Ben Morgan

Ben`s Friday & Saturday Tips

            If you look at the race card at York today you may think I’m taking a leap of faith tipping HARTSWOOD today as his bare form doesn’t read all that well. However, if you scratch beneath the surface like many have overnight, you will see what could be a well handicapped horse. Richard Fahey’s charge loves it here at York and has saved his best runs for the course. His sixth placed effort two runs ago is top form but his blowout at Goodwood last time out may put a few off today but it hasn’t me. If he can reproduce his average York form then he goes very close here.
            I’m going to take a light leap of faith on TASHGEEL in the finale. Grant Tuer is having a fine season and this Sheikh Hamdan kick out could be set to strike. Formerly with Dermot Weld he showed a liking for soft ground when winning at Listowel and since coming over to these shores he hasn’t quite had his conditions. His first run after a break was easily forgivable and the fact he got backed into 15/8 favourite at Carlisle last time out on his second start for the yard suggests they like him a lot. The step up to 7f on soft ground could really suit this horse and at 25/1 I’m willing to take punt.
York 3.15 Hartswood
York 5.25 Tashgeel
            I was super confident on Great White Shark last year in the Cesarewitch and am tempted to back her again this year but the prospect of firmer ground puts me off. I’d much rather take a punt on the ultra consistent ELYSIAN FLAME who certainly deserves to win a big pot like this. He doesn’t look as well weighted as some of these but he will definitely stay the trip and shouldn’t mind the better ground. 18/1 looks a fair price for such a solid horse.
            I also think PLATFORM NINETEEN is worth a few quid each way at 33/1 as I don’t think he has quite found his ceiling yet. He has no weight on his back and I’m sure this race has been on the agenda for quite some time so dismiss him at your peril.
            Up at York I have some confident selections. First up is FISHABLE who is in deep waters in the 2.37 but these are the races he tends to save his best for. I thought he was a banker last time out but he ran too bad to be true that day and consequently the bookies have dismissed him by opening up 22/1. I have plenty of respect for the favourite but at the prices I think the selection could run a huge race at a course he loves.
            I’ve been waiting for two horses to see run on soft ground this Autumn and it’s sod’s law that they line up against each other in the 5.00 at York. SPIRIT DANCER is definitely a winner in waiting off his current mark but shouldering top weight in a race like this may be tough. The form of his last race at Chester couldn’t have worked out much better as the winner took a listed race next time out and Richard Fahey had said his runner would come on for the runner. I’d suggest he will be fit for his life tomorrow and might just be good enough to shoulder the weight.
            If he isn’t then I hope FIRST IMPRESSION can pick up the pieces. He could make me look like a fool but I’ll happily forgive his past two runs on the basis of the ground. I think he is a much better horse on soft ground and the opening show of 22/1 is extreme value in my eyes. His form prior to those runs is right up there with the best in this race and if the return to a softer surface does the trick then we could be in for a big result.
Newmarket 3.35 – Elysian Flame / Platform Nineteen
York 2.37 – Fishable
York 5.00 – First Impression / Spirit Dancer

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