Friday, January 18, 2019

In-play betting, Robbie Box and an each-way longshot at Ascot

Earlier this week both the Daily Mail and The Guardian ran stories about punters using real-time pictures from drones to gain an edge in in-play racing markets; the time delay on conventional 'live' TV feeds can be anything up to ten seconds - it's generally accepted a horse can cover five lengths a second (except when they're tipped by this blog).

All of which took me back to 'Big Deal', a TV series broadcast by the BBC in the mid-eighties, which focussed on the plights and predicaments of small-time gambler Robbie Box (Ray Brooks).

The one particular episode I can (barely) remember - it was transmitted well over thirty years ago now - involved Robbie gaining access to a room above a bookmaker's shop and then, with the help of an accomplice, introducing a delay into the bookmaker's feed, thereby giving Robbie and his acquaintances the time to pop downstairs into the shop to write out winning bets...

Betting shops, they were different beasts in those days - as this YouTube clip from the series clearly illustrates.

Valtor is one of three runners Nicky Henderson has withdrawn from Haydock's card tomorrow on account of health concerns. That leaves eleven in the Peter Marsh (3.15); clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright has called an inspection at 7.30am just in case the forecast rain falls as snow.

Four weeks ago Daklondike won the Tommy Whittle and so it's hardly surprising he's prominent in the betting; Tom Scudamore rides again although one assumes he wouldn't have endeared himself to everyone at Haydock for his contribution in 'The Scudamores: Three of a Kind' when he described the course as 'a dog track'.

With as many as eight of the eleven runners priced between 11/2 and 8/1, I've gone to Ascot in search of some value.

Thirteen are set to face the starter for the bet365 Handicap Chase at 3.00; course and distance winner Benatar, second behind Valtor last time out, is the current favourite. Writing in the Racing Post Weekender handler Gary Moore acknowledges his charge hasn't reproduced last season's form (finished third in the JLT at Cheltenham) but states:

"...I expect him to run well. He's in great form and should be competitive." 

Paul Kealy makes the case for Belami Des Pictons in the same paper but this one is passed over as he hasn't seen a track for 440 days and is plenty short enough in the market now.

Mister Whitaker beat Happy Diva and Cyrname at Carlisle before finishing a creditable fourth behind Baron Alco in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Happy Diva is a consistent sort but stable form is the worry with no winners in the past 51 days.

Jerrysback's preferred engagement is Haydock's 1.30 but course and distance winner Mr Medic is given every respect.

Paul Nicholls' two runners have caught my eye.

Cyrname was sent off 11/4 favourite for the Hurst Park Handicap Chase over two miles one here eight weeks ago; he likes to race from the front but couldn't live with Speredek that day and eventually finished seventh. In the same race stablemate San Benedeto came from off the pace to stay on into fourth behind Caid Du Lin who collared the long-time leader in the shadow of the post.

San Benedeto has since finished a well-beaten sixth behind Charbel in the Peterborough Chase but he races off 150 now, a mark he has won from previously, and it is worth noting he was rated as high as 158 last May; pilot Lorcan Williams also claims five.

Cyrname is the one to beat on Racing Post ratings while San Benedeto should be competitive; the former is a 10/1 shot while the latter is almost double that price.

I'm not entirely convinced this is his optimum trip but San Benedeto is the each-way suggestion at 18/1 - Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Betfair pay one fifth the odds four places.


Anonymous said...

I’m sorry, for you, to say that the dart my Saturday value bet has also landed in San Benedeto [SB].

The Timeform ratings for the race are freely available so I’ve included these along with my own ratings for the race below:

TF Rtg,TW Rtg,Horse
161+,163,MR MEDIC(GB)

Of those at the head of the market I thought Benatar short enough as 149 may just be as good as he is, Belami Des Pictons could easily be the handicap blip but the 440 day figure is off putting and Mr Whitaker is another that may also just be on a fair mark. Haydock has passed its inspection so Jerrysback should take up that entry.

Points I like about SB:

- Back on his wining mark of 150
- Lorcan takes of a further 5lbs
- Step back up in trip could well be a positive
- Cheekpieces back on.

The yard appears to favour Cyrname with Nicholls suggesting SB has a tough task at the weights.

I backed SB at 20/1 win only last night and I’ve topped up at 18/1 EW this morning using the 4 place 1/5 odds offer.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for the ratings, TW. Good luck!!

GeeDee said...

Paul Nicholls' two runners ran distinctly contrasting races.

One went to the front after two furlongs, jumped superbly, barely touching a twig, and could be called the winner a long way from home. Unfortunately I was on San Benedeto (12/1) who raced in rear, jumped poorly, belting any number of twigs, and could be called an also-ran a long way from home; the selection eventually finished last of the ten runners (three non-runners declared - Jerrysback, Belami Des Pictons and Divine Spear) beaten over 60 lengths.

This was a highly impressive display from Cyrname (4/1) with several decent animals left trailing in his wake. Doitforthevillage (14/1) was 21 lengths adrift in second place with Happy Diva (7/1) claiming third and Mister Whitaker (11/2) fourth.

In post-race interviews connections indicated they had changed the horse's routine at home following his defeat here last November and it certainly paid dividends.

Note that Cyrname prefers to race right-handed.