Arc Sunday 2010 Review

Do you ever have one of those days, dear reader, when nothing goes your way? One of those days when every set of lights you arrive at turns red; where it seems to start raining as soon as you leave the house (minus umbrella); and, where you miss two buses and end up waiting thirty minutes for the next one?

Welcome to my Sunday horribilis. On the racing front, I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. On the punting front, my wrongitude cost me fortune, as I followed my judgment over the top and into a barrage of artillery fire (or matched wagers, to be less metaphorical).

Let me briefly spell out my day, for which ‘close but no cigar’ was a fine maxim. It all started brightly enough, with the two and a half mile Prix du Cadran. I had it between Blek and Gentoo, and dutched the pair. Blek led for over two miles but was spent turning in, but Gentoo continued his impressive progress over staying trips and looks an out and out plodder.

Not for the first time – though probably for the last – Kasbah Bliss showed he doesn’t really have the stomach for a fight, after cruising into contention and stopping almost as quickly. He’s getting on now, and I doubt there’s another crack at the Cadran left in him.

But that was as good as it got for me…

Next up was the Brit-fest Prix de l’Abbaye, the sprint that we always seem to win (though often with the ‘wrong’ horse). I suggested Lady Of The Desert was an awful bet and couldn’t win – she finished second, so whilst technically right, to all intents and purposes I was wrong.

I backed Arctic at 33/1 each way, Marchand d’Or at 16’s and Judge N’Jury at 150’s. The old Frenchie M d’Or stayed on well to be fourth but never threatened the places, whilst the other two ran brilliantly for three and a half furlongs before fading out of it, finishing 5th and 8th of the 21 respectively. Swiss Diva was disappointing and never got in a blow.

Gilt Edged Girl, for Clive Cox and at 25/1, won nicely from the Lady Of The Desert, making it a fillies 1-2.

Oh well, my big priced beasties ran well enough, and I had the winner in the first, so plenty to be cheerful about… Down, down we go…

Next came the juvenile fillies and I pulled on my punting boots to back ‘good thing’ Helleborine. Alas, she wasn’t quite so good in a battle as Aiden O’Brien’s Misty For Me, who stayed every inch of the trip and was pulling away from the better fancied Gallic runner at the post.

The two pulled three lengths clear of the rest, and form looks very good… with the important caveat that it looks very good soft ground form. That caveat is material for all of the races yesterday, so don’t necessarily expect horses to finish in the same order the next time they meet.

After a painful reverse there, I was glad of the respite offered by the Grand Criterium (or Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as it is known these days). It was too tricky so I swerved it. If only I’d felt the entire card was too tricky!

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In the event, Wootton Bassett was a convincing winner, giving both trainer Richard Fahey and champion jockey-elect, Paul Hanagan, their first Group 1 victories. My token pick, Tin Horse, dead heated for second, but luckily enough I’d kept cash in wallet on this occasion.

Get the lowdown on Fahey and Hanagan here.

Alas, that fiscal prudence wouldn’t last the hour.

The Prix de la Foret followed, and it was the race I hoped it would be. Three brilliant horses all within a length of each other at the line. Unfortunately for me, Goldikova – whom I had stupidly written off as unable to compete over seven furlongs – proved yet again that she’s a wondermare.

In notching her ELEVENTH Grade 1 win, she now stands apart as the all time Grade 1 winning most mare in Europe. My second large bet of the day went west when Paco Boy proved unable to get by her for the zillionth time. What cruel irony it would be if he finally denied her in the race that matters most, her hat-trick attempt on the Breeders Cup Mile next month.

The news article on Goldikova’s win is here.

That they are both likely to head there is fantastic news, especially for me, as I will be cheering them on from the rafters, and hoping – for the first time in his career – that Paco doesn’t win!

I had a place saver on Paco, which was some sort of silver lining to a dirty black cumulo-stratus. But the demons were to circle again soon enough.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was the last race of interest to me, and a truly superb race it was too. Ignore the buffoons who suggest this was a sub-standard renewal. The field contained – I believe – seven Classic winners from this year and last, plus perennial Arc runner-up Youmzain and a tip top Japanese import.

I, as only a nincompoop with a loud hailer can, had trumpeted confidently that Workforce could not possibly win, and would be a surprise to even make the lineup. I am an idiot. Why would Sir Michael Stoute, a man who forgets daily more than I will ever know about racing, run the Derby winner in a race where he risked a large chunk of the ongoing stud value of the horse, if he didn’t think he had a robust chance?

Hindsight is of course the only perfect science, and I am a black belt practitioner. Workforce ran straight as a gun barrel through a mélange of horses, proving that scintillating burst of pace that put the Derby to bed in a matter of strides was far from a fluke.

Indeed, the fluke was his flop in the King George.

I’ll say it again. I am an idiot.

Workforce is a brilliant horse, a true champion, and it is with great hope that I read he may stay in training next season. You can read about Workforce here.

