The Oddsguru fancies Andrew Balding's 4yo Duretto to run a bold race on Saturday.

Old Newton Cup Handicap Racing Tips

bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap 1m4f Haydock Saturday – the Old Newton Handicap is well into its second century at the East Lancashire venue, and is one of the most competitive middle distance handicaps in the calendar. It invariably produces an exciting climax, not least last year, when the two Mark Johnston trained animals, Notarised and Watersmeet, fought out a thrilling finish. Having made most of the running on the good/soft surface the former prevailed by 1/2L. Both are entered again and as Maestro Johnston also trained the 2013 winner, Star Lahib, must be of serious interest.

The 5yo Notarised has had a busy time of it since his victory, running eleven times, but only getting his head in front on the one occasion, over two miles on the all weather. However he did put up a decent effort off a mark of 101 at Goodwood in May over 1m6f on his reappearance, when, racing from his preferred position at the head of the field, he only gave best in the last 100yds to the useful Kinema and Monotype, both of whom franked the form next time out. He has disappointed in his next two runs but excuses can be made. He missed the break and had no chance of getting to the front at Royal Ascot, and last week didn’t get home over the 16 1/2f of the “Pitmen’s Derby”. He is only 4lbs higher than last year and back to 12f, if able to assume his leading role, this tough customer will be hard to pass.

Last year the Oddsguru tipped Pressure Point to win the Old Newton Cup.

Stable mate Watersmeet is 6lbs better off for that 1/2L beating in last year’s renewal, and ran really well last time, finishing second off a mark of 98 in a Newmarket handicap seven weeks ago. Only 1lb higher on Saturday he looks quite well treated but with all this rain about may not be best suited by conditions.

One who won’t be inconvenienced by soft ground is (pictured) Andrew Balding’s 4yo Duretto. He ran a sound race on his reappearance at Ascot in May (12f Gd/fm) where he failed by 1 1/4L to give Saturday’s favourite, King Bolete 2lbs. He was sent off favourite next time for an Epsom handicap off a mark of 94, but losing a shoe could only finish fifth. A winner on soft ground over Ascot’s stiff 12f last July, conditions should hold no fears, so, meeting King Bolete on 6lbs better for that 1 1/4L, with conditions to suit and with a nice racing weight of 8st 11lbs on his back must have a great chance.

King Bolete himself looks a pretty progressive animal, winning tidily over course and distance last time off a mark of 94, 14lbs higher than for his first handicap win at Newbury fourteen months ago. He races off a 6lbs higher mark on Saturday, but with the weather in monsoon mode, a bigger concern would be the likely ground conditions. He did win a maiden on soft ground as a two year old but performing so well on a fast surface, there must be doubts about his ability to handle really testing conditions.

Roger Varian’s other contender, the 5yo entire by Galileo, Battersea, finished a well beaten 8th in last years renewal off a mark of 99 and tries again off a mark of 104. Campaigned in Dubai over the winter he put up some pretty decent performances, winning a handicap (1m6f good) off a mark of 98, and finishing 4th in a Group3 last time. His stamina will undoubtedly be a bonus at the weekend, but he is unproven on soft and with the steadier of 9st7lbs on his back, looks up against it.

Following an injury the Paul Webber trained 5yo Gwafa hasn’t raced on the flat for 21 months, but showed he was fully restored to health when winning the highly competitive Swinton Hurdle over the course at the beginning of May when a strongly backed 6/1 shot. In his last race on the flat in September 2014, he got to within 1 1/2L of Battersea and meets him on 9lbs better terms at the weekend. If indeed back to his best, as is strongly suggested by that blinding performance in the Swinton, he does look well handicapped. Will he handle the ground? Well he has won on “Winter” ground when winning on soft at Fakenham and Gd/Sft at Huntingdon so the omens look good.

David Simcock runs his 4yo, Desert Encounter, and this lightly raced son of Halling looks very interesting. Having raced only seven times he has won the last four. He is the type who only does the bare minimum in his races, making it extremely difficult for the handicapper to get hold of him. He has won over 14f at Newmarket, and has won twice on soft ground, so neither stamina nor the likely going should present problems. He won seven days ago on soft ground of a mark of 91 and it will come as no surprise if he finishes the season racing off a considerably higher mark. Certainly Saturday’s 96 looks “doable” and is one for the shortlist.

