ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Saturday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin goes in again on Rainbow Dreamer

Betting.Betfair horse racing tipster Tony Calvin
TC is backing three at Newcastle on Saturday

"A draw in 14 could have been better, but you will need luck wherever you are housed in this 20-runner handicap, and I am happy to go in again at 14/1 each way, to add to my win-only ante-post bet."

Rainbow Dreamer each-way, five places, 15:30 Newcastle @ 15.014/1

Tony Calvin is sticking with his ante-post pick Rainbow Dreamer in the big race at Newcastle on Saturday and recommending two more bets...

The ante-post case that I made for Rainbow Dreamer at 20/1 win-only in the Northumberland Plate on Tuesday stands, and I make no apologies for re-stating it here.

Especially as I am pressing up myself and I suggest he remains the premier punt in the race at 14/1 each-way, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Course form override's last year's performance

He was a mere 15th in this race last season but that is nowhere near as bad as it sounds as he was beaten just over eight lengths and it did come off a lofty mark of 110.

He also got very badly squeezed out just after the start from his midfield draw - his jockey had to take a pull soon after the start when he was badly squeezed up after the start and he soon found himself third-last and in a very poor racing position - and he never got into the race, thereafter. A throw-out run for me.

He returns on Plate day rated just 98, and he has plenty of Newcastle form to make him a leading player.

He was a close fifth in this race off 107 in 2020, and the handicapper has been exceptionally kind in dropping him 4lb for his perfectly respectable run here on All Weather Finals Day in April, a race in which I don't think he was ideally positioned on the track (the first four home were all inside him, nearer the stands rail).

We haven't seen him since then but presumably a subsequent wind op explains that (though I accept that tinkering with his breathing may not necessarily be a positive given his age) and he does have a very good recent record after a short break.

He may not have won but he has posted performances that would make him very competitive indeed here off his rapidly falling handicap mark, which incidentally is his lowest since winning off 97 at Kempton in January 2020, by two lengths from a horse going for a four-timer.

Basically, if age hasn't caught up with him as a 9yo and dimmed his light - and there is no reason to suggest it has, and certainly not to the degree that assessor would have us believe - then I have to remain hugely keen on his chance.

A draw in 14 could have been better, but you will need luck wherever you are housed in this 20-runner handicap, and I am happy to go in again at 14/1 each way, to add to win-only ante-post bet.

His trainer Alan King has another two live hopes with Trueshan and the 2019 winner Who Dares Wins, but Rajinsky fully deserves his place at the head of the market and is the one to fear most.

Betfair Newcastle.jpg

Third in the race last year (albeit off an 8lb lower mark), he beat Royal Ascot winner Get Shirty on his return and his Chester Cup third last time is very strong form.

Harry Davies takes the ride again, having been on him at Chester - though he claims 5lb here, and not 7lb - and, 1lb well-in, he looks to be as solid as you like.

I don't think he is a bad price at 5/1 with the Sportsbook, but I will rely on Rainbow Dreamer as my sole selection. If Granite stays the 2m, he could be he outsider with the best claims.

Annaf intrigues

Earlier on in the card, you can simply make a case for too many in the 6f handicap at 13:50. Strike Red has an obvious chance after a back-to-form effort at Hamilton last time but his price reflects that, though Be Proud at around twice his price on the Exchange is appealing enough.

But I am intrigued as to why they went with the Group 3 option at 14:25 with the 95-rated Annaf rather than this handicap.

On the face of it, he has next to no chance in the Group 3 - he is a 50/1 poke with the Sportsbook and he would have been nearly favourite in the handicap - but he has shaped a lot better than the bare form of late and he is lightly-raced and he clearly goes well here, so maybe Mick Appleby knows more than us (or maybe he just entered him in the wrong race....)

Two to back in the Vase

The Vase at 14:55 is the other betting race for me at Newcastle and I am going in two-handed on Fair Star and the frustrating Smart Champion.

Fair Star is unexposed at this trip, having finished third at Lingfield in April on his only previous attempt over 2m, and he shaped well over 1m6f at York last time after a two-month break, a race in which he got consistently messed around by the horse on his outside from over a furlong out. I think you can mark up that run.

He has run well on both starts at this track (over an inadequate 1m2f) and maybe the first-time cheekpieces will give him some added bite in the heat of battle close home. His trainer's record with this headgear option is a neutral eight from 97 since 2016.

Back Fair Star at 20/1 each-way, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Champ to play leading role

I am not worried about stall 17 for Smart Champion as he is always dropped in stone-last for some reason - well, I say that, on the one occasion they rode him prominently he was beaten only a nose at Southwell in April - and that is one of the aspects that makes him so frustrating to bet on. And this awkward sort is on a long losing run.

But his last victory came off a 1lb higher mark than this over course and distance in February 2020, and a strong handicap it was too. He undoubtedly has the talent to play a leading role off his current mark.

I appreciate he blew out in the Plate in 2020 when a 9/1 poke, but that was off a 7lb higher mark than this, so I am not getting hung up on that formline.

He has blow-out potential, so back him at 17.016/1 or bigger win-only on the Exchange, even if the stable could be in better nick.

The 14s with the Sportsbook is fine, too.

Too many unknowns at Newmarket

Newmarket's three ITV contests were always odds-against to get me betting as small-field Group/Listed races are not my bag - I was going to say they could have swapped one for one of the handicaps, but they have attracted field sizes of seven, four and four ! - but let's have a look.

Actually, when I said small fields, the 2yo 6f fillies' race at 14:05 has attracted 11 runners, but it looks a bit of a nightmare race to me.

The experience and progression of Mersea and the potential of Bath winner Lezoo mark those down as the pair that interest me the most, but I probably won't be betting in the race.

Too many unknowns and, in any case, the opening 7s with the Sportsbook about Lezoo (now 9/2), who did so well to pick up the Sandown winner Cuban Mistress close home at Bath in a good time on her debut, disappeared soon enough on Thursday.

I did think Mersea was fair at around the current 14/1 on the Exchange.

The five-runner Listed race at 14:40 is similarly tight-knit ratings-wise and equally unenticing.

Irish Derby one to swerve for now

There are the dead-eight in the Irish Derby at the Curragh at 15:45, a race in which the betting basically makes it a straight fight between Oaks winner Tuesday and Derby third Westover.

Whether or not it turns out to be that straightforward, I am not so sure - we do have improvers in here like Lionel and Hannibal Barca, and horses capable of bouncing back like the Ballysax winner Pix Badile - and this is another race that I am not inclined to bet in at the moment.

Maybe I will near the off, when I know all eight have rocked up at the start, and it wouldn't surprise me if that horse was Hannibal Barca, each-way, at around 9s from the red-hot Joseph O'Brien stable.

He has his class and stamina to prove, but last year's Vertem Futurity fourth (when with Brian Meehan) definitely looked very good over 1m2f in a Group 3 on his return at this track and is potentially the big improver in the race.

Best of luck.

Profit and Loss (from March 26)

Staked: 151

Returns: 212.6pts

P/L: +61.6

Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022)

P/L: + 183.1

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