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15 Jun 2019

Pavers Foundation Sprint Handicap (Class 2)

I’ve barely noticed the weather this week as I’ve been sifting through research ahead of Royal Ascot, but bobbed up to take a good look at this handicap, which is one I always enjoy as it has a history of landing excellent prices – 6 at double figures in the last 10 years, and 3 of those at 20/1+

The reason is simple, it’s a 3yo only race, wide open to improvers – whereas the market tends to run short of inspiration and overbet form in the book. While soft ground helps to keep Arab-owned hotpots away and maintain a nice open affair.

The fact that neither Moore or Doyle are riding for Haggas today suggests Victory Day is not necessarily a good thing. Doyle can do the weight and is riding for Haggas earlier on the card but appears to not have wanted it.

Moreover, Danny Tudhope surely had the choice of Victory Day and SECRET VENTURE and rides the latter (having ridden both last time out). I don’t lay horses by inclination, but if I did I’d be laying Victory Day.

Secret Venture was unsuited by the ground on reappearance and lost a shoe. He’s a lightly raced improver for a top northern sprint yard and should appreciate the conditions. He looks well drawn too, but more of that later.

Perhaps less obvious is another runner from the Kevin Ryan yard, YOUSINI. It’s worth watching his last run at Newmarket where he travelled into the race like a proper horse until flashing his tail and backing out. It’s a fine line with him – he really wants some juice but can cope with goodish ground if it’s loose on top (but didn’t that day.)

He’s by Siyouni and has always wanted some ease, but last summer that was impossible to find and by autumn he needed wind surgery, so was put away. We have a share in him via the ENIGMA Racing Syndicates, so we’re aware of all this. Finally, he has it all in place today. 

Yousini is in very good form at home and if he disappoints it will only be that his suspect wind has come to haunt him (which I don't think it will.) The yard think he’ll run a big race and I’m pretty hopeful too.

As regards draw, I looked back over the last 17 class 2 sprint handicaps run at York (ie since 2016), run on gd-sft or wetter, and every winner was drawn 1-11. Both the above are drawn low and looking at the stats that certainly doesn’t feel like a negative.

Royal Ascot

I will try and post the odd thing here during the Royal meeting – however if you’d like to follow me bet for bet (which historically is a productive thing to do), it's good moment to join the ENIGMA Forum, where you can subscribe to my Key Racing Gold thread to receive an email with each bet.

Good luck!

3.35 York, Secret Venture 1pt EW 14/1, 5x1/5
3.35 York, Yousini 1pt EW 33/1 5x1/5

** Secret Venture disappointing, Yousini 5th to collect excellent place money - Victory Day beaten for lay bettors (but only just!) **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM


The Knavesmire, Ascot of the North


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