8th July 2015
This week sees three wonderful days of racing at the Newmarket July Festival starting on Thursday with the highlight being Saturdays Group one July Cup for the best sprinters on the planet.
Now I don't like to get political in this column however the Chancellor George Osborne is about to unleash his latest budget and it gives him the opportunity to put Britains racing in order.
One has to say that the countries bookmakers are getting away with blue murder as they have moved all their online betting overseas so they don't have to pay hardly any levy on their turnover.
In France and Ireland bookmakers pay over 5% of online turnover which nearly all goes back into racing. You only have to look at the prize money on offer on French and Irish racing compared to ours to see the difference this could make.
If the Chancellor buries his head in the sand and does nothing we will be left with the few marquee meetings plus the general mid week racing with small fields and little interest as owners transfer their horses to run abroad where there are richer pickings.
So come on George get the red brief case out and do something positive for our racing and stop helping the bookies.
It was nice to see last weeks Howies Hottie Rex Imperator hit the target and I do expect this well handicapped sort to win again in his current mood.
Mind you, you can't rest on your laurels in this game so lets hope I can find another hot one this week. Now I'm going to tip one that's not running until later this week in the Ed McMahon trained Express Himself.
The horse has two engagements one at Newmarket on Friday and another on Saturday at York. I would expect Newmarket is the more likely as I have been told Ryan Moore has been booked to ride.
The main reason I fancy him is if you watch a replay of his last race you will see he lost five lengths at the start made steady headway up the inside and then pulled away from the inform Birdman for an impressive victory.
If you get a chance to watch this race it will show you exactly why Ryan Moore is the best Jockey in the World by a country mile.
Anyway look out for Express Himself which ever engagement he takes up.
Archie trainer T.Dascombe - Ran 4th behind Birdman at Haydock after a break. He has been gelded and should improve for the run and looks well handicapped.
Master Carpenter trainer R.Millman - He has been running well without winning on unsuitable ground. When he gets his toe in he will be very hard to beat.
Biotic trainer R.Millman - Failed to see out the 10 furlongs at Windsor on Monday and a return to shorter will pay dividends.
Berahari trainer J.Best - Ran in the same race as Biotic and similar comments apply.
Victoire DeLyphar trainer Ruth Carr - Just pipped last time when trying to make all the running. This is a horse on a winnable mark at the moment.
Picansort trainer P.Crate - He is better on polytrack however he is on a winnable turf mark but he needs to be racing over the minimum as he did not see out the final furlong at Brighton yesterday.
Burren View Lady trainer D.Hogan - The filly had been off for some months before returning last week in Ireland. She needed the run and will strip a lot fitter next time.
Back next Wednesday have a good week and be lucky.
This Weeks Golf News - Spieth and Fowler Can Win First Leg of Doubles
Rory McIlroy is said to have only a one in ten chance of playing in the British Open next week. Jordan Spieth is preparing to contest the third major of the season at St Andrews by competing in the John Deere Classic on the US PGA Tour that he won as a teenager in 2013. The week before a major rarely sees tournaments attracting the leading players as they prefer hone their game away from the competitive arena but Spieth’s appearance has bucked that trend. The European Tour event has a field with star names and some strength in depth.
The Scottish Open has attracted some of the game’s elite because it is being played on a links course and provides one of the few opportunities to play a classic seaside golf in a tournament environment. Phil Mickelson completed the Scottish and British Opens double two years ago and several visiting American players will be looking to emulate him over the next two weeks. Rickie Fowler is a proven links player and he could be the one to repeat Mickelson’s achievements of two summers ago in two Opens on links courses over the next fortnight.
McIlroy was initially eased in the betting for the Open when it was first reported he had sustained an injury playing football with his friends. He was later removed when it emerged that he had ruptured an ankle ligament that can take six weeks or more to recover. The world number one immediately withdrew from the Scottish Open an on Tuesday morning several bookmakers did not list him in their odds for the Open which meant Spieth became an even stronger favourite.
On social media McIlroy posted the latest developments with a picture and caption saying: ‘Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kick about with friends. Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started’. Heaven knows how the mate who crocked the world’s best golfer is now feeling. Indirectly he could have helped to create sporting history by facilitating the calendar year Grand Slam.
The Open at St Andrews had the potential to provide a showdown between two players who currently between them hold all four majors. In the absence of McIlroy Spieth will have a much better chance of completing the third leg of the calendar year Grand Slam. It would be a big surprise if McIlroy recovered sufficiently to play in the Open and the nature of the injury means that the holder may not be able to defend the USPGA Championship either which begins in five weeks. The result of his unfortunate injury is that Spieth now has a unique chance to become the first player to win all four professional majors in the same year.
Some bookmakers are returning stakes on an ante post placed on McIlroy for the Open. Strictly speaking all bets should stand and as the player will not be winning the Open they are losers. However in such a high profile incident involving the best player in the game they have taken a more long term view to foster goodwill which for them hopefully means loyal customers. The left ankle takes the force of McIlroy’s swing so it looks like significant levels of stakes will be refunded. There really is no point playing less than totally fit next week and if he came back too early McIlroy could do more serious long tern damage.
Next week’s Open has lost some of its gloss but in sport you can only beat who turns up. Nobody could say that McIlroy would not have got a bad draw and missed the cut in bad weather. He will surely now never player football two weeks before a major. McIlroy will miss great chances to win the remaining majors of the season on courses suited to his game. The affect on the betting of the calamity is that Spieth is now the only player quoted in single figures for the Open. Dustin Johnson is next in the betting but is twice the price of the world number two.
Spieth will be preparing for the Open by playing in the John Deere Classic out of a spirit of loyalty. The tournament offers one of the smallest prize funds of the year and is almost at Nationwide Tour level. As a former champion Spieth feels he is doing the right thing by forgoing practice in Scotland to beat a moderate field. Every other major contender for St Andrews will be practising on British and Irish links courses or playing in the Scottish Open. The host course for the John Deere Classic in Illinois could be hardly more different in it’s demands compared to the Old Course next week.
Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus understood the prestige of the Open and the importance of having it on their CV. Tom Watson took some time to master links golf and then he won five Opens. However, both Woods and Nicklaus have said winning a tournament anywhere is far better than hours of practice even on a strange course. Spieth will have a day to recover from jet lag and with light allowing golf until after 10pm Spieth could have four practice rounds before tee in it up on the first day. There are positive mental associations with this tournament a win at which would put Spieth in the right frame of mind for the Open.
Spieth won his first PGA title in the John Deere Classic becoming the first player not turned 20 to win on the Tour for 80 years. In defence of his title last year he finished seventh so he has plenty of course form. He has handled the jet lag and made the cut in the last two Opens. It would do wonders for the game if Spieth was presented with the Claret Jug next Sunday but the absence of McIlroy would devalue the achievement.
Bet Fairway - Making Cash On The Fairway
Year To Date Profits +985.02 (£10 Per Point £9,850.20 - £100 Per Point £98.502.00)