Angus McNae's top tips for Sunday: Pogo will leave you jumping for joy

By Angus McNae
Sun 28 Jun 2020

The Racing TV presenter reveals his best bets for Sunday's racing action at Newmarket, Windsor and Hamilton.

There is some excellent action on Racing TV this weekend and I have had the privilege of some good races to look at when finding this week’s fancies.

As ever, I have four selections for you; two at Newmarket, one at Hamilton and one that, despite it not being on Racing TV, I could not resist tipping at Windsor.

1.35 Newmarket: Ambassadorial at a general 10-1

Ambassadorial finished second Montatham at Newmarket this month

This horse is available at 10-1 and that is just too big given his consistent profile at a track that suits his front-running style.

It would be fair to say that he was below form at Ascot in the Silver Hunt Cup where things really didn’t pan out for him. He is much better judged on his previous run where he finished second at Newmarket to Montatham, who has since franked the form by finishing second in the Royal Hunt Cup.

He is relatively unexposed on turf and that run represents his best effort on the surface.

I like the fact that he is back at this venue and if ridden forward, he may well dominate this race. He is tough and genuine and at 10-1, he must be backed.

2.20 Hamilton: Vive La Difference at 11-2 with Bet365

Watch how Vive La Difference fared last time out

I can see this course and distance winner going off at much shorter odds than 11-2.

Vive La Difference won twice through the winter at Newcastle and on a return to turf last time at Beverley, he ran a creditable race over seven furlongs behind Tangled.

That was not an ideal test for him, but this stiff mile is right up his street. He won here in tremendous style in 2018 off a rating of 76 and is now rated 74, so clearly has a clear chance in terms of handicapping.

He is a hold-up horse who is suited by a strong gallop and with two wins at the track, this place really suits him.

The other point worth noting is that his traine, Tim Easterby, has a 22 per cent strike-rate at Hamilton since 2016, and Vive La Difference should take some beating.

3.00 Windsor: Pogo at 5-1 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes

This is a speed figure play. Pogo steps up into a Listed race after an excellent third in the Royal Hunt Cup. On paper, that looks to be a big leap to make, but there is not often much difference between high end handicaps and listed races and the speed figure pogo achieved in that race certainly makes him more than worthy of his place here.

That Timeform figure was 117 which was achieved to a degree by the competitive nature of a truly-run race, but nonetheless it confirms that Pogo is an improved performer and should not be underestimated.

He could bounce (excuse the pun!) and that is the big concern, but if he is in the same form, he will go very well here and looks overpriced at 5-1.

4.30 Newmarket: Alignak at 5-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power

I think that the fact that Sir Michael Stoute pitches this horse into a Listed race is a significant hint that we should take.

He has won his last two races at Kempton and most recently at Newcastle where he comfortably won a class three handicap.

That win in itself does not make him a stand out in a Listed race, but he fired a decent Timeform speed figure which entitles him to step up in grade and he showed a fine turn of foot to settle matters having been relatively poorly placed.

The way he came home there suggested he won with more to spare than the winning margin suggests and his brilliant trainer thinks he is worthy of a step up in grade, and that’s good enough for me at 5-1.

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