Mitchum Swagger, Raising Sand and Via Via feature among potential each-way punts for Horsebetting.com experts in their 2018 Balmoral Handicap betting tips. The Jason Tate trained and in-form Via Via rates the main selection for the 1m contest on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, October 20, now partnered by Ryan Moore who has a terrific strike rate when teaming up with the yard. Raising Sand is a real course specialist who scored in fine style last time out, so looks sure to go well. Mitchum Swagger also has his optimum conditions and has become well-treated, so looks a lively outsider at huge odds and capable of hitting the frame. Read our in-depth 2018 Balmoral Handicap betting tips preview for full details on these horses’ chances.Via Via the Balmoral bet under MooreVia Via has been knocking on the door of late and looks decent value in the 1m Balmoral Handicap that brings the curtain down on a superb six-race British Champions Day card at Ascot on Saturday (16:30). This Jason Tate trained six-year-old is yet to get his head in front this season, but has posted some solid efforts in defeat and the booking of Ryan Moore to do the steering is an eye-catching one.
He has a terrific overall strike rate of 38 per cent when teaming up with the yard. In the last 12 months it is 66 per cent – two wins from just three rides – so the fact he is now in the plate suggests connections clearly mean business.
In Via Via, he has a partner who shaped really well on seasonal reappearance when sixth of 20 to handicap blot Addeybb in the Lincoln over a mile at Doncaster off a mark of 101. The son of Lope De Vega was then far from disgraced in the mud when a 3 3/4 lengths fourth of nine to Emmaus in a Listed contest over 7f at Leicester when staying on well at the business end of affairs.
Via Via then again finished off strongly when fifth of seven to Arod in a similar grade affair at Windsor when almost snatching fourth close home. He the disappointed when well beaten in a handicap at Redcar but, following a break, has run two cracking races to make the frame.
In the first of those over the 1m trip of this at Newmarket, he stayed on well to go down by just a length to Argentello. That one has won again since and Via Via now meets him on 10lb better terms, so that should be more than enough to see him turn the tables.
Via Via backed that up with a fine third of 33 to Wissahickon in last month’s Cambridgeshire over 1m 1f at Newmarket, where he led at the furlong marker and kept on for pressure when headed to be beaten just over four lengths. The drop back to 1m is in his favour and, although raised 2lb for that run, a revised rating of 101 still makes him look very competitive from a handicapping perspective.
So, given that he is clearly at the top of his game at present, Via Via looks to have lots going for him in this and thus features as the main selection in our 2018 Balmoral Handicap betting tips. However, with a huge field of 23 set to go to post, many firms will offering enhanced placed terms, so our advice is to back him each-way.Course specialist Raising Sand sure to go well Raising Sand heads the betting and is a real course specialist. He has won three times and been placed twice from eight starts at the Berkshire venue. The Jamie Osborne trained six-year-old is also two from three at the track over the 1m trip of this, so looks sure to go well.
The gelding was far from disgraced when keeping on to finish a never nearer four-length seventh of 30 to handicap blot Settle For Bay in the Royal Hunt Cup over course and distance back in June or when a keeping on 3 1/4 lengths eighth of 20 to Ripp Orf in the 7f Cunard Handicap here.
Raising Sand also ran well in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket when eighth of 33 to Wissahickon two starts back, before returning to winning ways with an authoritative display when landing the competitive 15-runner Challenge Cup over 7f here 14 days ago.
After racing in touch in the hands of Nicola Currie, Raising Sand made smooth headway travelling strongly two from home. He then quickened smartly to lead just inside the final furlong and despite wandering cosily beat Ripp Orff by two lengths. He arguably hit the front too soon and idled, so was value for more than the winning margin.
Connections have wisely decided to turn him out under a 6lb penalty and Raising Sand still looks nicely treated on the pick of his back form. Underfoot conditions are also ideal and Currie is once again in the saddle and takes off 3lb with her claim. Raising Sand has the perfect profile for this and a bold bid to follow-up looks assured. Hence he had to feature among our potential each-way punts for the Balmoral.Mitchum Swagger another each-way player at huge oddsOff those at bigger odds, Mitchum Swagger looks a lively outsider and weighted to go well on the pick of his form. The six-year-old is not the easiest to win with, but does have some really solid placed efforts to his name, including when a cracking 1 1/2 lengths third in the 2016 Royal Hunt Cup over this course and distance off a mark of 108 when trained by David Lanigan.
He also ran well to finish a head runner-up in the Group 3 Superior Mile at Haydock in that year off an official rating of 110, and was far from disgraced in another Group 3 at the same venue last season off a rating of 108 before landing a conditions contest at Thirsk off 106.
Mitchum Swagger has had just two runs this season since joining Ralph Beckett, and ran very well in the first of those when a three-length third to Addeybb in the Lincoln at Doncaster where he had Via Via three places behind in sixth. He is now able to race in this off 1lb lower and his current rating of 105 entitles him to plenty of respect from a handicapping perspective.
Soft ground also hold no fears for the son of Paco Boy and he is best when getting a strong pace to aim at in big fields, so this test will suit. Given his run style, Mitchum Swagger will need the cards to drop right. If they do, then he has every chance of making the frame at least. As a result, he had to feature among potential each-way plays in our 2018 Balmoral Handicap betting tips.Your Next Bet