Two days at Ascot this week which were certainly informative yet ultimately hugely frustrating thanks to two of the silliest rides you will see all year and The Don and his members copped both of them in one day!! More of that later.
A quiet week before Friday on the racing front for the Don with some fairly poor fare. Newbury midweek was quiet with short priced odds on faves in small fields. Many owners continually moan about poor prize money yet at Newbury and Bangor and no doubt others lately the Don has witnessed endless 3 runner races.
Where are the Jumps horses? Is their a sudden shortage or do they not want to run against big Trainers. What ever the reasoning the BHA need to act because even at Ascot on Friday with top money on offer we had 3 small fields. No each way betting and very little betting at all on small fields will mean Bookmakers will lose interest.
Owners and Trainers have a part to play as well and all of us who want to spend our Winters watching Jumps Racing on turf not low grade All Weather fare need this sorting. In a perfect World every race would have a minimum of 8 runners thus ensuring an each way market. Another important point is the integrity of racing. At its bluntest a 3-4 runner race is far less easy to rig than an 8 runner one. One 4 runner race at Towcester this week was highly dubious and I’m not the only on course pro who thought that on the day.
Friday offered Cheltenham pointers particularly with Lami Surge for Henderson and Ptit Zigg for Paul Nicholls. Lami Surge beat a good Mullins horse like that one was stood still and looks to be a Major Cheltenham player. Ptit Zigg popped the bubble of Josses Hill after a superb round of jumping. Whether he is a Cheltenham prospect I’m not so sure as he’s flopped there before but there’s a big race in him. Josses Hill looked big and well to me in the paddock and I was amused to hear connections saying how much he would improve for the run AFTER he got beat. Believe me he was fit enough.
Yesterday we played two max bets, the first Irish Saint bolted up but my immediate concern was for the safety of Puffin Billy who though beaten at the time was needlessly fired at the last fence by his jockey. Thank God he gingerly got up as he’s a hero and didn’t deserve that. The jockey needs to ask himself a few questions here, watch the replay and decide yourself.
We then came to the ride that everyone was talking about on course with our second max bet Zarkander. I got everybody on first thing at the best price and told them of the confidence behind this horse and we watched as the money came and came. One loudmouth rails bookmaker who likes to go on tv looked decidely apprehensive as they went down to the start as bookmakers were knocked over. Sam Twiston Davies who seems to be racings answer to marmite. His ride here was monumentally stupid and may have some consequences for him as he sauntered alongside Reve de Sivola looking across. It had an element of mickey take and this is one bruiser who you don’t take the mickey out of. He of course then blew the last hundred yards and got beat. The look on Nicholls face and the owners was the look of someone told they are getting a brilliant present and then waking up on Xmas morning to find Andy Bell My Betfan Year under the tree.
Today I’m off to Lingfield for a Jumps card and our column bet today following on from a brilliant 100/30 winner last week is Ivors King at 3/1. After a long break I hear he is very well and this could be the time to catch him.
Back him to win.
The Dons Notebook
Pitt Zigg – Paul Nicholls. Forget Cheltenham but do not oppose this horse either back here or at Sandown or Kempton, he may be one for next years King george.
Have a great Xmas, join my Private service now as I have some monster bets lined up for the Xmas and New Years big meetings including several Max bets. Join me and Trust in the Don.
Back next Sunday.
The Gambling Don