The best racing involving English horses takes place at Maisons-Laffitte today but unfortunately, as far as I can see anyway, no bookmaker has priced up the brace of Group Three races at the time of writing (6am, as you ask).
Richard Fahey, Archie Watson and Simon Crisford all have runners in the 6f juvenile contest, while Robin Of Navan goes for his sixth victory in France – he hasn’t won anywhere else – in the 1m2f Group Three.
I would have liked to get stuck into those races, given the quality on offer domestically today, but you obviously can’t tip without prices, and this is a rather glaring problem for people tasked with doing so in tote-monopoly territories, so I don’t envy them their job.
Mind you, have they tried previewing the racing on a Monday here every week?!
I do, and here is what I came up with today. Best of luck.
I don’t intend looking at a jumps race until Chepstow next month, so it is Flat-only here.
At Brighton, I can pass on a good mention for Brian Meehan horses in first-time cheekpieces, as you would have made money backing these blind in recent years (he runs Contingency Fee in the 2.10pm), while the on-fire duo of Tony Carroll and Poppy Bridgwater bid to give the trainer his third win in the race in the last six years with Imbucato in the 3.10pm.
However, my only bet on the card is Live Dangerously at the general 6/1.
He gained a couple of course-and-distance wins earlier in the year and he shaped a lot better on his second start back from a mid-season break over 6f here a fortnight ago.
He steps back up to his optimum trip off a 1lb lower mark, and he seems to reserve his best for downhill tracks like Brighton and Epsom. I thought he was the most solid bet of the meeting at the prices.
In the later races, Saeed Bin Suroor has a 25 per cent strike rate when applying cheekpieces for the first time (to his horses, that is), so that may interest Kaser backers in the 4.10pm, while I would have tipped Narjes in the 5.10pm had she been a bigger price.
But I wanted more than 4-1 to be getting involved, and if I ain’t backing them, I ain’t tipping them, so on to Kempton.
I was all set to side with Athassel here, but I was very disappointed to see him just a best-priced 7/2 and as short as 5/2 in a place.
Don’t get me wrong, I think he has a good chance. He runs some of his best races here and should have gone very close to winning at Wolverhampton last time.
The problem is that he is a tardy starter and is likely to be nearer last than first after a furlong here from stall one, and he will need a fair bit of luck in running. I do think he is handicapped to win again, but I have to let him go unbacked and untipped at the prices.
I have no problem with him and Navarra Princess heading the market, but I am going to chuck a speculative few quid at Soar Above at a general 20/1. If any 22/1 is still knocking about, have a bit of that, obviously.
The handicapper has given him a real chance by dropping him 5lb for his run at Wolverhampton last time, where he travelled and ran okay in the context of this lowly race, and that enables him to get into this 0-55 handicap.
He also ran far better than it looked when a 100/1 chance over course and distance in June – check the video out – and he is tried in first-time cheekpieces here. Trainer John Butler is 2 from 6 with this option in 2018, with winners at 11/1 and 5/1.
Tenedos is undoubtedly the interesting one after an eye-catching run from the rear over 1m3f here last time. He clearly isn’t straightforward, and that was his first start since being gelded, but he won at this course on his debut and there was glaring promise in his run here last time.
But a shortening 4/1 about him is no bargain, and Jacob Cats looks an each-way punt at 22/1 in the race (unfortunately the 28/1 with Skybet and BetVictor disappeared this morning).
The nine-year-old obviously lacks the potential of some of these but he loves it around here (his best efforts coming over 1m4f and 1m3f) and is certainly well handicapped now.
He ran a great race for a 100/1 shot when fourth to Soldier In Action and Mallard runner-up Austrian School over 2m in a 0-105 handicap at Goodwood last time, where he was 8lb out of the handicap.
He ran off 85 there but is effectively 3lb lower here and reverts to 0-80 handicap company, which is much more his pay grade these days.
I’d be lying if I said I knew much about 7lb claimer Pierre-Louis Jamin (I am sure he has heard the Bob Marley jokes a thousand times, so we won’t go there) but he has been placed in 17 of his 42 rides this season and netted two wins on Attain for Archie Watson at Lingfield in March, when he looked pretty polished.