Ascot Gold Cup 2017 Preview

One of the undoubted highlights of Royal Ascot’s five day meeting is the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup which takes place on Ladies day. Run over a stamina sapping two miles and four furlongs and pitching together some of the toughest stayers in Europe, it’s always an intriguing battle of grit, determination and class, and more often than not in recent times the fancied horses have come to the fore. 

Eight of the last 10 winners were priced at 6/1 or less (odds as of 22/06/2017), and six of those were favourites, priced at 6/4 or shorter. Of course upon closer inspection you can see the horses involved in those stats and see that three of those wins were by the magnificent Yeats between 2007 and 2009 and the other three short priced favourites to oblige were all Aidan O’Brien trained as well. Fame And Glory in 2011, Leading Light in 2014, and last year’s winner Order of St George who is back to defend his crown this year and currently around the even money mark to succeed. 

 
Trip To Paris (12/1) and Rite Of Passage (20/1) are the two bigger priced winners over the last decade but both of those were in years where there was no standout candidate for Ballydoyle. Kingfisher was the shortest priced Ballydoyle candidate in Trip To Paris’ Gold Cup and arguably would have won with a bit more luck in the run, so, forget about the trends, because effectively what we have here is a stable so dominant in producing the right type of horse for this race that all one has to do is decide whether you are with them, or against them. And the reason they are so dominant? Saddlers Well is his name. Sire of the great Galileo, who has proved as equally adept as his father in the bedroom, Saddler’s Wells has had a hand (or hock) in all seven of Ballydoyle’s Gold Cup wins with the latest, this year’s favourite, Order of St George, a son of Galileo, looking to add another notch to the bedpost. 

So will it be yet another Ascot Gold Cup triumph for the all powerful Saddler’s Wells bloodline or is there something lurking lower down the list that could cause a surprise? 

Order of St George 

Last year’s winner warmed up with a win in a Leopardstown Listed race after meeting defeat on seasonal debut. Not much to learn from either of those really as is a proven top classer when the big days come around. Third in the Arc is serious form and although the ground will be a lot quicker than last year, he seems to go on it perfectly well. Still one to take on at the likely short odds. 

Simple Verse 

2015 St Leger winning mare who almost always runs well, as when close up in the Champions Long Distance Cup here in October behind Sheikhzayedroad. Ground on the fast side would be a concern but trainer is very confident she’ll stay the trip. Currently around the 7/1 mark. 

Big Orange 

Likes the ground rattling fast and first try at this trip after plenty of success over two miles, including a valiant fifth in a Melbourne Cup. Frankie Dettori’s loss is James Doyles gain and this relentless galloper looks one of the more likely ones if staying the extra half mile. 

Sheikhzayedroad 

Quirky but very talented beast who has taken his form to a new level since stepped up to proper staying trips, culiminating in victory in the Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot back in October. Showed he stayed the trip well enough when third in the Gold Cup last year and faster ground won’t be a problem for him. Likely to be in the shake up at a fair price. 

Sweet Selection 

Certain stayer and followed up her gutsy Cesarewitch win with a victory in the Sagaro Stakes on this season’s reappearance. Might have been flattered that day by racing close to a slugggish pace and has plenty to find even if she does like the ground rattling. Big step forward needed again. 

Torcedor 

Late maturing type for Jessica Harrington who has won two on the spin this season, including a beating of Order of St George on his season reappearance when clearly not fully tuned up. Has never raced over two miles, never mind two and a half miles so plenty to prove on all counts. Currently around 14/1. 

Prince of Aran 

Improved dramatically over the winter on the allweather and showed that turf is no problem last time when reproducing that level of form. Strikes as a similar type to previous winner Trip To Paris in his career progress and unexposed as a stayer. Need a strong pace to be seen to best effect and will certainly get that. Current price of 33/1 looks a bit of value

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Who Are This Year’s Favourites for the Gold Cup?

The biggest horse racing festival of the year is currently underway as Cheltenham started on 14 March this year. The four-day event concludes on Friday with one of the richest events in UK horse racing – the Gold Cup.

Don Cossack, ridden by Bryan Cooper came home as the winner in this event last year having started as the 9/4 favourite. It was the first time since 2013 that the bookies’ favourite won the Gold Cup since Barry Geraghty rode Bobs Worth home with starting odds of 11/4.

