Hugh Taylor

Hugh's three bets for Saturday's racing are online, with two running at Ascot on British Champions Day - live on Sky Sports Racing.

Updated 9:02, 9.12, 9.24 - all selections online.

Most of the betting markets at Saturday’s fabulous Champions Day meeting at Ascot are fairly mature ones with much of the value already gone, but I think CLON COULIS is still fairly priced in the Balmoral handicap (Ascot 4.40).

She hasn’t had many runs on testing ground, or in big-field handicaps on straight tracks, but on the one occasion she did encounter such circumstances, in this year’s Royal Hunt Cup, she ran a remarkable race.

Held up at the back of the stands-side group, she was still on the bridle approaching the 2f pole, and made up plenty of ground to almost collar the eventual winner, covering the final 3f 0.64 seconds (or more than three lengths) faster than any of her rivals.

The form of that race is really strong – the subsequent winners of the two other £100k+ handicaps run on the straight track finished third and fifth respectively, whilst the subsequent Bunbury Cup winner was seventh.

I like Clon Coulis’s draw in stall one – at this meeting I’d tend to shy away from high-drawn horses in big fields as the runners tend to avoid the stands side, perhaps partly down to the final furlong or so being slower to dry at this time of year due to shadows from the main stand.

The ground might be a bit different to Hunt Cup day – it rained heavily that day whereas this is longstanding deep ground, whilst a more obvious concern is luck in running, especially if the field are converging towards the far side by this time.

However, she’s racing off the same mark as at Royal Ascot and looks to have a strong chance with so much in her favour. 

SANDS OF MALI has run two huge races at Ascot, is well suited by testing ground, and might not be badly drawn in stall 3, so it looks worth chancing that he’ll bounce back to form in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (1.35).

He won this race last year in an excellent time despite not having really fired on some of his mid-season starts. That confirmed his aptitude for this track, shown earlier when runner-up in the Commonwealth Cup on fast ground earlier that season.

He’s available at double-figure odds because he didn’t fire on his two previous British starts this season (didn’t make the running on either occasion), but on the plus side he’s fresher than most here, and he might bounce back with conditions in his favour.

Away from Ascot, FALCON CLIFFS looks to have a good chance in the 2m handicap at Wolverhampton (6.15).

She has plenty of all-weather form that would give her a strong chance in this grade, including when runner-up to a progressive rival over this course and distance in January off a 10lb higher mark.

She hasn’t been seen to best effect on either of her two most recent all-weather starts, including when catching the eye to a degree at Lingfield last time, and down sharply in grade here, she will be hard to beat if anywhere near her best.


Hugh gives a daily indication of when the column will be published via Twitter.com (username is HughRacing). You can also listen to a Final Furlong Podcast special in which Hugh explains the methodology behind the column here.

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Hugh recorded a profit of +345pts in 2018, and a ROI of 1.55, his highest ever. With regards to Betfair SP, Hugh recorded a profit of +66pts (ROI of 1.11) before commission. You can view his monthly figures by clicking the links below:
2019 results
2018 results ROI 1.55 +345pts
2017 results ROI 1.46 +282pts
2016 results ROI 1.44 +281pts
2015 results ROI 1.34 +207pts
2014 results ROI 1.32 +199.79pts
2013 results ROI 1.32 +210pts
2012 results ROI 1.31 +222.65pts
2011 results ROI 1.28 +302.64 pts
2010 results ROI 1.23 +324.79 pts
2009 results ROI 1.26 +500.36 pts

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Ascot 13:35, 19 October 2019

Ascot 16:40, 19 October 2019

Wolverhampton 18:15, 19 October 2019

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