WHEN taking a two-runner maiden at odds of 1/66 on Tuesday, the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Positive Impact became the shortest-priced winner in Britain since Stand Guard won at 1/80 in 2014.
He won as easily as expected, and while we’ve no horses priced anywhere near that low today, I reckon a number of favourites have a great chance in some key races.
While none of my selections this afternoon are odds-on, it’s one of those days where I’m struggling to find a decent each-way outsider to back – but, of course, value can also be found at the short end of the market.
The main thing when betting is to only back horses which you feel are priced higher than they should be, and I was expecting French raider Vadeni to be shorter than the 6/4 available early doors for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown (3.35).
Supplemented earlier this week at a cost of £50,000, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt will race off 8st 13lbs as he gets an age allowance as a three-year-old alongside Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail, with the other four runners carrying 9st 9lbs.
That allowance gives Vadeni an edge, and he’s already proved he’s a top-class sort by winning the French Derby last time out at Chantilly under today’s jockey Christophe Soumillon.
He’s got more improving to do and I reckon he’ll see off Native Trail here, with Bay Bridge the biggest danger from the four-year-olds.
On the same card, I’m very keen on Sinjaari, which has been chalked up at 11/4 in the Coral Challenge Handicap (2.25) for Harry and Roger Charlton, with Kieran Shoemark set to take the reins.
At a quick glance, he’s probably not the obvious choice having gone two years and nine races without success, but his rating has dropped a couple of pounds this season, and he shaped well when fifth of 29 runners in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot last time off 1lb higher than today’s 105.
Charlton has found a good opportunity to get him back on track here, although he won’t have it all his own way as there are a few others with decent chances, including Checkandchallenge and Lion Tower.
The ground is predicted to be slightly soft at Haydock and that should suit Eshaada, which is expected to go off around 100/30 for the Group Two Fillies and Mares’ Lancashire Oaks (2.40).
Roger Varian’s four-year-old has a win to her credit on soft as a juvenile, and two other victories on similar ground, including a good-to-soft Group One at Ascot in October.
Her comeback race, a Group Three at Newbury back in May, was nothing to write home about and she finished fifth of the six runners – but along with carrying a penalty, she was taking on the male horses too and appeared a little rusty. I’m willing to overlook that effort and I think the 2/1 about the favourite here, Free Wind, is skinny since all his best form comes on better ground.
In the Bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap (3.15 Haydock), Gaassee should prove hard to beat around 6/4 for William Haggas and Cieren Fallon.
A son of Sea The Stars, he’s up 7lbs to 101 following a win in a York handicap back in May, but that was his fourth success in a row and he looks like he’s got more to come before the handicapper catches up.
Finally, Sea King gets the nod at 11/4 or thereabouts in the Bet365 Handicap (2.05 Haydock). Trained by Mark Prescott, this is another son of Sea The Stars and the three-year-old got the season off to the best possible start when winning a handicap at Doncaster back in April.
He’s been raised 9lbs to 92 for today, making him top weight, but he’s another that’s improving with every race, and the step up in trip will suit his style.