ITV Races

Saturday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin's three fresh bets including a 33/1 Cesarewitch tip

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
Tony has added three tips to his ante-post wager

Heavy rain means the going at Newmarket and York will be testing on Saturday, and Tony Calvin is playing it cautiously with his three fresh tips to go with his remaining ante-post wager...

  • Very testing ground likely on ITV Racing

  • Tony is taking a chance on a 33/134.00 Mullins runner in the Ces

  • Two further tips at 9/110.00 and 25/126.00


If you are betting on Saturday's racing, you must keep a watch on Friday's weather around the country, as it looks pretty bad. We are likely to get more going changes and plenty of non-runners, which could affect the each-way terms of races.

The way I am going to approach this situation is to halve my intended stakes now, and maybe press up (or not) on Saturday morning when we know the exact state of the ground.

Newmarket has already turned to soft, from good to firm two days ago, after another 10.mm since midnight and they are due more rain (maybe up to 15mm) from Friday afternoon.

Anyway, to the actual racing, we go. I'll be working on the basis of heavy ground for Newmarket, and soft for York, in this column.


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Newmarket - 14:40: Typewriter advised ante-post

Frankie Dettori announced his retirement U-turn on Thursday morning, which I really couldn't give a stuff about either way, and at that time I was rather more interested in tracking the Cesarewitch decs.

Both of my ante-post recommendations were duly confirmed for the race - so all was well in the world - but then, inexplicably, Lady Percival was taken out of the Cesarewitch before 9.30am.

I have no idea what prompted that re-think within a matter of minutes, when nothing had changed in the interim, but I was not a happy bunny. Apologies for the no-show, as it really irritates me when readers don't get a run for their money (far more than me doing my dough), especially in such a strange scenario.

Poor show, Hughie.

I am left with Typewriter, a 33/134.00 ante-post selection, running for me, and hopefully she will be allowed to take her chance.

I fear she may not though, as, while she appears to operate just fine on a soft surface, she has actually been pulled on account of that ground description earlier in the season and self-certed on heavy at Goodwood in August.

Not promising then, though I do think this guaranteed stayer is on a very fair mark if she runs. My already tenuous relationship with ante-post betting could break if she is a non-runner. She is currently very weak on the exchange at 44.043/1.

Newmarket - 14:40: Back Zenon

I don't know how the draw will pan out in what seems likely to be very testing ground but when it gets this down and dirty then Willie Mullins, with his famous deep home gallops and winner of this race for three successive years from 2018, is not a bad man to have on your side.

And the one I landed on of his quintet is Zenon at 34.033/1 or bigger, or 33/134.00 win-only with the Sportsbook.

Each way punters can get six places with the latter, but I am playing win-only given his profile. And the fact that I am not totally sold on his stamina.

He is currently 42.041/1 on the exchange, but I'll play fair with the 33s recommendation fixed odds or exchange.

This horse has clearly had major issues since winning off a 2lb higher mark than this in blinkers (he has run well in this headgear on all three occasions he has worn them) in Killarney on soft/heavy ground in August 2020, but he shaped well enough on his first start since in a conditions race at Bellewstown recently.

Mullins' 2018 Cesarewitch winner Low Sun prepped at this course, too, though not in the same race.

I think the in-running comment of "tenderly handled" is pushing it a touch but he went okay there - he was a very weak 20/121.00 chance on course and returned at a massive 47.75 at Betfair SP - but his back form clearly makes him very interesting off this mark and on this ground.

Aside the Killarney win, he also shaped very well off a 1lb higher mark than this in a 20-runner 2m1f Galway handicap in July 2020 - he traded at 1.758/11 in running when taking it up entering the straight, before eventually finishing fourth - and the blinkers, left off at Bellewstown, are back on here.

Hopefully, his draw in four turns out to be a positive but, like I said, I have no idea how that is going to pan out on the ground, to be bluntly honest.

Willie will be a popular man in his household if he wins, as the horse is owned by wife Jackie, and bizarrely the horse is out of a mare called Jacqueline.

Let's hope ITV Racing are trotting out that line after the race.

Back Zenon to Win 14:40 Newmarket @ 33/134.00

Bet now

I am also going to have a saver on Mullins' Jackfinbar, currently trading at 44.043/1 on the exchange and available at 40/141.00 in the fixed-odds wider marketplace. I won't put him up here, but follow me in if you wish.

Newmarket 13:25, 14:00 & 15:15: No Bets

The three juvenile races on ITV at Newmarket don't interest me at all from a betting perspective, so we can deal with them very quickly.

