TAKE a Tank into the battle with the bookies on Saturday.
AWESOMETANK is the one to be on in the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown (3.00).
She won a Listed race over course and distance on Eclipse Day, making almost all, a tactic that is well-suited to this track.
She is clearly improving, the runner-up has won since to give the form a solid look and in-form trainer Willie Haggas has had this race in mind for her since that last win.
Veracious has been put in as hot favourite and she boasts solid placed form at Group 1 level but the drop back to a mile from the 1m2f Nassau Stakes at Goodwood is a surprise and, for me, she is too short.
Laugh Aloud is the other major player on ratings but she has been off since the 2017 Derby meeting and has yet to win first time out.
Too Darn Hot, well-named for this summer, made an eye-catching winning debut over a mile at Sandown earlier this month and looks set to go off favourite for the furlong-shorter Group 3 Solario Stakes (3.35).
He quickened up well to win by seven lengths but the time was nothing special and the form of the five-runner race is modest.
As a full-brother to the same owner’s top-class So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, Too Darn Hot may prove too darn good for his rivals but he will find this a much stiffer test and CONFIDING looks a better value bet.
He was third, just behind Dunkerron, in the bang up-to-standard Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood after taking time to get organised on that tricky track on just his third start.
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Confiding’s Newbury debut win could hardly have worked out better with the second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth ALL winning next time out and, with in-form Oisin Murphy taking the ride, he looks sure to go close.
Alan King’s Dunkerron should go well again but he has had plenty of runs and probably has less improvement in him.
LAKE VOLTA can make a big splash for record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston in the 2.05 at Chester.
He was an excellent third behind Flaming Spear and Cape Byron in a top-class 7f handicap at Goodwood last week and will be hard to beat on that form in this slightly easier company.
The Betting Spy’s top tips for Saturday
2.05 Chester – Lake Volta: ‘This is easier than his recent tasks’ (bet here)
2.45 Beverley – Final Venture: ‘Just pipped last time and can make amends’ (bet here)
3.00 Sandown – Awesometank: ‘Improving and her form looks solid’ (bet here)
3.35 Sandown – Confiding: ‘Ran a big race at Goodwood and is the value bet’ (bet here)
7.45 Chelmsford – Cenotaph: ‘The handicapper is yet to catch up with him’ (bet here)
The booking of Franny Norton, who rides the Roodee so well, and a handy draw in box two are two further pluses.
Johnston also saddles Poet’s Society, the horse who edged him past Richard Hannon’s score, but he had a very hard race at York and has a wide berth to contend with.
Baraweez has an excellent record at the track but has the car park draw in 12 which leaves him with a mountain to climb.
FINAL VENTURE can gun down his rivals in the Beverley Bullet (2.45). He was just pipped by the bang in-form El Astronaute at York last week in a red-hot handicap and rarely runs a bad race.
I spy an eyecatcher…
JASH made a very stylish debut at Newmarket last Saturday, winning a 6f novice event by more than four lengths with the next three home all having the benefit of previous experience.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt burst clear close home, rewarding those who had backed him into 15-8 favourite from an opening 3-1 and clocking a very decent time for a newcomer.
He has always been highly regarded by trainer Simon Crisford, who is clearly a trainer on the up.
Century Dream, the winner of Epsom’s Group 3 Diomed Stakes on Derby Day is probably the best horse Crisford has had so far.
Jash has the potential to be better and give him his first Group 1 winner. He is entered in the Middle Park which may come a bit soon but next June’s Commonwealth Cup is probably already on Crisford’s radar. Jash is one to follow.
He was second to Take Cover in this race last season when he was drawn wide and the winner came out of box two.
Low numbers have a big advantage on the sprint course here and Final Venture has bagged five this time with last year’s hero, now an 11-year-old, out in nine.
That could make all the difference, especially as the lowest four stalls are occupied by outsiders. Final Venture will hopefully be able to grab the far rail and, if he does, will be very hard to pass.
Finally, a selection in the most valuable race of the day, which is not at Sandown or Chester.
It is not at any of the afternoon meetings but at Chelmsford, who continue to put up fantastic prize money and have been rewarded with a top-class field for the £100,000 Chelmsford City Cup Handicap at 7.45 in which CENOTAPH can grab the lion’s share of the pot.
Jeremy Noseda has achieved what many would think impossible with this six-year-old, he has improved a horse out of Aidan O’Brien’s stable!
The gelding has bolted up in two 6f handicaps at the Essex track and is proven at tonight’s longer trip.
The handicapper has not caught up with him yet and Ryan Moore takes the ride. This is ultra-competitive but Cenotaph could prove a cut above his rivals.