Back to 1978 and Hot Chocolate for today’s headline presaging a veritable plethora of televised action from three Grade 1 tracks.
Haydock, Goodwood and York are the venues in question and we feel duty bound to point out that not all our selections will be winners – we ain’t that good.
Let’s begin with the 1.25 at Haydock, the Cazoo Florida Handicap, in which our selection is Gustav Holst, trained by Richard Hannon.
Not much has gone right in this 4-y-o’s four runs this term, but on some of its form from last year it has a great chance on the book. With Popeye up top, this is our first bet at 8-1.
Next up is the Cazoo Hell Nook handicap at 2.00, a 2 miler which, we hope, is at the mercy of Valley Forge.
Andrew Balding‘s charge did us a big favour when taking the Melrose at York as a 3-y-o and made a really promising reappearance when staying on into fifth at Newmarket over 14 furlongs. First try at 2 miles this afternoon should see it on the score-sheet at 9-2.
Another handicap at 2.35, the valuable Cazoo Silver Bowl has Might Ulysses installed as 6-4 fav and John Gosden‘s runner could be better than a mere handicapper and, with the Belgian Bullet taking off a very valuable five lbs, we suggest a win bet.
Having a quick lurk at the bottom of the handicap is the Irish challenger Mister Wilson, which is just a pound higher than when chasing home a subsequent Group 3 winner at Naas at the end of March and has an improving Claimer taking off half a stone. Prudence behoves we cover on this one.
The Group 2 Cazoo Sandy Lane Stakes at 3.10 has the admirably consistent Go Bears Go at the head of the market at 2-1 but Clive Cox saddles two which both have form with the fav which suggest that this is not cut and dried.
Caturra and Wings Of War are the two beasties concerned and we recommend each way bets on both at 8-1 and 18-1 respectively.
The Group 2 Cazoo Temple Stakes at 3.45 completes the hand from Haddock and Winter Power is a somewhat skinny 9-4 despite not having a run for 230 days. Tim Easterby‘s horse could outclass this field but, at the prices, we put up Existent (10-1) and White Lavender (25-1) as plausible alternatives.
Moving on to Goodwood, the first of the two races covered is the William Hill Harroways Handicap at 1.45, which has a field of 10 and is wide open.
We give a good chance to Our Hayley‘s ride, War In Heaven, another from the Andrew Balding operation, after its excellent second in a similar event at Ascot. Off the same mark this afternoon, 8-1 looks attractive.
The William Hill Festival Stakes at 2.15 is the other TV race, won last year by the then 8-y-o Stormy Antarctic, who returns for another crack.
However, we like the chances of Ad Infinitum, already a CD winner and fresh from a 4th of 15 in a Newmarket Group 3 last October. Rely on Frank to produce a bit of magic at 10-1.
And finally to York, starting with the William Hill Handicap at 2.55, the only big field sprint we have to have a go at, thank goodness.
We give another chance to Alligator Alley, which made the frame here nine days ago and can run off a slightly lower mark today. At 5-1 we can just squeeze an each way bash, which we also suggest for the unlucky in running Jawaal from the same race.
Last but possibly not least is the Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes at 3.30, which we think will be won by Silence Please, yet another Andrew Balding representative. (Please Mr Balding have a good day)
Having its first run since coming from Ireland, SP ran much better than its 3rd place finish at Goodwood would suggest, having been very badly hampered a furlong from home and, with today’s step up in trip more in keeping with its past exploits, we recommend a win bet at 3-1.
Here endeth the tipping.
Gustav Holst 1.25 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Valley Forge 2.00 Haydock 2pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)
Mighty Ulysses 2.35 Haydock 3pts win @ 6-4
Mister Wilson 2.35 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 5-1
Caturra 3.10 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Wings Of War 3.10 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 18-1 (4 places)
Existent 3.45 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places)
White Lavender 3.45 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 25-1 (4 places)
War In Heaven 1.45 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Ad Infinitum 2.15 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places Hills/Skybet)
Alligator Alley 2.55 York 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (5 places)
Jawaal 2.55 York 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (5 places)
Silence Please 3.30 York 3pts win @ 3-1