The end of the flat season is upon us and with it comes memories for punters of close calls, bad luck in running and hopefully a few winners too.
There are still have a few more chances before the season is up to nick some of the bookmakers money, starting with QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.
“Being your wellingtons and rain macs” has been the message at this meeting for the last few years but summer seems to be sticking around in 2015.
The ground should be perfect, on the easy side of good, and we may actually get to crown some top notchers rather than the mud larks.
There looks to be nice shapes to the markets for the races with some short price favourites to be backed and some to be taken on with each way selections.
The cornerstone of my bets for Saturday is JACK HOBBS in the Champion Stakes (3:05). Unoriginal yes, but any chance to back this horse at odds-against is a time to celebrate.
This horse has lived in Golden Horn’s shadow this season to a certain extent but I’m of the opinion that on a galloping track when there’s cut, Jack Hobbs is the superior animal despite Golden Horn bagging the big one in France last weekend.
That line of thinking puts him streets ahead of his opposition on Saturday and with conditions in his favour too, I will be flabbergasted if he gets beat. He’s a 1/2 shot in my eyes so anything near Evens should be snapped up with confidence.
A favourite that can be taken on at the prices is Muhaarah in the Champion Sprint at 1:20. He’s had an incredible season, winning three Group Ones but he’s looked far from bombproof in two of those wins and he’s easily swervable in the market.
I’d much rather back NAADIRR at 33/1 each way.
This horse is supremely talented but doesn’t have the battle skills to go along with his ability. He’s a dodge pot in a finish but he’s in great form at the moment after a close second in a good race at Ascot last time out and should travel into contention nicely.
From there, anything could happen. With four places on offer, that 33/1 looks tasty.
We’re in for another “will he won’t he” saga with Gleneagles in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes due to the weather.
But with or without him, Solow has enough in the tank to land the spoils at odds-on.
That kind of bet might not be for everyone but it’s impossible to look elsewhere than the French raider after his win at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes.
That kind of speed test wouldn’t have been up his street but he still showed enough to repel his rivals and now switched back to a more gruelling mile, I’d think his superiority will only grow further.
1:20 – Naadair 33/1
2:30 – Solow 4/5
3:05 – Jack Hobbs 5/4