Saturday Racing Tips: Saaheq looks primed for a big race at Sandown

Sandown Racecourse
TC is backing two at Sandown (above) on Saturday

Our big prices tipster Tony Calvin picks three bets from the Saturday cards at Beverley and Sandown, including one that goes off in the opener at the latter course...

"I am backing Tarboosh at 7/1 each way with the Sportsbook in the Beverley Bullet at 15:15. He has a stiff task on at these weights with the favourite Tis Marvellous, but nothing else scares me too much..."

On first inspection, Saturday's seven ITV races looked a tricky old set, and I didn't think I would eke out more than one bet. But old Mr Cautious here has surprised himself, so let's crack on, starting at Sandown.

With luck, Saaheq can kick on from Musselburgh success

There are 13 runners in the opening 5f handicap at 13:50, so expect at least three hard luck stories, but hopefully Saaheq won't be among them.

I nearly went in two-handed as Gracious John also appealed to a fair degree as he did very well on his debut for Ian Williams at Carlisle given he raced alone on the far side, and he has tumbled down the weights.

But he was very laboured early on there and I just think he could be facing an impossible task if similarly sluggish early doors here, so I will stick with Saaheq at 7/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, who have dangled the carrot of an extra place, too.

Saaheq was an impressive winner of the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh earlier in the season, after which he was raised from 85 to a mark of 92.

But he has come down to 88 now, and that saw him finish an excellent second to Orvar (who wasn't beaten far at all under a 5lb penalty at York last week) at Doncaster last time.

The handicapper has left him alone for that run, which is a bonus, as the horse could well have chased the winner up a touch more had he got a smooth passage through 1f out.

He will need luck if they hold him up again but this course-and-distance winner looks primed to run a big race if getting the breaks.

There are clearly plenty of others in there who you can make a case for - it's a sprint handicap after all - and the fairly-handicapped course winner Jumira Bridge is chief among them. The fact he wears a first-time tongue-tie here suggests that his wind issues may have resurfaced, though.

Solid Stone, solid bet

No surprise to see the progressive Country head the betting for the 1m2f handicap at 14:25, but the one I want to be with is Solid Stone at 6.611/2 or bigger.

You get the impression that they could have been expecting a bit more from the selection given that he won the Newmarket handicap in April that is traditionally a very strong heat and has thrown up several Group horses in the past.

But that is probably a touch harsh, especially as he may have had a problem or two given he was off for two months in midsummer.

And he bumped into a decent filly over 1m here in July (for which he went up a hefty 6lb) and was second to a horse in Bless Him who had dropped down to a very favourable weight at Yarmouth last week.

Off the same mark here, I like the angle of him stepping back up to 1m2f and don't be put off by the fact that Ryan Moore isn't riding him, as he would have had to got a real sweat on to ride at 8st 7lb.

The horse Moore does ride, Ventura Knight. would be my alternative in the race at a double-figure price.

Races to swerve

Ryan Moore on Jubiloso 956.jpg

The 1m Group 3 at 15:00 looks a straight fight between Jubiloso, also ridden by Moore (pictured above), and the improving Duneflower, though I did toy with Solar Gold each-way at 12/1 or bigger.

But it's a race in which you are probably just playing for one place - and Lavender's Blue looked good earlier in the season - so I can let it go.

The same comments apply to the Solario Stakes at 15:35 where the form horses Positive and Visinari take on a very well-touted youngster in Al Suhail.

With a likeable jolly in Positive and just the seven runners, we can give this a swerve, too.

Over at Chester, Outbox looks a very solid favourite at around the 7/4 mark in the Listed race at 14:45.

I actually don't think that is a bad price as he has very solid handicap form and is the one proven stayer in the field at this 1m6f+ trip.

But his odds are not those that I tend to play at - and my earlier selections at Sandown are also on the short side for this column - and we have a dangerous unknown floater in here in the shape of Dermot Weld's Stivers, so off to Beverley we go.

Tarboosh can thrive on soft ground at Beverley

Dark Vision was the punt of York's Ebor meeting, being supported from an early 25/1 into 4/1 before finishing sixth, and it will be interesting to see if his backers turn out in force again in the six-runner 1m2f handicap at 14:05.

The first thing to say about this race is that it is an astonishingly-low turnout for a £52k prize fund, with 32k to the winner, and prize money down to sixth.

It is simply baffling but, then again, we are saturated with racing at this time of the year.

In any event, I don't fancy much at the prices - I thought Good Birthday was the most likely winner - but I am backing Tarboosh at 7/1 each way with the Sportsbook in the Beverley Bullet at 15:15.

He has a stiff task on at these weights with the favourite Tis Marvellous but nothing else scares me too much, and I think he can get into the places, and hopefully better.

He rounded off last season with a good win at Doncaster, after which he was rated 108, but he has failed to cut much ice this season.

However, he showed more at York last week, his second run after a wind op, and I can see him mopping up close home here.

He acts on any ground, so the good to soft conditions are no hardship at all - in fact, he is at his best with some ease - and this course-and-distance winner is taken to go well in what is admittedly a tight-knit race.

Tony Calvin P/L

+ 226.1pts

April 14 2017 to Aug 30 2019, inclusive

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