It’s been five years since I was last racing at Lingfield, I didn’t even mind driving past a...
Dublin Racing Festival AK Bets - Leopardstown Sunday 6th February 2022.
Thanks to Alex Miller and others on twitter I'm now able to relate to bets laid in their correct currency €. The first Aye Aye of the day, I thought I'd leave yesterday's blog up as it was just so people can see that I've come on for the run. After a civilised but very enjoyable meal out and a good night sleep I was raring to go for the eight-race feast in store this afternoon. I must admit, I thought I looked the biz in my emerald green corduroy strides and tweed ensemble. The spring in my step had a little les vim after a very kind young lady offered me her seat on the crowded Luas. I politely declined and made a mental note to buy some moisturiser!
We had curry chips and coffee before the first and met more friendly faces. I bumped into paddock guru Ken Pitterson and VC PR supremo Sam Boswell before the first. Yesterday’s first race lacklustre business wasn’t repeated for the opening
Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle, bets were brisk on the pitch, the best backed horse in the race was unsurprisingly the jolly Party Central. Gordon Elliott’s charge was already the worst loser in the book then a late €400 hedge bet from another bookmaker at 15/8 made it a bad one. The writing was on the wall with a couple to jump, as soon as Davy Russell let his mount go it was all over, the winner returned 7/4 favourite, come racing.
The next up, the Ladbrokes Novice Chase saw Willie Mullins’ Galopin Des Champs well-backed into 4/9 and bolt up. The book won €200, the punters evidently didn’t fancy Anthony’s pitch and left him out. There was plenty of each-way business which went the way of the firm too, you take a dodged bullet when they happen. When your other job is professional punter it’s not difficult to hop the fence when the opportunity arises.
The early 8/11 on offer Chacun Pour Soi for the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase looked too big so Anthony sent his men out to nab some value. They also bet Dunvegan each-way at 11/1. That’s how they finished, first and second, AK Bets, bucking the trend since 2022! Dave and Morris got to work on the Bulmers Secret Orchard Leopardstown Handicap Chase in a more orthodox manner. A punter bet a €3000 - €600 Birchdale early and got the book going, but his selection proved popular with other punters too. The Enda Bolger trained gelding did the business and the firm did their cobblers.
The feature Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle was a non event, long odds-on Honeysuckle wasn’t tempting to punters especially as hail and wind battered the ring during betting. The punters were hiding away rather than betting. Honeysuckle won to a massive roar from a crowd that wouldn’t have backed her. It’s not all about betting, great scenes.
The wind and hail had abated by the time the betting got underway for the race before the penultimate, the Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle With all the good things going in you can only imagine the roll-ups in betting shops resting on odds-on favourite Sir Gerhard. It wasn’t all one way traffic in the ring though, there was plenty of opposition to the jolly. That included a bet of €6000 - €1000 My Mate Mozzie which made it the only loser in the book. In hindsight, laying that bet was handy. Sir Gerhard did the business, four-folds all over Ireland and beyond were landed and bookies on course were looking deep into their hods for readies. Not AK Bets though, the good thing was a winner in the book and on top of that Anthony had sent his men off again, this time to back third placed Colonel Mustard each-way at 14/1. They came back with £600 each-way, no dear reader, not £700, being rubbish at fractions aside, if you can’t blow your own punting trumpet who can!
The penultimate was the very tricky looking 27-runner Liffey Handicap Hurdle but it didn’t deter the punters too much. One waded in with a monkey for the favourite Carrarea at 9/2 but there were plenty of bets for other horses in AK’s attempt to bet up to and beyond it, unfortunately all the decent wagers were on the front two. At the off they were losing €4000 each, either of which winning would stop the brass section blowing. For the second time this weekend Davey Russell did the ring a favour booting home 20/1 winner Call Me Lyreen, strike up the band!
The concluding Coolmore N.H. Sires Santiago Irish EBF Mares I.N.H. Flat Race was a warm betting heat in increasingly nippy conditions. Needless to say they wanted to be on Willie’s in the bumper. His charge Pink In The Park was lumped on but not to the exception of others, there was plenty of money for other horses making it a cracking betting event to conclude. The race itself didn’t disappoint, unless you were a punter. Not many of them found 40/1 winner Lily Du Berlais. The book copped but the third home Liberty Dance cost the firm, laid at 25/1 and returned 14/1. Gutting for the punter that had £250 each way, beaten a couple of fag papers. A winning race for the AK Bets after what had been a torrid day for the bookies, but concluding a terrific weekend of sport. Next stop, the airport.
If you’ve not been to this meeting, get your flights booked. What great craic, oh and don't forget, bet AK Bets.