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Leopardstown - Matheson Day - AK Bets 29/12/22


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Day two for me, day four for the AK team at Leopardstown. This time it was Dave and I on the pitch down the middle of Tatts and Ak and the other Dave on the top pitch. It was bit cooler in the slight wind tunnel in front of the gap, but of course being in front of the gap was a bonus and the early flurry of rain had been replaced by blue sky. The second bet in the book for the first race was from Nathan (pictured below) who was having his first visit to Leopardstown, the first of many I’d wager. As with yesterday the opening race the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase was fairly quiet, too hard for the punters maybe. The biggest bet Dave and I fielded in the race was €150 each-way Fameaftertheglory at 7/1 late on. That bet made it the bogie which tells you the strength of the market. Seddon was backed from 5/1 into 4/1 on course and absolutely hosed in, the rest nowhere. The winner wasn’t so well backed with AK and was just a taker in the book helped by the bogie finishing unplaced. The winners SP?  7/2. Come racing.

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Next up the Maiden Hurdle and the horses the punters wanted on this family orientated day were Search For Glory backed 6/1 into 4/1 and Good Land with Dave and I. It was the same story on the master pitch with the addition of €200 each way Golden Wonder’s at 22/1 which was a fair bet to lay. Business had doubled from the previous race but still wasn't as buzzy as yesterday. The punters that were betting with us really were good fun even if not lumping on. Good Land won the race with Search For Glory third, the book blew €600, luckily Golden Wonder's was unplaced which ensured the race wasn't a total disaster. 

By the third the Irish EBF Mares Hurdle it was apparent that the business was going to be lighter all day than yesterday. The race featured an odds on favourite in Queens Brook but there was hardly a backer. The punters were keen to back the longer priced horses to small stakes. The second favourite Shewearsitwell trounced the jolly but the book lost another €600. Pretty much every bet struck on the winner was at 2/1, she returned 15/8.

Next up the Neville Hotels Novice Chase and the market made it a two horse race with Gaillard Du Menil 11/10 and Three Stripe Life 2/1, 9/1 bar the two. There was a steady flow of money for both, Dave took €550 - €500 and an even carpet over the jolly. Though Three Stripe Life was the popular one on AK’s top pitch. So much so that the favourite, 5/6 at the off was winning €2500. The race was an eventful one, Three Stripe Life fell two out leaving Churchstonewarrior to battle it out with the favourite but was ultimately no match*. The jolly won by seven lengths, returned 5/6 and was a top cop in the book. * I only found out when I got home that Three Stripe Life's fall was fatal. Sincere apologies if the original sentence seemed to lack empathy. It's always incredibly hard when a much loved horse loses its life, condolences to all connections. 

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Sometimes things don’t always go to plan, despite laying bets of €430 and €550 at 8/11 in the race before the penultimate the Matheson Hurdle AK happily had State Man winning in the book before a punter waded in with €1500 at 4/6 right in the hole. As they set off AK rued, ‘I really didn’t want to lay it, but the price was on the board, I really think he’ll win.’ He was right, State Man did win, cosily, the win book lost €1200  reduced to losing €800 after getting some back on the places. A bit gutting but I'm sure everyone will enjoy reading that the firm lost over a winning short one!

The penultimate I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle was a subdued betting race, no bets of note and lowish field money. The favourite Green Glory was hard to lay and 2/1 at the off, a winner in the book but not by design. Spirit Of Legend went off the bogie. Luck was on the firm’s side, after being left with the jolly it got up close home to beat the bogie and copped €600. The SP of the winner was 7/4, 2/1 hawking on course, come racing.

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As far the punters were concerned it was ‘Willie’s in the bumper’ again in the concluding Plusvital Flat Race though confidence wasn’t as strong as yesterday in a competitive looking heat. AK’s main pitch laid €400 and €500 his charge Lecky Watson at 9/4 which were the only bets worth writing about. It was a Mullins winner, but not Willie’s but Thomas’ Mullins' Fascile Mode which sprang at 16/1 surprise. Though not a surprise to everyone it seems, the book laid €10 each-way at 33/1 and €5 each-way at 28/1 (opened 25/1 according to the off course market). The firm won €1600 despite the mini gamble. They tell me the  winner had been 80/1 with some firms yesterday so somebody had it spark off, luckily not with AK Bets.  Aye Aye, an excellent conclusion to another cracking day on the turf in Ireland, the book copped €4000 on the day. If you have never been racing in Ireland please make it something to do in 2023, I can't recommend it enough. 

I’ll be back next year. Thanks to all the people that came over to say hello and comment on these betting ring reports. Thanks for reading them.

Simon Nott

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