Today’s official going reports:
Cheltenham: Good, Good to Soft (in places)
Gowran Park: Good
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
In the opening 13:00 at Beverley, the last two winners of this contest have gone on to be rated 96 and 100, so it could be a race to follow. Trainer Michael Dodds has a 21% strike rate with two-year-olds at Beverley. He saddles Zuffolo 12.011/1, to who he gave a positive mention on Racing TV yesterday.
Trainer Mark Johnston is looking to win the 13:40 at Beverley for the third time in ten years with Cabinet Maker 5.04/1, and he has a 22% strike rate with three-year-olds at this venue.
At Beverley today, punters should keep in mind the draw bias. Runners are greatly benefitted from being drawn low in races from 5f to 7f. Races one and races four are where this will be more evident today.
Today’s feature race at Newmarket sees 2,000 Guineas’ favourite Native Trail 1.68/13 take to the turf in the 15:35 Craven Stakes. Last year’s top two-year-old will take on six rivals to put his classic claims on the line.
At Cheltenham in the 14:05, Stolen Silver 3.02/1 is eight pounds better off with Coole Cody 5.04/1 for their meeting at the Cheltenham Festival and gets his favoured good ground after seeing conditions go against him there. He looks very fairly handicapped.
In the 15:50 Kim Muir winner Chambard 4.57/2 will bid for back to back wins at the course and enhance Venetia Williams’ 19% strike rate at Cheltenham this season.
At Kempton at 18:40, Jamie Snowden has booked Kevin Brogan for the ride on Up For Parol 5.59/2, and the jockey has ridden one winner and one second from three rides (33%). Snowden is two for eight, 25% over hurdles in the last five seasons.
Dan Skelton has plenty of runners across the cards, but Harry Skelton goes to Southwell for four rides rather than Cheltenham or Kempton. He could be a jockey to keep on side today.
Horses for courses
This section highlights the best bets from horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks.
14:05 Cheltenham – Coole Cody – Has won here four times (31%)
14:15 Beverley – Piastrella – Has won here twice (100%)
15:50 Cheltenham – Storm Control – Has won here twice (50%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
18:40 Kempton – Fugitives Drift – Has won off 131 runs off 120
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Aidan O’Brien, who made the 278-mile journey to Newmarket with his sole runner Star Of India in the 15:35 Craven Stakes. O’Brien has never won this race.
Paul Nicholls’ hoping for 100% success at Cheltenham
Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has just the one runner on Wednesday but he has a good chance at a course he loves…
Read Pauls thoughts here.
Race of the day
We take a closer look at Cheltenham’s 16:25 Safran Handicap Hurdle, where Honeysuckle’s brother Last Royal makes his handicap debut and looks potentially very well treated on this step up to 3m.
Last Royal has improved with each start, particularly in the jumping department, which has cost him a race or two this season in Novice and Maiden’s. He put it all together in striking fashion at Wincanton on his latest outing and looks ready for a step up to 3m.
Today’s opening handicap mark of 122 could potentially see him very well treated with his form littered with reasons to think he could be worthy of a handicap mark in the mid 130s.
He is a striking individual and looks to have found a good opportunity against more exposed rivals. He should take a world of beating if turning up in similar fettle as his Wincanton demolition job.
Market support has come for former Stayers Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar. He has an inconsistent profile but likes it here at Cheltenham and drops into a handicap for the first time since 2020 off a workable mark.
He looks fairly treated, is the class act in the field and is the biggest danger to Last Royal if putting his best foot forward today. There’s a lot to like about him in these calmer waters.
Jesuitique can be easily forgiven a below-par performance at Sandown when fading quickly before the final flight if the wind operation has worked and he looks on a fair handicap mark on the balance of his form. He now needs to bounce back and would probably prefer softer ground but is no back number, and he has each-way possibilities here.
Big race verdict
This is a competitive race, but Last Royal arrives on a steep upward curve, is unexposed at this distance and has shown all the signs of a well-handicapped horse ahead of the assessor. He gets the vote ahead of Lisnagar Oscar, who is the clear second choice but may not have much in hand off this mark of 145.
Get Moore from Ryan
It’s a busier afternoon for Ryan Moore at Newmarket on Wednesday with six rides. He discusses which will benefit from the run and which could be involved at the finish…
Read Ryan’s thoughts here.
Jumby has Group 1 potential
In the 15:00 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket, Jumby 5.04/1 makes his return to action and left the impression that he could make up into a Group 1 performer after overcoming adversity when giving weight and a cosy beating to an upwardly mobile and progressive three-year-old here on his final start of the season.
Jumby did well to come from the rear of the field when denied a passage for much of the race over 7f here when scoring off a handicap mark of 104 to claim his second-course win. He has a liking for this track, having only found subsequent Group 1 winner Creative Force and Royal Ascot scorer Significantly too good on this card last year. Still, he again was denied a clear run and was worth a significant upgrade on that run.
He has done nothing but improve, and while his future may lie over 7f, today’s 6f will be no issue, and he has already proven to go well fresh. He is on a steep upward curve, and William Buick is two for two when partnering, and he is the one I want on side.
Final Word – One in the bank
Information gathering at the start of the flat season is so crucial for future winners down the line. We are already watching horses with the Royal Ascot in mind, and you must take out information from the race even when having a losing bet. At this time of year, don’t worry whether you have called the race wrong on the flat as long as you are taking something from the race for next time – I call it one in the bank.
Coming away from a race with “one in the bank” sometimes feels as good as being on a winner because you know you will shortly be reimbursed. I think too many people watch their own bet in a race and then never look at the race again. If you have a losing bet, re-watch the race to ensure that you are getting something out of it other than a loser.
There’s nothing that can replace race watching.
Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7