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The evening started off pretty well when on arrival in the car park after the longish drive from Devon I got an ‘Aye Aye’ text from @Wcountryracing’s Roger Bush. He was chuffed having tipped up Fingerontheswitch to win at Doncaster. I was chuffed too having backed it accordingly in the morning at 5/2 on his advice, a winner without work!
The opening DGS Mortgage Solutions All Weather ‘Hands And Heels’ Apprentice Series Handicap saw money for Dreaming Again backed from 2/1 into 15/8 but not to huge amounts. The little the bookies did take on the jolly they kept but Lutine Charlie wouldn’t have been a great result despite easing slightly from 4/1 to 9/2. There had been a good word from Andrew Mount @TrendHorses in his GG.co.uk Column for Wowee. When he selects an 8/1 shot you have to sit up and take notice but the gelding was never really at the races the pilot apparently unwilling to yield the rear for much of the event then not finding much. That said you have to bear in mind it was a hands and heels event so maybe hard to look too forceful.
All ‘they’ wanted to be on in the 32Red On The App Store Maiden Stakes was Mystic Blaze backed from evens to 8/11. You often hear about them, I’m not sure who they are but they left it behind, the jolly couldn’t even make the frame. The winner was 16/1 chance Papou Tony but had been as big as a pony (25/1) in the ring, one book falling for a stray £50. ‘They’ hadn’t had much on course to compensate either one layer reporting ‘odd bottles’ for it in cash, those odd bottles are most welcome when they get beaten though.
The feature race of the evening the 32Red Conditions Stakes (All-Weather Championship Fast-Track Qualifier) was worth almost £12,000 to the winner with prizes down top the sixth place but only attracted four runners. There was another odds-on shot for the ring to try and get, this time Sloane Avenue sent off at 4/6. I was delighted to hear one bookmaker say he’d taken a monkey cash bet on the race. I have to be completely honest at this point, the market could hardly be described as hectic so that was a decent bet for the night. Sloane Avenue was another jolly to get beaten, luckily I stopped short of congratulating the layer in question on getting the night’s expenses when his brother informed me it was on the winner, £1375-£500 Roger Charlton’s Captain Cat, mount of Jamie Spencer, nasty.
There was a much more competitive heat, on paper at least, for just over £2000 to the winner in the 10 Free Bet At 32RedSport.com Handicap with nine runners going to post. The favourite for this event was Lucy Wadham’s Kalahari which opened 5/4 but edged out to 11/8 by the off in response to money for Hughie Morrison’s Fern Owl supported from 5/1 into 7/2. That support was well-placed, gamble landed without too much ado but there was a terrific tussle for second which resulted in a dead heat . There were a couple of eyebrows raised at the performance of 25/1 shot Sharp Sword in the race, one for the future? On the other hand maybe some folks had too much time on their hands but people better judges than me said its ride was most peculiar, almost comical, watch the replay and you decide!
All 12 went to post for the penultimate 32Red.com Handicap the market focusing around Trojan Rocket and Rich Again both bobbing around the 7/2 mark and 11/4 Mezmaar which was sent off favourite. It was Trojan Rocket a length too good for them all at the line despite easing to 4/1 at the off. There were cheers from down in Tattersalls maybe disciples of my old mate Andrew Mount who put the winner up at 5/1 in the morning in his column Here second Aye Aye of the day which was no good for the bookies on course where once again business was modest.
Any meagre gains the bookmakers’ might still be holding for the night’s work would have been already zipped into the deep tank. I doubt anybody was going to put their head on the block in the concluding 32Red Casino Handicap. I hope I’m right because 4/6 jolly Master Burbidge won the race getting up close home to win a neck and concluded the evening’s fare. OK it wasn’t Cheltenham but kept the show on the road with a night of entertaining racing and was 1.01 to have been more fun than sat home watching The Brits! Aye Aye – that makes it three.
(c) Simon Nott
My book ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’ is a book about the bookies, punters and other wonderful characters I have met in my time on racecourses. There have been some nice reviews.
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