ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Tony Calvin Antepost Tips: Two bets for Saturday at 20/1 and 33/1

Betfair horse racing tipster Tony Calvin
TC is backing one at Beverly and one at Haydock antepost

Tony Calvin provides his antepost preview of Saturday's racing at Beverly and Haydock and comes up with one to back at each at appealing prices...

  • TC's antepost preview of Saturday's ITV races

  • Price is right for ground-versatile Euchen Glen

  • Owners angle makes Sands of Dubai a bet at Beverley


Initially, I wasn't 100 per cent sure what ITV racing were showing on Saturday - on Monday morning, the Racing Post were listing the 4:20pm as being on the box, 45 minutes after the previous race, but the ITV website were simply stating "TBA" - but was I going to proceed on the basis of what the trade paper were telling us.

That is what the bookies use to price up anyway, rightly or wrongly, though the terrestrial broadcaster often chops and changes at the start of the week.

However, a timely email from ITV dropped at 2:58pm on Monday, confirming that the 3:15pm at Beverley will indeed be shown and not the 4:20pm.

Regardless, suffice to say it is one of the low-key weekends of the season, as you'd expect after Epsom and with Royal Ascot the week after next - incidentally it is very surprising to see and hear so little being made of the Derby getting just "over 27,000" paying customers and a peak viewing of 1.3m on ITV, as nothing can be done from ignoring the facts, for all the race itself delivered in style - and there isn't an early-closer among the seven contests.

So bookmakers and punters were starting from scratch, hence prices were very slow to come through on Monday.

Let's start with Haydock, who stage a three-day meeting, starting on Thursday. Please check out the list of double-entered horses in the lists below, and the going and weather.

It is currently good at both tracks, though Haydock could get around 13mm before the weekend (maybe more, maybe less) and Beverley 4mm.


Haydock Saturday 14:25 - Back Euchen Glen

To be honest with you, I don't fancy a great deal at this stage, though I personally didn't miss the run of the 11yo Euchen Glen here last time and he is an appealing 20s with the Sportsbook in the 1m3f175yd handicap at 14:25.

He actually got dropped 1lb for that outing and he is now down to a mark of 88, having been rated as high as 100 just six starts ago.

And this is a horse who finished fourth off 96 in last year's Ebor.

If you think you have read about those formlines recently, then you'd be right as I noted those ratings when tipping him each way for a 2m handicap at the track last time, and you'd be forgiven for believing he needed 2m4f that day as he plugged on from the rear to finish a never-nearer fourth, much to my relief.

It was a touch laboured, in truth, so it was hardly oozing with positivity. But it wasn't a bad run all the same.

He is actually fully effective from 1m2f to 2m, so I am not overly-concerned by the step back in trip - he was just touched off over 1m2f at Ayr last season off 96 - though perhaps age is catching up with him a touch.

He is a hard horse to predict but he is ground-versatile (he probably won't mind the rain, given the drop down in trip) and he can travel really sweetly when in the mood (as at Ayr, when he could have won on another day given the passage he got), and hopefully he has just been running himself into peak fitness, as his profile suggests he is increasingly prone to.

There are 18 in the race and the numbers could stand up, though five are double-entered this week and you'd have to think Selwan, confirmed at the overnight stage at Kempton on Wednesday, is a highly likely no-show.

Euchen Glen clearly lacks the upside of the likes of 3s favourite La Yakel, but everything is about price.

The Jim Goldie chain (apologies to fans of that Welsh hip hop band, but I think that just about works-ish) are hardly flying but they had a 22/1 winner on Sunday and many are running respectably, so the answer is yes at the Sportsbook's 20/121.00.

To small stakes. I wouldn't go any lower than 14s.

Because I don't know running plans, I will go win-only for now, even if his last victory was back in July 2021. A sobering fact, no doubt.

I suspect we will get four places (only three at the moment, but you are getting a quarter the odds) on the day, even if we get only 13 runners or so, and I'd be happy to press up then, if so, given a price in the same ballpark.


Beverley Saturday 14:05 - Back Sands of Dubai

Regular readers know that I don't tend to bet in 2yo races on the day itself, let alone ante-post, but I thought Sands Of Dubai was very interesting in the Hilary Needler at 14:05 at Beverley.

Richard Fahey, fresh from a four-timer at Wetherby on Monday (he also had a winner at Ayr earlier in the day), won this race for the owners with the punted, second-time-out Kodyanna in 2018, and he also saddled the third, a debutante, for them in 2019.

In addition, the owners were responsible for a Robert Cowell-trained 80/181.00 fifth in 2022, as well as a 33/134.00 poke who admittedly beat only one home last year.

So the owners, The Cool Silk Partnership, clearly like the race and it is fair to say that Sands Of Dubai shaped a little bit better than the bare form on her debut at Thirsk, travelling well until dropping away in the final furlong or so, when just over six lengths seventh to Maw Lam and Mademoiselle, the 3s favourite and 5s chance in here, respectively.

She was also a 13/27.50 to 10/111.00 drifter on the show, going off at a Betfair SP of 14.5, so little was presumably expected of her there.

Whether that late ebbing away was a lack of conditioning, or ability, who knows, but it wouldn't surprise me if she stepped up massively on that initial effort. And juveniles clearly tend to make their biggest leap from first to second start.

She will need to progress markedly, as I suspect the bare form is modest enough, even if it is largely untested. In fact, the only horse to have come out of the Thirsk race, the ninth, finished last of five at Ripon.

Nothing in here sets a high bar though, either form-wise or on the clock, so the owners' record in the race - they clearly like to target it - is perhaps an interesting angle into this contest.

The Sportsbook are currently 33/134.00 and that has certainly tempted me in for a win-only bet. The differential between her price and the first two home at Thirsk looks far too big. Any 16s or bigger is worth a nibble.

Fahey only has one entry in the race and, for what it is worth, Oisin Orr is already jocked up.

I'll leave it there. Go well, if not better.


Ground and weather

Haydock: Good (maybe 13mm up until race-time on Saturday, with rain around each day - hard to call)

Beverley: Good (just 4mm all week currently forecast)


Double Entries

1.50pm Haydock: Easy

2.05pm Beverley: Blue Point Express (entered on Wednesday), Kiss Me My Love, Powerful Lady

2.25pm Haydock: Divina Grace, Mountain Road, Scenic, Selwan (entered on Wednesday), Wynter Wildes

2.40pm Beverley: Carrados

3pm Haydock: Ching Shih, Divina Grace, Scenic, Verbier, Wynter Wildes (in addition the following are entered in the early-closing Munster Oaks are Scarlett O'Hara, Starry Heavens and Thunder Roll)

3.15pm Beverley: Ernie's Valentine, Island Native, Powdering (entered overnight on Wednesday), Vince Le Prince, Visibility

3.35pm Haydock: Easy, (Pogo, Yosemite Valley and Real Appeal are in an early-closer in Ireland next week)

4.20pm Beverley (I did it before the race change was confirmed, so you may as well have it...): Amasar, Bella Grazia, Godsend, Made In China, Malinka, Miss Gitana, Starshine Legend, Thrilling Dream, Top Flight Century, Walter Hartright, Warmonger


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