Friday, December 30, 2011

The final day of 2011

The last cards of 2011 have an end of year feel to them. Betfair will certainly be hoping for better things in 2012 following the recent fiasco surrounding their in-running market for the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. One year ago Betfair shares traded at 964p; this evening they closed at 752.50p, having recorded a twelve month high of 1054p in January.

At Newbury Philip Hobbs' Fingal Bay will be expected to take the Challow at 3.05 while the novice chase run an hour earlier should prove informative with an eye on the future. Alan King's Walkon has been touted by several but this will be no walk in the park with Colin Tizzard's Cue Card in the line-up as well as For Non Stop from the in-form Nick Williams yard. For Non Stop went down a neck to Al Ferof (quoted a 7/1 chance for the Arkle) in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown four weeks ago; layers currently offer 20/1 about Walkon for the Cheltenham race. In the light of that, Ladbrokes' price of 11/4 about For Non Stop for tomorrow's event is of some interest.

Olofi goes in the finale and deserves a change of luck, having run some sound races in defeat. Naively I'd hoped for an each-way price but this evening he's generally on offer at 5/1 with William Hill going 6/1; I think I'll wait until next year for my next bet.

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