Friday 23 February 2018

Saturday 24th Feb: Try Your Utmost To Grab The Winter Derby Cash

Saturday’s TV races this week present us with some canny betting opportunities at Kempton and Lingfield, the Winter Derby and a trio of Grade 2 races being the main highlights at the southern tracks.

Some potential Group race challengers for this summer’s turf races are on show at Lingfield at 3.15 where we have a potential 7/1 stunner.

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1.50 Kempton – THE UNIT

It’s a tad disappointing that the Pendil Novices’ Chase is a four-runner affair this year but that in itself gives us a betting opportunity.  Small races like this often provide a false odds-on favourite and can throw up a funny result and it’s easy to see that happening this weekend.

Favourite Cyrname and Alan King’s challenger The Unit are locked together on my ratings and so on the grounds of value alone the latter named rates a decent bet at around the 3/1 mark.  The other two should be fighting it out for the wooden spoon.

2.05 Lingfield – ENCORE D’OR

Sprint specialist Robert Cowell has booked Ryan Moore for the six-year-old Encore D’or who on the face of it hasn’t run well recently but it’s clear his stint in Dubai just didn’t suit him.

He improved plenty from last winter up to mid-summer and may yet come good again here at a handsome price from a low draw at the possible expense of the unlucky Royal Birth.  Watch out for money coming for Karijini though he really should have too much on his plate in this contest.

2.25 Kempton – BEAU GOSSE

Guillaume Macaire’s sole French raider to Kempton on Saturday has it well within his capabilities to win this Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle at the expense of likely odds-on favourite Redicean.

Although disappointing in a Grade 1 at Auteuil in November, his form before that is some way ahead of the admittedly improving jolly and there’s no way they are bringing him here just for the boat ride.  4/1 would be a tad generous if you can get it.

3.15 Lingfield – UTMOST

John Gosden’s charge admittedly got a soft lead in the trial for this, the Winter Derby, but in any event he won with ease and will show more now when pressed up in grade.  His trainer is a master at coaxing improvement from these middle-distance types and Utmost’s connections may even have bigger challenges earmarked for this season.

Likely types Autocratic and Khalidi shouldn’t be far away while Aiden O’Brien’s Clear Skies will be the one for money but for me the value lies in the hands of the very capable Rab Havlin.


Warren Greatrex and Sam Waley-Cohen team up again with this admirable and consistent type who is improving chase by chase and perhaps needs this test to show himself up to his best.  At the very least the 8yo is a cracking each-way prospect at odds of around 10/1 which he stood at with most major firms on Friday.

Acting Lass and Master Dee are likely to be big dangers but keeping Theatre Territory out of the first three altogether could be some task for this field and he appears to be tremendous value to run a place – perhaps even sneaking the win.


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