Saturday Tipping Competition

The final week of this month's Saturday Tipping Competition. It's tough at the top. OneEyeEnos & Rawnsley share the lead with 26pts. Will we see a tactical tipping heat? I'd go for an ew bet on a 1/10 shot myself. That's what makes this competition so much fun. It's like playing chess against Barbara Windsor. You're thwarted by images of Carry On Doctor and an enpassant of two fond memories. Sorry, I was daydreaming there. Back to proceedings. It might not be enough to rest on your laurels because Betmanmike sits on their heels with 20pts. Bobby Talk heads the field for the free competition with 21ts and could well pocket a tenner if backing a winner. Emanuel is a fraction behind with 20.5pts after a solid month.  Other double-figure point scorers include: Shukman (14pts), Fred Pippage (14pts), Capt Heathcliffe (13.41pts) & Racing Mama (10.4pts). Longbow has 9pts wrestling with Danny et al. No  entries will be uploaded until (1pm DEADLINE) as we don't want any tactical tipping. Email me if you want to keep your tip a secret! Good luck to all.  

Tipster selections:

Long-term leading fancies for the 2015 Grand National 

When Dr Richard Newland’s Pineau De Re stormed home five lengths clear of the admirable Balthazar King in April’s first Crabbies-sponsored Grand National at Aintree it catapulted the trainer very much into the headlines, shining the spotlight on a man who has for some time been noted as very much on the up-and-up by aficionados of the winter game.
Newland ended last campaign with a tremendous 23% winning strike rate and so far this season has sent out 11 winners from 39 runners at an even better winning ratio of 28%. These figures would be the envy of virtually every other National Hunt trainer and there is no doubt that the Worcestershire-based handler is a very talented horseman. It therefore is far from beyond the bounds of possibility that Newland might be able to bring this year’s winner of “the world’s greatest steeplechase” back to Aintree where he has showed such a liking for the track and its still unique fences.
Looking at the current Grand National odds, Pineau De Re [pictured] is currently a 25/1 ante-post joint-favourite alongside the 2014 Irish Grand National winner Shutthefrontdoor, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, and the Martin Brassil-trained Double Seven, third behind Pineau De Re at Aintree and like Shutthefrontdoor owned by leading National Hunt jumps owner and gambler, JP McManus.
McManus has never hidden his fondness for the Grand National and celebrated in style when his Don’t Push Me landed a massive gamble under Tony McCoy on the big day back in 2010. Shutthefrontdoor will be an eight-year-old for next year’s big race, the perfect age for a horse with a tremendously progressive profile as a staying chaser.
Double Seven, sent off the 10/1 joint-favourite for the 2014 Grand National under Tony McCoy, has now shown that he can handle the hurly-burly of the great race and as a nine-year-old will also fall into the ideal age category for a race that could very well be within his capabilities. 

Europe coming back for one more season

Fans of the tremendously popular veteran chaser Sizing Europe have learned that the 12-year-old is set to return to training with one more season in action on the cards despite reports at the end of last term that the Henry de Bromhead-trained star would most likely be retired. 
The gelded son of Pistolet Bleu ended last season with an emotional success at the Punchestown Festival, running-on powerfully from the home turn to beat Ballynagour by five-and-a-half lengths in the Grade 1 Champion Chase.
Many believed that owners Ann and Alan Potts would send their star performer off to a much deserved retirement following that win but it appears that the old horse has given plenty of indications that he is not yet willing to hang up his racing shoes and has been brought back into training. Connections are set to make a final decision about his future in a couple of months’ time.
In terms of which race guides to look out for over the coming months, it looks like the target for a first run of the 2014-15 campaign is the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park in October, a two-and-a-half mile contest that Sizing Europe has won for each of the last three seasons, most recently justifying odds-on last autumn when cosily accounting for the smart Ballynagour.
In a career spanning nine jumps season de Bromhead’s charge has won no less than 21 races – 16 in Graded company – from a total of 42 starts. His greatest moment came at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival when, having landed the Grade 1 Arkle Novice Chase Trophy 12 months earlier, he then proved just too good for another Irish star Big Zeb when putting up a memorable performance to land the two-mile chasing crown.
All in all the horse who has also won races at up to three miles has won very nearly £1.3 million in total career prizemoney and is a credit to all involved with him.

