Following the “morning money” can sometimes be a short cut to empty pockets but it paid handsome dividends for early shoppers last Sunday.
The betting ring sharks at The Curragh though ignored it, much to their cost.
In the opener, the office money had been all about Mid Winster,
Andy Slattery’s runner was taken at 10/1 and all the way in to 9/2. At the track though he was chalked up at “sixes” and drifted to 8/1.
The locally trained Carbon Fibre was all the rage in the ring, Michael O’Callaghan’s Helmet colt being hammered in from 3/1 to 9/4 jolly.
The early birds collected on Mid Winster, while Carbon Fibre finished third.
The Anglesley Lodge Maiden was next and again the offices were badly stung in the morning crossfire.
The Darren Bunyan trained Optionality had been pitched in at the deep end on her debut late last season when last of 13 in a Listed at Dundalk.
Clearly much better was expected this time as some early 25/1 was hoovered up and she was slashed to “sevens” in the offices.
Yet she opened at 8/1 in the betting ring and went right out to 12’s as the Ajmera attracted the hot money.
Early 5/2 lasted jig time and Johnny Murtagh’s filly was 13/8 at the off. For what it’s worth Eddie Lynam’s Hot Stone stayed a steady 7/2 but never landed a blow.
Optionality veered left slightly on leaving stalls but Gary Carroll straightened her up quickly and then kicked on to lead them all a merry dance on the stands side as she romped home.
Only one horse attracted support in the Loder Fillies Race both in the ring and in the offices as Lady Kaka was hammered in from 5/2 to 13/8 favourite.
And the bookies knew they’d have to dip into the big satchels from an early stage as Robbie Colgan – formerly better known as a jump jockey – scooted a mile clear on Lady Kaya and she won doing handstands.
“That was awesome!” said winning trainer Sheila Lavery.
“Robbie said it was just like a swinging canter up the Old Vic gallops.”
“She’s got all the right entries, but I imagine the owners’ phone will be hopping off the table with offers” Lavery said.
The big prize on offer, the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes went to the UK with Advertise, the warm 11/10 favourite delivering the goods for Martyn Meade and Frankie Dettori.
While some crabbed the performance with words like “workmanlike” that is somewhat unfair. Group One races on The Curragh are hard won, and previous winners of the race include George Washington, Fasliyev, Mastercraftsman and Caravaggio.
It was a tight run affair and Meade was relieved in more ways than one afterwards.
“Well I had been bullish about his chances and I was afraid I’d have to eat my words!” he explained.
“After he won the July Stakes at Newmarket Frankie said we could go anywhere with him, but it does look like he needs seven furlongs now.”
“The Dewhurst is the obvious target and the big question is whether he will get a mile next year” Meade added.
Dettori said: “He’s very uncomplicated, very tough, and brave too.”
*Another good week for Declan’s Irish Racing Service with Ducky Mallon 11/2 (won 5/1); Mazzuri 11/2 (w 4/1); Making Light 4/1 (w 3/1); Facethepuckout 2/1 (w 5/4) and Alpha Centauri 11/10 (w 9/10).
Why not join up now and get the inside line on the Irish runners at York?