Saturday Racing Tips: High hopes at Chester and Sandown on low-key afternoon

Sandown racecourse
Sandown where Tony has three bets on Saturday

Pinch, punt, it's the first of the month and, even on a fairly quiet afternoon of racing, Tony Calvin has found four bets at attractive odds at Chester and Sandown...

"In terms of potential, Documenting is clearly right up there, even if the handicapper has slapped an 11lb rise on him, to a mark of 90, after his easy Wolverhampton maiden win from the front last time."

This is probably the most low-key Saturday of the year, as probably evidenced by Ryan Moore jumping in the car to get from Sandown to Chelmsford in the evening - although the latter course stages a 100k handicap, and that course's prize money continues to put many other higher-profile courses to shame. But ugly is as ugly does and there are always bets to be had.

Get the afternoon started with a low stakes bet at Sandown

I certainly will be keeping stakes on the low side but Bahamian Sunrise has suckered me in at 10.09/1 or bigger in the Sandown opener at 13:50. The Betfair Sportsbook are currently offering him at 9/1, too.

Rapid Applause, who was also in the Beverley Bullet at the five-day stage, is the potential big improver in here and it could be that connections have been waiting for a bit of recent rain for him after his no-show since his Hamilton win over 6f in May.

He took a while to get going there, though, and I just wonder whether he could get out-paced here, even over a stiff 5f such as this (he did previously win over the minimum trip at Beverley), for all he could prove well treated off a mark of 91.

There are plenty of the usual suspects in here and I am going side with Bahamian Sunrise, who has course form figures of 113, with that third coming in this race last season.

He started the 5/1 favourite under Silvestre De Sousa that day, and the champion jockey is re-united with the sprinter for the first time since they beat Shamshom a head at Epsom in April.

He can race off a 2lb lower mark here, and 3lb lower than when just touched off at Epsom on Monday (he was out of the handicap there).

The obvious problem here is his draw in 14, but there is a surprising lack of obvious front-runners here - maybe Soie D'Leau will try and make it from 11 - and I am happy to leave the hard stuff to De Sousa. He owes me one for his ride on Holmeswood at York last week, mind you.

Two bets in the 14:25 at Sandown

I luckily managed to sneak a bit of 20/1 Master Carpenter in the 14:25 earlier in the week - cue abuse no doubt, but more about him later - but the more that I have looked at this race, the more I am convinced that History Writer will run a huge race.

The owner and trainer won this race with Thundering Blue last season, and they have a horse who is crying out for the step up to 1m2f for the first time with History Writer, having just his seventh start.

He gagged up by two-and-a-half lengths here at the start of August, staying on really strongly - he also finished a good third in a maiden here on his debut - and then ran sixth at Newmarket off a 7lb higher mark last time.

He ran better than it first appears there, being switched from his draw on the rail to make his challenge on the outside, again shaping as if a step up in distance would greatly benefit him (he was second over an extended 1m in a decent novice at Nottingham in May, and would have won in another 100 yards or so).

There is plenty of stamina on the dam side, and I expect a much-improved showing. The 5/1 is probably short enough but I want him on my side, even if his 12 of 12 draw is again far from perfect.

I think Master Carpenter is still worth a saver at 12.011/1 or bigger, too.

The rain earlier in the week will have taken all the sting out of the drying ground, which is a plus, and the handicapper has dropped him 3lb for beating only one home in the John Smith's Cup last time, where his jockey made a lot of use of him early doors from his wide draw in 17 (the first six home came from 3-5-8-2-6-1).

He is obviously very well handicapped on his York soft-ground win last year, and he ran an excellent race, staying on strongly after getting tapped for toe 2f out, over 1m on fast ground here in July. This course winner is weighted to take a hand, and he can hopefully adopt a prominent position on or near the rail from stall one.

The ones I'm swerving - and why

I have a sneaking suspicion that Clon Coulis will outrun her odds of around 14/1 in the Group 3 at 15:00 - I thought she did it really well when winning at Ascot last time - but Veracious will prove very hard to beat down in class and trip after her Nassau third.

The price tells you that, though, and she could have a race on her hands if Laugh Aloud is straight enough after her lengthy absence. The last time we saw her she looked a Group 1 filly-in-waiting when bolting up at Epsom.

No bet there then, and the same goes for a fascinating Solario at 15:35. I think it's a great renewal.

I will probably personally end up laying Too Darn Hot at around the 11/10 mark, though, as I simply think he is far too short against five very capable juveniles.

Don't get me wrong, he was very impressive in winning here on his debut over a mile and he has the pedigree, but you also have plenty of talent running for you if you oppose him on the exchange.

In fact, I nearly put up Dunkerron at 8/1+ as I think he is the form horse as it stands after his second in the Vintage Stakes. From a tipping point of view, though, I can leave the race alone.

You don't need me sticking up 10/11 pokes here; I'll leave that to others, should they so wish. The Beverley Bullet is also on ITV at 14:45 and the one that interested me most is Mythmaker at a double-figure price.

Last year's winner Take Cover has an obvious chance at these weights, but he will need to be quick on his hooves to get on the lead from stall nine, and Mythmaker is primed to bag the rail from one, or at least a good early position.

He is a very consistent sprinter in this grade and he only gave best inside the furlong pole in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes over 6f at Newbury last time, so I think the step back down to 5f will suit.

This is his first start at Beverley though, and a less-than-sprightly start could see him firmly on the back foot in a trappy race full of course specialists, so I can just about give him a miss.


Chester is not one of my favourite punting tracks, but I wouldn't argue with Duretto heading the market at around evens in the Listed race at 15:15.

He has 11lb in hand on official figures and plenty of good course form to his name, including when just touched off by Muntahaa when this race was a handicap back in 2016.

Then again, he is up against a big improver in Here And Now, and Hochfeld is unbeaten here in two starts and likely to get the run of the race from the front.

The 7f127yd handicap at 14:15 was also going to be a no-bet race for me, though Lake Volta, back to form last time and in stall two, and Documenting were my two against the field.

The former is an obvious market leader, but I was very surprised to see the latter available as the 16/1 outsider of the party, even if he is drawn 10 of 12.

In terms of potential he is clearly right up there, even if the handicapper has slapped an 11lb rise on him, to a mark of 90, after his easy Wolverhampton maiden win from the front last time.

I suspect that rise has more to do with his previous run here when he tried to make all and traded 1.331/3 in the run and failed by only one-and-a-quarter lengths to hold off Urban Aspect, and that could be a harsh re-assessment.

But Urban Aspect is now rated 104 after his hugely dominant York win last week, and Documenting was trying to give the 3yo 10lb here in June, with an 85-rated horse (who has run well twice since) five lengths away in third. The fourth has won a handicap subsequently, too.

The draw is an obvious worry, as is his lack of experience against better-drawn, battle-hardened handicappers, but the price is just too big for me to ignore, so back him at 17.016/1 or bigger.

If he gets away quickly again, then we could be really in business (or know our fate quickly if he doesn't).

Kevin Frost did brilliantly in securing him for just 1,000 guineas from Juddmonte in February - he is a half-brother to three winners, including Roger Charlton's 110-rated Countermeasure, so further untapped potential could be there - and he has had four winners from just nine runners since August 17, and a couple of thirds, too.

He has had a 20/1 winner from just seven runners at this track, too.

Good luck.

Bahamian Sunrise at 10.09/1 or bigger in 13:50 at Sandown
Documenting at 17.016/1 or bigger in 14:05 at Chester
History Writer at 6.05/1 or bigger in 14:25 at Sandown
Master Carpenter 12.011/1 or bigger in 14:25 at Sandown

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