ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Friday ITV Racing Tips: Tony Calvin's best bets at York and Newbury

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
Tony has three tips for Friday's racing at York and Newbury

We've reached the third and final day of the York Dante Festival so Tony Calvin is back to preview the ITV races on the Knavesmire plus the 1m2f handicap at Newbury...

  • Final day of York's Dante Festival

  • Tony has 8/19.00 and 25/126.00 tips in the 14:45

  • Our man fancies an 11/112.00 Stoute runner at Newbury

York - 15:15: No Bet

Headgear stats don't get much better than when Charlie Appleby puts a hood on his horses for the first time - he is 26 from 90 since 2013 when using this option - and the latest recipient is Devoted Queen in York's 7f192yd Listed raced at 15:15.

She hasn't been missed in the market though, as she is only 2/13.00 with the Sportsbook in what I thought was a much deeper race than those odds would suggest. Hood or no hood, she should surely be more of a 4s poke in here.

Even the best price of 11/43.75 for her doesn't appeal at all after she only scrambled home at Kempton last time.

This is literally one race where any of the nine could win and no-one would be remotely shocked, including the 25/126.00 outsider Carolina Reaper, but Bolsena could be the overpriced one at the Sportsbook's 9/110.00. That's the best price going.

She may have been one of those horses who were flattered by racing prominently at the speed-favouring Craven meeting but she was undoubtedly impressive when winning her maiden there, and her pedigree screams Group-class horse in waiting.

She is only rated 87 at the moment but all of her eight half-sisters were 100+ performers, with top of the family tree being last year's Queen Anne winner Triple Time.

She is probably the bet in the race if you want one, but I can leave these guess-up races alone from a long-term perspective, as enticing as her pedigree is.

York - 14:15: No Bet

York on Friday kicks off with a 16-runner 2yo Listed fillies' race at 14:15. Fifteen of those have only raced twice or less, and one is a newcomer, so we need a crystal ball rather than a form book.

Of course, this is where the Time Bandits come into their element and it sounds like 14s chance Miss Lamai impressed them when winning at Thirsk last month.

It's a good job the clock points to her chance as the form of the race is mixed so far, with the second running a fair race in defeat at Ascot next time, but the third was well stuffed at Catterick. The fourth and eight have been beaten since, too.

York racecourse with signs.jpg

However, the upside is Miss Lamai did win that race in good style by a wide margin, and she did cost 115,000gns as a yearling.

But I can easily leave the race alone.

The first four home from the Newmarket maiden that It Ain't Two won last month all re-oppose and it's a hard enough job working out which of those will come out on top here, let alone the other 12 in the contest.

At least each-way punters are getting four places here. I reckon they will need them, mind you.

Oh, I should mention the ground. It is currently good, and is set to stay that way, with maybe 3mm due in the next 24 hours.

York - 14:45: Back Loyal Touch E/W

Botanical is the sexy one in the 1m2f+ handicap at 14:45, and it isn't hard to see yet another Roger Varian horse smashed up in the betting here. The stable backers have needed deep pockets down the years though, and he is definitely not for me at 10/34.33.

If Botanical is sexy, then Majestic is your 9am-5pm Steady Eddie for each way backers (getting five places with the Sportsbook here); he'll come good one day and this may be his time to shine.

I am going to keep this simple though and go with Loyal Touch each way at the Sportsbook's 8/19.00, five places.

He is officially the best handicapped horse in here, as he is due to go up 2lb in future handicaps after his second at Chester last week.

That was justified as it sounds like the well-backed winner Tony Montana was plotted up, and the third was 2 ½ lengths away in third.

That confirmed his recent improvement on the all-weather, and the horse didn't run badly when sixth here last summer considering he never got on the front end, as he has done of late.

Drawn in three, I can easily see him leading here (pace rivals are stablemate Qitaal in six, and dangerous stable-switcher Epic Poet in 10) and hopefully Jason Hart can set a sensible gallop up front and stay there.

I wouldn't be a big fan of backing horses from this stable - I very rarely do - but I am happy to make an exception here. Everything looks spot on for another big run from him, though the quick turnaround is the obvious potential negative.

York - 14:45: Back Epic Poet

I can fully see the case for Epic Poet at 25s on his first start for David O'Meara, as a mark of 98 (he has come down 8lb for three runs in the UK) looks very exploitable if they can get him back in the form he showed when third to West Wind Blows in a Longchamp Group 3 in September 2022.

However, we are clearly guessing about his state of readiness and well-being, and he showed the square root of - actually I can't say what I was going to write - let's say little, for the Meades (who had a very quiet 2023) last year, for all he ran better in the Cambridgeshire on his final start.

I was going to baulk at putting him up here because of the doubts, but I thought the Sportsbook's 25/126.00 - or a similar price on the exchange - was enough to lure me for a small-stakes, win-only bet.

