Both the north and south of England are set for a cracking weekend’s racing action, with Haydock playing host to the valuable Old Newton Cup handicap, while Sandown’s Eclipse day attracts some of the best and brightest from 2014’s Classics.
The pair tipped below don’t carry some of the baubles their illustrious competitors boast, but with the first well-weighted and the second on a steady upward curve, an each-way double comes highly recommended.
Should both come in, the double pays out at massive 713/1 odds…
Old Newton Cup (3.30 Haydock) – Strictly Silver @ 20/1
We are compelled to look down the bottom of the weights here, as no challenger has carried more than 9st to victory in the last five runnings of this race, with only three doing so since 2002.
The market has taken this stat to heart, with three of the top five in the betting currently coming in at 9-2 or under, although Luca Cumani’s 4/1 favourite Havana Cooler – who’s set to carry 9-5 – has to be respected from a three-time winning trainer.
However, having taken into account current form alongside handicap marks, Alan Bailey’s Strictly Silver gets our nod at an each-way price.
The five-year-old has finished first and a close-up third in useful handicaps on his last couple of starts, has jockey Robert Tart – who steered the grey to victory twice in 2013 – back on board, and is still well-enough treated in the weights to put it up to the market leaders on Merseyside.
Eclipse Stakes (3.50 Sandown) – Tullius @ 33/1
Andrew Balding’s consistent performer will have to improve measurably once more if he is to feature in this stellar field, but it’s difficult to figure out why the Hampshire handler would keep the six-year-old in the Eclipse if he rated his chances at zero.
Preferred fast ground looks certain to come for 2/1 jolly The Fugue, but only two females have taken the race in its 125-year history, so the odds about John Gosden’s high-class mare come up short.
Tullius left 9/2 shot Verrazano in his wake when beaten two-and-a-half lengths by Olympic Glory at Newbury, then shaped like another few furlongs would suit when a close fourth last time out to the aforementioned Aidan O’Brien inmate and eventual winner Toronado in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes.
2000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder and Derby second Kingston Hill also come into the frame, but with neither yet able to boast of a win over this trip, 3/1 and 7/1 respective prices hold little appeal.
At 11 times Night of Thunder’s price, Tullius rates by far the each-way value pick of the weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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