Tipping Tim’s weekend bets ahead of Ascot and Lingfield
There are plenty of poor viewing tracks in Britain but the Newmarket Rowley Mile might just top the tree. From the stands it is virtually impossible to tell what is going on for the vast majority of any given race and, given the fate of most of the horses I bet on last weekend, I wish I could have been there instead of having to watch every gory detail on the telly. Both John Gosden and Teddy Grimthorpe were so confused by what they saw last week that they thought Kingman won his side, and from Aidan O’Brien’s vantage point, Australia was a shade unlucky to be beaten by a horse who crossed the line in front despite hanging across the whole track and winning both sides. What chance have connections got if viewing facilities make races so difficult to watch?
Thankfully this week’s action is at crowd-friendly tracks like Ascot and Lingfield, and I’m hoping to get a good view of this week’s nap Casual Smile winning the Oaks trial at Lingfield (2.20). Andrew Balding’s filly has the rare distinction of having a Derby-winning father and an Oaks winning mother, so she is the best bred beast in racing apart from Ed Dunlop. As Mr Dunlop has proved, breeding doesn’t guarantee success but, having closed her 2yo campaign with a battling second to current Oaks favourite Taghrooda, Casual Smile looks ready to follow in the family hoof-prints this season.
The next best this weekend has to be J Wonder in the French 1000 Guineas. Brian Meehan ducked the proper Guineas with this flying machine because he heard that I was on the cusp of a rare ante-post win, but the soft ground in France will suit her and she is drawn to attack in box one. I haven’t heard of most of the opposition so they can’t be much good, and the other English challengers look rubbish.
For the Trixie, I am going to chance Spiritual Star at a monster price in the Victoria Cup (3.50 Ascot). This is probably the hardest race I have ever seen and I would want at least 25/1 to bet anything in it, so it makes sense to find one at a huge price. Spiritual Star will probably be the rag of the field but he has caught the eye on the Polytrack twice recently and he has the back-class (whatever that means) to run a big race here.
Good luck with all your bets this weekend!