This is a horse that cost 450,000gns earlier in his career, but new connections could have picked up a relative bargain here at 48,000gns in October given that French back-form.

He is 28s in four places on the Oddschecker grid, so do what you have to do, but a small win-only bet at 25s is hunky dory, morning glory.

York - 15:45: No Bet

We have already dealt with the 15:15, so that leaves us with two sub-eight runner contests to round off with at York.

I can deal with these very quickly.

I am a fully paid-up member of the Tower Of London fan club - fully paid-up as I backed him each way in the St Leger when he finished a quietly-ridden fourth, grrrr - and it will be disappointing to see him beaten in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup at 15:45.

But he has a much harder job on than the Sportsbook's quote of 6/42.50 would suggest. He is 2.89/5 on the exchange. It is easy to let him win at those odds, as he may well need to improve to take this. In fact, he will probably will.

York - 16:15: No Bet

I literally have zero interest in the six-runner 3yo 1m novice at 16:15 (the horses have seven runs between them), a race that has no business being on ITV when the card finishes off with two 20-runner handicaps afterwards.

Newbury - 14:30: Back Hosanna Power E/W

Luckily, I have a strong view in Newbury's 1m2f handicap at 14:30, and that is Hosanna Power at [11/1] each way, four places. That's a very good price, as 8s or bigger would have done me fine.

All of the recent runners from the Sir Michael Stoute yard have run well of late, and I am hoping this is another on his handicap debut.

This half-brother to the Group 2-class middle distance/staying performer Mildenberger looks very well treated off a mark of 81 on his sole juvenile start, and he clearly didn't run badly in two placed outings at three.

He finished second to the now 100-rated Talis Evolvere at Pontefract in September before disappointing slightly when third over this 1m2f trip at Lingfield in November

You'd have to think 1m2f (and further) will suit him given his pedigree - he is by Frankel and his dam won over 2m - and I think the stable form angle is important here.

Stoute had a poor end to last season when this horse was running at the back-end - he only had seven winners from August to November, from 78 runners - but he clearly is in much better nick now.

And hopefully this horse is too off what looks a very workable, and lowly, handicap mark.

Good luck.


York: Good (2.4mm Thursday; 0.6mm Friday)

Newbury: Good To Soft, good in places (2.4mm Thursday; 0.5mm Friday)


Tim Easterby cheekpieces 16-195 (since 2016)

Charlie Appleby hood 26-90 (2013)

Roger Varian hood 32-171 (2011)


2.15pm York (very little evidence to go on): Call Me Harswell, Kaadi, Ruby's Profit, Running Queen

2.30pm Newbury: High Fibre, Winter Reprise? (few others that have been ridden prominently but not a lot of guaranteed pace in here)

2.45pm York: Epic Poet?, Qitaal, Loyal Touch,

3.15pm York: Bolsena, Carolina Reaper

3.45pm York: Al Qareem

4.15pm York: First Conquest

BALLOTED OUT (money back for ante-post punters)

4.45pm York: Tolstoy, No Nay Nicki, Darwell Lion, Broken Spear, Kalganov, Ziggy's Condor, Snash, Braveheart Boy, King of York, Mr Squires, Misemerald, Kitaab, East Bank

TRAINER FORM - for all with entries in Friday's ITV races (does not include Thursday's results):

Good: Easterbys, Ollie Sangster, Tom Dascombe, David O'Meara, Jack Channon, David Evans, Grant Tuer, Ralph Beckett, Aidan O'Brien, Harry Eustace, Owen Burrows (very few runners), James Fanshawe, Sir Michael Stoute, Stuart Kittow

Fair: Fell & Murray, Michael Bell, Charlie Johnston, Karl Burke, Hugo Palmer, Brian Ellison, Clive Cox, Dominic Ffrench Davis, Newland/Insole, Roger Varian, Kublers, Nigel Tinkler, Charlie Appleby, Gosdens, Marco Botti (improving), William Haggas (probably moderate by his standards), Willie Mullins, James Horton, Richard Fahey, Jamie Osborne, Peter Chapple-Hyam (very few runners), Kevin Philippart De Foy, Dean Ivory

Moderate: Eve Johnson Houghton, Ruth Carr, Julie Camacho, Tim Easterby, Kevin Ryan (borderline fair), Craig Lidster, Jonathan Portman, Harry Fry, Alan King, Karen Jewell

Now read Ryan Moore on his Friday rides at York here.

Recommended bets


2024 Flat season (day-of-race; Apr 26 onwards):

RETURN: 48.95
P AND L: +20.95

2023-24 NH season:

RETURN: 143.4
P/L:    +16.4

April 16-Oct 31; 2023 Flat season:

STAKED:  202
RETURNS: 168.9
P AND L:  -33.1

March 26 2022 -April 15 2023:

Staked: 436
Returns: 643.6
P/L: +207.6

April 14 2021 to March 25 2022:

P/L: + 183.1


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