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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - Saturday 19th October 2013

Fury at 14-1 can calm me at missing the Cheltenham action

Qipco Champions’ Day at Ascot is an opportunity to bask in the glory of flat racing.  Too much time has been wasted on debating and discussing the merits of the day.  Being pedantic I decided to get stuck into some stats this year. There are 21 individual winners of 36 Group Ones set to line up across the six races; an increase of individual and Group One winners from last year! 

Frankel was a horse of a lifetime and we were blessed to watch him race.  But celebrate the plethora of top-class equine heroes on show this year.  Saturday also boasts the winners of three Classics.  I know you’re about to say I should get out more!

In the betting ring the day lends itself to various intriguing scenarios. Take the Qipco Champion Stakes. Cirrus Des Aigles is around 5-4 on Friday and next comes Farhh at around 7-2 and Ruler Of The World at 8-1. Cirrus could easily become the focus of several marketing ploys, which will push out his price and if no money surfaces on-course for Farhh this leaves bookmakers with a horrid predicament.  Around 22% of their book will be wrongly-priced and some of that percentage should have been added to Cirrus Des Aigles, making him odds-on and the remainder going on Ruler Of The World & co. 

Talent heads the betting for the Fillies’ & Mares’ race, yet The Lark obliged for her supporters in the Park Hill and they’ll be out to reinvest.

Overseas raiders are not often the subject of massive gambles so unless Pricewise flags up Dalkala or Nymphea they could be definite value.  Personally I can’t forget the drift on Igugu at Newmarket at the Cambridgeshire meeting, 9-4 out to 5-1, and she still ran a stormer.  South African form suggests she tolerates soft so she is my selection. 

My selections for the day will be on display at Ascot on Saturday, alongside those who know much more than me so I hope the pen runs out before it gets to mine.  Much of Thursday and Friday had me torn between various picks for each race, for example Maarek or Viztoria in the Sprint?  I’ll do an exacta for sure.

I do like Maxios in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, especially after his recent emphatic romp in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.  But my big fancy of the day is Fury. I thought he ran exceptionally well in the Cambridgeshire when seventh.  He hadn’t run since Royal Ascot in June and yet still was competitive until a furlong out.  The apprentice cavalry charge is over seven furlongs, which is two furlongs less than the Cambridgeshire and Fury is adept at types of races.  I also thought Boots And Spurs would run another big race. 

It is impossible at times as you want to be in two places at once and despite the quality, prestige and grandeur of Ascot, a part of me yearns to be in Gloucestershire.

Having received my Racing Post Ten To Follow form for the jumps through the post on Thursday then watching Punchestown and First Lieutenant return to the course it gives notice to a change of codes is imminent!  

The ground is good at Cheltenham too, with selective watering!  Hopefully not too much, as I hope Balthazar King can make it three in a row in the Showcase Trophy.  The field sizes at Cheltenham are wonderful with three handicaps of over 16 runners, let’s hope no defections! The Nigel Twiston-Davies camp has a big weekend ahead, and I was heartened by Little Pop’s Uttoxeter win on Thursday so Oscar Magic appeals in the 2.00 Cheltenham.

Alan King could also enjoy a big day with Balder Succes at 5.00. He made a pleasing chase debut at Chepstow last Saturday and now steps back in trip.  A quick double looks on the cards.  Kumbeshwar was continuously pitched against Sprinter Sacre last season and he finally gets a chance to shine in 2.35 Cheltenham.

Gassin Golf’s run in the Old Borough Cup wasn’t the disaster it looked, as he improved upon it with his third at Chepstow.  He should be spot on now for the 3.10 Cheltenham.  My talkback will become interesting all afternoon as connections closely linked to Richard Lee and Victor Dartnall are colleagues of mine all through the year! 

Also don’t forget live on on Sunday is Rock On Ruby v The New One at Kempton! 


Tanya's Saturday tips:

3.45 Cheltenham: Balthazar King

4.45 Ascot: Fury at 14-1 with bet365


Tanya's Saturday Pointers:

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes:

Since 1990 six 2,000 Guineas winners have run in the QEII Stakes at Ascot, three have won, Frankel in 2011  George Washington in 2006 and Mark Of Esteem in 1996

Eight of the last ten winners of the QEII won at least one Group One in the season

The last five winners of the QEII aged four or older had all run at Royal Ascot

Five of the last ten favourites have won the QEII Stakes

All of the last ten winners of the QEII came from the top three in the betting

Estimate has won all three of her races at Ascot and is favourite for the Long Distance Cup

Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the 2.00 Cheltenham three times in the last ten years

Only two of the last ten winners of the 2.35 Cheltenham were over eight years old

Balthazar King is attempting his third straight win in the 3.45 Cheltenham

Philip Hobbs has won the 3.45 Cheltenham three times in the last six years

Gordon Elliott is two from two in the 4.25 Cheltenham

Nine of the last ten winners of the 3.05 Catterick came from the first three in the betting



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