Chief Little Rock at a push maybe in the Autumn Stakes at 13:25, there will be a lot of glum faces if City Of Troy takes his chance and is beaten in the Dewhurst at 14:00 (that'll be you, main cheerleader Brendan Duke) and a five-runner Zetland Stakes at 15:15 isn't doing it for me either.

Small fields, likely non-runners, bad ground and 2yo races are not a great mix.

Newmarket 15:50: Back Raadobarg

Highfield Avenue and Raadobarg are the two I centred on in the 1m1f Group 3 at 15:50, as I don't think they are badly priced at 11/26.50 and 9/110.00 respectively with the Sportsbook.

The latter is on offer at 10s elsewhere in a few places, but 9s is more than acceptable. He is the one I am backing and tipping.

Highland Avenue hasn't been seen since disappointing at Newbury in July, when he wasn't given an optimum ride from off the pace, but I fear him, as he has run well on both of his efforts on soft (never raced on heavy) and is a very classy animal on his day.

However, if I am working on the basis of heavy, I have to have Raadobarg onside as he is a very talented slop monster.

He is also in very good form, he ran very well over course and distance in the Earl Of Sefton on good to soft here earlier in the season, and I just hope he is given a more patient ride than at Sandown last time. I suspect he will be over this longer trip.

Back Raadobarg to Win 15:50 Newmarket @ 9/110.00

Bet now

York - 15:05: No Bet

Over to York, where it is currently soft (good to soft) and likely to get a bit deeper through Friday, though Saturday looks dry and bright.

Two of the four races at York are juvenile races too, including bizarrely a 7f182yd maiden at 15:05, The fact that six of the 10 runners are newcomers makes this an easy, old swerve.

York - 13:15: No Bet

We start off with the 12-runner 6f Rockingham Stakes at 13:15, a race in which I very nearly surprised myself by sticking up Tropical Island at 12/113.00 with the Sportsbook.

She has been entered up a couple of times recently without running but this looks a good spot for her, as an improving course-and-distance winner and one who has a soft ground win to her name.

The 12s is too big but she needs to step up a gear in this company and I was also very impressed by the manner of Esquire's debut win at Hamilton.

I may back them both to very small sums (Esquire is 15/28.50 in a few places if you shop around) but not strongly enough to put them as tips. As with Jackinfar, follow me in if you wish, though.

The 1m nursery at 13:50 looks a filthy puzzle to solve . Actually cancel that, it's not even on ITV, so I don't have to try. I was wondering why there were no prices when I went to look.

York - 14:25: Back Escobar

That leaves me with two proper handicaps to go at, starting with the 6f Coral Sprint Trophy at 14:25.

Pendleton was yet another no-show when I tipped him ante-post for the Ayr Gold Cup after a great winning return at Thirsk - I really have been awful on that front this season - so he was obviously the first horse that leapt out at me here.

I can only think he had a setback to have missed that valuable prize (which the stable won with Significantly, who also runs here) - he was nearly retired last season, so he must be a fragile sort - and that concerns me.

I may back him so I don't lose on the race if he wins, but I am going to side with Escobar win-only at 25/1 with the Sportsbook, or 26.025/1 or bigger on the exchange. He currently trades at 29.028/1.

He disappointed me a bit over 7f in first-time cheekpieces at Ascot last time but the drying ground was against him there, and I think the guaranteed bit of dig here is the key to his chance off a rapidly falling handicap mark.

This is only the third time he has raced over 6f, and both of the previous attempts have been in the Ayr Gold Cup on better ground, and very solid efforts they were, too.

In fact, he is already a whopping 8lb lower than when beaten under 4 lengths at Ayr last month on good to soft, and I am willing to risk him at the price over 6f on hopefully softer ground.

Some of his better efforts have been at this track off much higher marks and , while I don't know what connections are up to on the headgear front - they have retained the pieces but ditched the usual tongue-tie - I am happy to take the flier that the speedballs come back to him late on.

There is enough pace around him in stall 17 for that to happen.

Back Escobar to Win 14:25 York @ 25/126.00

Bet now

York - 15:35: No Bet

I was very keen to tip Certain Lad each way in the extended 1m2f handicap at 15:35 as this course winner has been in good form and is off a very fair handicap mark of 100, and handles soft very well, but the price didn't allow me to.

The Sportsbook want to duck him (rightly so, in my opinion, obviously) at 8/19.00 when he is basically 12/113.00 everywhere else, and a currently lightly-traded exchange market doesn't really allow me to tip him here.

He may be one for the 8am Twitter Spaces update show on the Betfair Racing timeline tomorrow morning.

Having though about it, I will probably have a bit of the 33s each-way Zenon too, but I'll stick with the win-only play here.

Go well, today and on Saturday.


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