Australia Day a real fair dinkum each-way shot
LAST week, I suggested that a decent-sized bet on Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes would get punters off to a great start at Royal Ascot and so it proved -- but I must admit that my midweek bets thereafter were nothing to write home about and Tuesday's profit has now whittled itself away to a very small bundle of red-coloured notes.
We've still got one more day to go, however, so the few bob in profit I have left will be handed across the counter on top of a docket inscribed with Australia Day, for the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap Stakes (5.0).
With tomorrow being Father's Day, my better half has given me a dispensation from my usual Sunday family day out, so let's hope the selection performs well so I can have a much-needed afternoon in the local, as this weather would make any man fierce thirsty!
That said, the early price of 20/1 suggests that I, rather than the bookmakers, will be paying for my pints tomorrow, but every now and then you have to back your opinion, even if that opinion goes against the crowd.
His inflated price is probably down to a bad run at Epsom last time out when finishing third-last in a field of 13. I'm not quite sure if I can come up with any excuses for that performance other than it was his first race on the flat since September and his usual tactic of forcing the pace caught up with him in the end, with the weight burden kicking in when the going got tough.
He's treated a little better in the lead department today and it's worth noting that he's made the frame a number of times off higher marks than this.
The Epsom race is a worry but when you consider that he has placed in nearly half of his 29 career races to date, the each-way option is increasingly attractive.
It's a tricky one, however, with Imposing and Sweet Lightning likely to give him plenty of work to do, so don't go mad with your stakes if you are having a bet.
Later on at Lingfield, I quite fancy the Richard Hannon-trained Poppy Seed in the Bet US Golf Betdaq Maiden Stakes (6.20).
This Bold Edge filly has some speedy sorts in her family and she's been clocking some reasonable times since making her debut last season at Newbury.
She hit 1/4 in-running when second last-time-out and forced the odds-on favourite Strictly Dancing to dig deep -- so based on that form, it won't be long before she has her head in front crossing the line.
Timeform have her rated 6lbs clear of the field with potential for more to come and the early 'wrist' (5/4) won't last long if the morning money arrives at the offices for this one.
At Merseyside, it's worth taking an each-way chance on Master Macho in the Haydock Park Abacus Securities Maiden Auction Stakes (7.05). It's not the best race in the world for punting, with plenty of newcomers in the field, but the selection sets the standard and should be capable of losing that maiden tag sooner rather than later.
Connections are certainly trying to get their money's worth from their purchase and the two-year-old already has 10 career races under the belt since March.
They've yet to find themselves in the winner's enclosure but the colt has been placed seven times thus far and I'll be surprised if he's not in the money again today.
No doubt Barkston Ash and Mandy's Hero will put up a challenge, and who knows what the newcomers may have in store? But at 11/2 or thereabouts, Master Macho is over-priced.
3.05 Ascot -- Harbinger
5.0 Ascot -- Australia Day (each-way)
6.20 Lingfield -- Poppy Seed
7.05 Haydock -- Master Macho (each-way)