ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Tony Calvin: Two bets at 10/1 and 20/1 for Chester on Saturday

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
Tony has two bets to consider at Chester on Saturday

Tony Calvin takes a look at one of Saturday's antepost races at Chester, and with the race having the potential to cut-up badly, our man has 10/1 and 20/1 tips for you to consider...

  • Double-entered horses to be avoided antepost

  • Chester handicap has the potential to cut up

  • Tony puts up two bets at 10/111.00 and 20/121.00

If you believe there is too much racing, the list of double-entered horses in Saturday's seven ITV contests - see below - would certainly give you further ammunition (it could have been a lot worse but several more declined opportunities to run on Thursday).

And that is without further factoring in the possibility of suitable horses being held back for Royal Ascot next week, the entries for which start filtering through on Wednesday and beyond.

So be careful when punting and staking.

All three of ITV's featured meetings also race on Friday so, in short, it is something of a minefield for ante-post punters. So, as ever, I would strongly advise steering clear of those with alternative engagements this week.

Minimising no-shows is all-important.

I waited until seeing Thursday's confirmed runners before finalising and filing this piece, as a lot of the weekend entries had options on that day.

Let multiple entries be your friend ante-post though.

There was no surprise that the two non-handicaps were priced up first on Monday evening but neither of those relatively small-field Listed races at Sandown and York interested me, so I had to be patient, waiting for the other contests to be chalked up.

Chalked up; now there is a blast from betting rings of the past.

Chester - 15:20: Back Witness Stand & Princess Alex

Back to double-entries; let them be your ally in ante-post betting.

Put it this way, you can rule a fair few out if you immediately dismiss horses that could go elsewhere this week (definitely don't back Great Blasket, Master Zoffany, Yorkshire and Sterling Knight in their respective races as they are down to run on Thursday, as it stands).

For example, there are 26 in the 7f127yd handicap at Chester at 15:20 - for which there is a maximum field of 14 - but a remarkable 20 of those have other options in the next few days, including the Sportsbook's 4/15.00 favourite Mount Teide, also in at Sandown on Saturday. That horse is clearly very dangerous but you surely can't back him at the moment.

Using my logic, you could narrow down this handicap to just six contenders, with the Sportsbook prices in brackets: Brunel Nation (14s), Cerulean Bay (14s), Expert Choice (14s), Princess Alex (20s), Sailthisshipalone (14s) and Witness Stand (10s).

It is currently good to soft at Chester but I am working on the assumption on possibly soft ground on Saturday (they had 17mm of rain Monday into Tuesday, and the it is set to return on Thursday) and the only one who has proven form in that going, as well as course form, is 10s poke Witness Stand.

He looks an each-way bet at that price, four places. I am very surprised they are paying four places at this stage, given the double-entries and also there is a maximum field of 14, anyway. But that is what it says on the site.

Now, I fully appreciate this price may go quickly - though he is 10s in two places elsewhere, too - but that is the recommendation if you can get it.

Go now lower than 8s.

Chester field on bend 1280.jpg

The case for Witness Stand is obvious, though obviously the draw will be crucial on the day.

He won at Chester on his debut and progressed well through his juvenile year, and the handicapper has been generous by leaving him on the same mark after finishing second to the smashed-up, potential Group horse Never So Brave here last time.

The third, Dashing Darcey, is now 5lb higher after winning at Haydock last week and a reproduction of that last course run would put him bang in the mix here.

I don't like betting each way when I don't know definite running plans, but surely this is the destination given his previous course form and those place terms are generous.

I also seriously considered Princess Alex at 20s, and in the end I also decided she was too big to ignore. Any 14s or bigger would be okay.

She went black type-hunting as a 78-rated filly in a Listed race at Musselburgh last time and it backfired, as she went up 9lb for finishing sixth of eight there.

But maybe the handicapper could have been even harsher given she had 90 and 100+ rated horses all around her - she finished in front of two rated 90 and 92 - and she did travel really well for a long way on the inner there. And the good ground there may not have been ideal, as she is thought to be best with some dig.

If she gets a good draw on the day here, then the pace she showed when making all at Beverley (good to soft) and Haydock (soft) this season will clearly stand her in very good stead.

I appreciate she is 25s in a place elsewhere - so do what you have to do - but I think I have to have her onside at 20s each way, four places.

The two horses I have tipped are their trainers only entries in the race. For what it is worth, Hollie Doyle is jocked up on Witness Stand and Princess Alex is apparently a likely runner if there is sufficient dig.

The 14:25 at York could also cut up a fair bit (see below) but there are 31 entries and a maximum field of 20, so I like the Chester set-up much more, even if it is a track that would not be my favourite punting place.

Hopefully, that changes on Saturday.

Go well.


York: Good to soft - 20mm or so perhaps up until Saturday

Sandown: Good to firm (round course, good in places) 8mm or so perhaps up until Saturday, (course put on two 7.5mm cycles of watering last week, finishing on Friday; and another 3mm on the straights on Tuesday despite 3mm of rain on Monday)

Chester: Good to soft - 12mm up until Saturday

DOUBLE-ENTERED HORSES (though some may have entries at Ascot next week when they are released from Wednesday onwards, so bear this in mind)

1.50pm York: Andaleep, Goobinator, Haveyoumissedme, High Fibre, Kitsune Power, Masekela, My Harrison George, Sonnerie Power (not double-entered but ran well on Monday), Southern Voyage

2.05pm Sandown: Flying Frontier, Godwinson, Great Blasket (entered overnight at Nottingham on Thursday), Pjanoo, Repertoire, Terwada, Titan Rock, Winter Reprise

2.25pm York: Carnival Zain, Christian David, Golden Pharoah, Jarraaf, Londoner, Master Zoffany (entered overnight at Nottingham on Thursday), Newsreader, Our Havana, Quest For Fun, Quintus Arrius, Tolstoy, Yorkshire (entered overnight at Nottingham on Thursday), Sterling Knight (entered overnight at Newbury on Thursday), Ziggy's Condor

2.40pm Sandown: None

3.00pm York: None

3.20pm Chester: American Bay, Blue Prince, Burdett, Candonomoore, Change For Good, Christian David, Diligent Resdev, Golden Pharoah, Love Billy Boy, Magsood, Mismerald, Monfrid, Mount Teide, Newsreader, Pitney, Piz Noir, Purefoy, Robbo, Secret World, Teraabb

3.35pm York: Blue Prince, Carbin Bhui, Flaccianello, Lady Pink Rose, Love Billy Boy, Midnight Affair, Palmar Bay, Run Boy Run, The Coffee Pod, Tropical Island, Ziggy's Condor

Now read Tony's ante-post look at Royal Ascot.

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