HORSE RACING: Alan Thomson, former racing editor of the Daily Record, pulls out five potential bookie bashing tips for the cards at Sandown, Ripon and Leicester on Saturday.
PACO BOY (3.40) is the outstanding bet on Sandown’s mixed card on Saturday.
Richard Hannon’s five-year-old took this scalp last year when carrying a penalty but is 6lb lighter against a field of mostly well exposed opponents. Firm ground would be my only concern but Sandown have been watering quite liberally this week so there should be no jar. Sir Michael Stoute’s Confront would be the alternative if Paco Boy is pulled out.
The bet365 Gold Cup is a mixture of tried-and-tested staying chasers and up-and-coming novices. Ante-post favourites Fairoak Lad and Just Amazing belong in the latter category but at a big price I’ve had Martys Mission in mind at the bottom of the weights. Richard Rowe has won this event both as a jockey and a trainer, and I’m certain he has had this race in mind for Andy Stewart’s lightly-raced gelding.
DUNN’O (4.50) is something of a course specialist and will be hard to beat in the finale.
At Ripon, Jim Goldie’s GORDONSVILLE (3.25) will appreciate the faster ground and can turn the tables on Musselburgh conqueror My Arch, while at Leicester my best bet is the well-handicapped BEAT THE BELL (1.55). Later on the card, EXEMPLARY (3.00) could be another winner for the new Mark Johnston/Frankie Dettori partnership.