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The Big Race Edge

Morning all,

There are two main positives and two negatives to ante post betting. The positives are you don’t have to be concerned about rule 4 deductions and the each-way terms can be in your favour if a race cuts up on final declarations.

As for the negatives. If your horse doesn’t run, you don’t get your money back. You don’t have the security of best odds guaranteed (BOG). You back a horse at 8/1 and it goes off 12/1 well you get paid out at the 8/1.

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The key to successful ante post betting in horse racing as in any sports is VALUE. There are still some great prices to be found by the intrepid ante post punter. So, the risks are there but you are rewarded with higher returns, if your horse wins.

Inside today’s column I will be looking ahead to the weekend’s action and introducing to you The Edge. Plus, there a Wednesday tip at the end of the main piece.

The Edge

Last week’s return to ante post tipping didn’t go as planned. Came From The Dark last Wednesday’s selection not ran abysmally but I had advised it at 8/1 and it was returned 12/1 on the day! The latter was more actually more galling than the former and of course defeats the premise of ante post betting.

Anyway, the disappointment of last week aside, today and for each Wednesday until the end of the flat season, Wednesday will be the home of ‘The Edge’. I will be taking on the likes of Tony Calvin (Betfair) and Matt Brocklebank (Sporting Life).

The Edge will be where I look at the big races that will take place at the weekend. The aim will be to produce a profit by finding overpriced horses in the big weekend races and big festivals. 

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It’s sure to be a rollercoaster ride over the next few months so buckle up, and let’s go.

Weekend Big Races

With the Epsom and of course Royal Ascot on the horizon. It’s fair to say this weekend is one of the quieter ones of the summer. There’s some decent fare with the best of the action at Haydock with the Listed Achilles Stakes (1:45) and two Group 3’s the Pinnacle Stakes (2:50) and the John Of Gaunt Stakes (3:30) the highlights of a seven race card.

The juveniles are the stars of the show at Beverley with the Hilary Needler Trophy (2:05) and bet365 Two-Year-Old Trophy (3:15). Prince Of Lir won the Two-Year-Old Trophy on his racecourse debut in 2016 before going onto win the Norfolk Stakes so there could be some Royal Ascot clues on offer.

The best of the action from Haydock, Beverley and Chester is live om ITV and the bookies have priced up most of the ITV races.

Haydock

The ground at Haydock is being described as goo. Looking at the weather forecast there seems to be a bit of rain around today. However, its mostly dry for the rest of the week so it shouldn’t ease too much.  

The Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes at 3:30 looks the most race on the Haydock card. Last year’s winner Kinross is a real 7f specialist, but he doesn’t have the benefit of a recent run this time around. He isn’t the ante post favourite though that honour goes to the William Haggas trained Aldaary. He won a Listed race over C&D on his seasonal return and looks up to this level, but it was soft ground last time and he may be better with more ease in the ground.

Haggas could also saddle Boosala and Tom Marquand is jocked up so he looks a likely runner. In the same colours as the favourite is Laneqash. He’s a smart performer at his best although he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. He’s been gelded over the winter and is lightly raced enough to take think we might not have seen the best of him. Good ground is a positive for the 4-year-old and he’s one I will be looking at closer to the race.

The 1m 4f Class 2 handicap (2:20) provides this week’s ante post selection.

The ante post favourite is another William Haggas trained horse in Mahrajaan who is capable of better as a 4-year-old. He could face several inform horses on his return to action though.

Forza Orta maintained his improvement when a 1 length 2nd of 11 at York last time and should be thereabouts. Contact won at Newmarket last time. He’s up 5lb for that success but is going the right way and remains on a competitive mark. Kelly’s Dino won the Old Newton Cup over C&D in 201. However, he hasn’t run for 720-days so will probably need the run.

David Probert has been booked for the Eve Johnson Houghton trained HMS President. The 5-year-old doesn’t have the best of win strike rates just 1 win from 19 starts on turf. He ran well when a 6 length fourth of 16 at Ascot last time. He’s frustrating but has plenty of ability and is on a good mark when all the cards fall right. The 12/1 available Coral & Ladbrokes looks good each way value.

Selection: HMS President – 12/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (both paying 3 places ¼ odds).

Wednesday Racing

It’s a busy Wednesday of racing with afternoon flat cards at Beverley & Hamilton and a jumps fixture at Newton Abbot. The action is completed with evening meetings at Ripon on the flat and Warwick and Wexford over jumps.

Thaki’s win at Newcastle yesterday evening broke a bit of losing run for the column. Once again, we saw jockey Ryan Sexton to good effect. He’s well worth his 5lb allowance that’s for sure.

Ryan Sexton has a fancied ride on Enderman in the final race on the Ripon card (8:30). However, I’m going against him here with Gullane One. The 7-year-old ran well when a 1 ¾ length 4th of 13 here (5f) 10-days ago.  The return to 6f will suit the previous C&D winner who looks nicely drawn in stall 12 and is 3lb below his last winning mark.

Earlier on the card Young Tiger can go close in the 5f handicap (6:25).  The 9-year-old finished one place in front of Gullane One last time. He wasn’t the best away that day and would have gone close if he had got off on level terms. He’s now a well handicapped horse and shouldn't be far away if he’s in the same form today.

Wednesday Selection:

Ripon

8:30 – Gullane One – 5/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes.

Good luck with your Wednesday bets.

John

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