This year promises to be an exciting event once again. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have three joint-favourites for Friday’s race, with Native River, Djakadam and Cue Card all currently priced at 7/2 to win the big one. For those interested in Cheltenham Gold Cup betting, Native River heads into the Cheltenham Gold Cup in fine form having won each of its last three races at Newbury and Chepstow.

Meanwhile, French horse Djakadam has won only one of its last six races, though has placed in five of those races. Perpetual winner Ruby Walsh will be riding the horse who opened up as the bookmakers’ third favourite.

Cue Card has won two of its last three races – at Haydock and Ascot, whilst finishing runner-up in a five horse race at Kempton. Jockey P J Brennan heads into Cheltenham on the back of a poor run.

Since 2003, eight of the 14 pre-race favourites have gone on to win the big race. Punters may want to keep a close eye on which horse’s odds drop just before the go to see if their horse starts as the favourite.

The Gold Cup starts at 15:30 on Friday 17 March. A brief guide to Cheltenham 2017 can be found in the graphic below:pic

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The CRAZIEST odds ever to come in

Leicester were given absolutely no hope of winning the Premier League title in June 2015, listed at odds of 5000-1. To put that into context it was considered more likely for Piers Morgan to become Arsenal manager, the Queen to have the Christmas number 1, Kim Kardashian to become the US president and Dean Gaffney to win an Oscar.

On 2nd May 2016, Leicester won the English Premier League title. This meant everyone brave enough to put their money where their mouth was at the start of the season were rolling in it. A £10 bet at odds of 5000-1 would have paid out a staggering £50,000. See below how this compares to some of the craziest odds to ever come in, who even bets in these?:

5.) 1,000-1 – During the 2010 African Cup of Nations Mali were 4-0 down against Angola with 11 minutes left on the clock. One punter saw something that nobody else did and risked £5 on a comeback at 1,000-1. Mali scored two goals by the 90th minute and squared up the scoring in injury time. The match ended 4-4, gifting the lucky punter £5,000.

4.) 1,250-1 – Lewis Hamilton has been pretty dominant in F1 for a number of years, few were surprised when he won his first F1 World Championship with McLaren in 2008 having been tipped for greatness from an early age. One lucky punter must have seen the potential first, having spotted Lewis when he was karting at 13 years old. He promptly put £100 on Lewis to win the sport’s most prestigious prize. When Lewis delivered the lucky and mysterious chap walked away with £125,000.

3.) 25,0000-1 – The bookies were so confident that Frankie Dettori wouldn’t win all seven races at Ascot in 1996 they gave odds of 25,000-1 of it happening. On the day Frankie created one of the greatest moments in horse racing history by defying those odds and winning all seven. The only person who came close to being as happy as Frankie that day was probably Darren Yeats of Morecambe. Darren put £59 on the outcome at 25,000-1 and walked away with more than £550,000!

2.) 1,666,666-1 – A man from Staffordshire placed a 30p bet and correctly predicted the winner of the top five English leagues, 3 divisions of Scottish football, Leicester to win the rugby union Premiership and Surrey to win the county cricket championship at 1,666,666-1. His thirty pence stake won him an impressive £500,000.

1.) 2,000,000-1 – In 2008, Fred Craggs from Yorkshire decided to put 50p on an eight horse accumulator for his 60th birthday. This resulted in what is believed to be the world record odds for a winning bet at 2,000,000-1, winning him a staggering £1,000,000.

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The Grand National: an early look at three contenders

The Grand National is one of the biggest horse racing events in the world and millions of fans tune in to watch the race on a yearly basis. Since the great race was formed well over a century ago, the best runners and riders have gone head-to-head over this unforgiving four-mile, 30-fence track – and it makes for a fantastic spectacle.

This year, the Michael O’Leary-owned Rule The World romped home to snatch the victory under a great ride from 19-year-old David Mullins on his National debut. Unfortunately, the 2016 winner won’t be there to defend his crown after he was retired to stud in May. Having said that, there are still plenty of viable candidates to emerge victorious; here are three of our favourites.

