It is galling when, having backed a horse, you get nothing like the run you were expecting but that was definitely the case with Fastnet Tempest in the Royal Hunt Cup last month.
Nothing went right for him, although in my view the ride he got was not brilliant, but this horse has been good to us with two wins this season and he has so much going for him on Saturday afternoon in the Gigaset International Stakes (3.00) that I am making him one of the best bets of the season.
Fastnet Tempest has won over the course and distance in a big field Victoria Cup and has also shown the ability and class to get himself out of a lot of trouble in a race at Chester, where he was backed as if he was Frankel in disguise.
Soft ground will hold no perils, Ryan Moore is booked and trainer William Haggas is in very good form, so what could go wrong?
The draw is what could go wrong, but in stall 24 he will be committed to the stands’ side and that will either be good or not so good, but in my view nobody knows the answer based on Ascot races this season. It is a chance you will have to take in a race seemingly lacking any obvious pace.
Blinkers for the first time are interesting and, over seven furlongs, could be a massive positive and probably mean that Ryan Moore will commit early - which is no bad thing on the evidence of his Newbury run in April where he burned his rivals off at this distance only to fold as fitness/stamina ran out.
I am going in heads down, though will probably try to get at least some on each-way at extended place terms that will be available I am sure.
I am sticking with Haggas for my second bet on Saturday, this time at York (2.05) - another track where the trainer does very well.
Battered was slightly disappointing last time but has had a six-week break and returns to the scene of his last impressive win. Significantly, the ground has turned back in his favour and I expect him to resume his progress.
Anythingtoday disappointed on good to soft on his reappearance but Hugo Palmer’s horses did not begin this season well and I am expecting much better from him in the 10 furlong handicap at Newmarket (2.50).
He wears cheekpieces for the first time, although I must confess I’m not really sure why after a good effort at Windsor last time out.
It goes without saying that Josephine Gordon is a positive for me and not many rivals are in form or unexposed.
Dave Nevison’s Saturday selections:
2.05 York: Battered
2.50 Newmarket: Anythingtoday
3.00 Ascot: Fastnet Tempest