How To Bet £20 on Saturday: Society Queen can rule at 18-1

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Fri 20 Jul 2018

Andy Stephens has turned £20 into something bigger for the past three Saturdays with the help of winning tips such as Mr Lupton (advised 10-1), Royal Intervention (9-1) Oh This Is Us (9-2) and Judicial (9-2). He suggests two possible strategies to keep up his sequence.

A running theme throughout last season was Aidan O’Brien edging ever closer to his world record haul of Group One winners.

This year there has barely been a mention of O’Brien potentially matching the 28 wins he achieved at the highest level, which is a little surprising because if he saddles the Darley Oaks winner at the Curragh on Saturday - and the odds are tilted in his favour - then he will have achieved nine Group One victories this campaign; just two fewer than he had at this time 12 months ago.

The key to O’Brien getting anywhere near his tally of last year lies with his two-year-olds and the early indications are that this is an area where he may be lacking a little firepower.

By this stage last summer his juveniles were already hinting that they might scale the heights - between them they had chalked up five wins at Group Two or Group Three level - and they duly flourished in the second half of the season.

This time around, though, O’Brien’s youngsters have yet to chalk up a single pattern success.

That is no cause for immediate alarm but it seems a soggy spring at Ballydoyle, which led to the trainer’s youngsters working on turf much later than usual, has been detrimental and left them playing catch-up in more ways than one.

Any number of the trainer’s best young colts and fillies might still be under wraps, of course, and it may be he is merely giving them more time to find their feet. The coming days and weeks will be most revealing.

More immediately, here is hoping at least one or two of the following can click.

2.25 Newbury: Sir Chauvelin at 20-1 with Betfair, BetVictor and Paddy Power

Sir Chauvelin was a big eye-catcher at Royal Ascot

Sir Chauvelin has always been something of a tease but he was a massive eye-catcher when runner-up in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot. He did nothing wrong that day, or when keeping on from a poor position next time out when third in the Northumberland Plate.

Put a line through his run in the John Smith’s Cup last week because he had no chance of getting involved behind his stablemate, Euchen Glen, the way the race panned out.

The niggle is that this will be the versatile gelding’s fourth big handicap in pretty quick succession but I’m not sure any of his past three runs have got to the bottom of him.

At a chunky 20-1 it is worth risking that he remains in form - and with enough energy reserves to pounce late on in a race that promises to be run to suit him.

3.00 Newbury: Projection at a general 7-2

Charlie Hills has saddled the winner of this in two of the past three years and plenty will give another chance to Equilateral, who apparently scoped dirty after disappointing in the Commonwealth Cup following an exciting return at Doncaster.

However, he was also relatively easy to back that day and it is disconcerting that he also bombed out on his second start as a two-year-old, having previously been impressive on his debut.

There are no such clouds hanging over Projection and I’m amazed he’s not a short-priced favourite because he’s dropping in grade and a reproduction of any of his three rock solid efforts this year will make him hard to beat.

He put up another personal best last time when beaten a couple of lengths in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, having previously run with great credit in races won by Brando and The Tin Man. He has his sights lowered and before racing on Friday the Roger Charlton stable had won with six of their past dozen runners and he added to that with Momkin at Newbury.

3.35 Newbury: Society Queen at 18-1 with Betfair

Society Queen has gone one better since her encouraging debut at Catterick

Richard Fahey has landed this valuable prize three times in the past five years, including when saddling the first, second and fourth in the 2015 running.

Red Balloons is the shortest-priced of his six contenders this time but Society Queen, with just 8st 3lb to shoulder, could be the ace in his pack.

She struggled to beat two rivals at Ayr last time but that was a messy contest and my eye is instead drawn to her debut effort at Catterick when she was touched off by the more experienced Shumookhi.

That form stands close inspection with Shumookhi subsequently beaten little more than two lengths in the Queen Mary before further solid runs in pattern company abroad.

Paddy Mathers has been on board for both of Society Queen’s previous runs and will be reunited with her. Mathers also partnered Fahey’s 2015 runner-up, Mr Lupton, who went off at 40-1.

4.55 Curragh: So Beloved

So Beloved will not be everybody’s cup of tea in the Minstrel Stakes because he has gone more than two years - and a total of 24 runs - before last getting his head in front.

However, that masks the fact he has run some cracking races in defeat and that he has not always got the rub of the green; including last time when an unlucky length third to Sir Dancealot in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.

He’s probably not one to be making many excuses for but he would have given the winner more to think about on the last occasion had he got anything like a clear run.

It is also worth recalling he beat all bar Spirit Of Valor in a much stronger renewal of this race last year after that horse had been gifted an easy lead.

5.15 Ripon: Ad Libitum at 11-4 with bet365

Ad Libitum has been in fine form this summer

Roger Fell’s horses are in fine form and Ad Libitum has strong claims of giving him another success.

The gelding is holding his form well and was value for extra when edging home by a neck over course and distance last time because he reared leaving the stalls and the runner-up got first run.

Ad Libitum is unfortunate not to be 2-2 at the track - he would have won in another stride when beaten a neck here over a shorter trip in June - and is versatile regards ground conditions.

He has been nudged up another 2lb for his latest success but he still appeals as being fairly handicapped and he can take full advantage of the 19lb that Mutadaffeq, who won here on Monday, must concede.

6.45 Lingfield: Timoshenko at a general 10-11

Spare a thought for the official assessor. Timoshenko looked devoid of any ability on occasions in maidens last year, when beaten an aggregate of 86 lengths in four races, but it has been a different story for Sir Mark Prescott’s charge switched to handicap ranks and longer distances this season.

His narrow victories at Chepstow (off a mark of 58) and Ayr (up to 64) have been workmanlike, rather than spectacular, but he looks the type to do just enough and as his latest success was in an apprentices' event it means he is able to race off the same mark.

First-time cheekpieces should add an extra edge, too, plus Luke Morris is back aboard.

He's a general 10-11 but I can see him going off much shorter.

How To Bet £20 on Saturday:


2.25 Newbury: Sir Chauvelin £2.50 each-way at 20-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power

3.00 Newbury: Projection £6 win at a general 7-2

3.35 Newbury: Society Queen £2.50 win at 18-1 with Betfair

4.55 Curragh: So Beloved £3 win

Plus a £3.50 win double with bet365 on

5.15 Ripon: Ad Libitum at 11-4

6.45 Lingfield: Timoshenko at 10-11


(general odds in brackets)

£2.50 win doubles and a £2 win treble on

3.00 Newbury: Projection (7-2)

5.15 Ripon: Ad Libitum (11-4)

6.45 Lingfield: Timoshenko (10-11)

40p Win Patent

2.25 Newbury: Sir Chauvelin (20-1)

3.35 Newbury: Society Queen (16-1)

4.55 Curragh: So Beloved

Plus 10p Win Heinz on all six selections

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