O'Meara is King of the Handicaps.
We're on a roll with Great White Shark last weekend making it two weeks in a row we have backed the Big Saturday race winner 🙂
It's an action packed Saturday full of top class flat racing and decent jump racing too. We head to Ascot for the 20 runner Balmoral Handicap.
David O’Meara is a brilliant trainer at lining up a horse to win these valuable handicaps. Over the past five years, David trained runners have finished 12136 in this competitive handicap. We had his winner last year Escobar backed (18/1) and I believe Orbaan is a similar type. Orbaan was bought last October having been trained in France by Andre Fabre. He showed good form in France at pattern level without winning. It was easy to be impressed by Orbaan when he sluiced up at York over a mile on good to soft ground in July. Harry Bentley settled him out the back, he travelled so well that he came through all the runners on the bridle winning comfortably even if by only a length.
Orbaan has been running well without winning since his York win, so has dropped down a pound to 103 which is only 3lbs higher than the mark he won at York. Last time out he raced over course and distance when beaten 3l by Tempus. However, it was a small field and slowly run race which did not suit this hold up runner. Stable jockey Danny Tudhope is back in the plate and while he is drawn high in stall 20 it is most likely he will be dropped in out the back. The quicker they go up front the better as that could set this race up nicely for a “closer”. A solid each way chance available at a good price in a wide open and competitive handicap.
Bells Rock has course form such as when sixth behind Dark Vision in the Royal Hunt Cup over course and distance. That was a good run considering he was drawn low and came up the middle whilst the first four home came up the stands rail. Ten days before Ascot he flew home to beat Ouzo a neck on his first run of the season. That form was franked last Saturday when Ouzo won a good mile handicap at York. Bells Rock has run in two major handicaps following Ascot. At Goodwood he was ridden patiently on his first try over 10 furlongs. He came home well running a nice race to place third after the winner Maydanny got first run on the front end.
A little break followed before Bells Rock returned three weeks ago in the Cambridgeshire. He caught the eye that day finishing off his race well having met some traffic in running. The drop back to a strongly run mile should suit with both trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Oisin Murphy enjoying stellar seasons. Soft Ground is an unknown but is worth accepting at the prices. Off 2lbs better terms with Tempus and little between them in the Cambridgeshire, it doesn’t make sense that Bells Rock is double the price of Tempus. Bells Rock is a good bet in first time pieces having performed consistently well all season yet not over raced having his fifth run of 2020.
Ascot - 4:15 ( Balmoral Handicap)
0.5 Point EACH WAY Orbaan (14/1 Skybet paying 6 places)
0.5 Point EACH WAY Bells Rock (14/1 Skybet paying 6 places)
Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ascot/16:15/winner