Our top tipster has a huge number of stats at his disposal and has highlighted the horses it should pay to follow in Britain today
DANZENO (1.05 Ascot)
The Shergar Cup meeting isn’t to everyone’s liking but this fixture has grown on me over the years and it is certainly easier to find winners here than at your average Ascot meeting, thanks to the relatively small field sizes. There are also some interesting stats associated with the Shergar Cup – those who ran on the all-weather last-time out have won just once from 34 starts and five-year-olds have a good record - had we backed them bind since 2008, provided they’d had a run in the past eight weeks, we would have won 20 of our 107 bets (18.7% strike-rate) and made a profit of £39.00 to a £1 level stake at SP.
More importantly, the forecast strong wind could be into their faces come post time on Saturday and it should pay to side with horses who like to come from off the pace. The majority of the runners in the opening Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash (1.05) like to go from the front and this is going to set things up nicely for Mick Appleby’s DANZENO, who should be able to get plenty of cover from stall five of ten. He benefitted from a pace collapse when impressing at Nottingham in June and did well to win at Haydock last time as he was forced to race more prominently than ideal in a small-field/tactical affair. Third in the Wokingham in between those wins, he clearly handles this track, and the last nine winners of this race returned at 6-1 or shorter.
ISLAND OF LIFE (3.55 Chelmsford)
There’s plenty of good racing on the all-weather at Chelmsford on Saturday afternoon and I like the look of ISLAND OF LIFE now that she drops in grade in the 7f Bet toteswinger At Totesport.com Fairwood Fillies’ Handicap (3.55). The William Haggas-trained five-year-old was 14th of 17 in a Group 3 at Goodwood on her latest start but was only beaten five lengths when 66-1 for that competitive contest. She looked a tricky customer on her early starts for Haggas, not always finding as much for pressure but wind surgery seems to have fixed that problem. Since the wind operation, her record over 6-7f in handicap company reads 111 (3-3) and the forecast strong headwind in the straight suggests her patient style could actually be a big advantage today.
KAPONO (4.45 Haydock)
Front-runners enjoyed a massive advantage at York’s mid-October meeting last year, thanks to the strong tailwind. Those winners who made the running or who raced up with the pace throughout were flattered and have been profitable to oppose in their subsequent starts. Jonah Jones, who took it up at the halfway stage when justifying 6-5 favouritism in the 6f novice contest at that meeting, has not been seen since and looks worth taking on in the 7f racingtv.com Handicap at Haydock (4.45). The other one who pressed the pace in Jonah Jones’ last race has been beaten in all five subsequent starts, including at odds of 2-11 last time. He’s had wind surgery since that run but trainer Tom Dascombe has scored with just one of his ten runners on their first start following a wind operation and that was the brilliant Kachy who was the 4-7 favourite. Throw in the likelihood of a strong headwind today and he looks up against it. Oppose him with KAPONO who showed improved form for the return to this trip when a narrow 20-1 second on soft ground at York last time.
TODAY’S BEST BETS
Danzeno – 1.05 Ascot (3pts win, 11-4 geneally, including Bet365 and Ladbrokes)
Island Of Life – 3.55 Chelmsford (1pt win, the 10-1 with Bet365 was the only offer at the time of writing)
Kapono – Haydock 4.45 (1pt win, 11-2 generally, including William Hill)
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