Saturday Tipping Competition

The month is rolling on and the tipster competition is warming up. OneEyeEnos & Rawnsley hit the high notes last Saturday winner a juicy winner to bag 26pts, while Betmanmike still has 20pts in his pocket. Shukman is also fighting fit with 14pts. In the free competition Emanuel is going well on 20.5pts. Other with double-figure points are Fred Pippage & Capt Heathcliffe. Still all to play for. 1:30PM Deadline.

2:15 Hamilton Racing Tip (17th July) IRISH CHAMPIONS WEEKEND EBF MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (2yo)

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f 4y on good ground. Eight two-year-olds take part: three colts/gelding and handful of fillies. Five horses have race experience. This looks a pretty ordinary race with a few debutantes from less fashionable stables and others who need to be primed against a few with race savvy. Craigemdar is the horse of focus. This daughter of Tagula cost £44,00 from the Doncaster 2yo Breeze Up Sale 2014. This bay filly wasn't overly fancied on debut but ran a great race if not a little too keen in the early stages which told in the final furlong. That pace may be blunted by dropping back to the minimum trip but she will finish with gusto. David Barron is a supreme trainer and this race doesn't have much depth. There will not be too much meat on the bone but I've snapped up about 2/1 on Betfair, which I expect to lay off at shorter odds to a decent no-lose bet. If it happened to drift to bigger odds I'd simply put more money on this horse. Looks to have a touch of class against this field.  

2:35 Brighton - Burning The Clocks is on a recovery mission after disappointing at Yarmouth. Connections were disappointed by that effort and expect a big run today. Amber Crystal steps up in distance after running over the minimum trip. On breeding you would think it will be a positive although she is a keen horse and has seemingly struggled to finish her races so far. If settling, John Gallagher's charge could set a stern test for many of these and likely to travel with supreme ease. If available at fair odds I will be tempted to try and lay at shorter odds in-running. Such betting strategies can be a tricky business if connections have a change of tactics but looks a fair bet to hit shorter odds. I would be tempted to lay a few quid at 1.01 to win a few thousand if going clear of the field because she could well hit a brick wall in the final furlong. 

7:00 Doncaster - A decent-looking race. From a statistical point of view I'd keep an eye on John Gosden's Lashkaal. This home bred daughter of Teofilo ran with promise on debut and if priced at 13/2 & less must have decent win and place claims. 

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An EBF Maiden Fillies Stakes over 5f 10y on good ground. Sixteen juveniles: ten raced, six debutantes and a mix of top-class trainers. By all accounts this looks a tricky event, especially with a number of the leading fancies being high drawn. It will be intriguing to see whether the majority favour the stands' rail, venture to the far rail or even split. All these variables are dependent on ground and should be considered with regard to price. 

War Alert was sent off even money favourite when contesting a maiden here over 6f on debut. That was a fair contest. This daughter of War Front cost 270,000gns at the Tattersall's Guineas Breeze-Up Sales 2014. Trained by David Brown, for the Quatar Bloodstock Partnership, ridden by retained jockey, Jamie Spencer. This February foal is clearly held in some regard and holds an entry for the Lowther Stakes (Group 2). She is likely to be fancied to go well here although I would have some reservation about the drop back to this minimum trip. It could well be the case this bay filly will be slightly outpaced. I would rather take a watching brief as the trip looks sharp.

Artfilly wasn't disgraced on debut at Newmarket but improved a good deal when finishing second at Lingfield over 5f. Ed Walker does well with his two-year-olds and this daughter of Art Connoisseur is a compact, professional horse which should travel well and battle to the line. The form of that race has been franked, although the winner, trained by James Tate, won in good style. Another juvenile with a high draw (14). Should run a decent race and has claims unless there is a talent in the line-up.

