It's Monday again, so time for another round up of what's been and what's coming. We've just seen the Newmarket July meeting run on a rare swampy strip at Summer HQ; and all roads lead to Ascot, via Beverley, this week. Read on for the full lowdown...
We start at Newmarket's glorious July racecourse, and it's equally glorious July Cup. Indeed, all but the weather (and, depending on how you wagered, the results) was glorious.
For me personally, it was a great meeting. A nice few quid ahead on day one, courtesy of Alhebayeb and especially Stature, I was lucky enough to get to the track for Friday's card, which featured the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes for fillies over a mile.
I fancied Golden Lilac strongly, though she wasn't a punting proposition at a shade of odds on. That's how the wagering gods smiled upon me this week as, though my placepot went down on that leg, I was able to lay Lilac for a place to cover the outlay (plus a little bit).
I also backed Giofra for a place for £20. This bet was struck around about five minutes before the off, and the tote board was showing a pleasing 4.20 for the place. Marvellous, I thought, as Giofra battled gamely up the far rail to fend off all comers at industry odds of 10/1.
And then came the usual tote place kick in the fleshies, as the place dividend was declared at 1.70. Of course, I'd forgotten that the final dividend also includes the money wagered across La Manche by our Gallic cousins, who bet directly into the tote pools for big meetings.
If you fancy a French horse, it's well worth bearing this in mind in future. It was a stupid oversight on my part, and the lesson is there for all.
Aside from that, Friday was about a nasty touch of seconditis, as Place In My Heart (10/1), Improvisation (7/1) and Ruwaiyan (9/1) all filled the silver medal berth for my commercial systems. Alas, that means a number of readers will share my pain on that score. We've had more than our share of seconds just recently, and of course that's the way it goes sometimes.
To Saturday, and a late lunge into the placepot pool for yours truly, who had been caught up on business mentoring duty in the morning. My perm, which ran to £90 or so, majored on soft ground horses, and those who had won at the distance/in the grade.
No particular rocket science there. But Fire Ship (beaten a nose at 10/1) started the ball rolling for my biggest placepot return to date. He was followed home by Olympic Glory (1st, 6/4 fav); Bonnie Brae (1st, 13/2) and Captain Ramius (3rd, 20/1); Society Rock (banker, 3rd, 7/2 fav); Hasopop (1st, 7/2); and (Senafe 1st, 8/1) and Oasis Cannes (2nd 7/2).
My ABCX approach, which I've discussed on this post called 'How To Win The Tote Placepot', gave me 1.2 units of the dividend. For one unit, the dividend returned £2,609, meaning my 120% of that equated to £3,130.80 !
Now, I should add that after Society Rock made the frame in race four, I took steps to insure the remaining legs of the bet and guarantee at least a thousand pound return. That insurance cost me around £190, meaning my profit was 'only' about £2850. 🙂
I know that for many a £90 perm is out of reach, but my minimum stake per line was 20p. Making this bet in the bookies, you could stake a minimum of 5p, meaning a total outlay of £22.50. Still a fair few quid, but certainly more affordable... More so when that £22.50 outlay could have returned £782.70.
There are all sorts of nuances to playing placepots, and indeed other tote bets, and I'm planning on writing something around all of it in due course. In fact, I've had the domain name, totepooldomination.com, for ages!
I do have a fair amount on my plate just now, with a couple of projects in the pipeline and, more importantly, the impending birth of my first child in September (gulp), so it may not happen until towards the end of the year. But I hope some people will find it of significant interest.
Actually, while we're on the subject, would you take two seconds to answer my latest poll question please?
Onwards, and Sunday saw jumping action return, and a hat-trick bid for Stat of the Day after winners at 12/1 and 3/1. Passato was the beast carrying the SotD burden, and he lugged it with aplomb to prevail gamely from the stubborn rally of Dean's Grange. Passato was advised at 7/2 and won at 9/4.
Even more fun was the 3.20 Stratford. I have a friend called James Hadden, who is married to a lovely Slovak lady called Zora. Her name, since they wed, is of course Zora Hadden. How bizarre then to see a horse called Tzora in the 3.20, ridden by Hadden Frost!!
Even more incredible was that it won! At 33/1!!!
