Wednesday tips: Easterby can profit from O'Meara's poor luck

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Wed 9 Aug 2017

Geoffrey Riddle has found inspiration at the World Athletics Championships and also offers up a short-priced double he thinks is value.

All week it has been interesting comparing how athletes manage their big-race tactics at the World Athletics Championships in London.

On Monday night there was a complete pace meltdown in the Women’s 1,500 metres and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, America's Jenny Simpson and Caster Semenya all came late to deny poor old British runner Laura Muir of a medal.

On Tuesday night's feature it was the reverse, and South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk pinned his ears back and left his rivals for dead with a surge in to the home straight in the men’s 400 metres.

Pace and tactics are key to any athletic event, and I'm looking for some each-way thievery in the 2.00pm at Bath on Wednesday.

There could quite easily be too much action on the front end, and I have scoured the race for the horse best placed to benefit from the likely burn up.

Lucky Clover, Blackadder and Double Spin will ensure this will be a fast and furious five furlongs and Staffa can pick up the pieces fast and late.

Staffa loved the strong pace when she won at Lingfield in June, and it was an ingredient sorely lacking in her subsequent two races.

She reared in the stalls at Wednesday’s venue last month, and had little interest in the slowly-run contest at Lingfield a fortnight ago. This should be a much more suitable proposition for her.

Trainer Denis Coakley sent out a 20-1 maiden winner on Monday and with Staffa having the race run to suit she could be a big price at Bet365 and Skybet's 10-1.

There is some proper good to firm ground at Brighton this afternoon, which, given the amount of rain there has been up and down the country for the past few days, is a rare and wonderful thing.

Much like Staffa, Charlie Hills’s Fenagh could also benefit from tactics employed by jockeys aboard horses such as Tadleel, Reverberation and mega-money Breeze-up purchase Al Ozzdi because they could set it up for the closers in the 2.20 at Brighton.

Fenagh is by Dabirsim, a dual Group One-winning juvenile who was better at seven furlongs than six, as illustrated by his late surge to land the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere six years ago.

Fenagh has by no means inherited his father’s ability, but he likes to come from behind and will relish the step up to seven furlongs in the Bombardier EBF Novice Stakes.

At Yarmouth it is hard to envisage defeat in the British Stallion Studs EBF "Stallion-Restricted" Novice Stakes at 5.15pm for Bartholomeu Dias, who ran with credit in to fourth place in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot behind September.

That race has proved to be a strong one, not just because of the subsequent exploits of the admirable runner-up Nyaleti, but the race has horses who have gone on to win all the way down to ninth.

Backing horses at Evens in Novice races is not my idea of a successful betting strategy but I cannot help be drawn in to the shortie double with Imphal at 5-4 in the Custom Kitchens Handicap at 6.15pm.

The three-year-old has been hiked up the weights by 14lb for his two previous wins, but Tyler Sauders continues to take off a useful 7lb.

With only five rivals, there is a chance the pairing could once again get an uncontested lead. Trainer Marcus Tregoning has not had a winner in the past fornight but Sir Titan was edged out by a head at Goodwood last week and that was because Silvestre De Sousa just had more in the tank in the finish than the part-time Hayley Turner.

David O’Meara has had a shocking few months but there are signs that his stable is finally turning a corner.

In the last week he has had several horses that have barely got out of first gear, but he did have a winner at Thirsk on Saturday. Dig a little deeper and things are looking up. Salateen traded at as short as 1.25 in-running before going down at Newmarket last week, and Three Saints Bay went to as low as 1.08 before being denied by a head at Catterick on Tuesday. The previous week he did not have a runner dip below 1.5 in-running.

With that in mind his previously progressive Mutadaffeq may have a little in hand on his early season form that resulted in two good victories in the Ladies Love Guys in Ties Handicap at Pontefract.

Since the four-year-old left the winner’s enclosure at the West Yorkshire venue in May nothing has gone right.

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He put in an inexplicable performance at Ayr in June when O’Meara’s stable form started to go sour. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong at Ascot 11 days ago, where the ground was unsuitably soft. Unfortunately for O'Meara, bad luck has struck again.

Pontefract was hit by sustained overnight rain and passed a morning inspection at 6.30am with the going now soft, heavy in places.

As a result, Icefall won three times last season and once over course and distance and looks best-placed to take advantage of the conditions. The admirable Senmockian Star should go well but ultimately has never won on soft ground in ten attempts.

Geoffrey Riddle's Wednesday tips: (Prices correct on Wednesday 8am)

2.00 Bath: Staffa each-way at 10-1 with Skybet

2.20 Brighton: Fenagh each-way at 12-1 with Bet365

3.40 Pontefract: Icefall at 11-2 with Skybet

A double with Skybet:

5.15 Yarmouth: Bartholomeu Dias at Evens

6.15 Yarmouth: Imphal at 11-8

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