ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Sunday Racing Tips: Sassy looks a Classy bet at Punchestown

Betfair Tipster Tony Calvin
Tony has two tips for Sunday's racing at Exeter and Punchestown

We have more ITV Racing to enjoy on Sunday afternoon and our resident tipster Tony Calvin is here with two double-figure selections...

  • Racing from Exeter and Punchestown on ITV

  • Stable form points to Pipe runner

  • Sassy has a Classy record after initial outing

  • Sign up for our World Cup Newsletter here

ITV have sprung a surprise by deciding to cover Sunday racing from their Haydock racing hub - so I imagine that raucous crew will be setting Newton Le Willows alight on Saturday night - so we have seven extra terrestrial races to pour over this weekend.

I expected to find it difficult to eke out a bet given the nature of some of the races, but I surprised myself by fancying a couple at double-figure odds.

I can leave the classier races at Punchestown well alone - those being the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle and the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase - but I will come back to the other Irish action in a bit.

We will start off at Exeter.

Well-handicapped for stable in terrific form

Nothing interested me at all in the novice handicap chase at 14:25 but I was tempted by Faustinovick in the 3m handicap chase at 15:00, as the softer ground could suit him here after his Chepstow reappearance win on good, though I thought his price of around 6/1 was little more than fair given the depth of the opposition, with the favourite How's The Cricket having a lot to recommend him in particular.

I am happy to back Martinhal at 11.010/1 or bigger in the 2m2f117d handicap hurdle at 15:35. I imagine you will get bigger - there is a bit of rogue 14s in the marketplace - but 10/1+ is good for me.

Back Martinhal in 15:35 Exeter @


David Pipe is having a brilliant season with 45 winners going into Saturday's racing (four of his last seven runners have copped, including one at 16/1) and regular readers (and listeners) will know that I love the fact he didn't mention this horse in a Stable Tour in the Racing Post earlier in the week.

The logic is that they want to keep some of the better handicapped horses to themselves.

Of course, it may well be that space constraints didn't allow a 120-rated horse to be included in the piece, but I love a conspiracy theory and I like the horse's chance.

You can't go overboard on the stakes front as he comes here on the back of three poor efforts but he looks very well handicapped on his course and defeat of Solwara One off levels over course and distance in the soft in February 2021 - the runner-up was rated 134 not long afterwards, and the 13-length third is now on a lofty 141 - and I am very much inclined to take a chance on him given the stable form, and a wind op may have perked him up, too.

If he comes back to the form of that course win, he will go very, very close here.

I may have a small saver on Norton Hill at around 16/1 at the bottom of the weights - Anthony Honeyball has his team in decent nick, too - but I'll stick with Martinhal for the purposes of this column.

Has a terrific record after seasonal reappearance

I am going to cut the waffle and keep this column tight, and my second bet on the day is Sassy Yet Classy in the 3m Pertemps handicap hurdle at 15:15 back at Punchestown.

I appreciate the pitfalls of betting win-only in these qualifiers but Sassy Yet Classy has been priced up at 14/1 by the first four firms up, so I am happy to get with him at 15.014/1 or bigger on the exchange.

Back Sassy Yet Classy in 15:15 Punchestown @


In fact, as with Martinhal, 10/1+ would probably do me.

She blew away the cobwebs with a fourth on her chase debut over 2m4f at Thurles last month, her first start for new connections, but they have presumably put that fencing campaign on hold, and they return to hurdles on a very fair mark on 135.

This is a horse who went off at just 9/1 for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham three starts ago in March - she was brought down at the fourth there - and she ran there off a UK mark of 142.

This horse has a remarkable record after a season-opener, too. She obliged second time out in the 2018/19, 19/20 and 21/22 campaigns, and she won third time up in 20/21.

In fact, she won this race by 3 lengths last season, and that isn't her only excellent effort around here.

All her best runs have come in blinkers, and they are back on here, the mare having work cheekpieces on her Thurles return. And the step back up to 3m is an obvious plus.

Everything is in place for a big run, it seems. Then again, this is a qualifier...

Recommended bets

Profit and Loss (from March 26)

Staked: 271
Returns: 365.5pts
P/L: +94.5

Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022)

P/L: + 183.1

All Exchange bets are settled at Betfair SP for sake of fairness


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