And even more incredible still was that my man, Ray, who provides the selections for Placed To Win, nominated the horse for those lucky enough to have been in the first 150 to get their names down for that service.
For those who missed the break there, I can tell you that a few guys have cancelled their membership so far (no service is right for everyone, even when it picks out winners at 46 on Betfair!), so there may be an opportunity for a handful of people to get in on this in a fortnight or so's time.
If your name is on the Placed to Win waiting list, you'll get first refusal (and thank you for your patience). If your name isn't on that list, you can add it here: www.PlacedtoWin.co.uk
In the interests of fairness, if/when I do re-open to the waiting list, I will give you at least 24 hours notice that this is happening.
Finally from the weekend, the Geegeez Fantasy Racing league is still in there pitching for the coveted League of Super Leagues title. At the moment, we're lying second, with quite a big gap back to third. Alas, there is also quite a big gap opening up between us and the leaders, those pesky folks at olbg!
Here's a picture of the top of the table.
Onwards, and to this week. The weekend sees top class action at Ascot, as they host their three day July meeting, headlined by the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
It promises to be a cracker, despite the continued doubt surrounding the participation of gallant Eclipse winner, Nathaniel. With or without him, the line up will include St Nicholas Abbey, globe-trotting flag-bearer for Ballydoyle; Deep Brillante, winner of the Japanese Derby; and, Sea Moon, improving last time out winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Possibles include the Arc-winning mare, Danedream; Melbourne Cup winner, Dunaden (who was unlucky behind Sea Moon last time); super-game Red Cadeaux; Arc second, Shareta; St Leger winner, Masked Marvel; and, Dubai World Cup winner, Monterosso.
If even half of those lads and lasses show up, the King George promises to be well up to standard.
Actually, the King George of 1997 is one of my favourite races of all time. This is principally because it was won by one of my favourite horses of all time, Swain, at odds of 16/1 (much bigger available that morning!)
If you've been following racing for any length of time, the below video will be a familiar roll call of tip top middle distance bosses. But they were all bossed this soggy day by my boy (I wish!), Swain...
But, before Ascot, we have the small matter of Beverley tomorrow (Tuesday).
Now, it's fair to say that Beverley wouldn't normally feature on my list of meetings to cover here on geegeez, but tomorrow's card is no ordinary card. Oh no. My mate and former student, Tony Mac, of Irish Big Race Trends fame, is sponsoring a race.
Indeed, the 3.30 contest, the irishbigracetrends.com Handicap, looks a competitive affair. I shall be there with Tony to help him celebrate his sponsorship, and I imagine we might have a glass or two of something faintly alcoholic.
As such, I'll not be around Tuesday or most of Wednesday, so please be patient if you email me during that time. (Thanks).
I've not been to Beverley before, but I'm told it's a beautiful racecourse, and I'm really looking forward to my first attendance there. If you're heading there tomorrow, and you see me, do say hello. 🙂
And that's pretty much it for today. Don't forget we've got oodles of great features and articles here at Geegeez, and we're adding more all the time.
I was thrilled to host former Telegraph racing editor, Tony Stafford's first 'Sunday Supplement' piece yesterday. And Tony's humorous contribution is the latest in a series of new additions this year.
So the Geegeez week now looks something like this:
Monday - some cobblers from yours truly
Tuesday - Well I Declare, by Malcolm Boyle (also each day Tuesday to Saturday)
Wednesday - The Punting Confessional, by Tony Keenan
Thursday - Trainer Stats, by Andy Newton (also each day Thursday to Sunday)
Friday - some cobblers from yours truly
Saturday - TV Trends, by Andy Newton
Sunday - The Sunday Supplement from Tony Stafford
Daily, Monday to Friday - a 'proper' look at the racing news stories, with Ian Sutherland
Daily - Stat of the Day, by me or Chris
Plus I'll continue to take a deeper look at the bigger race meetings, and try to snag a decent winner or two from the puzzles therein.
And it's all free! Tell your friends, if you think they might like some of the above. 😀
p.s. if you're on twitter and you haven't already, give me a follow. You can do that by clicking here, I think...
p.p.s. how was your punting weekend? Winner? Loser? Close but no cigar? Share your tales of success or gallant failure below!