The last weekend of September brought to a close thirty days of racing tips.
As long term followers of mine know by now, I relish the challenge of finding profit from big field Class 2 handicaps. For as long as I can remember, I enjoy getting my teeth stuck into such competitive races. Some people run in the opposite direction, preferring only small field races and short priced favourites. Not me.
30 horses went to post for the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket, the finish of which is photographed above. The day before the race, I took more than six hours to study the form for that one race. The contenders race history along with important factors such as which stall they were drawn in and the odds on offer in the betting market.
I alerted subscribers to VG Tips that horses drawn in stalls baring a double figure number have dominated in the finish of this race in recent years. The higher the stall number, the better.
Personally speaking, I am always happy to back three horses each way in such a wide open race for which some nice prices are on offer. First I told them that Lord North was ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by John Gosden, a pairing who were in the winners’ enclosure for this very race twelve months earlier. On Friday I alerted followers to the 9/1 on offer in the betting market and I took that price.
For a bigger price choice I had to decide between two past winners for us, Jazeel and Beringer. The last named was widely available at odds of 20/1.
Here’s what I told members of VG Tips on Friday:-
“This time, as the pair meet again here, Beringer and Jazeel race from level weights. And that is before you take into account the 5 pounds taken off in the saddle by the claiming jockey, Thore Hammer Hansen. He’s in good form right now and has a respectable return when riding for the trainer of Beringer, Alan King. That 5 pound claim by the jockey effectively means Beringer races from his lowest handicap mark since June of 2018. He’s won from a higher mark. Beringer has been in and out of form but finishes in the first 5 much more often than not. The four year old gelding is drawn this day in stall 15. Beringer carries only 9 stone. He carried 9 stone 5 to victory in a one mile Class 2 handicap at Newmarket last April. The runner up that day has won two races subsequently.”
That talented young jockey had Beringer racing for home and the gelding was three lengths in front of the chasing pack with only a furlong to go. It was an enterprising ride and I thought I would be landing a 20/1 winner. But then came Frankie and the rather handsome LORD NORTH (pictured below) racing along the rail and, with ease, Lord North caught Beringer and won by three quarters of a length.
So, not for the first time this season, I tipped the first two horses home in a large field race.
There was no shame in Beringer losing to Lord North. The latter had all the appearance of a future Group class horse racing in a handicap. Beringer, meanwhile, will in future race over jumps. Watch out for Lord North. I’m not a fan of all weather racing but John Gosden is likely to enter Lord North in the Winter Derby on the artificial surface at Lingfield.
My third each way choice in the Cambridgeshire was Fifth Position, a horse whose previous worse finish was fifth. In a race for which bookies were offering returns about the first 7 or 8 horses past the post, I suggested members use the latter if possible. Fifth Position finished in 8th, so ensuring that those members who backed all three selections each way with SkyBet got returns on all three. That’s what I call a result!
There was further each way profit on Saturday when the gallant Golden Horde, a 20/1 each way tip to members, was beaten only a neck by Earthlight in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes. A superb effort by the Clive Cox trained Golden Horde, one of several horses that has made me and VG Tips subscribers plenty of profit this season, including when winning a Group 2 race at Goodwood in August.
It’s always a confidence booster to begin a busy day of racing with a winner and my Evens NAP called LAMPANG won for us at Ripon.
What else did I learn from Saturday’s racing? Mums Tipple isn’t up to Group 1 standard, At least not yet. But that’s fair enough. It’s early days for our former 11 length winner.
Earthlight is good and may be a worthy challenger to Pinatubo, my 10/1 ante-post, each way bet to win the 2000 Guineas in 2020. On a line of form thus far through an opponent they have each faced and beaten, Lope Y Fernandez, there’s not much between Pinatubo and Earthlight. It remains to be seen what the trainer of the latter, Andre Fabre, has planned.
On looks, however, I still fancy Pinatubo. It is always possible, of course, that Pinatubo doesn’t train on from the age of 2 to 3 but, right now, I’ve seen nothing racing this season to fear come Newmarket next spring. Ante-post betting is like playing the lottery and I place such bets rarely. But 10/1 about Pinatubo following his three and a quarter length win in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot was too good a price for me to ignore. He’s now 5/4 favourite for the race at the end of April.