2nd September 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
This week’s we are targeting the prices in the big handicap on tomorrow’s Ascot card – the Albert Bartlett Handicap (2.40)….
First, we commiserate with a racing punter shafted by circumstance….
Saturday 30th November in the year 2002 was a particularly dark day for me. It was Hennessy Gold Cup day down at Newbury.
I didn’t go down. Instead I watched events unfold from my flat in Chichester. I’d backed Lavinia Taylor’s 8-year-old Gingembre at a big 25s on the morning of the race.
I thought it was a big price about a horse who’d finished 2nd in the race two years earlier. For sure he was up in the weights by the time the 2002 renewal came round. But based on his winning performance in the 2001 renewal of the Scottish Grand National, a mark of 149 wasn’t beyond him.
I wasn’t far wrong. On the day he was beaten a half-length into 2nd by the Willie-Mullins trained By My Royal. But the real kick in the teeth came many months later when the winner was disqualified because a banned substance was found in his bloodstream.
Gingembre was awarded the race. But punters like me who backed him never saw a winning payout. The bookies had already paid out winnings to backers of Be My Royal.
That was hard to take. But nothing compared to the situation Skybet punter Ian Brown is having to endure.
At least season’s Cheltenham Festival Mr. Brown had 7 horses in an accumulator.
Six won. The one that let him down – costing him a six-figure payout – was Josies Orders in the Cross Country Chase – beaten by Any Currency.
Since then Any Currency has been disqualified for failing a post-race drugs test and Josies Orders has been awarded the race. But Mr. Brown won’t be getting his six-figure payout. The bookies have already paid out on Any Currency and, under their own rules, they are not obliged to payout a second time many months down the line if or when a result changes.
To be fair, you can see it from the bookmaker’s point of view. They are not at fault. They have paid out once. They can hardly be expected to pay out again because of subsequent events beyond their control.
But what about punters like Mr. Brown? He’s paying a big price too – but has no recourse to anything resembling justice and no way of securing what should be rightfully his.
The bookies are happy enough. They paid out on the 11/1 winner in this instance rather than the 15/8 favourite who was included in plenty of multiple bets.
But to be fair to them, it could just as easily have been the other way round. They’d might have paid out big on a favourite that was later disqualified – with no way of clawing the money back.
The situation doesn’t suit anybody involved in betting on the racing. But no obvious solution presents itself.
Until such time that the results of drug tests are immediately available post-race – and the all-clear made part of the ‘weighing-in’ process that clears layers to pay out – punters and bookmakers will carry between them the burden of paying the price for substance issues within the sport.
Play my other picks at Haydock….
It’s a cracking afternoon of racing at Haydock tomorrow. Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon we’re attacking the prices in a brace of races….
If you’re looking for a couple more bets for tomorrow afternoon you can access those picks free of charge right now by taking a FREE test-drive of my Against the Crowd service….
No shortage of competition in the Albert Bartlett Handicap at Ascot (2.40)….
The market hasn’t been slow in finding the obvious ones here – Von Blucher, Firmament and Squats….
The one I like at the prices is Saeed Bin Suroor’s YATTWEE at 14s.
The 3yo has only raced 5 times and is open to all manner of improvement on his best performance to date which came back at June’s Royal Ascot meeting in the Britannia Stakes – where he was 5th of 28 on soft ground.
That was a very solid effort first time up at the mile trip having only run at sprint trips previously. And more so because he was giving weight to all 4 horses that finished in front – all of which had experience at 7f and a mile.
Last time out at Chester Yattwee was a little disappointing on the face of it – but on soft ground the slow pace around the Chester bends probably didn’t suit. A fast pace up a straight will suit better – and he gets that at Ascot tomorrow.
The horse that finished 4th in the Britannia – neck and neck with Yattwee – has won twice since and now sits on a mark of 106. Yattwee goes tomorrow off 105 with the benefit of a 7lb claimer in the plate. That could be advantage he needs to see off the opposition and get his head in front.
I am mindful that he was also entered in tomorrow’s G3 Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock. Connections have come here instead for this handicap. The ground might be at the bottom of that decision. Or they might just fancy taking a handicap pot before stepping the horse up into pattern class.
Whatever, he should be a live contender tomorrow afternoon and the 12s is fair enough in what looks like a pretty open contest.
The ATC Extra bet recap….
Remember, we don’t have to be betting in hundreds to make the game worthwhile or fun. A spend of a few quid is plenty to be going on with….
Note: The standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. If you’re prepared to hang on, one or two of the firms might go up offering to pay out on the 5th place. Your call. I wouldn’t put you off backing the selection each-way.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.