It was a bit of a quiet weekend for me on the punting front but more importantly it was a winning one! It got off to a great start on Friday night when Directorship followed up his recent Sandown win with a win at Newmarket at the very rewarding odds of 20/1. How on earth he was that price I will never know but the bookmakers generosity was greatly received. I then split my stake on the two F’s in Saturday’s Lockinge and backed Farrh and Fencing.
You may have seen my email on Sunday regarding the motoracing tickets which Sam had won in a competition last week. Thanks for all the emails, the tickets went to a good home and the recipients had a great time as BMW VIP Guests. I’m really sorry for the short notice but it really was a late decision to forgo the racing to spend some quality time with my bestest buddy Matt and his family.
You may have seen in the comments on my last post that a few readers and I have been discussing luck and whether there is such a thing when it comes to gambling. I’m pretty sure there is but others disagree and it’s been an interesting discussion. I’m currently reading a couple of books on the subject (What’s Luck Got to Do With It?: The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler’s Illusion / Lady Luck) which I obtained from the Highstakes Bookshop and if I can make any sense of it all I’ll most likely do a post on the subject early next month. Hopefully it will provide some lively debate.
But that’s for another day. Before then we have the little matter of Epsom and the third and fourth Classics of the year. Let’s start with…..
This years Derby really boils down to one question. Is Dawn Approach value at 11/10?
In my opinion the answer is an emphatic Yes!
He has won the best trial (the Group 1 Guineas), he has the best form (unbeaten in 7 races including 3 Group 1′s), he’s by a Derby winner, is trained by a Derby winning trainer and most importantly of all, the opposition doesn’t look good enough to beat him.
Just look at the principals…..
Battle Of Marengo – He is unbeaten in his last 5 races but has yet to win in Group 1 company although he has won a couple of Group 2′s and a Group 3. Last year he beat the Dante runner-up very easily but his form this year hasn’t been spectacular and he surely owes his prominence in the Derby betting more to the Coolmore hype machine and lack of worthwhile rivals than his form on the track. He’s by Galileo and should have no problem seeing out the trip but his workmanlike win from Loch Garman last time out is a world away from anything Dawn Approach has achieved.
Telescope – another hype horse who has achieved very little and yet is as low as 6/1 with some firms to win the Derby. Really? Put a 1 in front of his current odds and it still looks a bit skinny to me. So what if Sir Alex Ferguson owns a leg, since when has having a high profile owner been a prerequisite to winning The Derby? What we have is a twice raced horse who was beaten first time up, won a maiden next time but has yet to even run this year. He got injured in his preparation for the race and has been restricted to a racecourse gallop where he beat an un-named stablemate by 30 lengths. If Stoute wins the Derby with this one then I’ll become a member of the Claire Balding fanclub.
Ocovango – Trained by the French master Andre Fabre, Ocovango is unbeaten in three runs including a Group 2 at Saint Cloud on his last start. That wasn’t the greatest Group 2 race ever run and the time wasn’t anything special plus all three of his runs have been on softish or worse ground. If we get a lot of rain on the run up to the race he might be of interest but I still can’t see him lowering the colours of the favourite on anything he has achieved so far.
Ruler Of The World – he didn’t run as a 2yo and has had just the two runs although he did win a Derby trial by 6 lengths at Chester last time out. But which ever way you look at it the opposition in that 4 runner race was very poor and he didn’t have to be a world beater to win it. The second is rated 93, the form of the third home took a serious knock in the Dante and a rating of 100 now looks unjustified and the last home was a once raced maiden winner with a rating of 89. Single figure quotes for this one’s chances in The Derby again owe more to his connections and lack of opposition to the favourite than what he has achieved on the track so far.
Chopin – a German trained horse who doesn’t hold a Derby entry yet. He won a Group 3 by 8 lengths last time out but seriously, is that really worth quotes of 10/1 (Coral) about his chances? I suspect not!
Mars – won an AW maiden from a stablemate who got stuffed by Dawn Approach and a horse now running in handicaps off a rating of 68! He ran okay in the Guineas and was doing all his best work late on but even with another 4 furlongs to travel it seems highly unlikely that he will be able to reverse placings with Dawn Approach who beat him nearly 9 lengths at Newmarket.
Magician – another O’Brien Chester trial winner who beat a small field of lowly rated horses easily. By Galileo, the trip won’t be a problem for him but his lack of class might.
Libertarian – somehow managed to win the Dante having run greener than the York turf he was racing on and in my opinion has very little chance of handling the tricky Epsom undulations. This years Dante was choc full of non-stayers and dodgepots and will probably go down as the worst Dante ever run. Horses that didn’t race as a 2yo have a poor record in the Derby an the general 20/1 looks tight to me. Stan James quote of 12/1 is laughable.
That Trading Leather couldn’t beat Libertarian in the Dante tells us all we need to know about his chances and I doubt Bolger will be losing too much sleep over this one’s chances of beating his more illustrious stablemate. Nevis put up a visually stunning performance in the Lingfield Derby Trial but very soft ground and a very poor trio of rivals made it look far better than it actually was. He ended last season running 14 lengths behind Dawn Approach in the Dewhurst and connections only hope is that the extra distance will help him reverse placings. Bravadino ran second to Ocovango in that Group 2 at Saint Cloud which leaves him a mountain to climb and John Oxx’s Zand has a very similar profile to Telescope. Twice raced, beat first time up, won a maiden by a wide margin and has yet to race this season. He’s available at 40/1 which might be a true reflection of both his and Telescope’s chances.
To me it all points to a win for the favourite. I really can’t see anything beating him. 11/10 isn’t a massive price but in all honesty I think odds-on quotes would be fully justified.
I will be officially launching TTS for the Summer on Monday with three super guides to keep us entertained until October. There will be a 2yo TTS Guide featuring juvenile runners from assorted stables, a Summer Jumps Guide for every track set to host NH racing June – September and an AW Flat Guide for those who like a bet on the sand.
All 3 Guides are just £27 and include a selections page where all the days runners will be available from 9am each morning. Also included in the package price will be a more selective 5 star service where we will highlight the best bets from each guide.
I have covered May in the 2yo Guide and selections are available now for those wishing to jump straight in. (7/1 winner on Saturday from 2 runners).
Also, to make things a little easier I have added a Membership area to the NagNagNag Blog which means you can now access the daily selections from this site. No having to juggle between different sites or having to remember login URL’s etc. It’s all here under one ‘roof’….
I’ll tell you more on Monday but if you know you want it and want to get on with it right now, you can sign up here…..http://nag-nag-nag.co.uk/trainertrackstats/sign-up/
or click the tab at the top right hand corner of this NagNagNag site labelled TrainerTrackStats