Wednesday, 23rd June 2021
I’ve got another handicapper of interest from Royal Ascot today – if you missed yesterday’s horse, catch-up here….
We’ll get to that a little further down the page….
First, a few words on how this column works….
ATC attracts its fair share of out-and-out tip hunters – readers who just want selections….
Those readers are most welcome. But I’m not going to pretend that I entirely understand them….
For me, race-betting is a game – a bit like poker. And when I play poker I don’t look for some guy to tell me how best to play my hand….
For me, individual races are a puzzle – a bit like a cryptic crossword. And when I set out to solve a cryptic crossword I don’t have some third-party on stand-by to help me decipher the clues….
I want to play the hand of cards myself. I want to figure out the answers to the crossword myself. Doing these things myself is the whole point – that’s the challenge and it’s also a big part of the enjoyment for me….
It’s the same with the race-betting. I want to figure out the race for myself. And (win, lose or draw) as the game goes on, the intention is to get better at the game – to get better at figuring things out for myself….
I’ve never used a racing tipster. I never would. I never will. To use a tipster would miss the entire point of the game for me….
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing anybody or casting any aspersions – not at all. Far from it….
I’m a live-and-let-live kind of guy. Like most things in life race-betting is a case of each to his own. What’s right for me isn’t necessarily going to be the perfect fit for the next guy….
And if the next guy’s good enough to give my service a go and to put some faith in my selections week on week – I’m going to do my level best to provide what he needs from me. No question….
But ATC is more than just selections – or ‘tips’. The tips represent just 20% of the column output. I put up selections for the big handicaps at the weekend and during the big midweek Festivals – and will always do so….
But the rest of the time the focus is on intelligence, analysis, insight, pointers, angles and opinions – information that doesn’t amount to ‘tips’ but which often leads to winners nevertheless….
It’s true that in those instances, the reader will need to provide some input of his own – to get the best out of the information….
That might mean taking notes…. monitoring situations…. doing a bit of thinking…. engaging in a bit of legwork…. applying some judgment and analysis of your own…. so that the pointers, insights, and angles that this column provides are put to work in the racing markets when the situation or the moment best suits….
At its fundamental heart ATC is a collaboration between author and reader – between you and I. What you get out of it depends as much on what you bring to the table and what you are prepared to do for yourself as it does on what I produce….
If the tip hunter is satisfied with just tips and happy to ignore the rest of the service – no problem. Who am I tell anybody how to go about his business?
But I reckon the readers who enjoy ATC the most – and who get most out of the ATC service – are the readers most prepared to work with the information I provide on a day-to-day basis….
I’m talking about readers like TN – a long-standing friend of the column who makes a point of monitoring horses flagged up in ATC….
‘Just a quick note in the middle of the chaos of day 1. Some weeks ago you did a feature in a daily email on Arecibo, it may well have been missed by most readers, it was an under the radar report in many ways. I’ve followed it since and made decent profits in lower grade races, but have just had a fantastic time watching him run on well to come 2nd at Royal Ascot, totally unfancied and untipped. The best part is I took it each way at 50/1 and will now enjoy the rest of Ascot courtesy of Mr William Hill..!! As we’ve discussed before, for me this is a perfect example of the service provided by membership to your service.’
I provided the original thought, opinion, and analysis – but TN did the rest. The rewards he reaped at Royal Ascot last week were the result of collaboration – as much his work as my own. And that’s not to mention the horse and the work that Robert Cowell has done with him….
And I’m talking about readers like NH – who acted on my gun-to-head angle for last week’s Royal Ascot meeting….
‘My attention was drawn to your Frankel stats. That hit my senses and had my mouth watering and I shared it with my wife and my mate Brian. Well singles, doubles and a Rev f/c £833 shows what a great day we had yesterday.’
I conducted the research, reported my findings, and offered the fundamental idea. NH chose to work with the information and to act on it – digging out the qualifying horses, placing his bets and pocketing a decent reward for his efforts….
That’s collaboration – a joint effort. I provide information. Readers run with it – and do with it what they see fit. I think it’s how the ATC service works to best effect across the long-term….
There’s more to say on this and related issues – but we’ll save that for another day….
Right now, I want to draw your attention to Roger Varian’s Waliyak – who goes on to the Watch List….
At last season’s Royal Ascot meeting – when running as a 3yo – this filly ran 2nd in the Sandringham off a 205-day break….
At last week’s meeting – running as a 4yo – Waliyak was running off a 273-day break and once again gave a very good account of herself without managing to win….
She was 3rd of 18 in Wednesday’s Kensington Palace Stakes – beaten 1.25 lengths over the round mile – after coming from the back of proceedings in a race where it was all about what was happening up front. Nothing finished the race better than she did….
The performance represented a new personal best. But there’s more to come. She improved plenty for her reappearance last term and I expect her to improve again going forward this season….
She’s up a pound to 97 – but that certainly doesn’t put the lid on her. She can stay further than the bare mile. She’s won on soft – but a genuine surface probably gets the best out of her. Roger Varian will find her a winning opportunity at some point….
That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow. Meanwhile….
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Until next time. Stay tuned.