Gigaset International Stakes betting tips: Firmament value in big field Ascot handicap

Firmament, Makzeem and Sabador feature among potential punts for Horsebetting.com experts’ tips in a typically wide-open renewal of the Gigaset International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, 28 July. David O’Meara’s Firmament narrowly gets the vote as the main selection over Makzeem in the 7f handicap. Sabador looks capable of going well at big odds also.  Read our in-depth 2018 Gigaset International Stakes betting tips preview for full details on all three horses.

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Odds
20/1
Selection
Firmament
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Odds
9/1
Danger
Makzeem
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Odds
16/1
E/W
Sabador
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Firmament primed for International challenge

Firmament has caught the eye in his last two starts and looks decent value in a typically fierce renewal of the Gigaset International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday (15:00). The David O’Meara trained six-year-old is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing a competitive 20-runner affair at York back in August 2016 off a mark of 96.

However, he has posted some really solid efforts in defeat including when third to Tabarrak in a Listed contest at this venue off an official rating of 109. Firmament also ran very well on his final start last season when a five-length eighth of 20 to Lord Glitters here off the same rating.

He is now able to race off 98 and that makes him a big player from a handicapping perspective. Firmament also comes into the race having shaped much better than the bare result suggests in both the Royal Hunt Cup at this venue and the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket.

In the former, he was constantly denied a clear run at a vital stage before finishing an 8 1/2 lengths 14th of 30 to Settle For Bay. Firmament backed that up with a solid sixth of 18 to Burnt Sugar at headquarters, again finding himself short of room inside the final furlong before staying on well to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.

Judged on those efforts, Firmament is in good form and weighted to go well in this granted better luck in-running. At the odds on offer, he narrowly gets the vote as our main selection, but with 29-runners – and some bookies paying enhanced place terms – an each-way punt is suggested.

1.
Betfair
Really Good 94/100
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100% up to 100£
2.
William Hill
Really Good 94/100
T&Cs Apply, 18+
100% up to 30£
3.
Betvictor
Really Good 93/100
T&Cs Apply, 18+
100% up to 40£

Makzeem spearheads a host of possible dangers

Makzeem finished half-a-length in front of Firmament when fifth in the Bunbury Cup, a race which could hold the key to this, and looks to be working his way back to his best. He therefore rates the main danger in a wide-open contest where a case can be made for many.

After being held-up in the centre, the Roger Charlton trained six-year-old was driven into contention two from home by jockey Ryan Moore. He then stayed on well to hold every chance inside the last before being unable to find any extra close home.

It was a big step back in the right direction and Makzeem ran well in this race 12 months ago when sent off a heavily-backed 11/2 favourite and finishing a 3 1/2 lengths sixth of 27 to Stamp Hill. Although now 12lb higher in the weights, the son of Makfi has shown that he can be competitive off his current mark of 103.

For evidence of that, see his run over course and distance back in October when a 2 3/4 lengths fourth of 18 to Accidental Agent in a hot contest that has produced a stack of subsequent winners. Makzeem was giving 1lb to Accidental Agent, who landed the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, so that gives the form a rock solid look.

He is clearly suited by big fields and a strong gallop, so they are big ticks in this. Makzeem also goes well for Moore, who has won twice and been placed once on him in five starts. Taking everything into account, he has the perfect profile for the race and look sure to make a bold bid to land this valuable prize for his in-form handler.

Sabador odds make him another to consider

Another well worthy of consideration based on his fourth of 27 to Ripp Orf over course and distance in the Victoria Cup is the Ed Walker trained Sabador. He looks capable of outrunning his bigs odd and is therefore another leading each-way contender.

The four-year-old held every chance inside the final furlong before weakening close home and losing two places. It was a fine effort on return to action after 324 days on the sidelines and he can be forgiven his run next time up when only ninth of 12 at Chester, as that tight turning track did not play to his strengths in any way shape or form.

This test will suit Sabador much better and he is able to race in it off only 1lb higher than his previous excellent run in the Victoria Cup. It makes him a key player at the weights and, after just seven starts, the son of Kendargent remains relatively unexposed in relation to the vast majority of his rivals and open to further progression.

Sabador is also a hold-up performer and this race is usually run at a blistering end-to-end gallop. That will suit his run style and he looks a lively outsider capable of being bang there at the business end of affairs.

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