Raising Sand, my 10/1 NAP, delighted members with a gutsy victory in the Class 2 Heritage Handicap, the International Stakes at Ascot.
Raising Sand is a ground dependent horse who races best at Ascot and on Friday I told members any rainfall would be welcome. Here’s part of my detailed analysis for that big field race. Analysis that VG Tips subscribers had plenty of time to study before making their own decision about what to back on Saturday.
“For the past two years at least, no horse drawn in a single figure number stall has finished in the first five of this race. So being drawn high would appear to be an advantage in this big field handicap which is made up of 29 runners.
“Raising Sand tends to do well at Ascot. Drawn this day in stall 21, the Jamie Osborne trained gelding has finished fourth and third in Class 2 handicaps at this track since May. The 2 length finish behind Afaak last time out is a good piece of form. Previously, Raising Sand was fourth in the big field Class 2 Victoria Cup Handicap at this course. In front in third was the re-opposing Kaeso (which is worse off at the handicap this time around, but drawn high) and a length behind Raising Sand was the experienced Ripp Orf (which is drawn high and is slightly better off at the handicap this time compared to Raising Sand).
“The only potential negative about Raising Sand for me this day revolves around the ground conditions. On Good to Firm, I could not back Raising Sand. His best form has been on ground with some cut in it following rainfall. Were this race taking place on Friday, I would swerve Raising Sand. But, according to the Met Office, rain is expected at Ascot racecourse throughout Saturday. If the rain gets into the ground before this race starts, I’b be very keen on Raising Sand. Especially if the conditions come 3pm has the word ‘soft’ in the description of the official going.”
Come the day, the official going was Good to Soft and, it’s worth noting, that Kaeso – mentioned in that analysis – was second! It was not the only close fought finish to a race at Ascot.
The highlight of the day was the race to the line between Enable and Crystal Ocean in the feature race of the day, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. I remained loyal to the amazing Enable which was a value winner, even at 8/15, for those who are content to back horses priced odds on. Enable wasn’t the only John Gosden trained winner for members on Saturday. Litigious came past the post at Chester at SP odds of 4/6.
As always, I try to offer something for all punting tastes. Those who simply like to win on horses, no matter if the selection is odds on and those who, like me, prefer to chance their arm with something at a bigger price. Such as Raising Sand. I love to try and find a profitable bet in a large field Class 2 handicap.
Louis is a member of VG Tips who was otherwise engaged on Saturday but tweeted me after racing to say…
Top man! @ 9/1 on Raising Sand! Didn’t get to see the races today as working on the car but great to login to that beauty! Thanks Vern!