Rachel Candelora's Wednesday tips: Cross can make it count at York

By Rachel Candelora
Wed 22 Aug 2018

Rachel Candelora has generated a £20.66 profit based on £1 level stakes bets since May 1 from 63 tips at a strike-rate of 31.75%. She picks out four bets for Wednesday's action and looks at Saturday's glittering Travers Stakes card.

There is fantastic racing at York all week at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which kicks off today with the £1million Juddmonte International.

For me, however, it is all a build up to one of the “Super Saturdays” of racing in New York where Saratoga hosts six Grade One races worth over $4.5 million.

The feature race of the day is the Grade One Travers Stakes, colloquially known as the Midsummer Derby, as it is a race for 3-year-olds over a mile and a quarter and it brings together former Classic hopefuls with their late developing counterparts, and in the past few years it has thrown up some epic races such as American Pharoah’s defeat in 2015 and the unleashing of Arrogate in 2016.

This year’s race is a good reminder that while Triple Crown winner Justify has been retired, the three-year-old crop of 2018 is a strong one.

Kentucky Derby runner-up and Group One Haskell winner Good Magic is the headline horse, but Preakness second and Jim Dandy winner Tenfold, Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso, Belmont Derby winner Catholic Boy, Belmont Stakes runner-up Gronkowski, and Triple Crown stalwart and Haskell runner-up Bravazo are all in this quality line up.

To add a little more spice to the mix this year, the dual Canadian Classic-winning filly Wonder Gadot skipped a chance at winning the Canadian Triple Crown for a shot in the Travers and is looking to become the first filly to win it since 1915.

Also for a little bit of international appeal Aidan O’Brien has thrown a spanner in the works and decided to run Mendelssohn there and therefore yet another big Saturday in the UK where Ryan Moore will be elsewhere.

Even without Justify, this year Travers’ will be North America’s three-year-old Championship race.

On to Wednesday's racing.

2:50 Brighton - Harlequin Rose at 11-4 with BetBright and BetVictor:

Had this race been run, as had originally been planned, at Bath then Harlequin Rose would have not got a look in but since this fixture has been moved to Brighton, due to the continuing hard ground at the former track, she now becomes very interesting.

This four-year-old filly boasts an unappealing strike rate of only one win from 17 starts, but her record at this seaside venue is far more compelling given her only victory came here and she was beaten a short head into second on her only other visit to the track.

The booking of Jason Watson also looks positive on the back of his double at the track yesterday.

3:00 York – Cross Counter at a generally available 6-4:

Cross Counter was seriously impressive when winning the Group Three Qatar Gordon Stakes during Glorious Goodwood, and while he only beat three rivals including the disappointing Dee Ex Bee and Sun Maiden, he did it with ease and in track record time. Given the small field, it makes his performance all that more meritorious.

As a gelding there will be no St Leger for him so this is his race, not just a prep as several of his rivals are using it for. Some of his main market rivals, the likes of Kew Gardens, have to carry Group race penalties for their past success and therefore they are giving Cross Counter between 3 to 5lbs.

This son of Teofilo is versatile in his run style and therefore however the pace scenario works out, if Wells Farhh Go goes forward or if one of the O’Brien battalion try to set a decent tempo then William Buick can place Cross Counter anywhere in the race and he will settle.

4:35 Brighton – Pour La Victoire at 7-4 with Bet365, BetVictor and William Hill:

Trainer Tony Carroll’s consistent eight-year-old Pour La Victoire has scored seven times at the unique Brighton venue and is looking to do so again in a short field in the Veteran’s Handicap over 6f.

He is coming off a win in a tougher grade over course and distance during the Brighton Summer Festival, and even though he has gone up in the weights for that, he is now dropping in class.

Pour La Victoire has been in great form all season hitting the board in 12 of his 13 starts in 2018 and keeps the services of Poppy Bridgwater, who has won on him twice and been runner-up twice from just four starts.

5:30 Worcester – Theo at 5-2 with Betfair:

I rarely look at summer jumping but a horse I noted in my tracker last winter makes his reappearance at Worcester this evening.

Theo won five straight races for Dr Richard Newland last summer, including a victory at Worcester, but he went into my tracker account as a potential proper winter horse when I saw him finish third at Doncaster in January.

We know that the trainer can get one ready to go off a break and he may be a little bit of value against One For Billy, given the latter’s Dan Skelton stable is no longer in the virtually unbeatable form it was about a month ago.

Rachel Candelora's Wednesday best bets:

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