ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Sunday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin's quintet of tips for the Sunday Series

Betfair Tipster Tony Calvin
Tony Calvin has a quintet of tips for you to consider on Sunday

"Anyway, the assessor has dropped him a whopping 11lb for those three starts, and if he comes back to his course and distance juvenile form he will take some stopping off a mark of just 74."

Mattice at 20/1 each way, six places, in 16:35 at York

The Sunday Series returns with ITV Racing action from York and the Curragh, and Tony Calvin has five tips for you to consider...

This is my debut tipping piece on the Sunday Series - I managed to miss it last year, along with the Racing League - and I actually fancy a fair few at big prices at York.

Howzer your luck in the first at York?

I'll take the seven-race card there in chronological order, as I like the look of Howzer Black in the opening 1m3f188yd handicap at 15:30.

There is nothing flash about his claims, other than they score highly in every area.

Firstly, he has run well on both of his starts at the track, just getting beaten a nose off a 1lb higher mark than this last June.

Secondly, while he would probably appreciate quicker ground, he handles a bit of ease - it is good to soft (good in places) - and hopefully his jockey will go forward from his drawn in four, and that will at least take bad luck in running out of the equation.

All of his best efforts have come from aggressive rides and he arrives here on the back of a good second off this mark at Hamilton last week, his best run for a while.

The winner, Heart Of Soul, followed up at Kempton this week and is now rated 5lb higher, and the horses in behind there also went into that contest boasting excellent recent form.

In the context of this race, it was a strong handicap and, provided his jockey doesn't get embroiled in a bun fight up top, he will surely go well.

He is a bigger price win-only on the exchange but I think The Sportsbook's 12/1 each way, six places, is fair. I wouldn't take less than 12s, though.

C&D winner could take some stopping off this mark

Hell would have to freeze over - actually, it may already have with this Government in charge - for me to tip an odds-on poke but Walbank is probably a very fair price at 4/7 to win the 16:00 after a very encouraging Ascot debut.

That run boasts the best form and the strongest time figure, but we are dealing with four once-raced juveniles here I suppose.

Now, give me a big-field handicap please and the 6f handicap at 16:35 fits the fill, as does Mattice at 20/1 each way, six places, with the Sportsbook.

You obviously have to be worried about a fair few in there - not least the favourite Justcallmepete, pulled out of Haydock on Saturday due to the ground officially (though they probably just fancied winning this more) - but Mattice has been given an extraordinarily good chance by the handicapper.

He clearly hasn't run up to best juvenile form in three starts this season but he didn't run badly on the first two outings and I don't think the drop to 5f suited him here last week, and he ended up on the far side too, which was probably not ideal.

Anyway, the assessor has dropped him a whopping 11lb for those three starts, and if he comes back to his course and distance juvenile form he will take some stopping off a mark of just 74.

That day he split July Stakes and Gimcrack winner, and Guineas sixth, Luhail, and subsequent Grade 1 winner Albahr, and maybe the first-time cheekpieces (Tim Easterby is a fair 14/131 since 2016 with this option) will spark him up.

Being drawn 22 of 22 worries me, but I have to have the bet anyway, given the positives and the price.

I was contemplating putting up Justcallmepete as a saver as he is related to so many good sprinters (notably Mazzini and Harry's Bar) and shaped so well when getting a dreadful run through when 5/2 favourite at Ascot last time - he may well have won with a clear passage - but as soon as he got pulled out of Haydock on Saturday, the general 7s on him went through the floor, and he was 7/2 with the Sportsbook within half an hour.

I missed the price, so I can't put him up. It will be no surprise to see him dance up here, though.

Has talent to win off lowest ever mark

I have fallen for him too many times now, so I guess one more will not hurt to small stakes, so I am going to suggest a nibble on Orbaan at 20/1 each way, five places, with the Sportsbook, in the 17:05.

He has been dropped 4lb for three okay runs in big handicaps this season and that leaves him on a perch of just 87, his lowest ever mark.

All his best runs have been here - he won off a mark of 100 in the summer of 2020 - and he certainly has the talent to be winning this if it all drops right for him. A mile with a bit of ease are his optimum conditions.

Yibir York Ebor 1280 x843.png

I did toy with 33/1 poke Indianaopolis and Celtic Empress in the last two races but my final play at York is Barbill at 16/1 each way, six places, in the 17:35.

He has gone to Mark Loughnane (who has had a couple of recent winners) from Mick Channon after being bought for 37,000 guineas in October and has joined him on a very attractive mark, with Benoit De La Sayette taking off another 5lb.

First time out last season he finished second off a mark of 99 at Kempton - the winner is now rated 18lb higher - and he runs off just 89 here. It is a very open race clearly, but he stood out for me.

I may put all of my four York selections in each way multiples.

Verhoyen chanced to follow up quickly

ITV are also showing the Irish 1000 Guineas and a 6f handicap from the Curragh.

Purplepay, bought for an eyewatering £2m euros in October and sent to William Haggas, half-winked at me at 10/1 each way, four places with the Sportsbook, as did Concert Hall at 18s, even though that one is probably more of an Oaks filly having won over 1m2f last time. That proven stamina could come in handy here, mind you.

In the final analysis, I just found the race too hard to call, as you can easily make a cogent case for at least six at the odds, without factoring in unknowns like Hermana Estrella.

I was rather hoping Verhoyen would come straight for the 6f handicap at 16:20 rather than take in a 7f contest on Friday night.

He was as big as 33s for Sunday's race, but unfortunately he is now trading in single figures in most places (one rogue outfit were still laughably 16s on Saturday morning) after bolting up and making all by 6 ½ lengths with the blinkers reapplied on Friday, allied to a falling handicap mark.

He got on the far rail there and never looked back.

He won this race last season and could do so again - he will go up by more than the 7lb penalty he carries here - as he excels at this track and he has won after just a three-day turnaround in the past.

I was going to leave him alone but I am going to suggest you back him if you can get 11.010/1 or bigger on the exchange. He may just blow these away once again, if all is well and he is allowed to take his chance.

Good luck.

Recommended bets

PROFIT AND LOSS (from March 26; does not include Saturday’s results)

Staked: 85
Returns: 175.9pts
P/L: +90.9

PREVIOUS (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022)

P/L: + 183.1


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