The pronounced bias towards horses drawn low, on the inside, over 5 furlongs at Beverley is well known to punters and bookmakers alike and invariably influences the betting on the Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes.
In fact, the eleven winners of the race so far were drawn 1, 2, 1, 9, 2, 4, 1, 9, 8, 7 and 6 so, while it seems obvious that we should concentrate on horses drawn in single figures, we may struggle to find selections that are anything but realistically priced.
Confessional (50/1) finished third, beaten 1½ lengths, in this race three seasons ago from stall 12, but it’s testament to his deterioration in the interim that he was rated 106 on that occasion and is rated just 84 today. A career record of five wins from 82 starts, none of which have come at Listed level, probably tells you all you need to know about Tim Easterby’s eight-year-old and he surely has too much to find, even from the plum draw install 1.
Similar comments apply to Tangerine Trees (25/1), who won this race and the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp as a six-year-old, but has officially deteriorated by 17lb since those halcyon days and is hard to fancy. He did manage to beat fellow veteran Borderlescott, on advantageous terms, in a small conditions race at Ayr in April, but his more recent form is less inspiring.
Of the others drawn in single figures, Line Of Reason (6/1), Maarek (5/1), Alben Star (6/1) and Dikta Del Mar (10/1) don’t fall into the ‘outsider’ category so, we’re left with Holley Shiftwell (14/1), Red Pike (12/1) and Cordial (25/1).
All three of them have work to do to beat the principals on official ratings but, while he’s raced just once (without success) over 5 furlongs, Red Pike has a decent strike rate for a sprinter and has plenty of winning form over 6 furlongs on the prevailing good going. He’ll probably need a career-best effort to win but, in a race where the market leaders look far from ‘bomb-proof’, he’s our tentative selection.
Selection: Beverley 2.20 Red Pike (12/1 generally available) to win