How To Bet £20 on Saturday: Gulliver giant value at 16-1

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Sat 17 Jun 2017

If you had taken the advice of Andy Stephens last weekend, you would have made £224.67 profit taking SP - much more with early prices. He tipped winners Absolutely So (15-2), Culturati (5-1) and Bateel (100-30). The Score's nap, Tulip Fever (5-2), also won on Friday. 

By Andy Stephens

Having seen 11 of America’s record 15 challengers for Royal Ascot either working, at rest or attempting to eat lumps of their new surroundings over recent days it is safe to say I cannot wait for the big meeting to get under way on Tuesday.

American Patriot, who runs in the opening Queen Anne Stakes, is a big bruiser and Wesley Ward’s warriors looked in fine fettle when galloping at Ascot on Wednesday and then when relaxing at The National Stud in Newmarket, where they are staying, 24 hours later.

It could be a perfect storm for Ward this year because (a) he reckons he has a Dream Team (b) virtually all his challengers have had an invaluable spin at the track and (c) the ground looks like being suitably quick for his trail-blazers.

Coral make him 8-1 to have three winners or more over the five days but, if that price appeals, then you must also consider the much chunkier 25-1 that Paddy Power offer on him being leading trainer at the meeting in a market that excludes Aidan O’Brien.

The Ward-trained Happy Like A Fool, the Queen Mary favourite, before her work at Ascot on Wednesday

The Ward-trained Happy Like A Fool, the Queen Mary favourite, before her work at Ascot on Wednesday

If Ward saddles two or three winners - it is far beyond the realms of the imagination because he is responsible for five favourites - then he has to be in with a shot. Last year, O’Brien had seven winners but no other trainer had more than two.

John Gosden is 10-11 favourite in this market but his team is hardly overflowing with short-priced favourites and a number of his best horses - Enable, Cracksman, Shutter Speed and So Mi Dar - will not be running. He had two winners last year, and the same in 2015.

Much more of Royal Ascot next week, when there will be a How To bet £20 column for each day.

Hopefully we can get the ball rolling with a winner or two on Saturday.

York’s £100,000 Catherine Kinloch Paver Memorial Macmillan Charity Handicap (3.30), over six furlongs, is easily the most valuable race of the day and I’m surprised Gulliver is as big as 16-1 with bet365.

The Hugo Palmer-trained colt walked out of the stalls in a race over the same trip at Windsor last time and must have been ten lengths adrift in the early stages with Andrea Atzeni issuing several stern reminders to try to get his motor running. He looked a complete lost cause.

Atzeni never gave up and, remarkably, despite also ending up widest of all, Gulliver kept on to be beaten just over a length into fourth. With anything like a level break, he would have won handsomely.

He is now in a deeper race and, if similarly sluggish at the start, we will quickly know our fate.

However, he had previously broken on terms in a rapidly-run Craven Stakes and, given he palpably failed to stay that day, did well to finish only seven lengths behind Eminent on level terms. 

Two other smart colts, Rivet and Benbatl, filled the places, while War Decree (sixth) has since been beaten a couple of lengths in the French Derby, so there is nothing wrong with the form.

Gulliver probably has a few of his own ideas but I’ll be very surprised if he does not have races in him off a mark of 90. The first three home in the Craven are rated 116, 115 and 113 and he also boasts track form, having lost his maiden tag at York in the autumn.

Palmer has said that he has been working on the start with his charge at home, too. 

The Listed Best Western Hotels Ganton Stakes (2.55) can go to Spark Plug.

Last year’s Cambridgeshire winner looked desperately unlucky not to win the Festival Stakes at Goodwood last time, when he travelled strongest but surrendered first run to the winner, First Sitting. Four lengths down a furlong out, he was beaten a nose.

Jame Spencer came in for criticism aboard Spark Plug that day but, in fairness, they did not go a great gallop and, crucially, he had to wait for a run when the winner was pressing on.

James Doyle takes over in the saddle this time and, with front-running Custom Cut in the line-up, he should get an honest pace to aim at.

At Sandown, the progressive Equimou can take another step up the ladder by landing the Randox Health Scurry Stakes (2.40).

There was plenty to like about the way she got the job done at Hamilton last time, a track that is similarly stiff to Sandown. Some of her efforts as a two-year-old, such as when under a length third to Priceless in the Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster, now look even better than they did at the time.

Favoured by the conditions of the race, Equimou looks a fair punt at a general 11-2.

Finally, Battered is not one to oppose lightly in the Randox Handicap (3.15).

I layed him out of the frame in running when he ran at York last time because he got squeezed out at the start and looked in trouble after getting shuffled back through the pack.

However, once he got rolling there was no stopping him and, despite getting in a bumping match with a rival late on, he won in emphatic fashion under Ryan Moore. At least I didn't lay him in the win market.

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William Haggas described Battered as "gormless" after the race and as the horse is owned by his father, Brian, he can get away such insults.

Battered clearly has an engine, though, and a 9lb rise seems unlikely to stop him, especially with first-time cheekpieces being equipped to help.

How To Bet £20 on Saturday:


2.40 Sandown: Equimou £4 win at a general 11-2

2.55 York: Spark Point £5 win at a general 9-2

3.15 Sandown: Battered £4 win at 2-1 with bet365

3.30 York: Gulliver £3 win and £1 each-way at 16-1 with bet365

£2 win on Wesley Ward being top Royal Ascot trainer in a market that excludes Aidan O’Brien at 25-1 with Paddy Power


£1 Win Lucky Fifteen (general odds in brackets)

2.40 Sandown:  Equimou (11-2)

2.55 York: Spark Point (9-2)

3.15 Sandown: Battered (2-1)

3.30 York: Gulliver(14-1)

£5 win on 2.40 Sandown:  Equimou at a general 11-2


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