As most of you will know the Scoop6 is horse racings version of the Lottery – six nominated races on a Saturday plus a bonus race – and “all” you have to do is find all six winners to get your share of the main pot (or six pales for the place aspect), then go after the winner of the bonus race the following week. Please note the word share – it’s a kitty that gets divided by the number of winners so if we all copy one set of horses we are sort of betting against each other so our suggestion is that you read and then decide to maybe add one or two of your own in to the mix- but then again its your money after all!
Do note you can bet one horse per race for a £2 stake to receive the full dividends – you can bet less and perm your selections but they multiply out accordingly – for example, one horse per race but two in the third race becomes 1 x 1 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 2 bets but 2 in each race would becomes 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 bets so do be careful with your staking!
12.40pm Haydock – One of the better contested races of the day with up to nine runners and we notice that bottom weight Copper Birch sports a first time visor for trainer Evan Williams and jockey Adam Wedge. The yard are in among the winners of late which is a big positive, and we know he is race fit after an acceptable if not inspiring third to Conas Taoi at Ffos Las over three miles on his return, and as he is all stamina, this could be right up his street off a pretty favourable mark that has gone down another three pounds. Emperor’s Choice hasn’t run since last December but is the only distance winner in the field and has four wins over three miles plus, most of them on heavy ground, and if he is fit enough to do himself justice, he will be running on through beaten horses in the last half mile.
1.15pm Haydock – Not as easy as it looks at first glance but as we are big fans of Rock The Kasbah, we have to start with the Philip Hobbs five year old. Hey think a lot of him at home, and as a son of Shirocco the very soft ground should be ideal. Despite three wins and four places they still feel he has more to offer this season and after a pipe opener at Chepstow when runner up to Court Minstrel, he will be cherry ripe this afternoon and hopefully at his very best. Stilletto is an interesting alternative at a price for Paul Nicholls and must be better than we saw when he was only eighth at Cheltenham when pulling his way out of contention early in the contest. A first time hood is on this afternoon and it will be interesting to see if they have the desired effect, and as he had won his only other races, he could be worth another chance today.
1.30pm Ascot – Smart Talk arrives here at the top of his game for trainer Brian Ellison having won his last two races at Worcester and Sedgefield, and seems sure to improve again for this extra distance. Sam Twiston-Davies rides which is a positive, and he is quite entitled to keep on improving after just the four starts under rules and may have a bit more to offer. Desert Queen could bounce back to her best but we narrowly prefer the chances of Midnight Belle who returns to hurdles after going chasing for her last eight starts. Third on her return to the classy Saphir Du Rheu at Carlisle, she will be race fit today and gets in here off a rating five pounds lower than her chasing mark which must give her an each way chance at the very least.
2.25pm Haydock – One race does not make a form book but Alcala ran a blinder last time out even though last of four! He gets in here off a rating of 126 yet was a neck behind the 146 rated Penglai Pavilion last time out (gave three pounds) which, if taken at face value makes him well in here and an each way steal at a big price for Champion trainer Paul Nicholls. As an alternative, Batavir seems likely to be a lot happier dropped back in trip after failing to see out the three miles plus at Cheltenham on his first run of the season, and with Tom Scudamore riding, it seems safe to assume he is the stable number one of their two remaining entries
3.15pm Ascot – Henry De Bromhead is nobody’s fool and he has got Crown Theatre in here off a featherweight of just ten stone ten with Barry Geraghty booked to do the steering. Equally at home over fences or hurdles, he has finished second on his last two outings but will be spot on for this renewal and arrives here with stable confidence behind him. At the other end of the weights Cold March has to carry top weight for Venetia Williams but is only five and sure to improve even further, though even a repeat of his recent Ascot win may be good enough despite an extra ten pounds from the handicapper. He looked good that day yet started at 12/1 implying he may have been a gallop short of race fitness, in which case he may yet improve the same ten pounds and make them all go here.
3.35pm Haydock – Always a tricky handicap to end with and today is no exception, though trainer Sue Smith has such a good record here that she will be expecting big things from both Straidnahanna and No Planning. Our first choice is only just out of novice company but has room to go on to better things if well placed by his astute trainer, and looked ready to win when runner up to favourite Gold Futures at Chepstow last time out. Vieux Lion Rouge is the potential fly in the ointment and looked good in the spring when winning at Towcester and Market Rasen and could yet be above average. Problem is, he hasn’t raced since 19th June and full fitness may be need to win a competitive event such as this, though if he is fit, we can all expect a big run if not necessarily a winning one.