To make our Placepot selections – available below – we’ve used the Timeform ratings, Flags, Pace Map, Analyst Verdict and form archives – all of which you can access with Timeform Race Passes. Not a subscriber? Try it out with our Free Daily Race Pass, which is the feature race of the day, the Cambridgeshire Handicap, due off at 15:40.
New to the Placepot?
For those unfamiliar with the Tote’s raceday ritual, the Placepot simply requires you to pick one horse to finish placed in each of the first six races of a given meeting. You can also add alternative horses to some or all of the races, or ‘legs’, to create more lines and boost your chances of winning. Until recently, the cost of each combination, or 'line' was set at £1, but Tote now allow online bettors to place just 10p on each line, as long as you meet the minimum total stake of 50p with your 'perm', or combination of lines.
If you’re successful, you’ll win an equal share of an overall pot (proportionate to your stake) made up of the stakes from all entries – no matter which placed horses made up your winning line(s), or what price they were. However, because of the way the Tote works, the fewer people who select your horses, the better your potential return.
Leg 1: 13:15 - Blandford Bloodstock Maiden Fillies' Stakes (D.I)
Not much form on offer here with some nicely bred newcomers set for their first start, though it could well pay to side with those who have experience in the opener. Stellar Queen finished ahead of OHEKA here on the July Course last month, second and third respectively; the winner that day benefitting from front-running tactics under a steady gallop before kicking clear from the field in decisive fashion.
Oheka was given a patient ride that day, making her effort from the rear of the field under Richard Kingscote, but she shaped well, showing a good attitude to run into the places, with that late charge highlighted by the Sectional Timing Flag. There could well be plenty of dangers lurking amongst the newcomers, though William Haggas' charge tops our ratings here on 88p, and she'll likely prove difficult to beat if able to build on that debut run, particularly if allowed to race more prominently this time under Oisin Murphy.
A field of seven are set to go to post for the first Group race on Saturday's card, with Royal Patronage topping our ratings, as he steps up to Group 2 company after striking from the front in the Acomb Stakes at York. Mark Johnston's charge was a 25/1 winner that day, and he may well get a similar scenario here, with our pace map suggesting he could get an easy time at the head of affairs, looking sure to be suited by the step up in trip to 1 mile, though the latter comment also applies for MASEKELA.
Representing the in-form Andrew Balding yard, Masekela was narrowly denied by Timeform's current top-rated two-year-old Native Trail in the Superlative Stakes here in July, but returned to winning ways when landing the (listed) Denford Stakes at Newbury last month from Bayside Boy, who has subsequently come out and won the (Group 2) Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. Rated 120p, he has just 1lb to find with our top-rated, whilst he still possesses the Timeform small 'p', which suggests there could well be more to come. We're confident he'll be firmly in the mix as he bids for a first success at Group level, and he gets the vote to take this, hopefully bringing up a double for the Champion Jockey in the process.
Irish raider Sacred Bridge is the highest-rated juvenile filly in the UK and Ireland this season on the Timeform ratings and she will be tough to beat here, she has 5lb in hand of the field and is open to further improvement. She’s a very worthy favourite but we’re going to take a sporting chance with one at a bigger price who could get the run of the race from the front.
FLOTUS looked a filly destined for the top when winning on debut, doing enough to see her sent off favourite for the Albany at Royal Ascot, but she disappointed in her three subsequent starts when often racing keenly. However, she bounced back in style last time under a positive ride from Silvestre de Sousa in a listed event at Redcar and her draw in stall 13 here means James Doyle can send her on with the assistance of the rail, tactics which often pay off on the Rowley course at Newmarket.
An interesting starting point when tackling this race is the fact that seven of the last nine Middle Park winners have either made all or sat just off the speed on the way to winning on the Rowley Mile, a course that tends to suit front-running tactics. The Timeform Pace Map is predicting a weak pace in this years renewal, with GO BEARS GO likely to lead them after making the running/sitting prominently in his last two starts in Ireland. He’s got the form in the book and a cracking attitude to go with it, and he will be tough to peg back if Rossa Ryan can pop him out in front and get over to the rail from stall 4.
Perfect Power sets the standard on the Timeform ratings but he tends to be held up, and it’s not hard to envisage him meeting trouble in running and shaping well without winning.
Now we come to the big one, and considering not even one in eight horses can be placed, we’ll chance three at this.
We’ve said before that the Pace Map is perhaps most pertinent in races run over straight courses, and perhaps even more so over longer trips such as this, where race tempo can have an exaggerated effect on finishing order. Take a glance at the Pace Map for the Cambridgeshire and it’s striking how many are likely to go forward early, hence the pace forecast of ‘extreme’. Looking at the four deemed most likely to be held up, the one who makes the most appeal is easily BEDOUIN’S STORY, who looks well-handicapped for this. He wasn’t seen to best effect when a beaten favourite at Chelmsford last time, 2 lengths sixth of 10 and keeping on from a poor position despite what may well have been an inadequate trip of just 7f. With Jamie Spencer booked you can be sure of waiting tactics.
Next we’ll take one at an even bigger price in ROPEY GUEST. He was consistent throughout his first two seasons but has found life tougher this year, a string of noughts in his form not making great reading. However, looking at the low timefigures recorded in most of those races, it’s clear most weren’t run to suit staying types, and comments like the following in the Bunbury Cup tell the same story: “remains in good form and is surely due a change of luck with the draw soon, racing in the 'wrong' group for a third time in succession”. He’s far more likely to get a good tow into this race drawn behind no fewer than four known pace-forcers, and whilst his 4lb penalty may well put the win out of his grasp, his yard is performing well, he’s still only a four-year-old and we’ll hope the step up in trip can bring further improvement.
Finally, we’ll go for a safety angle and it’s UNCLE BRYN we’re drawn to. His yard’s recent successes in this race are no secret and that has no doubt been factored into his and his stablemate’s prohibitive prices, but he’s perhaps the one who looks most open to improvement, as indicated by the ‘p’ next to his rating of 120. That leaves him with 6lb to find on bare form, and there’s good reason to believe he will manage it, his yard flying with a typically impressive run-to-form rate of over 70%.
Leg 6: 16:15 - Blandford Bloodstock Maiden Fillies' Stakes (D.II)
An interesting fillies’ maiden for the final leg full of well-bred newcomers. However, THANKS MONICA already has a run under her belt and the form of her fourth on debut is working out well. Frankie Dettori takes over in the saddle today and he can pop her out in front to make use of her experience and make all.
Timeform Placepot perm;
Leg 1: 7 Leg 2: 3 Leg 3: 4 Leg 4: 6 Leg 5: 6, 11, 10 Leg 6: 11
1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 3 x 1 = 3 lines