Selection: Duretto

E.W. : Desert Encounter (if abs. Gwafa)

Irish Derby Betting Tips 2016

Irish Derby Betting Tips Gp1 1m4f Curragh Saturday – Last week’s selection, Magical Memory, gave us a good run for our money when finishing fourth, 1/2L behind the winner in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. He lost ground at the start and despite making eye catching progress in the middle of the contest couldn’t quite get there. Dettori reported him unsuited by the softish ground, so given faster conditions at Headquarters next month he’s definitely one to bear in mind for The July Cup. Oddsguru’s E.W. Selection, Gold-Fun, also put in a fine display, finishing second at 7/1 as he also was unsuited by conditions.

Conditions in Ireland for the 160th renewal of the Irish Derby should be on the easy side as there has been plenty of rain about, putting a strong emphasis on stamina. Aidan O’Brien, who amazingly has won eleven of the last twenty runnings, is likely to be four handed. As well as the Epsom Derby runner up, US Army Ranger, and third, Idaho, he also fields the two Epsom “also rans” Port Douglas and Shogun.

The eagerly awaited rematch between US Army Ranger and his Epsom conquerer Harzand may be in some doubt, as the latter’s handler, Dermot Weld, fears that his Epsom hero may not be sufficiently recovered from the hard race he had. Also having sustained that injury to his hoof on Derby Day he had to have recourse to antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection, further adding to Dermots concerns. On a more positive note he feels that the horses condition has improved in recent days, with any weight loss regained, and is now working well, so hopefully he will turn up at the weekend.

He will certainly have to be at his best to confirm the Epsom form over US Army Ranger who despite three previous runs did show real signs of inexperience on the Surrey helter skelter. Slowly away he raced in the final trio and was actually last of the sixteen runners turning into the straight. He couldn’t get a run at the 3f marker and had to be switched right with 2f to go where he made impressive ground to get to Harzand but started to hang left down that infamous sloping finish and was beaten 1 1/2L. With the experience gained at Epsom and racing on the Curragh’s expansive level galloping track the O’Brien Colt is going to be a tough nut to crack.

This is no two horse race however as the O’Brien “second string” Idaho has plenty to recommend him. He ran a fine race on his seasonal debut at Leopardstown in April, where despite getting very upset in the stalls, he got to within 1 1/4L of Harzand who had the benefit of a previous outing. The third horse that day, Beacon Rock was a further 7 1/2L back, and as he went on to win the Gallinule stakes and finish second in the King Edward V11 stakes at Royal Ascot last week the form looks pretty impressive. Idaho ran another good race next time in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, where, given plenty to do he ran on well to finish third over an inadequate 1m2f. He doesn’t have a great deal to find with the two principles and it would come as no great surprise to see the son of Galileo involved at the business end at the weekend.

The beautifully bred Moonlight Magic was a huge disappointment at Epsom, trailing in last of the sixteen runners, but I do recall stable jockey Kevin Manning suggesting prior to Epsom that the Colt would be better suited by the Curragh. He had won his previous race, “The Derrinstown” in real battling style from Shogun and Idaho which elicited the comment from Jim Bolger that he was “comparable to his previous winner of the Derrinstown, and 1992 Irish Derby hero, St Jovite at this stage of his career” so we can only believe that the Epsom run was too bad to be true. His excellent trainer has won the Irish  Derby twice, so the son of Cape Cross, whose dam Melikah is a daughter of the 1995 Derby winner Lammtara and is herself out of the brood mare celebrity, Urban Sea, (dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars) is hard to ignore.

Selection : US Army Ranger

E.W. Idaho.