 

The Last Samuri

David Bass was given a dream ride on The Last Samuri down the inside of the Aintree circuit but he fell short in the closing stages of the race. With two fences to jump, it looked like the Kim Bailey-trained thoroughbred was about to win the biggest race in the business but he just didn’t have the legs as he held on for a gallant second place…

As of September 29th, The Last Samuri is one of Betway’s early market leaders at 20/1 to win the race and Bass will almost certainly be on board yet again. Keep an eye out for this horse in the coming months as he will almost certainly be given a run or two at the trial events – and National Hunt fans will be watching his progress carefully ahead of the big one in April.

 

Don Poli

Fortunately, Don Poli has plenty of time to adjust to Gordon Elliott’s training regime after Willie Mullins and the Gigginstown House Stud parted ways in September. Without a doubt, Don Poli is a tremendous breed and his third-place finish under Davy Russell in March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup was no fluke – he will be there or thereabouts if he is entered…

At 25/1 to romp home at Aintree, Don Poli is decent value and his odds will almost certainly tumble in the coming months. Usual jockey Bryan Cooper has an excellent relationship with the horse and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see that duo continue to work together under Elliott’s guidance. Watch this space; Don Poli could be a serious contender.
 

The Young Master

The Young Master showed his class when winning the bet365 Gold Cup Chase at Sandown in April and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Neil Mulholland-trained mount take the next step in the coming months. Without a doubt, he looks destined for greatness and it would take a brave man to back against him despite his age. Seven year old’s rarely win this race…

At just seven years old, The Young Master is a genuine talent – and he has already gone up against a number of serious horses at the Cheltenham Festival. He was well beaten by Don Poli in the RSA Chase in 2015 before finishing seventh after a decent run up against Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack in this year’s World Hurdle. Who knows, 2017 could be his year.

Posted in Guest Posts

Best Betting Contenders – Turnbull Stakes

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This time of year horse racing fans and punters know betting offers will be plentiful in Australia’s lead in to the nation's big three horse racing events. Any punter worth their salt is busy with the search for bookie offers from the nation's top betting websites. Free bet offers and matched offers for U.K punters are like silver that can be turned into gold with the right plays. Here are some of these betting offers for 2016

About the Turnbull Stakes 

In anticipation of the prestigious Caulfield Cup, WS COX Plate and Melbourne Cup, the horse racing schedule is filled with great horse racing action. Many of the scheduled Group rated races are designed to serve as major preps for the big three or other prestigious races like the Caulfield Guineas. One of the most prominent preps for stayers that are targeting the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate is the Turnbull Stakes. The race has a rich history, having been won by the likes of top thoroughbreds like Sunline (2001), Northerly (2002), Makybe Diva (2005), Lucia Valentina (2014) and last year's winner Preferment. Here's a look at the race's conditions. 

 

The Turnbull Stakes is scheduled to be run on October 2, 2016 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. The race is designated for 4-year old and up with set weights assigned based on past performance. The race will be run at the distance of 2000 metres (1 1/4 miles) on turf for a purse of $500,000.  

 

Betting the Turnbull Stakes 

With nominations due to be announced within the next couple of weeks, the list of contenders has not yet been established. However, a look at the latest industry news indicates that the connections of several of the nation's top bookie offers have the multiple international races including the Turnbull Stakes on their radar. Here's a look at possible contenders to take up these offers on. 

 

Preferment – What better place to start than the race's defending champion? Preferment won this race last year, only to follow up with disappointing runs in the WS Cox Plate and Melbourne cup at low odds. He did redeem himself later in the racing season with big wins in the Australian Cup (G1) and BMW (G1). Punters can look for him to make his season debut in next month’s Chelmsford Stakes. 

 

Tarzino – Trainer Mick Price has set an ambitious spring schedule for last year's Aami Victoria Derby (G1) and Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (G1) winner Tarzino. Prior to a run in the Turnbull, Price is looking at runs in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) this weekend, followed by the $500,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. 

 

Jameka – This classy 4-year old mare was good enough to take down last year's Crown Oaks (G1) and then run second to the upstart 3-year old champion Tavago in the BMW Australian Derby (G1). Jameka started off the 2016-17 season with a solid fourth in the Back To Caul. P.B. Lawrence (G2). The Turnbull is being considered as a prep for the Caulfield Cup (G1).  

