Simon Holt's best bets and tips for Chester and Sandown

Alternative Fact is fancied at a big price
Alternative Fact is fancied at a big price

Pocket Dynamo can win the Scurry Stakes at Sandown, according to top commentator Simon Holt - he has three Saturday selections.

Recommended bet: Saturday June 15

2pts win Durston in 2.40 Chester at 5/1

1pt e.w. Alternative Fact in 3.15 Sandown at 33/1

1pt win Pocket Dynamo in 2.05 Sandown a 7/1


The Saturday before Royal Ascot is understandably a bit light on top-class action but DURSTON is fancied to provide a bit of gunpowder for next week's festivities in the Whitley Neill Handcraft Gin Handicap at Chester.

David Simcock's colt really caught my eye when chasing home the Dante third Surfman in a maiden at Nottingham last November and, after appearing to find 10 furlongs on good ground a little sharp at Windsor on his reappearance albeit in a hot maiden won by the subsequent London Gold Cup runner-up Sinjaari, he opened his account over a mile and six at Doncaster.

That was on good to firm but Durston's pedigree - he is a half-brother to the mud-loving Cubanita and recent soft ground Chester winner Aquarium - suggests some ease underfoot will be highly suitable and there is every chance he will prove too strong for his rivals in the closing stages over what could be a testing mile and a half here.

Another horse who will enjoy the prevailing ground conditions is ALTERNATIVE FACT who, after two nondescript runs this year, will start a big price in the Randox Health Handicap at Sandown.

I am hopeful of a much better performance this time as the four-year-old's trainer Ed Dunlop has now struck form and the gelding's best efforts have come with plenty of give in the ground.

At one stage last season, Alternative Fact was rated 102 when finishing second to the recent French Group 3 winner Danceteria at Newmarket whereas he can now run off just 89. Jockey Robert Havlin can afford to be positive over the mile here on a horse who stays a mile and a quarter.

Earlier, it might be worth taking a chance on POCKET DYNAMO handling the likely soft ground in the opening Randox Health Scurry Stakes.

Robert Cowell's charge takes a drop in class after chasing home Battaash, Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross in the Temple Stakes at Haydock and other efforts including his second in last year's Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and an unlucky fifth behind Sergei Prokofiev at Newmarket give him a leading chance.

Pocket Dynamo’s price reflects the fact he has yet to run on this deeper surface.

Posted at 1345 BST on 14/06/19.

Fran Berry thinks Thrave can go well this weekend
Fran Berry thinks Thrave can go well this weekend

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