Emirates Challenge was relatively fancied on debut but always on the back foot after an awkward start, then eased down in the last furlong when her chance had gone. Saeed Bin Suroor is a class trainer and this February foal is well bred out of a talented multiple-winning mare [Sand Vixen], placed in the Princess Margaret Stakes (Group 3) & victorious in the Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2). Juveniles are always deserving a second bite at the cherry and if fancied in the betting a much brighter performance should be seen on this second start.     

There are a couple of juveniles which may have disappointed to some extent on debut but worthy of interest. 

Carrot Top is a home bred filly in the ownership of Lady Whent who is no stranger to talented juveniles [Goldcrest won well for Henry Candy] and she is a loyal patron of Ralph Beckett. This daughter of Assertive made her debut over 6f at Goodwood, when starting 11/4 second favourite. This chestnut filly is a good-looking juvenile, deep chested with size and scope. It was clear she had sweated-up quite markedly and looked hot before the start and ran too keen over the first two furlongs, which done her no favours. Even with this negative, she held every chance until the final furlong and wasn't pressed by Dane O'Neill when their chance had gone. It is coming up to two months since that first start, which suggests there has been a problem along the way. This drop back to 5f shouldn't be a problem and I can see this filly improving on that first start and could be held in some regard by connections. A lower draw could be a good starting point if favouring the stands' rail. 

Disprove hails from another trainer who knows his two-year-olds. Hugo Palmer has some good juveniles in his string and Disprove looks a bargain breeze-up purchase at £20,000. This daughter of Approve is out of a twice-place mare. This bay filly ran well over 6f in a competitive Newmarket maiden. She was too keen in the early stages but held every chance and only tired in the final furlong and still beaten under five lengths. It is always difficult to assess how a horse will fair when it drops down in distance because the pace of a five and six furlong race is markedly different. With showing abundant pace on debut you would have to consider the trainer knows best and Noel Garbutt takes off a handy 5lb. Another filly with a high draw. 

Robin Hill has run well on both starts to date but may find this a stiff task although may sneak a place if this race falls apart. 

*Crystal Wish has size and scope and wasn't disgraced last time out at Catterick although others make more appeal. 

The betting is the best guide for the leading stable debutantes: Renaissant, Effectual, Star Fire, Candlelight & Some Show. All have claims if priced 13/2 & less. 

Conclusion: A difficult but fascinating race to assess. There looks plenty of strength and depth for a run-off-the-mill maiden and those with experience could well set a fair level for the debutantes to chase. With the majority of the fancied runners featuring a high draw it will be interesting to see where the horses' race. The ground will most likely be a deciding factor and if the going turns soft a high draw would be an advantage. However, on better ground a lower draw could see one or two head straight for the rail. War Alert is likely to be fancied in the betting and this drop back to the minimum trip may not pose a problem. However, I would have slight concerns she could struggle for pace and this factor could be compounded from a high draw, especially if they race down the stands' side. With so many variables you really need a price to consider betting. Artfilly is a professional horse who will go well and probably the most proven in this field over the distance. Emirates Challenge is a well bred filly who fluffed her lines on debut. If fancied in teh betting she could well put that disappointment behind her and holds each way claims. Carrot Top is likely to improve a good deal for that first run and could be held in some regard by connections. May be worth a speculative punt if big odds are available early on the exchanges. Disprove is another who could go well if fancied in the betting. With a few debutantes from big stables this could be a difficult race to find the winner. I would take a watching brief unless you can have a speculative bet on Carrot Top. I would be looking for value at the very least. 


Saturday Tipping Competition

The second week of July's Saturday Tipping Competition. Plenty of action to start the month with Betmanmike finding a juicy 9/1 winner to bag 20pts. He heads the free and pro competition. Emanuel sits in second position with 15pts. Captain Heathcliffe holds third place in the free competition with a handy 11.6pts, while Bobby Talk - normally a pro competitor - has 9pts. Longbow also has 9pts and sits in second place in the pro competition. Still lots to play for and it only takes one big price to send shock waves through the rivals. 1PM Deadline.