 

Sofia Rosa – This 4-year old mare ended last year with a bang by winning the James Boag's Australian Oaks (G1). It capped a terrific year that saw her win five races in nine chances. Sofia Rosa is another exciting mare with designs on running in the Caulfield Cup. 

 

Now is a great time for you to scan the Internet for some good betting offers from the UK’s top online bookmakers. Through the successful use of your free bookie offers, you can ready yourself to punt on this and other top international races during this fall. 

 

Posted in Guest Posts

Ruby Walsh defied gravity to triumph aboard Old Castletown at Tramore on Sunday

Ruby Walsh defied gravity to triumph aboard Old Castletown at Tramore on Sunday.

Trained by Walsh's father Ted, Old Castletown was sent off the 7-4 for the two and three quarter mile Heinz Pollmeier Memorial Handicap Chase. The field favourite had been popping up in our Bet Bind tracker and came good under Ruby Walsh yesterday.

However, it very nearly all went wrong at the first fence when the horse made a terrible mistake and almost unseated Walsh.

The pair dropped towards the rear and regained their composure before making headway and taking over in front by the second-last fence, running on well in the closing stages to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Swantykay.

Old Castletown was following up a win earlier in the week at this festival and this course specialist now has four victories at the track from just five outings.

The plan is for him to head back to this course at some point but the next opportunity may not arise until next year according to Ted Walsh.

“I thought he was on the ground,” Ted Walsh confessed afterwards of his horse’s hiccup. “He switched off after that, Ruby took his time with him. He was under no pressure, if it happened it happened.” The five-time winner is a “daft auld so-and-so,” according to his trainer and was “a bit revved today” after running just a few days beforehand. Listowel could be on the agenda for the five-time winner, “if it was quick ground,” but otherwise plans are loose.

There was another win for the Walsh family in the day's final race, Katie winning the Bumper on Frazel Express.

Posted in VHT

Royal Ascot Day 3

After a splendid day yesterday with 5 profitable bets from 5 selections we will be looking at more of the same today! Here are our pointers for the day:

2.30 5f class 1 Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)

Silver Line silk SILVER LINE 4/1

Godolphin representative was very impressive on debut and warrants this step up in class. Bred for being a classy performer.

 

3.05 1m 2f class 1 Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3)

Prize Money silk PRIZE MONEY 6/1 EW

Impressive debut win and filled the second spot in both starts this term in decent races.Not to be underestimated with best yet to come.

 

3.40 1m 4f class 1 Ribblesdale Stakes

Even Song silk EVEN SONG 11/4

Shaped nicely on return in a listed race at Newmarket and in need of these extra 2 furlongs and with that run under belt can progress here.

 

4.20 2m 4f class 1 Gold Cup In Honour Of The Queen's 90th Birthday (Group 1)

No Bet as Order Of St George looks the one to beat but too short for us.

 

5.00 1m class 2 Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)

No bet here as looks an extremely open contest and one to keep your hands in your pockets.

 

5.35 1m 4f class 2 King George V Stakes (Handicap)

Guy Fawkes silk GUY FAWKES 9/1 EW

Looked a different proposition when winning a miden on return when upped in trip. Extra yardage should be in favour again here, and although this is a lot tougher, looks worth a chance.

Posted in VHT Tips

Royal Ascot Day 2

2.30 7f class 1 Jersey Stakes (Group 3)

Ibn Malik silk IBN MALIK 11/1 EW

Shaped well last season as a 2yo but looked to better that when winning on reappearance last time out at Newmarket with an impressive win. More still to come and looks like a good value option here.

 

3.05 5f class 1 Queen Mary Stakes (Fillies' Group 2)

Lady Aurelia silk LADY AURELIA 11/4

There is plenty of confidence behind Wesley Ward's filly here after just the one startm but was very impressive that day and is expected to take significant strides forward again today.

 

3.40 1m class 1 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes (Fillies' Group 2) 

Usherette silk USHERETTE 9/4

Three smooth wins this season and goes from strength to strength, with latest Group 2 success at Newmarket smartest performance to date. If arrives today in the same form will be almost impossible to stop here.

 

4.20 1m 2f class 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Group 1)

Found silk FOUND to be placed at Evens (Paddy Power)

A Shin Hikari will be undoubtedly hard to beat but we genuinly believe Found could run the Japanese raider close if doesn't come in the same form as recent impressive victory. We will however air on the side of caution and think Evens to finish in the top 2 is a cracking bet.

