With the form still to settle down this season, now is the time to take advantage of some subjective value this weekend and look for the long shots across Saturday and Sunday.
My first port of call comes at the Northumberland Plate meeting at Newcastle and in the big race itself (3.35) where Australis and Caravan of Hope, first and second at Wolverhampton, head the market, but there is a loa dof value outside the first two in the list.
I was tempted by the Richard Fahey trained Anyonecanhaveitall, but the value has gone with this lightweight and I much prefer the claims of RAJINKSY. The son of Zoffany is hardly bred for this trip, but everytime he has been raised in distance he has looked more and more like a thorough stayer.
Last time out he was caught out by a stop start pace at Newbury yet still managed to third of 10 behind Laafy. Previously a winner over 14 furlongs, this extra quarter mile looks absolutely made to measure and apart from the market leader he looks the least exposed in the field.
I will be looking to Jane Elliot to bide her time and not kick on too early as it a long way from home down the Gosforth Park straight, but given the right tactical ride I suspect a mark of 86 underestimates his true potential.
On the same card have a second look at MAKE SOME MAGIC in the opening maiden event at 12.15.
Royal Ascot gave us the biggest ever priced winner at the meeting courtesy of a 150/1 juvenile success and this son of Camacho badly needed his introduction at Redcar first time up, running very green. Karl Burke has reached for the cheek pieces to make him concentrate and he is bred to appreciate this forgiving artificial surface.
Over to Redcar, where the forecast showers should take the sting out of the turf at the Cleveland track, and that should suit NORTHERN QUEEN in a basement grade handicap at 1.05.
She was an eye-catching never nearer third of 12 at Beverley on her belated seasonal debut and the handicapper has only raised her 2lbs here. A bit of rain would certainly do her chances no harm and I suspect she can give the weight away here before going on to much better things.
However, the jewel amongst the big priced crown on Saturday could be at the Curragh where light weight EARLS could easily outrun his huge odds in the three-year-old six furlong handicap at 5.15.
Edward Lynam’s charge kept on in really eye catching style on his comeback run at Fairyhouse and with the visor retained there and a nice midfield draw to boot I expect further improvement from this youngster at up to 50/1.
Arthurs’s Kingdom is the most likely winner of the Irish Derby (7.15) in my book with a huge field and several pace makers set to heat up this contest from the start. He was not suited by a slowly run King Edward VII Stakes last time out and is a stayer pure and simple. However, his odds are too short for the purposes of this column and the each-way play against him could come in the form of GOLD MAZE (well supported this week).
Jessie Harrington wouldn’t be putting this son of Golden Horn over his head and his keeping on seocnd in the Gallinule Stakes was a cracking effort for one so inexperienced. He can only improve for the extra yardage.
And finally one for Sunday, when EAGLES ROCK could be the each-way play at a huge price in the Hamilton Park 2.20. He hasn’t shown much since coming over from Ireland but can make up for lost time by landing this one.
Under the care of Grand National winning trainer Lucinda Russell, the handicapper has given him a real chance off a rating of 70.
He should also be tight fit following a run on the all-weather and I think he will outrun his huge odds in this one mile contest at the main expense of top weight Vive La Difference.