Steventon Stakes betting tips: Desert Encounter appeals at Newbury

The Steventon Stakes betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts for the Listed 1m 2f contest at Newbury say course winner Desert Encounter is value to the land spoils on Super Sprint day; Saturday, 21 July. Emotionless is the clear danger, while Autocratic is the each-way value in this year’s renewal. Find out why when you read our 2018 Steventon Stakes betting tips preview.

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Odds
9/2
Selection
Desert Encounter
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Odds
2/1
Danger
Emotionless
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Odds
6/1
E/W
Autocratic
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Go in for Desert Encounter in Steventon Stakes

Desert Encounter will definitely appreciate not having to chase after Poet’s Word for a change as he drops significantly in class to tackle the Listed 1m 2f Steventon Stakes for trainer David Simcock at Newbury in the opener on Super Sprint day this Saturday (13:50).

The six-year-old has a 33 per cent career strike rate, having landed six of his 18 starts and placing in seven others. Desert Encounter has tackled some of the toughest middle distance assignments on offer this season and last, largely running with credit.

Among his back form is a 3 1/2 lengths third to Ulysses in the 2017 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown over the trip in this, and a 4 1/2 lengths third to Poet’s Word in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at the same venue on his penultimate outing.

Running at Ascot seems to take its toll on Desert Encounter, as he been well-beaten by that rival, the mighty Enable and Cracksman in Group 1 contests. He is a winner at this level at that venue, however, and posted a career best effort when landing the Group 3 old Arc Trial (Legacy Cup Stakes) by a neck over 1m 3f here last season.

Rather than keep trying at the very top, connections have had the common sense to ease Desert Encounter in grade. He is thus top rated in the Steventon line-up on an official mark of 112 and, with some question marks hanging over his main market rival, looks the value bet in this.

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Really Good 94/100
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Really Good 93/100
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Don’t expect Appleby to be Emotionless if charge wins

Trainer Charlie Appleby and leading owners Godolphin have proved a seriously potent combination on big Saturdays this season, and they team up again here with Emotionless, who heads the betting but clearly hasn’t been the most straightforward.

The five-year-old hasn’t raced in the UK for two years with each of his last four career outings at Meydan in the Middle East. In between the third and fourth of those, Emotionless spent over 300 days on the sidelines but returned to action when a 2 1/4 lengths runner-up to Bentbal in a Group 3 contest.

This son of Shamardal hasn’t been seen since and that is the problem. He’s now got yet another absence of almost 200 days off the track to overcome, and short-price favouritism takes some justifying in the circumstances.

As a juvenile, Emotionless was a Group 2 winner having landed the 2015 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival. That helped him to earn a career high rating of 117, but he is now rated 6lb lower than it.

His stable’s blistering form and big race successes for connections mean he is respected, but it’s a big ask for Emotionless who cannot be race fit with just one run in him since March 2017. At the odds on offer then, we’re taking him on.

Autocratic an each-way alternative

Last year’s Brigadier Gerard winner Autocratic also has a Listed victory on his CV, so the Sir Michael Stoute trained five-year-old is an each-way alternative to consider here.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, this son of Dubawi shaped as though coming to the boil when a 2 1/2 lengths fourth to Monarchs Glen in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. Although he couldn’t reach the winner, this is a far easier race for the grade.

Prior to that, Autocratic was a half-a-length runner-up to First Sitting at Goodwood also at this level and second to old rival Fabricate on the all-weather at Kempton. Connections also tried stepping him to a mile-and-a-half this season, but that didn’t work as he trailed in a well-beaten fifth of six behind Defoe.

A trip of 10 furlongs in races that are not so hot is what Autocratic needs. This assignment is his easiest for some time, so it’d be no surprise to see him make the frame – especially if the obvious doubts about the race fitness of Emotionless emerge.

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