Andy Stephens's past two How To Bet £20 Saturday columns have yielded an aggregate profit of £372.25
By Andy Stephens
It is not often you get the chance to back a progressive three-year-old against older rivals at 50-1 but that is the case with Wingingit in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes at Newbury (2.15) on Saturday.
I can only assume she is dismissed as a no-hoper because she has a small mountain to climb to judge by the official ratings - needing to improve about 20lb to be competitive.
However, I reckon her mark of 92 underplays her by at least 10lb and, in any case, she has thrived since stepping up to distances beyond a mile and probably has more to offer.
She might have easily have won her last four starts - meeting trouble in-running when denied a hattrick and then, last time, being narrowly outstayed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wild Irish Rose, who she met on level terms, over 1m 6f in Listed company at Leopardstown.
The winner has since run creditably three times in pattern company and is rated 102. Either that is too high or Wingingit’s mark is too low.
Wingingit has since been absent two months but in the interim she has been switched from the yard of Noel Meade to Andrew Balding and the latter is not one to blow a handicap mark for the sake of it.
All season the three-year-olds have been serving it up to their elders in receipt of plenty of weight and, at the outlandish odds on offer, I’m happy to risk her doing the same.
I’ll also be having a small punt on general 8-1 chance Scarlet Dragon because he has a prize of this nature in him and his only defeat in three starts at the track was when hitting the front too soon in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap on this day a year ago (traded 1.16 in-running).
Saturday's renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Handicap is typically open but Balding has another likely contender in Brorocco. He can be his own worst enemy but, by the same token, it can only be a matter of time before he lands one of these decent big-field handicaps because he has all the attributes needed to win one when things drop his way.
I’d imagine some are still having nightmares over his luckless defeat at the Derby meeting and he again did not get the rub of the green when going close at York last time.
He is never one to back at short odds because of his profile but bet365 make him 14-1 and that is enough to make up for the fact that he can probably find trouble while working solo on the Kingsclere gallops.
In the same race, I’m also going to have a dart at Threat Assessed, because he is too well handicapped to ignore at 20-1 for the red hot Clive Cox stable.
Some will instantly put a line through him because he has been off for 448 days but he has not been recuperating all that time because, apparently, he was working well in the spring and was declared to run at Newbury in late April - only to be a late non-runner.
The fact Threat Assessed won after 200 days off on his his return last year is a positive and his success at Sandown on his penultimate outing off a 6lb lower mark points to him being leniently treated because the next three home - Domersen, Wild Hacked and Brorocco (no excuses that day) - are now rated between 11lb and 24lb higher.
On his only subsequent start Threat Assessed found Wall Of Fire too strong at Haydock but that rival (now rated 110) was chucked in off 88.
Another to consider at chunky odds is Judicial, chalked up at 16-1 for the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (4.00).
The Julie Camacho-trained five-year-old has not been seen to best advantage on his past two starts but he had been in fabulous form before that, including when lowering the 5f track record at Beverley in June.
He is usually covered up behind the leaders and it is not difficult to envisage a scenario where regular jockey Joe Doyle smuggles him to the front in the closing stages because habitual trail-blazers Take Cover, Thesme and Caspian Prince might easily burn each other out.
In the Mill Reef Stakes (2.50) I was half-tempted by the 14-1 on offer about Staxton because he put in eye-catching late work in the Gimcrack last time when not finishing far off Invincible Army, who is chalked up at 4-1.
There should not be such a gulf in their prices but the one to be on is surely James Garfield, who looked all over the winner of the Acomb last time only to be nabbed in the final stride by the highly regarded Wells Farhh Go (pair almost four lengths clear).
James Garfield tanked through the race at York and showed a sharp turn of foot, so the drop back to six furlongs is not a concern.
He had previously weakened late on when fourth to the exciting Expert Eye in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and that form was boosted when Seahenge (fifth) won the Champagne Stakes last week.
Finally, at Newmarket, Coeur De Lion is likely to take plenty of stopping in the Betfred Cesarewitch Trial (3.50) and rates a decent punt at 6-1.
The word “Trial” is almost redundant for Alan King’s stamina-blessed four-year-old because he is so low in the weights that his chances of making the cut for the main event, even if he picks up a penalty, are remote.
As a consequence this £50,000 contest represents his Cesarewitch, while others will be using it as a stepping stone to the big one which carries a first prize five times bigger.
Coeur De Lion developed into a smart hurdler last winter and the manner of his comfortable win over 2m at Nottingham last time indicates he still has plenty of unfinished business on the Flat.
That outing was four months ago but he is unlikely to lack for fitness and his 6lb higher mark is offset by the excellent Hollie Doyle (rode the King-trained First Mohican to finish second in the Cesarewitch last year) easing his burden by 3lb.
Used to carrying more than 11st on testing ground over jumps, Coeur De Lion will think he is running loose with only 7st 11lb on his back.
How To Bet £20 on Saturday:
2.15 Newbury: Wingingit £2.50 each-way at a general 50-1
2.15 Newbury: Scarlet Dragon £1 win at a general 8-1
2.50 Newbury: James Garfield £2.50 win at a general 4-1
3.10 Newmarket: Coeur De Lion £3.50 win at a general 6-1
3.25 Newbury: Brorocco £2 each-way at 14-1 with bet365
3.25 Newbury: Threat Assessed £1 each-way at a general 20-1
4.00 Newbury: Judicial £2 win at a general 16-1
50p Each-Way Lucky 15
General odds in brackets
2.15 Newbury: Wingingit (50-1)
3.10 Newmarket: Coeur De Lion (6-1)
3.25 Newbury: Brorocco (10-1)
4.00 Newbury: Judicial (16-1)
Plus 2.15 Newbury: Wingingit £2.50 each-way at a general 50-1
£7 win singles and a £6 win double on
2.50 Newbury: James Garfield (general 4-1)
3.50 Newmarket: Coeur De Lion (general 6-1)