Diamond Jubilee Stakes Betting Tips

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes 6f Group 1 Royal Ascot Saturday – What a good ride Adam Kirby gave Oddsguru’s selection, Profitable, in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes. Always travelling supremely well within himself, the 4/1 winner was the last to come off the bridle. However Adam had to get down to some serious riding inside the final furlong as the son of Invincible Spirit had to battle hard in the testing conditions. A tearful Kirby was hugely complimentary about the horse afterwards and he could well end the season as champion sprinter. The performance of the 33/1 runner up, Cotai Glory, must have come as a pleasant surprise to trainer Charlie Hills who always thought the horse needed fast conditions, and will surely have boosted his confidence that another of his top sprinters, Magical Memory will get his head in front where it matters in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

The 4yo gelding by Zebedee has won won six of his fifteen starts and has shown a most progressive profile. He won his first handicap (May 2015) off a mark of 87 and three months later saw him winning a very competitive Goodwood affair off 102. Thrown in at the deep end the following month, he ran a great race in a Group 1 at Haydock. Starting at 14/1 he belied those odds when finishing third, beaten a short head and three quarters of a length by Twilight Son and stablemate, Strath Burn. Put away for the season he made a winning reappearance in a Group 3 at Headquarters with Dettori in the plate (Gd/Sft) in April, and followed up in a Group 2 at York twenty five days later. He had his Haydock conquerer, Twilight Son, 4 1/2L back in fifth and if we can believe the form, the Hills horse has taken a major step forward over the Winter. Magical Memory can handle most conditions and with Frankie again taking the ride he looks a worthy favourite.

James Fanshawe runs his 4yo gelding, The Tin Man, and is another who has made serious progress from the ranks of handicap sprinters. Rated only 79 last July, he hosed up in a course and distance handicap off a mark of 91 in October and connections were so impressed they supplemented him for the Group1 Champions Sprint fifteen days later. They retrieved their late entry fee when he finished fourth, 3 3/4L behind the impressive winner Mukaarar. Twilight Son was 1 3/4L in front of him in second and The Tin Man does seem to have it all to do to reverse the form. However it’s worth noting that this very lightly raced animal is a half brother, (by Compton Place) to his trainers Wokingham, and Group1 Champions sprint winner (2011) Deacon Blues, and we are very unlikely to have seen the best of him yet. There was certainly plenty to like about his reappearance win at Windsor twenty four days ago when he had Strath Burn three lengths back in fourth.

Last year’s winner, the US trained 6yo gelding, Undrafted, has had a very quiet twelve months since his victory, and has clearly been trained with a repeat on the Royal stage in mind. On only his third outing since Ascot he showed his wellbeing when taking a Grade2 at Keenland (April 9th) but the concern for him must surely be the ground as all his turf victories have been gained when the word firm has been in the going description. Unless there is a dramatic improvement in conditions at the Berkshire venue he is hard to fancy.

Already a Group 1 winner, and in view of his fine second over course and distance in last years Champions Sprint, Henry Candy’s 4yo son of Kyllachy, Twilight Son has to enter calculations. His reappearance run behind Magical Memory in that Group2 at York was perfectly respectable, but the fact remains that he has 4 1/2L to find on the winner, so perhaps the Candy yard has a better chance with their other 4yo, Limato. Always held in very high regard, he was sent off the 3/1 favourite for the 1m Group1 Lockinge Stakes in May but didn’t seem to get home. He did win a slowly run Group2 7f race at Doncaster but it’s worth remembering that five of his six victories have been achieved over 6f, (including a course and distance win), so the drop back in trip may well suit. If the ground improves to good by the weekend he would be worth considering.

The prize money in Hong Kong must be phenomenal because the 7yo ex Irish gelding Gold-Fun has managed to accumulate the eye watering sum of £3,721,460 in prize money, despite never winning at the top level. However he has put in plenty of good performances in Group1s, including last time, (May 6) when finishing fourth. Trained in Ireland until 2012 where he won a maiden over the stiff mile at Naas, he may be well suited by Ascot’s testing uphill straight 6f and a reproduction of his close second, (beaten 1/2l) in a Sha-Tin Group 1 last December would make him interesting.

Selection:    Magical Memory

E.W.    :   Gold-Fun

King’s Stand Stakes Betting Tips

King’s Stand Stakes Betting Tips Gp1 5f Royal Ascot Tuesday Last week’s selection, US Army Ranger gave us a good run for our money, but after a sluggish start, which left him out the back for most of the race, he had it all to do. Left with a mountain to climb three furlongs out, he didn’t get the clearest of runs and had to be switched widest of all. He picked up well and looked a possible winner, getting to within a neck of Harzand, but couldn’t go past. However he is still a pretty inexperienced animal and should have learned a lot. The Irish Derby promises to be an intriguing contest!

