Andy Stephens is showing a £60.47 profit based on £1 level stakes since May 1 from 186 tips at a strike-rate of 22.58%. Our website tipster looks at the big clash between Enable and Crystal Ocean at Kempton on Saturday and recommends five bets.
The biggest source of frustration this Flat season has been the absence of Enable. She was awesome last year and who knows what heights she might have achieved this campaign but for injury.
Royal Ascot, the King George and the Juddmonte International have come and gone without her, but the silver lining is that she still has the opportunity to flash her brilliance and become a rare two-time winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The defence of her Arc crown has always been the main priority and, no doubt, part of the reason why possible Group One races at York late last month were spurned in favour of the 188Bet September Stakes on Saturday.
The Kempton race seemed certain to offer much shallower waters and, in usual renewals, she would be able run a stone below her best and still win with something to spare.
But this is no ordinary running, with Crystal Ocean, runner-up in a compelling King George, waiting for her.
He travelled like a dream at Ascot and traded at 1.01 in-running on Betfair before going down by a neck to Poet’s Word. The pair pulled nine lengths clear of a rock-solid yardstick in Coronet, since beaten a couple of lengths by the much heralded Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Much has been made of the fact that Crystal Ocean must concede 8lb to Enable - less of the fact that he has had no injury problems to contend with, has had a near flawless season and arrives on the back of a career-best run.
If Enable is at her best, or somewhere near it, she should still beat him. If she is not, then Crystal Ocean will surely take advantage. It’s not a race to be betting on given the guessing involved and the cramped odds on offer.
My heart hopes Enable is still the imperious filly who made top-class rivals like Ulysses and Highland Reel look so ordinary last year. My head is confused, but that’s not unusual.
Here’s a few at chunkier odds worth considering.
You can make a case for plenty in this seven-furlong handicap and I was going to give the race a swerve but the 14-1 available about Spanish City is too big to resist.
He’s still low mileage for a five-year-old, a seven-furlong specialist and been a model of consistency this season - including on his past two starts when touched off in the Bunbury Cup and then not beaten far when a staying-on sixth in the International Stakes over course and distance.
Spanish City has been nudged up another 2lb but that should not be enough to stop him and, drawn in stall 12, he should get a good tow into the race with the two habitual front-runners in the line-up, Sea Fox and Zhui Feng, berthed in 16 and 17.
He’d definitely capable of winning one of these big handicaps when everything drops right.
The race you must watch before having a bet on this is race the handicap run over course and distance 17 days ago because no fewer than seven of the 16 runners lined up in it.
Honey Man landed the spoils and, still very much unexposed, has predictably been made favourite at about 3-1 to follow up.
I didn’t think he was value for much more on the night, though, and would not be surprised if Hakeem, the runner-up, who finished strongly after initially being outpaced when the pace lifted, and Lawmaking, who was seeking a hat-trick and stayed on stoutly for fourth from the rear, turn the tables on him.
Indeed, the general 12-1 available about Lawman looks huge because he finished with petrol left in the tank and should get a truer gallop to pounce from this time. Those factors, coupled with the 6lb pull he enjoys with Honey Man, makes him a decent bet to quickly resume winning ways.
This is a big day for Clive Cox, and Existential can help settle his nerves by landing this mile handicap about an hour before Harry Angel struts his stuff in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock.
She looked a big improver on her third start last time when dishing out a ten-length drubbing to the odds-on Magical Sight in a mile maiden at Nottingham.
The runner-up, backed as if defeat was out of question that day, did his bit for the form when going one better at Haydock on Thursday.
Cox had Existential entered in last weekend’s Atalanta Stakes at the five-day stage but, perhaps wisely, resisted taking on Veracious. Instead, she makes her handicap bow here off a mark of 90.
If Harry Angel behaves at the start and is anywhere near his best then it could be similarly one-way traffic to when he romped home last year.
However, those two ifs make him one to be wary of at 5-4. I would want to see how he handles the preliminaries and the stalls before getting involved at those kind of odds.
The alternative is to back Tasleet each-way because the three-time Group One runner-up (ahead of Harry Angel on the last occasion) is a class act in his own right and he will relish the testing conditions.
The jockey booking of Jim Crowley suggests Eqtidaar is Sheik Hamdan’s No 1 candidate but I wouldn’t worry about that, especially in sprints. Battaash was his supposed to be his second string when winning at Sandown early last year, while Muhaarar wore his second colours when romping home in the Commonwealth Cup in 2015.
The softer the ground the better for Quench Dolly and, with more rain set to hit the track, conditions are likely to be very much in her favour.
John Gallagher’s grey filly is in her element on deep going and is able to race off the same mark as when bolting up in the mud over five furlongs at Goodwood last summer.
She’s not had her ideal conditions this summer but that did not stop her showing her wellbeing and winning over the minimum trip at Windsor on her penultimate start.
Forget her last run, over an extra furlong at the same track, because her apprentice jockey asked her to get racing too soon. Dropping back in distance will suit and the excellent Richard Kingscote takes over in the saddle.
How To Bet £20 on Saturday:
2.45 Ascot: Spanish City £1.50 each-way at a general 12-1
3.15 Kempton: Lawmaking £3.50 win and £2 each-way at a general 12-1
3.20 Ascot: Existential £3 win at 11-2 with bet365
4.15 Haydock: Tasleet £2 each-way at a general 11-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power
4.50 Haydock: Quench Dolly £2.50 win at 12-1 with bet365
£2 Win Patent
3.15 Kempton: Lawmaking
3.20 Ascot: Existential
4.50 Haydock: Quench Dolly
Plus the above trio in a 20p Win Super Yankee and 40p each-way accumulator with
2.45 Ascot: Spanish City
4.15 Haydock: Tasleet