seven bets this weekend across four races with each way angles almost all the way.

Two ways to play staying handicap

The first race to look at is Haydock's 0-100 Handicap over 2m at 14:00 which is suitably wide open. The first runner I want to keep on side is the current market leader, Bandinelli who represents the Charlie Appleby yard. I'm hoping Bandinelli can continue his progression here as I doubt the handicapper has caught up with him yet.

He was able to pick up from where he left off last season with a career best effort to win a Class 2 Handicap over 2m at Kempton on his latest outing at the end of March. He's been given another freshen up since that success where I'd have preferred the run to have come a bit sooner. The trends suggest a recent run of one week or just over is optimal for this contest which is a slight concern for Bandinelli.

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However, I'm expecting him to defy the lack of a quick turnaround here and I don't think this 3lb rise will find him out either.
He should have plenty more to come over 2m and can transfer that improvement back to the turf. He's also a former course winner so should have most variables in his favour.

The other runner in this race I cannot ignore at an each-way price of 34.033/1 is Merveillo who runs for the Jonjo O'Neill yard.

This four-year-old gelding by Archipenko looks a useful recruit to eventually go hurdling for JP McManus. It makes sense though that connections should want to make use of his handicap mark on the flat through the summer first.

Merveillo has only had the one start in Britain after previously being trained in France. He ran well on that sole outing of the season for this yard last time out at Newbury at a big price. He wasn't given a hard time of things in that run by Liam Keniry so should come forwards for it.

Despite him running well he's very generously been given 2lb back for it which sees him nicely treated now on a mark of 94.
There should be plenty more to come from this horse and there is also likely to be plenty of pace in this race which should suit his hold up style.

At an each-way price, I cannot leave Merveillo to go unbacked.

Fair prices about a couple to challenge favourite

The following race at Haydock is another Handicap, this time for the three-year-olds over 1m at 14:35. . The strong favourite, Mighty Ulysses should have every chance but he's priced up accordingly. Therefore, I'm using his percentage take up of the market to side with a couple at each-way prices once more. There is also a money back special on this race where if your horse fails to place, you get your money back as a free bet.

The first consideration is Outgate at 13.012/1 who represents the Daniel and Claire Kubler yard who have been making great strides this season. The Kubler's use analytics in their training, assessing such things such as stride cadences, speed figures and pedigree analysis to determine where their horses should run.
Backing a Kubler horse when trying a new trip for the first time can reap rewards as a lot of research will have determined that aim for one of their horses.

I'm hoping that will be the case with Outgate who has his second try over 1m. His previous attempt at the trip was on his penultimate start where he finished second at Newmarket in a Class 4 Handicap on his reappearance. He was no match for the winning favourite from the Appleby yard on that occasion but it was a solid seasonal debut.

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He clearly reaped the rewards for that outing as he justified his own favouritism last time out to win at Chester when dropped back in trip by ½ furlong and being given a fantastic ride by Ryan Moore.

He also fits plenty of trends for this race as he's drawn in 6 where middle to high draws are favoured in this race. He can be ridden in any way that suits a particular race which is useful in this contest as horses who are held up have run well in recent renewals. Another positive about his chances is that he comes into this race on the back of a win in a handicap with that success coming 19 days ago. Each of those factors puts Outgate in with a huge chance once again off this 5lb higher mark.

The other runner in the race who ticks an awful lot of boxes is the wonderfully named, Whoputfiftyinyou at 11.010/1. I hope Clive Cox's runner can uphold his unbeaten record in this race on just his fourth career start.

He won his handicap debut last time out on his reappearance start at Newbury when upped to 7f for the first time.
He steps up in trip again here by an extra 1f but the way he led inside the final ½ furlong at Newbury last time out would have to give you every confidence that he might even be better over further.

He has a 5lb rise himself to defy but he's smart and if Mighty Ulysses is a group horse in a handicap, then Whoputfiftyinyou may not be far behind.

The five-year-olds can once again take the spoils

I really am a gluten for punishment this weekend where it could be flush or bust for my selections as I'm once again sighting a big field, Saturday handicap for a couple of bets. However, this time I've made it that extra little bit tricky for myself by taking a look at York's 0-105 Handicap over 5f at 14:55. Go big or go home and all that...

This race has been won by some real characters down the years and plenty of old friends grace the Knavesmire once again.

My first selection is Alligator Alley who currently props up the betting as a 5.59/2 shot. I can completely see his appeal though as he finished in front of plenty of these on his most recent outing. That run came over this course and distance in another 0-105 5f Handicap where he finished fourth.

He had the reopposing, Zargan, Copper Knight and Jawwaal all in behind him in that run. That was Alligator Alley's second start back after a mammoth absence of 533 days where he had previously been a very smart horse when trained by Joseph O'Brien. David O'Meara recruited him and looks to be nursing him back to his best.

He's also been given 1lb back for his most recent outing so back over this same course and distance, he should have more to come on his third start back.

The other runner I like in the race is Sunday Sovereign at a bigger price of 11.010/1 who runs for the Tim Easterby yard. He fits plenty of the same trends for this race that Alligator Alley does.

Firstly, he's a five-year-old with this race going to horses of that age in seven of the last 13 renewals. An ideal rating for this race is 95 where both Alligator Alley and Sunday Sovereign fall just 1lb below that off the same mark of 94.
There tends to be plenty of pace in this race and it looks no different in this year's running so I'm hoping we might see a pace burn up once again. The pace was holding up at York's Dante meeting but I'm still going to play the trends of the race itself here and both Alligator Alley and Sunday Sovereign tend to be held up.

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Sunday Sovereign also comes here on the back of two runs this season which is a plus and his run last time out at Chester can be forgiven. His hold up style was never going to pay to his advantage around that track and he's been given 2lb back by the handicapper which is very fair.

His latest outing also came recently, just 16 days ago so he should be tuned up and ready to go back at a track more likely to favour his running style.

Don't dismiss one at a big price to run into a place

The final race to look at is across the Irish Sea in the Irish 2000 Guineas at 15:20 where the 2000 Guineas second, Native Trail should take the world of beating.

Charlie Appleby's runner is priced up accordingly for this chances and this looks an optimal opportunity for him with not much strength and depth in behind. His percentage take up of the market means that most of the field is available at an each-way price and there's one runner in here I'm happy to chance to run into a place at a big price.

That horse is Imperial Fighter who is a 51.050/1 shot here so I'm more than happy to chuck a few quid at him each-way.

If you simply took Imperial Fighter's last run out of the equation, he has some of the best form in this race. He finished second behind the 2000 Guineas winner and stablemate of Native Trail, Coroebus in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last season.

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He then wasn't disgraced at all on his final outing as a two-year-old in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity at Doncaster behind the very talented Luxembourg.
He finished fifth in that race beaten just 2 ½ lengths which puts him bang there in the context of this year's Irish 2000 Guineas line-up.

However, he appears to have been dismissed very quickly on the back of his defeat on his reappearance start in a Listed all-weather race at Newcastle where he finished third. He was sent off as the 7/4 favourite for that contest but the race didn't pan out in his favour at all.

He was keen early on and had to wait for room two furlongs out before he lost his position. Once he was in the clear, he ran on well to gain third not beaten far.

He'll likely come forwards for that run hailing from the Andrew Balding yard and isn't one to dismiss in this line-up at a big price to run into a place.

Recommended bets

Kate's P/L

Staked: 27pts
Returns: +70.65
Overall: +43.65


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.