After the drama of last weekend’s Classics today’s action is of a considerably lower grade, but there are decent punting opportunities for terrestrial TV viewers at Haydock and Newmarket.
Betway Dash Handicap
The ground is soft at the Merseyside track, which should suit ECCLESTON in the Betway Dash. He seems to have been running into form on his last couple of starts, and is a course and distance winner, which further boosts his claims. Hopefully he can reverse form with Snap Shots from their recent Ripon clash.
|Eccleston (ew)||2.55 Haydock||6/1||Stan James|
The first Group race on the card is the Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares, and Ajman Princess is the clear form pick. She may not like the ground, though, which makes Bateel the more appealing option of those at the head of the market.
However, we like two at bigger prices – RETURN ACE and CHINOISERIES. Both are lightly raced, but proven on the ground. They are also open to more improvement than most of these and their trainers do very well with similar types.
|Return Ace (ew)||3.30 Haydock||14/1||Stan James|
|Chinoiseries (ew)||3.30 Haydock||16/1||Bet365, Stan James|
John Of Gaunt Stakes
The John Of Gaunt Stakes is the other Group 3 and a case can be made for pretty much all eight runners.
Breton Rock is the form pick after his excellent third in the Lockinge, but he has a 5lbs penalty to carry and is short enough in the betting. The consistent JALLOTA looks better value. He ran well over a mile on his comeback recently and this drop in trip should suit. He also has form on soft ground.
At a big price it is also worth taking a punt on THAT IS THE SPIRIT. He is a course and distance winner who loves give underfoot. He has been in fine form this season and, with conditions to suit, is capable of bridging the gap that exists between him and his rivals on official ratings.
|Jallota (win)||4.05 Haydock||11/2||Bet365|
|That Is The Spirit (ew)||4.05 Haydock||20/1||Bet365|
John Sunley Memorial Handicap
The best betting heat at Newmarket is the John Sunley Memorial, where stamina will be key given the 1m 6f trip.
Here we like the Ian Williams pair of BYRON FLYER and BLUE RAMBLER. Williams remains one of the best dual purpose trainers around and he does well with his handicappers in this sort of race.
Byron Flyer was unlucky at Chester last time when he got no luck in running and he is lightly raced for a 6 year old and so open to more improvement.
Blue Rambler has run well in better races on recent starts and has a good record fresh. He wouldn’t mind some softening in the ground.
Finally, also have a few quid on ANGEL GABRIAL who is now on a very handy mark. He won the 2014 Northumberland Plate and will surely be back in the winner’s enclosure soon.
|Byron Flyer (ew)||3.40 Newmarket||12/1||Bet365|
|Blue Rambler (ew)||3.40 Newmarket||25/1||Bet365|
|Angel Gabrial (ew)||3.40 Newmarket||12/1||Bet365|