My money was where my mouth is, and Behkabad was piled into. Insult was added to injury with a fat wager on the Behk to place in the first three. Of course, he finished fourth. Where else?!

I also place backed Planteur, and his fifth place became a disqualification as he was made a scapehorse (a bit like a scapegoat) for the rough and tumble that marred the home straight part of the race.

Despite what was a rough race, there were few hard luck stories. Behkabad didn’t have a brilliant run through, but he would never have beaten the winner.

Fame And Glory is a bit of a one-pacer at the very top level. Sarafina got going too late and, though flying at the end, she was beaten two and a half lengths (and scuppered my ‘get out of jail’ punt).

Massive credit to the Japanese horse, Nakayama Festa, who was the third horse (I think) to place here, after a silver for El Condor Pasa and a bronze for the subsequently disqualified Deep Impact.

I’ll not write them off next year, especially given the other Oriental shipper, Victoire Pisa, was a creditable seventh too.

All roads now lead to the Breeders Cup and, for me personally, my ‘recreational’ betting bank is in need of serious repair!


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19 replies
    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Haha, thanks a lot Joker J!

      I actually said to the missus, “If Workforce wins, I’ll give the game up”… Luckily, she’s used to me making false promises! 😉


  1. Joker J.
    Joker J. says:

    Ha, yes I give the game up most weekends, along with football betting & alcohol. I do gamble responsibly though . . . . Only when sober!

  2. Alan
    Alan says:

    Never mind, Matt. We all make mistakes. I can even remember when I made one.

    But please don’t take up ‘The Dogs’ they just go round in circles and we all know where that leads – going round another circle.

    Best wishes, I’m sure you’ll soon get over it.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks guys. As for tipping a wheelbarrow, that’s a new one on me! 😉

      On another day, I might have got Paco Boy, Helleborine and scraped a place with the Behkabad. But not on yesterday…

      I was very pleased to read that Workforce may go to the Breeders Cup Turf. I might be able to wrongly predict the outcome of that race too!


  3. David
    David says:

    Hi Matt
    These sort of days are sent to try us and indeed we are the better for them as it shocks us back into reality and makes sure we do the things we do best,
    If we were to win every time we wouldnt be as committed as we are but backing the way you have just described might just get you committed lol only joking lol
    As for Workforce winning the Breeders Cup theres no way it can win is there Matt!!!!

  4. maneman
    maneman says:

    Not a good day or meeting to get involved in. Why? Going changes and the form of many runners were always going to be unreliable and/or unpredictable (e.g. WORKFORCE). An obvious day for the Layers.
    FYI – I didn’t get involved at all financially and pleased I didn’t.


  5. Rod Bridger
    Rod Bridger says:

    You know how it goes Matt: Crap one meeting, brilliant the next.
    Don’t forgrt to publish your Breeders Cup picks!

  6. ron.goodall
    ron.goodall says:

    to matt
    you are not on your on had a mare week-end myself and over 40 plus years had a few [ dont chase your losses] keep your powder try it will come good again
    regards ron.goodall

  7. gordon
    gordon says:

    Matt,being wet behind the ears,I put too much faith in you and Tony-as a result my Bet 365 a/c stands at 50p and your strike rate on my records have got whats left of my cranium hair standing on end-it’s called fright.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Gordon

      I can’t say whether you’re wet behind the ears or not, but I can say this with confidence. If you followed Tony’s Irish Big Race Trends, you should be celebrating as he managed to find two forecasts from four races. If you can’t back a winner there, then it’s going to be difficult, I’m afraid…


  8. SEAN
    SEAN says:

    Ascot is a funny track and horse seem to love it there, or hate it.

    WORKFORCE is to be kept in training next year, but maybe should be avoided if aimed at any Ascot races.

  9. Pat Dennehy
    Pat Dennehy says:

    Hi Matt
    I too backed Arctic ew
    Did I back Misty for me no even though ive backed her twice all ready this year noops watched on like a sick pig as she sloosed up she will win the oaks in 2011 if she trains on
    Youmzain ew 7yr old naah, proven on track and going went in
    as the song says you are not alone!!!!!

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks Pat – I suspect there’s plenty more of us who had ‘tricky turns’ on Sunday. Onwards and downwards… 😉


  10. Mal
    Mal says:

    Hi Matt,

    Have you reviewed Ye Old Betting System by Benjamin Street? It is called the Profit Square.

    Please let me know what you think.



    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Mal

      I’m afraid I’m not a fan of Benjamin’s. I can’t say anything bad about the product per se, as I’ve not seen it, but he and I fell out a couple of years ago when he started promoting stuff which, in my opinion at least, wasn’t worth the virtual paper it was written on.

      I wouldn’t even review or trial one of his products after that. If you do decide to buy (or already have), do leave a comment as to your thoughts / experiences with it.

      Best Regards,

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