Two months into the Tote Ten to Follow and some players will feel that their chance for the big prize has gone after a slow start.
And while a poor opening half of the competition can leave you on the back-foot, the Transfer Window can present you with an opportunity to target the two remaining monthly accolades.
In both August and September, there is a £10,000 prize up for grabs for the top scorers that month - and playing your transfers strategically could see you put up a bold fight for them.
To win them, you simply have to target the Bonus Races. Our June monthly win house six of the eight Bonus Race winners (Irish Derby winner Santiago was not in the game), while our July winner named four of six Bonus Race winners, with Epsom Derby hero Serpentine the one no one could pick that time.
Cover all bases for August’s prize
August is all about York as far as Bonus Races go, with the Nunthorpe, the Ebor and the Juddmonte International offering up 25 extra points.
For those that don’t have Battaash in their stable, it might be a no brainer to include him if you’re going after the August prize. Although he’s unlikely to contest any Bonus Races down the line, he looks like he’ll be incredibly tough to beat on the Knavesmire.
The Ebor looks a real puzzle, and finding the winner could not only deliver some Bonus Points, but also a hefty win dividend. The likes of Trueshan, Fujairah Prince and Deja should be on your shortlist for that race.
The Juddmonte International is the most interesting, as it gives players the opportunity to bring in a horse that could go on to compete in three more Bonus Races before the season is out. Ghaiyyath looks to be the one they all have to beat - should he secure victory at York, races like the Irish Champion Stakes, another crack at the Arc or maybe a trip to Ascot for the Champion Stakes could be on his radar.
Depending on who you have in your stable, it’s not possible to bring in a horse that will run in two Bonus Races in August - so a glance to your current roster is always advised.
Away from the Bonus Races, there is only one Group 1in the UK (the Yorkshire Oaks, where it seems the race is Love’s to lose), none in Ireland and two in France, so there are only a handful of major races to consider for the rest of the month if a crack at the August prize is appealing.
Target two of Septembers three Bonus Races
September is a bit tricky as outside of the three Bonus Races, there are four Group 1s in the UK and Ireland (excluding two-year-old races) plus two in France. Naming two or three winners of those races could negate any shortcomings in those Bonus Races.
The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the three offering up an extra 25 points to those who find the winner.
Big priced winner of the race Angel Alexander would have bagged 75.1 points in the Ten to Follow for his Scottish success last year, so finding an unfancied winner can have big rewards.
However, knowing who is going to run in the Ayr Gold Cup, let alone win it at this stake is tricky enough.
Swerving the tricky handicap and focusing on the two other Bonus Races plus the multitude of Group racing on offer in September might be wise.
Aidan O’Brien as is usually the case in Ireland, is a man to take note of in the Irish Champion Stakes. The Ballydoyle supremo has had eight winners and 17 placed horses in the race in the last 20 years, so ensuring you have one of the yard’s 10f horses might be a good idea - Magical looking the most obvious selection.
He could hold the key in the St Leger, especially if he opts to send Love down the staying route (though he could even drop her back for the Irish Champion), having saddled two of the last three winners. If she skips the race, he looks to have an able deputy in Santiago.
Representing the home team, English King could be an option for those wanting to side with something away from the Coolmore operation.
Outside of the Bonus Races, the Flying Five at the Curragh and the Sprint Cup at Haydock provide opportunity for 25 point hauls for the sprinters, while the Matron Stakes is the big contest for the three-year-old fillies over a mile.
Be sure to think first and foremost about the Bonus Races if you want to target the monthly prizes, but don’t get lazy if you think you’re covered, take a look at the other Group 1s throughout the month.