 

5.00 1m class 2 Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)

A race that we feel is worth keeping your hands in your pocket, in an extremely open contest we couldn't find an angle in.

 

5.35 1m class 1 Sandringham Handicap (Fillies' Listed)

Persuasive silk PERSUASIVE 5/1 EW (5 places bet365)

racked up three impressive wins in as many starts and remains with potential for much better. Looks the one to beat here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Royal Ascot Day 1 Blog

royal ascot

2.30 1m class 1 Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)

Belardo silk BELARDO 9/2

Had a poor season last year but bang in form since returning from a break, and with conditions to suit looks like will be the one to beat here for the Roger Varian yard.

 

3.05 6f class 1 Coventry Stakes (Group 2)

Mokarris silk MOKARRIS 9/1 EW (Sky Bet paying 5 places, Paddy Power 4 places)

Well fancied and delivered on debut at Haydock last month in nice fashion. Looks to have much more to come and potentially smart.

 

3.40 5f class 1 King's Stand Stakes (Group 1)

Meccas Angel silk MECCAS ANGEL 15/8

Looks the bet of the day for us at the meeting especially with recent rainfall aiding chances.Won on seasonal reappearance and better than result would suggest last time out. Will be hard to beat here.

 

4.20 1m class 1 St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1) 

Awtaad silk AWTAAD 2/1.

Looks a potential shoot out between the two at the top of the market with our preference slightly for thr Irish 2,000 Guineas winner given recent rain which should not be a problem.

 

5.00 2m 4f class 2 Ascot Stakes (Handicap)

Sempre Medici silk SEMPRE MEDICI 9/1 EW

Looks well treated reverting to the flat after recent hurdles exploits and can take advantage of mark.

 

5.35 5f class 1 Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)

Tomily silk TOMILY 9/1 EW

Looks overpriced in the market. Progressed nicely through each start and with more to come looks dangerous.

Posted in VHT Tips

Grand National Preview

Every year the nation descends upon their local bookies or online bookmaker to have a punt on the Grand National, it is almost a rite of passage for the UK public. One thing that people can agree on when it comes to this 4m 3f marathon race, is that it is a gamble on the day and any horse has a chance when it comes down to it. However, using past statistics to rule out horses and help you make decisions has always been the best way to do it in our eyes.

The statistical trends that we look for when picking our horses are the following:

– Carrying between 10 and 11 and a half stone

– Between the age of 9 & 11

– Rated above 135

– Had at least one run over the Grand National fences.

This narrows the field down substantially, and from these we have picked our strongest fancies which are the following:

Bet Victor are the only bookmaker paying 6 places for each way, well worth taking advantage of! They are also the only bookmaker to be keeping their £25 free bet offer for new customers. Signup here.

HOLYWELL 16/1 EW

Holywell is a double Cheltenham Festival winner having won the Pertemps Hurdle three years ago and then following up in the big three mile handicap chase the following year. Has experience over these jumps, and won a Novice Chase here back in 2014. Jonjo O’Neill’s chaser continued to improve after his second Festival win by taking a Grade One Novice Chase at Aintree and then running fourth behind Coneygree in last year’s Gold Cup. Holywell is a high class chaser at his best and his best tends to come in the early part of each calendar year as all of his seven wins under Rules have come between January and April. With that fact in mind his supporters for the Grand National will be boosted by the horse's return to form at last month's Cheltenham Festival where he finished a gallant second to Un Temps Pour Tout.

SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR 20/1 EW

Despite being extremely heavily backed in this race last year, the horse could not quite pull off a famous victory under AP and, although he looked the main threat to Many Clouds at the second last, he eventually faded to finish a gallant fifth. Jonjo O’Neill has geared the horse’s campaign towards Aintree again and the handicapper has allotted him a mark of 1lb less than last season. This year he will be ridden by Barry Geraghty, who prefers him to other McManus runners, who has an excellent record in the Grand National including when successful on Monty’s Pass in 2003. Cheekpieces are back on and looks primed to attack the course.

Bet Victor are the only bookmaker paying 6 places for each way, well worth taking advantage of! They are also the only bookmaker to be keeping their £25 free bet offer for new customers. Signup here.

Posted in VHT
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