I’m going fishing today. No not by the lakeside, but I’m, throwing a few lines at the best 2 races of the day and hoping I can catch us a winner or 2.
It is a great day’s racing with competitive fields assembled at both Ascot and York and we need to keep our wits about us to find the winners. I could talk about and recommend bets in at least 8 races today, but that isn’t my modus operandi and so I’m sticking with what I know best – big field sprints.
At Ascot, the 3.15pm is the International Handicap over 7f. Now the rain on Friday may change the way this race goes, but there is no extra rain forecast and it should dry out before race time. I still believe that there is no track bias at Ascot, the problem is the jockeys sometimes do. They try to be over clever, over think things and make life hard for themselves instead of just riding the race where they are drawn. . There are very few examples of someone winning after switching from one side of the track to the other. And this is a problem for us. My 3 fancies for this race are drawn low to middle and I hope the jockeys make the right choice.
Pastoral Player is drawn in stall 1. I would rather be there than stuck up the middle. At the Royal meeting, he was again drawn low and found himself isolated in a small group of ten. He won the race on his side but was well behind the other group. He remains a well handicapped horse with plenty of ability and the capability of winning a race of this type. He just needs to be lucky.
Don’t Bother Me is in stall 3. I have a real liking for this horse and believe if things drop right for him, that there is a big race to be won with him. His run against Baccarat here shows he has plenty of quality and the trip is perfect. He was running in group races last year and clearly someone thinks highly of him.
Pacific Heights is drawn in 18 and could go to either side or run straight up the centre. He ran well at the Royal meeting over 1m before fading, the trainer wasn’t sure if he needed to step up in trip or down? Last time out they took him up to 10f where he again performed with credit before tiring. Clearly he doesn’t stay 10f. So now we are back to 7f, a trip he has won over and one that could prove to be his optimum.
Over at York, the Skybet Dash at 3.30pm is a fine renewal of a great 6f sprint.
I like 2 in this, Goldream and Picture Dealer. The former has been in great form this season and his Newmarket win stands out. He also has good course form after running 2nd on both his latest outings over the slightly shorter trip of 5f. In both of these races, he was first home from his part of the draw suggesting that with a better draw he would have won. He again finds himself out on the fringe in stall 18 and let’s just hope the action develops around him.
With Picture Dealer, it is more a leap of faith. The handicapper has relented with him recently and he is now down to a winnable mark. I just have an inkling that there is a big race in this horse when he gets everything right and as he has a good record here then today could be the day.
So there you have it, prep your hook, cast your line and join me whilst I’m going fishing.
Saturday 26th July – Best Bets
3.15 at Ascot
Pastoral Player – @ 20/1 with bet365
Don’t Bother Me – @ 22/1 with SkyBet
Pacific Heights – @ 50/1 with bet365
3.30 at York
Goldream – @ 12/1 with SkyBet
Picture Dealer – @ 25/1 with bet365