20 Oct 2018

Qipco British Champion Sprint Stakes (Group 1)

Champions day delivers a feast of top class racing and some excellent betting opportunities when the weather obliges with seasonal soft ground, offering something for horses that like cut, held back in mid-summer - this year more than ever.

I have pin-pointed 4 cracking bets for Champions Day on the ENIGMA forum, and will pass on one of them free here through the Pro Tips Blog.

The Sprint Stakes look a good betting race, many of the layers are offering EW terms to 4 places and talented handicappers at big prices do occasionally make it into the frame - Growl for instance was 2nd in 2016 at 50/1.

The key to this years' race is the soft going. Ascot is a stiff track and 6fl at Championship pace on soft causes plenty to run out of stamina. Horses advantaged in this race like cut, but also stay particularly well with a winning record at 7fl+, with strong Ascot form a plus.

Bacchus hugely meets this criteria. He won the Wokingham this summer from a mark of 105, needing every yard of 6fl on faster ground. He is 2 wins from 2 on soft and goes particularly well fresh, winning twice after a break.

Crucially, he's never had the benefit of both before and he gets that today - freshened up with a break of 2.5 months. He's won twice over 7fl and William Buick is booked to do the steering. 50/1 looks a crazy price.

2.00 Ascot, Bacchus 0.75pt EW, 50/1 Lads, BV, 4x1/5

To get today's other 3 selections you'll need to become an ENIGMA member for access to the Key Racing Gold thread


13 Oct 2018

Dubai Cesarewitch Stakes (Heritage Handicap)

Today it’s the Cesarewitch, the race named after Tsar Alexander II, that starts in Cambridgeshire and ends in Suffolk.

It’s also a race tailor-made for each way players, with firms offering up to 8 places.
Generous each way concessions are a gold mine in big field handicaps. The question is how to spot real each way value?

For this race the criteria I recommend is class related: focus on horses who have previously run in any sort of Grade / Group 1 or 2 race. Then look for a good prep - a top 6 finish last time out.

The final (crucial) step is to consider the the quality of track / meeting where that prep run took place.

The No. 1 track for feeding in-form qualifiers into the Cesarewitch is Doncaster, which offers prep options via the Doncaster Cup and the Mallard. Since 1998, from 13 qualifiers Doncaster has delivered 6 in the frame, including 3 winners and First Mohican 2nd at 50/1.

So, while there are lots of other successful (albeit less successful) routes to the frame in this race, in the first instance, those running well via Doncaster are the first port of call.

In this year's Mallard, Speedo Boy travelled all over the field under Ryan Moore. He didn't have the clearest run but finished close up and full of running, shaping like the best handicapped horse in the race. He’s the right type and Ian Williams excels with his flat stayers. A high draw doesn't help his win prospects, but he's a hold up horse anyway and 28/1 to 8 places with Hills looks a gift.

In the same Doncaster race, Cliffs Of Dover shaped like a thorough stayer with untapped potential. Outpaced and under pressure from a long way out, he rattled home and looks ripe to excel for this step up. This is a horse who was a juvenile Grade 2 hurdle winner and is still only 5yo.

Nicely drawn, an in-form improver with a very low weight, even before Miss Nicholls' 5lb claim. 33/1 to 7 places with Paddy, looks huge.

3.40 Newmarket, Speedo Boy 1pt EW 28/1, 8x1/5 Hills
3.40 Newmarket, Cliffs Of Dover 1pt EW 33/1, 7x1/5 Paddy Power

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at:

** Feedback: Speedo Boy duly placed for EW money, sturdy effort. Cliffs Of Dover's chance went up in smoke under bizarre ride...**

The Cesarewich starts in Cambridgeshire and ends on the Rowley Mile in Suffolk