We’ve nine meetings across the UK and Ireland this Saturday, including Group action on the flat and competitive handicaps over the jumps, which means it’s well worth checking out our Swinton Hurdle trends.
Clues could also be uncovered for big races like the Oaks and the Derby, but with plenty of short-priced favourites likely to be well backed in the Saturday betting traffic, we thought we’d take a look at a few outsiders who could run better than their odds suggest.
Luke Parkinson has taken a look at the action and picked out three fancies from Ascot and Haydock Park.
John Constable (3:10 Haydock)
Glamorgan-based trainer Evan Williams has a particularly good record in the Swinton Hurdle, and could have a great crack at taking the spoils again this year.
Williams has taken four of the last six renewals, including just 12 months ago with Silver Streak, who remarkably finished third in this year’s Champion Hurdle behind Espoir D’Allen.
He returned at 80/1 for that Cheltenham placed effort in March and although Williams’ main contender at Haydock won’t be quite that big this weekend, he certainly provides some value.
John Constable will be a familiar name to many, and he returns this year with plenty in his favour after winning the Swinton Hurdle back in 2017
Not only did he won this off a 2lb higher mark two years ago, but he also arrives following a wind op and it would be no surprise to see him return to form for a trainer who clearly targets this race.
Cardsharp (4:00 Ascot)
Not many people know more about training winners on the flat than Mark Johnston, and he has a nice chance to extend that good record by winning the Victoria Cup for the first time this weekend.
He sends Cardsharp into battle for Ascot’s feature race and although jockey bookings suggest he might not be the stable’s number one pick for this race, he surely won’t be without a chance at an each-way price.
The four-year-old gelding got back to winning ways off one pound lower at Lingfield in March, and was far from disgraced when finishing third to the Frankie Dettori-ridden Hey Gaman in a Leicester Listed event last time.
He’s certainly worth catching off his current handicap mark and although John Egan might not be considered as the first jockey in the race for Johnston, he is +£13.46 from a £1 level stake for the Middleham based handler.
Fantasy Keeper (5:10pm Ascot)
I’m sticking with Ascot for the third and final pick, and siding with another trainer who has been battling with Mark Johnston for the top trainer’s title on the all-weather.
Michael Appleby has only had 4 winners from 62 runners at the Royal track, but sends Fantasy Keeper to Ascot this Saturday with a chance to make that five.
He produced a career-best effort when taking a 6f handicap at Kempton on 2018 reappearance in July, and history could repeat itself this Saturday on his first start of 2019.
There’s also a noticeable jockey booking of Oisin Murphy, who is two from two onboard, including a win on soft ground over the same distance at Nottingham in May 2017.
If he can get Fantasy Keeper in the same groove again, then he could be a really nice selection to go alongside our ITV tips.