Friday, October 16, 2020

From Ascot to Market Rasen

British Champions Day at Ascot tomorrow. 

On 28th September 1996 Frankie Dettori won all seven races on the Ascot card at cumulative odds of 25,051/1. The feat became known as Frankie's 'Magnificent Seven' and passed into racing folklore. One punter pocketed a cool £500,000; layer Gary Wiltshire lost £1.4 million.

In January 2018 Lincolnshire punter Andy Green played the Betfred Frankie Dettori Magic Seven Blackjack through the small hours and, when he decided to call it a day, the sum of £1,722,923.54 was credited to his online account. However when he tried to pocket his winnings, the Betfred Frankie Dettori Magic Seven Blackjack refused to pay out - and that's when the problems started. Betfred cited a 'software error'; Andy has taken his case to the High Court. We wish him well but if things don't pan out, he wouldn't be the first punter unDone by the terms and conditions that apply. 

'Be careful what you wish for,' as they say. 

Speaking personally, and I'm sure it'll come as no surprise, I've never won big. To be honest, if you offered me just a small win once in a blue moon, I'd snap your hand off.  

Ascot may be the focus of the media's attention tomorrow but I prefer more modest Market Rasen; the similarities are few and far between although both race right-handed and tend to favour those that race prominently.

Ten have been declared for the MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed  Prelude Handicap Chase due off at precisely 4.31. 

The two horses with the least chasing experience head the market - Red Risk and Court Master both have just four chase starts to their name. 

Top weight Red Risk hails from the Nicholls yard and is priced up favourite on the back of his 11 length win at Ludlow on soft in February. The handicapper has raised him nine pounds for that effort; this will be the first time he has raced on good ground.

Second favourite Court Master carries bottom weight and likes to race from the front. He has been raised four pounds for his victory at Warwick 16 days ago; his eighth behind Simply The Betts (beaten 28 lengths) at the Cheltenham Trials meeting in January reads well.

Last year Mellow Ben finished fourth, Luckofthedraw seventh behind Copper West; that day San Benedeto headed the handicap off a mark of 153 - this year's renewal doesn't meet that standard. 

Mellow Ben goes off a mark ten pounds lower tomorrow and, with two recent runs under his belt, appears to have been trained with this as a target. 

Course and distance winner Luckofthedraw was sent off favourite a year ago off a four pounds higher mark. He wore earplugs on that occasion and appeared anxious in the preliminaries; after the race the vet reported the gelding had received treatment for heat stress.

Fidux's second to Really Super in the Summer Plate in July reads well. He races off the same mark here (138) and has previously won off 142; he strikes me as a horse that deserves a change of luck.

Peter Bowen's form has picked up of late and I always think his runners are worth a second look here but Beggar's Wishes has been off the track a long, long time. 

Louis' Vac Pouch - seventh behind Simply The Betts in a Festival handicap in March (beaten just over ten lengths) on only his second run for current connections - catches the eye. In a recent stable tour Phil Kirby indicated they still weren't certain what the optimum trip was for this one and I was left with the impression this race is seen as a starting point with the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham a possible target.

Ravenhill Road is something of a dark horse whose chance is respected but Ashoka had a torrid time of it all last year.

I'm drawn to the horses with a recent run to their name. Mellow Ben is ten pounds lower than when finishing fourth last year and handler Chris Gordon has had  a couple of winners in the past fortnight. 

At the time of writing 10/1 has just disappeared; Mellow Ben is the each-way suggestion. 

There are interesting cards at Kempton and Ffos Las on Sunday while Sedgefield hosts the Durham National (4.33). 

At Ffos Las I'll keep a close eye on two - Thebannerkingrebel in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at 3.10 and Rose Of Arcadia in the mares' maiden hurdle at 1.30 on the back of these comments from Colin Tizzard in a stable tour feature:

"She is a very talented mare and she would have gone to Aintree where I think she would have nearly won the mares' bumper there. She has schooled well and all being well she will end up in the mares' novices' hurdle at Cheltenham as she is a very smart filly. We think she is as good a mare as we've had in training and we are excited about her."


Sandracer said...

Mellow Ben actually started off at 12's earlier this afternoon. In the "4:31" @ Market Rasen no less. They can twiddle with the start times all they like, they're still going off late on most races.

9/1 avail still. Win Only!...? ;)

GeeDee said...

Difficult to be confident, Sandracer. I did have a win bet once - came second and I've been beating myself up ever since... ;)

Anonymous said...

A good write-up.

I struggled with this race and I'll be leaving it alone to focus on events at Ascot.

Lack of a run, though the yard is in good form, and unproven on the going suggest that the favourite could be vulnerable. Fidux will probably be there or thereabouts again whilst finding at least one too good. Court Master looks of interest.

Mellow Ben has conditions to suit and back down to a mark of 135 should be competitive; slight concern about running right-handed as the system thinks his best efforts may have been the other way around or figure of 8.

Best of luck.

163,RED RISK(FR),19.8
149,ROSE SEA HAS(FR),0.3

GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW. A trappy race - take your point about Mellow Ben going right-handed; he seems to like Fontwell. Quite surprised to see Ashoka at 8/1 with several layers at the moment.

Good luck with those Ascot wagers!

Anonymous said...

The sustained support for Ashoka is interesting and clearly a case can be made for him based on his two handicap chase wins last summer. He lacks an outing but has won after a long break, the trip is an unknown. On balance I think he will come up short, but money can talk!


P.S A certain Mr King has got off to a flyer at Ascot [unexpected from my perspective!] and Fidux may not now be hit top priority today!

GeeDee said...

Trueshan won well, TW.

Mr King - a jumps trainer with runners on the flat or a flat trainer with runners over the sticks? Jury's out... ;)

GeeDee said...

A bold attempt by bottom weight Court Master (9/2) to make most and win was thwarted by Fidux (9/2; TW's top-rated) who collared his rival on the run-in to prevail by a head; a deserved victory for Alan King's charge. Red Risk (11/2) had raced up front with Court Master for much of the trip; his challenge faded but he finished third, beaten five and threequarter lengths.

Selection Mellow Ben (15/2) raced midfield but never threatened to challenge the leaders and the writing was on the wall a long way from home. Coming under pressure three out, he was going backwards when Ravenhill Road (12/1) and Rose Sea Has (28/1) - third and fourth respectively at the time - both fell at the penultimate flight. Mellow Ben came home a well-beaten fifth, over 20 lengths behind the winner.

A volatile betting market saw money for Luckofthedraw, sent off 5/2 favourite (finished sixth), while Ashoka was quoted at around 14/1 on Friday evening, 8/1 for much of Saturday morning before going out to 16/1 at the off. Skelton's charge ran his best race for some time, staying on into fourth spot.

Anonymous said...

Mr King may be a jack of all trades!

The Welsh Champion Hurdle does look a fascinating affair. If I were Alex Hales and the Owners of Millers Bank I’d not sleep much tonight dreaming that he could yet turn out to be something special.

If Dandy Dan has improved his jumping technique, he might run a decent race in the Durham Grand National.

BET365’s 10/11 about Verdana Blue might look big at 15:37 tomorrow!

GeeDee said...

The layers don't appear to be taking too many chances in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, TW.

Surprised Duc De Grisay lines up for the Durham National. Recently Sandy Thomson said:

"The original plan was to aim him at the Durham National at Sedgefield on Sunday but I don’t think we will go there."

From a form angle I think Bbold's third behind Manofthemountain at Bangor last time is respectable. This one has certainly been kept busy over the summer although he wouldn't be guaranteed to stay the extended trip. Connections try first-time cheekpieces; 6/1 is no value.