Sometimes the week goes your way and others the racing Gods look down on you and have a damned good laugh and sadly for me, last weekend was very much the latter.
I went to Ascot for the Shergar Cup to enjoy the party and look for a few celebrities but with both my tablet and my mobile logged on to BETDAQ (they are on different providers – got to make sure I get a signal), I went off in to battle.
As you may remember I was very keen on the chances of the Rest Of The World team having read plenty online about how “up for it” the three of them were. No need to bore you race by race but suffice to say that by the end of the fourth I was already making plans to spend all my winnings and dreaming of a holiday in the sun. By now black and white was my colour of choice and I decided not to lay back any of my stake (they were trading a lot shorter by now but I was full of misplaced confidence), so I let my bets ride. Having taken a bit of 5.1 I could (should) have covered myself at 2.8 and better but no, pride comes before a fall and my sunbed disappeared in the 1 minute 14.37 seconds it took them to run the last race.
I know it’s easy to whine and moan when you do your cash but considering this was a handicap (i.e. the horses are weighted to finish in a heap), I am surprised that nobody enquired into the fact that the three horses I needed to score points finished seventh eighth and tenth, beaten 12.5 lengths, 13 lengths and 24 lengths respectively? I am no conspiracy theorist and genuinely believe our racing is the straightest in the World, but on a day that was meant to introduce new fans to the sport, I am surprised more questions weren’t asked about the way they were nigh on tailed off in a sprint?
Every cloud has a silver lining and having looked in to the form of the once raced Discourse I had already had a decent punt with BETDAQ at odds of 4.1, 4 and 3.99 and with plenty of money in the market my bets were soon snapped up. This time I got it right as the daughter of Street Cry romped home by an easy four and a half lengths breaking the juvenile course record in the process, and rocketed to near the head of the antepost betting for the 1000 Guineas 2012. She needs to do a bit more before I will risk any of my money on an event nine months away but she is clearly very decent and one to keep on the right side of.
With Ryan Moore out injured I am all over the 3.0 with BETDAQ about Silvestre de Sousa winning the jockey championship, as I believe he has a better chance than Paul Hanagan. Having won the Championship last season I do not pass him over lightly, but will he have the same desire to retain his title as Silvestre has to take it for the first time? His agent seems adept at getting him full books of rides at the Northern tracks whereas Hanagan may be forced to head South to the more competitive meetings and that could make all the difference by seasons end, while Kieren Fallon is already decrying his chances in interviews leaving us with what looks like a two horse race.
Looking ahead we have more action than you can count this weekend with some quality racing Saturday, and then York from Wednesday onwards next week. I still prefer the quality races to bet in when the chances arise as every runner will be tuned to the minute, so my first bet of the weekend will be on Saturday when Rougemont returns for his second run in the Washington Singer Stakes due off at 2.30 from Newbury. He surprised everybody including connections when winning at odds of 25/1 for Richard Hannon on his debut, and that doesn’t happen very often. I doubt we will get anything like those odds here (sadly) but he seems a shoe in to show massive improvement for that run and various pre Goodwood stable interviews suggested they think quite a lot of him. Any rain should not be a problem for this son of Montjeu and he looks like my idea of the banker of the weekend and I will be scouring BETDAQ early doors to snaffle up the best odds I can find.
Although I doubt I get involved Brown Panther is a possible back and lay option in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at 3.05 as he may well be forced to make his own running here. If he does and skips clear of his field then taking a pre race price and then laying back at shorter could reap rewards but as there is no guarantee he will make it, that’s a risk for you to decide on?
I admit to being anything but confident about the Hungerford Stakes at 3.40 but would point out that it is interesting to see Richard Hannon rely on Dubawi Gold from a list of long-term entries. However, I see no reason why he should reverse Ascot form with Excelebration who may be a bigger price than his form suggests (trainer Marco Botti is yet to become a household name) and I will be looking for 4.0 or better when I boot up my laptop Saturday am.
Next week the racing circus moves on to York for the next festival after Goodwood, and held at one of the finest tracks in the Country. Making selections this early is dodgy to put it politely (rain or no rain being the main question), but assuming Good to soft going (fingers crossed), I will be backing Await The Dawn in the Juddmonte Stakes at 3.40 on Wednesday as he has looked a different animal this season. Midday is a worthy adversary but the O’Brien yard should know where they stand having beaten her at The Curragh with Misty For Me (also entered) while Snow Fairy would be interesting if the ground rides fast having looked as though she still needed the run last time out. All in all Await The Dawn looks the likeliest winner of a quality race and if I can get a bit of 2.3 then count me in for a decent bet!
For my last bet this week we have the Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday where there is every possibility of a top class field. Midday is also declared for this contest so who knows where she will run, but I will be backing Blue Bunting regardless.
She is a lovely brave filly who has already won two classics this year in the English 1000 Guineas and the Irish Oaks, though if Banimpire turns up I cannot for the life of me see why she is five times the price of Frankie’s mount, having only been beaten a short head when they last met? If she does turn out, an each way saver is advised though be warned, she may wait for the Prix de l’Opera in France later in the season, so only place your bets once you are sure who is actually running!
Summary of my bets this week:
2pts Win Silvestre de Sousa to win the Jockeys title 2011 (3.0 as I write)
3pts Win Rougemont 2.30 Newbury Saturday
1pt Win Excelebration 3.40 Newbury Saturday (if 4.0 or better)
3pts Win Await The Dawn 3.40 York Wednesday
2pts Win Blue Bunting 3.40 York Thursday
1pt each way Banimpire 3.40 York Thursday (if 8.0 or bigger to win, 3.0 or bigger to place).