Intriguing is also the word to describe next Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal Meeting, with the bookmakers going 7/1 the field at the time of writing. Since it regained it’s Group1 status in 2008, Robert Cowell has led up the winner twice, with Prohibit in 2011, and last year with Goldream. Cowell’s 7yo won at the tasty odds of 20/1 but having added the Prix de L’Abbaye to his C.V. since, such a generous price won’t be available on Tuesday. His win last year was preceded by a lacklustre seventh behind Pearl Secret in the Temple Stakes at Haydock, and his latest run this year, 9th at Meydan in March, wasn’t exactly inspiring. However his talented trainer certainly knows the time of day with his sprinters, and it wouldn’t come as a great surprise to see him become the first to train three winners of the contest.

William Haggas’s 6yo Muthmir, finished in front of Goldream twice in 2014, but has had the worst of the argument in recent exchanges. He was beaten fair and square by the Cowell horse in the Prix de Labbaye, but it was his run behind Goldream in last years renewal of the King’s Stand that offers hope of reversing the form. Taking a fierce hold, he ran the first half of the contest with no cover and with the choke out. As he was only beaten in a blanket finish you would have to be hopeful of him going even closer this year. He has only had his preferred good/firm surface to race on once since, a Group2 at Goodwood, a race he duly won. Given similar conditions on Tuesday he should be involved at the business end.

Clive Cox’s 4yo colt Profitable did Oddsguru a favour when winning the Group2 Temple Stakes at the rewarding odds of 8/1 from Mecca’s Angel and Waady (May 21st Gd/Sft). Twenty one days prior to that he had won the Gp3 Palace House Stakes from Jungle Cat and Waady on similar ground. However as wins at Sandown Gd/Fm, and York Gd show, he doesn’t need to get his toe in and looks a very progressive sprinter who is well suited by a stiff 5f. By that hugely prolific stallion, Invincible Spirit, out of an Indian Ridge mare, a Group1 victory on Tuesday would make him a very attractive addition to the list of sprinting stallions on his retirement, One for the shortlist!

One who does need to hear his hooves rattle is Charlie Hill’s 4yo colt Cotai Glory, and is another who looks progressive. He improved from his first run of the season when finishing second on Gd/Fm behind Take Cover in a listed race at Haydock. A winner of the Group3 Molecombe stakes at Goodwood on fast ground as a 2yo, this Colt by that good sire of sprinters, Exceed and Excell, is going the right way, and given his conditions could cause a surprise.

The 3yo American filly, Acapulco showed blinding speed when winning last years Queen Mary Stakes, and put in another fine performance against older horses when finishing second in the Group1 Nunthorpe Stakes on unsuitably slow ground at York. She has continued her progress this year with two facile victories, albeit at a lower level, at Turfway Park in Febuary and at Churchill Downs in May. Older animals have dominated the last seven runnings of the King’s Stand, but the 3yo Equiano did win the inaugural running of the race as a Group1 contest in 2008, so Acaculpo’s age shouldn’t be a problem. Her talented Trainer Wesley A Ward certainly knows how to win at the Royal Meeting so expect to see this flying filly to the fore.

Karl Burke’s 3yo filly Quiet Reflection was sold as a 2yo for £44,000 and what a bargain she has proved to be. She has won five of her six starts, including two Group3s and a Group2. The one blot on her otherwise perfect CV came at York last August when she finished fifth in a contest where Easton Angel was 2 1/2L ahead of her in third. She showed that form all wrong next time at Ayr, when winning easily, she had Easton Angel nearly seven lengths back in fifth. Her Group2 win came last time out when impressively winning by 3 3/4L over 6f at Haydock two weeks ago. Both runs this year have been over 6f and there must be some doubt about the drop back in trip being ideal, but she is a very exciting filly with tremendous speed whom we haven’t seen the best of yet, and Ascots stiff track should suit.

Selection : Profitable

E.W.    : Quiet reflection.