Reading between the lines pays dividends....

Last Updated: 08.05.2017

Monday, 8th May 2017

Reading between the lines pays dividends….

I can’t be anything but happy enough with Cote D’Azur’s win in the Thirsk Hunt Cup on Saturday afternoon….

If nothing else it was a victory for the fine old art of reading between the lines….

It looked like a plan from the Les Eyre team and a plan is what it turned out to be. Peculiarities in handicap races don’t always prove fruitful for punters. But occasionally they do, and this was one of those occasions….

The race panned out pretty much perfectly. P J McDonald got the horse to break in timely fashion from his stall, he got him across from the wide draw, bagged the inner rail and then made-all – making the mile event a real test….

Not much got into it barring Two For Two at the death. Another 20-yards or so and Cote D’Azur would probably have been nailed. But that’s by the by. We didn’t moan the other week when Zubayr got nailed on the line at a big price in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. And we won’t devalue the win this week simply because things panned out our way.

We take the rough with the smooth. And each with equanimity….

  • Money & prices….

The price disappeared very quickly. And we may have had something to do with that.

When we went to press Skybet and a couple of the newer books were up at 20s. Almost as soon as Friday’s column hit the email boxes, two firms suspended the market and Skybet were swift to cut the price….

I haven’t heard yet from anybody who got on at the 20s. And I can’t imagine many did. 14s seems to be about the median….

It’s a fine line sometimes. I like to get out early and beat the big mainstream press and Internet tipsters to the punch. I don’t want them ruining my price if they go the same way – as sometimes they do….

It’s case of trying to beat the sharp punters too. As soon as the prices go up on a Friday, the shrewd money is looking for the ricks. When that money goes down, the bookies get a steer and can cut accordingly.

In other words, waiting doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get a better price. It frequently means the sharpies will get the best of it and we’ll have to pick up the scraps….

The bottom line is that the bookmakers don’t sit there waiting to get smashed by all and sundry. When it becomes apparent that there’s a price the early-money wants, they act quickly. If it’s not our money they’re reacting to, then it is someone else’s….

We will continue to strive to get the best of the prices. But occasionally, we’re going to be the very agent that brings the good price down. That’s what happened on Friday.

All that said, everybody should have got better than the 8s that the horse was sent off. We were earliest out of bed and better-dressed at breakfast than most….

  • Why I go the extra mile….

There’s no right or wrong way of using this column. It is each to his own….

Some readers only look in on a Friday afternoon when I make selections in the weekend races. Even then, they might only scroll down to the Bet Box to note the horses I’m putting up….

Believe it or not a lot of readers don’t want to read anything. They’d be happy enough with bet selections in a text message.

I’ve even had a reader malign me for including a race time at the top of a piece rather than where he wanted to see it. ‘I don’t have time to read. I’m too busy….’

Fair enough. You take note and move on. It seems to be the way these days….

But the ATC service is more than just 140 character tweets and misspelt texts. ATC goes the extra mile. I go out 5 days per week for a reason. Because I can’t bring you everything I want to share in a text or a once-a-week-email….

I’m not just about tips. Sure, they play a part. I put my money where my mouth is and say it how I see it. That’s what readers expect of a racing service….

But 80% of the time the ATC service is focused on bringing you the observations and analysis that help you get an insight into the game and take an informed opinion – so that you might find your own winning bets….

If you read my daily output, you will probably know that. If you don’t, you might want to give it a go….

When we’re not bringing you race-day selections, we produce some decent stuff worth noting….  

  • A close shave with Impact….

Take last Wednesday, for instance – when I highlighted Richard Fahey’s Eastern Impact and how he was worth committing to your notebook….

This is what I said….

‘He’s 2lbs below his last winning mark. And he’s already had a blow on the all-weather in March – staying on nicely at the end. He could go in a 6f handicap at Newmarket on Sunday. It will be his first big-field handicap on turf in Britain since his last big-field win back in 2015. And he’s weighted to go well. Whether he does or he doesn’t, he’s worth adding to your tracker – because he is going in at some point and hopefully at a nice price….’

Okay, he didn’t quite go in yesterday afternoon. He was 2nd of the 14 runners that went to post in the Longholes Handicap – beaten 1.25 lengths and sent off 15/2 (but only after being tipped-up by a couple of big-boy services).

But were close enough and sufficiently on the ball to alert you to the fact that this horse is ready to rock-and-roll again for Richard Fahey….

The cat is out of the bag now a little more than it was last week. The 6yo might get a pound or two off the handicapper. But he’ll still be round his last winning mark and our opinion stands. Back in handicaps, he can land a big pot.

  • The last word….

I hope you were on Cote D’Azur at a decent price on Saturday and that you walked away with a few quid.

We don’t have to wait long to get back in the fray. We’ll be having a crack at the Chester Cup on Wednesday. I’ll bring you my selection for that race first thing on Wednesday morning….

Tomorrow, I’ll be back in your inbox with observations and pointers arising from the action over the weekend. And with some useful intelligence for this week’s 3-day meeting at Chester….

That’s all from me for today.

Until tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd