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
WHATAGUY (2.05 Ripon)
I’m going to take a punt on the draw in the William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap - the consolation race for the Great St Wilfrid – and suggest that low numbers will enjoy the best of things. We’ve had several low-drawn winners in split fields at Ripon this year and the far-side runners will certainly get cover form the forecast crosswind. The one I like at a big price is WHATAGUY (stall three of 20) for the Paul Nicholls/Megan Nicholls combination. The three-year-old could only finish in mid-division at Glorious Goodwood last time but will be happier on today’s soft going. The ground was softer than advertised when he broke his duck at Chepstow last year and he had subsequent winners back in second and third when scoring on slow ground at Brighton in first-time cheekpieces earlier this summer. Both those runs suggest that Ripon’s undulations will hold no fears and it’s worth taking a chance on his stamina.
BUCCANEERS VAULT (2.45 Newmarket)
There’s not a great deal of early pace in the 6f Unibet Grey Horse Handicap (2.45), with Case Key (stall four of 16) and Lethal Angel (stall six) the likely pace angles. It’s tempting to back one or both, especially the former, who won this race in 2017. However, drawn in between that pair is another runner with plenty of previous form in this race and that’s Paul Midgley’s BUCCANEERS VAULT. The seven-year-old came late top grab a 14-1 fifth of 15 in this race last year and was a 10-1 fourth in 2017, going down by total of half a length. Luke Morris, on board for the first time, is two from three when riding at Newmarket for Paul Midgley (winners at 8-1 and 7-2) and his booking looks significant.
MUSCIKA (3.15 Ripon)
Instead, I’m going to support MUSCIKA (stall six), the likely pace angle up the far side. He found one too good when runner-up over course and distance last time but probably did too much too soon after being strongly pressed for the early lead in a race set up for the closers, with the winner, third and fourth all coming from off the pace. The other pacesetter dropped away to finish last and if he can get an easier time of things at the front end, he could prove hard to pass.
SAFE VOYAGE (3.35 Newbury)
On Monday, when I first studied the Group 2 Unibet Hungerford Stakes (3.35) I was keen on the chance of Hey Gaman, who did well to finish second in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood when the track was not favouring his aggressive running style. However, that could be the case again today at Newbury, as the wind will be into their faces in the straight and there are two other possible pacesetters in this eight-runner line-up – Glorious Journey and Donjuan Triumphant. I’m a big fan of the last-named but he tends to peak in the autumn and I’m happy to let him go unbacked here. I’m also deserting last year’s winner Sir Dancealot. He did this column a favour when landing the Lennox Stakes last time but the ground may be softer than he prefers. Instead, I’m siding with John Quinn’s SAFE VOYAGE, third to Romanised and Hey Gaman on unsuitably quick ground at the Curragh last time. That form was given a huge boost when the winner followed up in a French Group 1 and his record at this specialist trip, on good to soft or softer going, stands at U11111 (5-6).
SWEET PURSUIT (7.50 Bath)
Rod Millman’s filly tends to peak in the summer on turf, recording form figures of 3113111463 (5-10) when racing in July or August and can be backed in the Kingstone Press Apple Cider Handicap at Bath (7.50). She didn’t reappear until July 4th this year, so her recent efforts were probably needed, and she’s 1lb lower than when scoring on good to soft ground at Ffos Las at this time last year.
TODAY’S BEST BETS
Whataguy – 2.05 Ripon (0.5pts each-way, 40/1 generally)
Buccaneers Vault – 2.45 Newmarket (1pt each-way, 20-1 generally)
Muscika – 3.15 Ripon (1pt each-way, 14-1 generally, some firms paying six places)
Safe Voyage – 3.35 Newbury (2pts win, 2-1 generally)
Sweet Pursuit – 7.50 Bath (1pt win, 9-1 generally)
Safe Voyage is your NAP of the Day for Saturday.
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