UK Racing Tips

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QIPCO British Champions Day

The final “big” race day of the European flat season, British Champions Day kicks off tonight at 11:20pm Melbourne time with four Group One races and some of the top horses in training despite just 6 races on the card.

It’s been wet during the week so the going should be genuinely soft. There isn’t much rain forecast but that is usually guesswork from English meteorologists and it could still bucket down. The track should be considered a Heavy 8 in Australian terms.


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This should be ideal for STRADIVARIUS. He won this two years ago and was pipped by a flared nostril last year when the race was shifted to the other course and it was a complete bog. Back onto the proper course with no Kew Gardens he should be able to make up for two disappointing trips to France where he wasn’t able to show his quality off dawdling tempos. His win in the Gold Cup in June was electric, and I can’t see anything with the engine to go with him back out to a proper staying trip.

FUJAIRA PRINCE might have won the Irish St Leger with a bit more cut in the ground and raced brilliantly on-speed, getting collared late by Search For A Song who loved the faster ground. He’s not the class of the Strad but i think he is perfectly placed to run a drum here.

SPANISH MISSION is unraced on rain-affected going but after getting fully fit this prep he’s raced extremely well, winning his last two. If he handles the going, he is over the odds.

I can’t separate the O’Brien pair of BROOME and DAWN PATROL, but I rate them ahead of SOVEREIGN who is likely to lead this race and be the bunny to run down. It’s bizarre that Moore is on board him when he looks the weakest of the trio.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Stradivarius for 6 units

BACK (WIN) — Fujaira Prince to place for 2 units

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This looks a great renewal with multiple G1 winners over sprint trips this year all locking horns. I have it down to a race in five, with the barrier draw making things somewhat chaotic. For Champions Day the stalls are positioned on the far side rather than in the centre, so low gates get you closer to the rail. This usually advantages on-pace types drawn well, and backmarkers that are drawn deep.

If there is enough pace, DREAM OF DREAMS should really be able to scalp this. The Haydock win when scooping up the field from the rear was excellent, and the stiff finish here should find out those who struggle at testing courses on testing ground. He should sit back and wide and be produced up the middle of the track and have the final shot at them, having proven himself in muddy going multiple times now.

HAPPY POWER is drawn to get the gun run along the rail and if it is superior ground he cannot be discounted. Silvestre De Sousa got plenty from him last start and knows how to get his horses into the best ground so I’m surprised he jumps off for ART POWER. Even with Doyle now riding, at 20-1 he is value and has never missed the top 4 in the wet from 9 attempts.

OXTED got saloon passage to win the July Cup and I doubt he gets that here. He’s had a few setbacks and hasn’t raced since then, so I’m not sure if he’s fully tuned to win on a deck like Ascot in October. Not a fan of the draw for him either.

STARMAN looked aptly named when winning last start over the now-airborne Dakota Gold. He was slow away, did a lot wrong and still cut them to ribbons. This will test him but I don’t expect him to start double figures for a long, long time should he win here. Can’t lose on him especially with Marquand in form.

ONE MASTER was much too good for Earthlight to win her third straight Foret, but she’s yet to break her duck in three attempts here. PC Boudot makes the trek from France to keep the ride on her and she’s been heavily supported. Her form in the wet is ludicrous: 1111512421 with half of those runs at G1 level.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Dream of Dreams for 3.5 units

BACK (WIN) — Starman for 1 unit

BACK (WIN) — One Master – 2 units Win and 3 units Place

BACK (WIN) — Happy Power for 0.5 units

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I have no clue what has happened to FRANKLY DARLING but based on what she did here earlier in the season on soft ground her $21 quote is a shock. Must have something small on her despite Frankie jumping off for MEHDAAYIH who hasn’t shown anything in a long time.

EVEN SO was wasted on her trip to France by running on rattling-fast ground. She’s always been in the finish in the wet (31311) including an Oaks win and I think she can capitalise on that wet-track profile here against some fully-exposed types.

