Guest post written by Elliot Slater
Whilst the vast majority of eyes will undoubtedly be trained on warm favourite Profound Beauty in Saturday’s Group 1 Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh, my gaze will be fixed very firmly on the John Dunlop-trained gelding Tactic, who I believe represents tremendous each-way value at current odds of around 9/1, writes Elliot Slater.
If you overlook his last run, when virtually pulled up and found to be lame in the Goodwood Cup, then Tactic has a tremendously progressive profile and will arrive at the Curragh having beaten Profound Beauty fair and square over course and distance back in June, when making all the running and then showing a terrific attitude to beat Dermot Weld’s mare with the minimum of fuss. On only 3lbs better worse terms, I find it very hard to envisage a fully fit Tactic going down tamely on Saturday against a mare who tends to save her best performances for Leopardstown and always seems less effective racing right-handed at the home of Irish racing.
Prior to overturning Profound Beauty at the Irish Derby meeting, Tactic had effectively destroyed some pretty decent opponents when running out a 14-length winner at York in listed company, and if you excuse his Goodwood run (which anyone with any genuine knowledge of the sport surely must be able to do without as much as a second thought), then he is, in my personal opinion, the most progressive horse in the entire field.
As with Profound Beauty and another leading contender in the form of Sans Frontieres, Tactic is a possible contender for the hotly anticipated Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington in early November, and a bold show might well convince owner Sheikh Hamdan al Makhtoum that he is worth taking a chance on in the ‘race that stops a nation’ over in Australia.
I feel very safe in the knowledge that a responsible master trainer such as the esteemed John Dunlop would never even dream of pitching Tactic into a Group 1 contest if he wasn’t entirely certain that his charge had recovered from whatever ailed him at the idiosyncratic Goodwood track last time out. If you’re interested in betting horses at all, at his current odds he must surely represent excellent value for a race in which there are definite question marks hanging over the credentials of the betting firms’ favourite.
Elliot Slater has worked as a professional broadcast journalist specialising in horse racing for over two decades. A keen student of the form book and of handicapping, Slater has proved a regular success as a tipster. His first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of the on and off-course betting industry (for a number of years he was a respected SP returner) has proved another significant factor in his perception of the betting and racing industry as a whole.
A successful thoroughbred breeder, Slater’s additional knowledge of pedigree and bloodlines offers yet another angle that will help keep you ahead of the game.