Tip of the Day: Go on Steve

Our Ben Linfoot is backing a horse named Steve for the sportinglife.com racing Tip of the Day at Ayr on Wednesday.

They race at Ayr on Wednesday

Tip of the Day – Viva Steve – 1.40 Ayr

VIVA STEVE has swapped Tim Radford's familiar green and purple silks for the equally recognisable blue and yellow of the Rooneys, and he's worth backing on his first start for his new owners and new trainer, Fergal O'Brien, at Ayr on Wednesday.

Picked up for £67,000 at the sales at the end of May, Viva Steve will have to improve a win strike-rate of one win from 14 chase starts if he's to repay that outlay anytime soon, but he's a much better horse than that meagre win return suggests.

Indeed, he ran second to his new owners' The Last Samuri at Kempton last season, while he was narrowly denied by recent Chepstow winner Potters Cross at Newbury in April.

Those were two really good runs in the context of this £10,000 handicap and only the top two, Bernardelli and Silver Tassie, have form to match it. But while Bernardelli needs softer ground and Silver Tassie's trainer, Micky Hammond, is struggling for form, everything is in place for Viva Steve to put in a big run.

The Good to Soft ground conditions are ideal, as those two aforementioned excellent seconds were achieved on a similar surface, while there is nothing wrong with the form of the O'Brien yard who continue to fire in the winners.

On top of this Viva Steve has an excellent record fresh, while it's interesting O'Brien applies a first-time tongue-tie as well.

He should be clear favourite for my money, but he's battling for that right with Malcolm Jefferson's Ballyben. He hails from a yard in good form too, but he has gone up 9lb for his Carlisle win last time and that makes life tough for him here, as he's struggled off this sort of mark in the past.

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What does this mean? From 1000 on the morning of publication, Sky Bet will be industry-best price on all selections in the Tip Of The Day column for ONE HOUR. In the event of non-runners having had a material effect on the market since publication, Sky Bet will guarantee to offer the top-price in the market place.

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