Jamie Clark was Sports Editor of Coral bookmakers between 2014 and 2017 during their merger with Labrokes and a key period for the British betting industry. Working as a bookie’s runner on the point to point circuit in the Midlands and at Market Rasen Racecourse where his late godfather had a trackside pitch growing up, he has had ties to horse racing all of his life. A regular visitor to Cheltenham during the National Hunt season and York over the summer, he has been involved in Horsebetting.com since its inception. Jamie now brings you his take on major news stories from the racing world and those all-important betting tips.
Sandown Betting Tips – Cross Counter can bounce back in Henry II
Sandown Betting Tips · Sunday, 05th Jul 2020 - 13:50 ·
Henry II Stakes betting tips – Cross Counter a strong fancy
Now dropped in grade, Cross Counter has leading claims of resuming winning ways in the extended 2m Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown on Sunday (14:25).
Trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, this his easiest assignment for some time. The five-year-old Teofilo gelding is best known for his globetrotting exploits over the winter of 2018-19.
After setting a track record in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood over 1m 4f, he went aboard. As a gelding, Cross Counter couldn’t contest the St Leger, but connections made hay all the same.
He became the first British trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup in Australia. Cross Counter came with a strong late run from a ready length success in the race that stops a nation Down Under.
After wintering in the Middle Easter, he followed-up in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup also over this trip. That comfortable success punched Cross Counter’s ticket to the Ascot Gold Cup.
He came fourth last year and a distant third this season in that 2m 4f extreme test of stamina. The Henry II Stakes is far easier than the Royal Ascot centrepiece, however.
With Nayef Road not taking up his entry at Sandown, that is the best form on offer. Cross Counter may have been beaten 18 lengths by Stradivarius, but gets in here without penalties.
His Ascot performances and Goodwood Cup third last July, where he finished 7 1/4 lengths in front of the re-opposing Dashing Willoughby giving 15lb weight-for-age, also reads well here.
Cross Counter is 8lb and upward clear of his four rivals on official ratings, so this looks a nice opportunity to regain the winning thread.
Coral Charge Sprint Stakes betting tips – Lazuli can follow-up
Godolphin and Appleby could have a quickfire Eclipse day double with Lazuli looking to follow-up in the 5f Group 3 Coral Charge Sprint Stakes (13:50).
The son of Dubawi doesn’t have an obvious sprinter’s pedigree, but made all very nicely in the Scurry Stakes over course and distance last month.
That was a third win in five starts for Lazuli. The way he quickened up when jockey William Buick shook the reins two out saw him put the race to bed.
Lazuli went clear in the final furlong for an unchallenged victory. It left the impression that he was a cut above Listed level, so he’steps up in grade here.
The Coral Charge Sprint Stakes is open to older horses too, but three-year-olds like Lazuli get 4lb weight-for-age. He already has an official rating of 109 and, on adjusted ratings, that puts him firmly in the mix.
With lots of scope for further progress, and Appleby on a 32 per cent strike rate with his runners in the last 14 days at the time of writing, Lazuli has plenty going for him.
As the sole three-year-old filly in this, Liberty Beach gets weight all-round and comes out best on adjusted figures. John Quinn’s charge was a fine third in the Group 1 King’s Stands Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
This daughter of Cable Bay is a winner in the grade in juvenile company after landing the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last term. Prior to that, Liberty Beach scored course and distance success at Listed level.
It makes her a clear danger to Lazuli. The pair appeal more than others in the Coral Charge Sprint Stakes off favourable terms.
Gala Stakes betting tips – Aloe Vera an each-way bet
In the Listed 1m 2f Gala Stakes later on the card (16:05), the unexposed Aloe Vera could outrun her odds. Trained by Ralph Beckett, this daughter of Invincible Spirit is unbeaten in two career starts.
She is thus open to more progress than any of her six rivals. Aloe Vera also gets weight all-round via a handy 5lb sex allowance.
After scoring in novice company at Cheptstow, she followed-up and landed the Listed 1m 2f Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood. Aloe Vera drew clear in ready fashion for a three-length victory.
Although she hasn’t been seen in over 400 days since, she did hold entries in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot and Group 3 Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle.
If turning up, she shouldn’t be a double figure price given her unexposed profile. Some of the colts and geldings in the Gala Stakes carry penalties which put race terms firmly in Aloe Vera’s favour.
Rossa Ryan now takes the ride and is operating at a 24 per cent strike rate in the saddle in the last fortnight. Taking all that into account, Aloe Vera is each-way value on this cracking card.