Such is the nature of ante-post wagering, dear reader, that we get involved early and hope that subsequent events conspire in our favour. When they do, we're sitting pretty (though not actually paid out), and when they don't, we are perched slightly less comfortably (though not actually dead in the water).
And so it was that this past weekend offered both ends of the pretty/less comfortable spectrum, as the fledgling Geegeez ante-post portfolio had two runners, who performed with contrasting merit.
First up was Casamento, who was sent off as favourite for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, and was bidding to truncate the odds from the 16's (2000 Guineas) and 25's (Derby) that I - and a number of you - am/are holding.
TheÂ record shows that Casamento did the business in professional, if slightly workmanlike, fashion. There was little of the pizazz of Frankel's demolition jobs here. But then it is rarely the case that 'demolition job' horses prove as robust as 'workmanlike' horses when it comes time to 'toe to toe' it.
Our boy won by three-quarters of a length from Seville, the first of two Ballydoyle horses home - the other being Master Of Hounds - who completed the podium places.
The form looks strong, with all the right horses towards the fore of the field at the finish (with the exception of a listless Titus Mills), and Casamento was certainly dossing at the end here. I'm sure there was more in the tank, and I expect him to strengthen up over the winter and look a proper racehorse next season.
This contrasts with my suspicion that Frankel may not have the same scope to mature into a better horse next season. Of course, I'm no particular judge of these things, and I'm taking my cue here from people who know better than me. So if they're wrong, I'll be wrong. 😉
It is interesting to note that no recent winner of the Racing Post Trophy has gone on to win the 2000 Guineas the following year, but... three of the last nine winners went on to win the Derby! High Chapparal, Motivator and Authorized were the trio, so there is just reason to be optimistic as the winter draws in.
Casamento will - as predicted here some time back - be transferred to the blue of Godolphin next season, and it will be interesting to see if Pathfork joins him there.
For the record, Casamento is now a best priced 10/1 for the 2000 Guineas and 12/1 for the Derby. I'd still be far more inclined to take those odds than the derisory best quotes of 6/4 and 5/1 about Frankel for the Guineas and Derby respectively.
The yin and yang balance was restored to the ante-post portfolio on Sunday, when the eagerly awaited debut of Alan King's talking Triumph Hurdle horse, Franklino, left a somewhat dull aftertaste in the mouth.
Sent off the 10/11 favourite, Franklino tugged ferociously early, and ran like a non-stayer at the end. There were, as there always are when luckless punters are clinging to the remnants of what might have been a golden ticket, excuses.
Excitable before the start; pulled hard in the race; first time out; the form of the Alan King stable is still pretty moderate (at best!)... Nevertheless, as the Racing Post commentator so succinctly put it, "HeÂ´ll no doubt improve for the run, but this wasn't the performance of a future Triumph winner."
Probably right, alas. Probably right.
No matter, for the horse will run again in the not too distant future, and a ten length win will surely see hope reignited. As I said at the outset of this piece, such is the straw-clutching nature of ante-post punting!
Onwards, and downwards...
Now then, you may or may not know (or care) that we are but a few weeks away from the annual transatlantic equine jamboree that is the Breeders Cup. This year's fiesta will be held at the home of the Kentucky Durrby, Churchill Downs, in otherwise utterly unremarkable Louisville.
I shall be withstanding the stultifying tedium of this dullsville hick town - the things I do for you, dear Geegeez reader! - in order to bring sound and vision, as well as the ubiquitous written drivel, from the great gambling bonanza.
And, as you'd expect, I'll have previews aplenty on the main track action.
The pre-race declarations are finalised this week, which is kind of like the five day dec's in UK terms. From those runners, a subset will take part, and I believe there's also a further supplementary stage which has the propensity to hurl a large horse-shaped spanner in the works of even the most carefully crafted ante-post coup...
Later this week, I'll have a few thoughts on the track at Churchill, as well as some lowdown on things like pace profiles for the races. If you're anything like me, this is sexy stuff. And... you're sad! 😉
If you're not, I'll try to remember to put a management summary at the end, so you can get the answer without the full workings out.
If the above means nothing to you, don't fret. It's hardly of any utility in the real world!
Enough for today... more later in the week.
p.s. If you've not already signed up for the TTS goodies, where have you been?! I've seen what Gavin is giving away on Wednesday and - seriously - even if you've absolutely no intention of getting TTS, you should be registered to get that. It is, I think, the BEST racing freebie I've ever seen. It will almost certainly make you money if you use it, and it is being presented to you on a silver platter (comprised entirely of bits and bytes) this Wednesday.
If you're not already, you can register here: http://www.trainertrackstats.com/member/go.php?r=816&i=l4
(And yes, that is a completely undisguised affiliate link, which means if you ultimately end up buying TTS, we'll both be happy. You'll get a terrific tool for your winter punting, and I'll get some Geegeez fuel. These 'affiliate commission' logs keep the blog fires burning. Logs for blogs, I like it... Just me? 😉