The contrarian perspective on Day 2 at Newmarket....

Last Updated: 11.07.2019

Thursday, 11th July 2019

The contrarian perspective on Day 2 at Newmarket….

The bookmakers aren’t giving much away in the second renewal of the bet365 Trophy at 3.00. The right horses sit atop of the betting – and I don’t want to be backing them....

The one that catches my eye as an each-way bet to a few quid is Amanda Perrett’s PLATITUDE at 40s....

After showing up well for Sir Michael Stoute in C1 races, this one went off the boil and was shipped out to Perrett....

She had a bit of work done on the horse’s wind and he bounced back and won at the first time of asking for her at Goodwood back in 2018 – at a big price....

He then produced another fair effort in a Listed race at Sandown before going backwards again....

He’s been seen once this term – in May back at Goodwood, having had another wind-operation. The magic didn’t work quite as well this time. He was 6th of the 6 horses that went to post....

But it wasn’t a complete disaster. He was only beaten 4-lengths by horses that had been doing their fair share of winning. On the figures, the performance wasn’t miles short of what he’d produced in the early part of 2018....

Something clearly wasn’t right. He hasn’t been seen again since. But he shows up here on a mark of 97. That’s 9lbs shy of his career-best, 5lbs shy of his last winning mark and on his best form he has clearly got a massive chance....

Will he bring that form? We can’t know. So, I wouldn’t want to be betting big.

But he proved last year that he’s still got something to offer on a going day and that he’s up to winning off a break on a bigger mark than he runs off tomorrow....

And I note that Perrett has booked the same jockey who did the business at Goodwood for her on the horse at Goodwood last term – Kieran Shoemark. That was the last time he got on the horse on the track....

The handicap game is about spotting potential shocks before they unfold. And sometimes you have to risk looking like a turnip by flagging those potentials up. This is a potentially very well-handicapped horse who could turn up a lot better than the market is pricing-in....

  • Take Stone to bounce back....

The 10f bet365 Handicap for 3yos that opens tomorrow’s Newmarket card at 1.50 is another race in which the bookies are cautious....

More than half the field is 10s or shorter in the ante-post market. It’s the kind of race you could look at and then leave alone – and I wouldn’t blame you if you do....

But I’m going to back Sir Michael Stoute’s SOLID STONE at this morning’s general 10s....

This horse was the source of much expectation at the yard back in the Spring ahead of the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap at Newbury. He was expected to progress and the market really fancied him – backing him into 5s....

He flopped on the day and faded out of it in the final quarter-mile. But it is too early to write off this son of Shamardal. I think he will prove plenty better than a mark of 90 and if he’s primed to fire tomorrow I expect him to be very competitive....

He’s been given plenty of time since that Newbury race and he shows-up tomorrow a fresher horse than most of the opposition.... 

He goes well off a break as evidenced by his win on seasonal debut in a race that has thrown up Group-level performers in the past. And his yard is going great guns right now....

I’m sure Stoute would have liked regular rider Ryan Moore onboard. But 8-06 is a boil-down too far for Moore and P J McDonald deputises. McDonald rides this track well and is no bad substitute....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the bet365 Trophy (3.00 @ Newmarket).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – PLATITUDE each-way (40s generally)

In the bet365 Handicap (1.50 @ Newmarket).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SOLID STONE (10s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for now.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my contrarian take on Day 3 at Newmarket and the handicap action taking place up and down the country....

Win lose or draw – enjoy the racing this afternoon....

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd