Tipping Tim’s Weekend Bets
We all need cheering up after David Casey wrestled the third leg of the Willie Mullins treble to the floor midway through a race that he would have won by twenty lengths, and the prospect of sitting through borefests at Aintree and Punchestown does nothing to lift the gloom. Aintree is a futile exercise in guessing which horses aren’t totally knackered, and Punchestown is about as exciting as watching the Budget with the sound off. Fortunately tomorrow’s Coral Winter Derby is an absolute corker and it’s a signal that the proper racing is just around the corner, so it’s a good time to shelve the slow-boats for a few months and focus on the pretty side of horse racing.
Grandeur has been a warm order for the Winter Derby ever since he made a winning reappearance over course and distance a month ago, but everything went right for him that day and he’s unlikely to get such a smooth passage from stall 14. Rebellious Guest has a bit to find on the figures but he looked better than ever on his first try at 10 furlongs a fortnight ago and, with Anaconda and Farraaj likely to tee it up for a closer, he looks the value in a cracking renewal.
It is only a matter of time before the Spring Cup (3.15 Lingfield) is named after the legendary 2008 victor Paco Boy. My second favourite flat horse (he’s a nose behind Benny The Dip) won this on his way to world domination and, if rumours are anything to go by, Willie Haggas’ Ertijaal is expected to do the same this season. If you believe the hype he is the biggest certainty this side of a Stand Guard withdrawal, but I’m never one for morning glories (at least not since I was a teenager) and I’d rather be a layer than a backer at likely odds. Expert is sure to go close from stall 2 but he’ll probably be over bet like most Hannon runners in this, so I’m going to side with recent eye-catcher Sir Robert Cheval. Marco Botti’s 3yo probably kicked for home a shade early last time and, with King Kirby taking over tomorrow, he should go close granted a less aggressive ride.
For the Trixie I’m going to have to stick in Lingfield legend Ladies Are Forever (2.40 Lingfield). She was another one to suffer from an over-exuberant effort in the saddle last time, but that run will have blown the cobwebs away and she should go close in this.
Good luck with all your bets tomorrow!