DAME MAILLOT was ridden upside down by Hollie Doyle in her first G1 in Germany, but she didn’t like the going all that much. She’s a consistent sort who has tested Enbihaar at G2 level and looks smartly placed for this. She’s a swimmer.

WONDERFUL TONIGHT has fins for hooves and has been campaigned magnificently by small-time trainer David Meunisier who knows how to target the right races. She powered through the bottomless ground to win on Arc Weekend but I don’t think she’ll enjoy this Ascot track which is much stiffer than Longchamp.

MANUELA DE VEGA is next best ahead of her stablemate and close relation ANTONIA DE VEGA. Manuela is a pure wet-tracker and doesn’t fire on dry, and Antonia was well-held in this race last year.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Even So for 2 units

BACK (WIN) — Frankly Darling for 1 unit

BACK (WIN) — Dame Maillot for 2 units

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There doesn’t look to be a bet here. PALACE PIER looks different gravy and has dispatched all comers in his career thus far. Should be rated as the world’s best if he can wipe the floor with them again. Quite often there can be traffic issues in mile races at Ascot, (see Mohaather here, twice) so I would rather sit out.

THE REVENANT is the best mudlark in the field and ran 2nd here last year after copping bad interference, but PP has already shown he handles the mud so there isn’t any reason to oppose.

NAZEEF has been a revelation this prep with only one blot on the copybook. She can run well again and may present a good place bet.

CIRCUS MAXIMUS will give yet another good account of himself and may be off to stud after this, so I don’t expect him to surrender the lead without a fight. He’ll give this everything but has a postcode to find on Palace Pier.

No bet. Watch a good horse do his thing.

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Impossible to look past one of the world’s best in MAGICAL. She dispatched one-trick pony Ghaiyyath despite sitting outside him and pressing him the whole way in the Irish Champion, before kicking clear to put it to bed with the Arc winner back in 4th. That’s arguably the best form in the world at the minute, so $3 has to be taken for one of the best in training.

SKALLETTI was much too good in france but it’s hard to really rate that form as most of the field dropped like flies in the bog. He’ll run a big race and is good place odds.

ADDEYBB was a game 2nd in this last year but always held by Magical. He looked shot to pieces and went from 1.5 in the run to 17, before rallying to win last time out as a tune-up for this. He is always better 2nd-up, so that is an impressive trial for this race. His global formlines now look even better with Verry Elleegant winning the Caulfield Cup. He’s going to relish conditions and I am happy to recommend him as a place bet.

MISHRIFF has bullied the French 3yo scene this year and I was a little disappointed they skipped the GP de Paris and the Arc. It seems as though connections feel his limit is 2000m, so that is why they have brought him here. He could well be a freak but hasn’t faced a race of this depth yet and there hasn’t been much merit to his form with the horses he has beaten. I’d get involved at $6+ though, as the current price feels unders against a proven star in her target race.

LORD NORTH loves Ascot but it’s tough to see a repeat of his Royal Meeting win.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Magical for 5 units

BACK (WIN) — Addeybb to place for 3 units

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What a waste of time the Cambridgeshire turned into. A leader on a hot rail running his own race at his own pace away from the entirety of the field and won accordingly. I’m happy to draw a line through that and butter up on TEMPUS once more who still ran enormously with a poor cart into that race. He still finished in front of 21 horses and will get more pace and a better run back in trip. He looks a great bet.

NJORD is a mudlark who makes the trek over from Ireland and has been crunched. He’s drawn sweetly and will be perfectly positioned. He should handle the cut-up track after 5 races and Marquand will throw everything at him.

RAEEQ is a deserving favourite but has to give weight as a 3yo to Tempus and faces a much tougher test than the plodders he dispatched last time. He is definitely suited here but looks very much over-bet.

BELL ROCK was 3rd in the Cambridgeshire and can run another nice race at odds if handling the conditions. He loves uphill finishes so I expect to see him doing his best work late.

KEATS must be respected for Coolmore but needs a PB and to answer questions about handling the going.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Tempus for 2.5 units

BACK (WIN) — Bell Rock for 1 unit


Total Units Staked: 442.50

Total Units Returned: 403.77

ROI: -8.75%


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