Yes, there is nothing like starting off with a bad pun, but today’s Preview is all about the Shergar Cup, which takes place at Ascot this afternoon.
We have had a good time in past years picking the Team winner and the Silver Saddle top jock, so we will cover those markets before having a look at some of the races.
Team Europe look the way to go as the first recommendation, as I’m sure they should be favourites but can be backed at 3-1. One of the attractions of these bets is that you are guaranteed an interest in every race, so from 1.05 onwards it’s a case of ‘Allez Les Bleus’.
Past results have shown that the winner of the Silver Saddle comes from the winning team more often than not and for this market we suggest an each way bet on Umberto Rispoli at 11-1. Over from Hong Kong for the jolly, Umberto is the youngest rider on view by quite a way and was precocious enough to be Italy’s Champion Apprentice before being enticed away by mega $. Trust me, the boy can ride a bit.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge Handicap at 2.15 is where our first bets are and don’t expect the Europeans to feature in this one. The favourite is the Neil Mulholland trained Niblawi, the mount of Emma-Jayne Wilson and available at 4-1. Having just the second run for this yard, Niblawi finished an excellent second over course and distance at the end of July and a repeat of that effort will see it home despite a 5lb hike in the rating. A win bet is advised.
Also in this race, have a small e/w on Great Hall at 14-1, for Fran Berry. Mickey Quinn’s 7-y-o won off a higher mark last year and has just been showing signs of returning to form.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic at 3.25 has Contango as the 5-2 favourite, but we feel that an each way bet on Hold Sway at 11-2 is very much the way to go. We gave Charlie Appleby’s runner as a pick in our Goodwood preview, the horse finishing 5th after an iffy ride by SDS. The fact that it turns out again, just nine days later, suggests that connections feel it should have done better, so we will see what the resurrected Hayley can do.
The closing race, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint, at 4.00 can go the way of Europe (Yippee!) in the form of the John Gosden trained Nobly Born. Without boring you with the technical details, Nobly Born is otherwise known as ‘The Best Bet Of The Day’ and should be royally thumped at the available 5-2.
Winning Team: Europe win @ 11-4 Betfred
Silver Saddle: Umberto Rispoli e/w @ 12-1 Coral
Niblawi 2.15 win @ 4-1 William Hill
Great Hall 2.15 small e/w @ 14-1 Paddy Power (4 places)
Hold Sway 3.25 e/w @ 11-2 Ladbrokes
Nobly Born 4.00 win @ 5-2 Betbright