9th August 2015
The Don attended the Shergar Cup yesterday at Ascot and left with mixed feelings and a wallet as empty as Andy Bells fan club venue.
I've long felt there is scope for different things in racing to shake things up so a team event with jockeys from all over the globe I’m not against. And of course for people who don’t like it either don’t turn up to watch it or watch it on tv and don’t bet on it there are other meetings.
That was what I felt before attending anyway but after going I’m not convinced that it isn’t flawed because if you get to the nitty gritty each race in our sport is a standalone contest which we tip and or bet on hours before. Yet when I watched the event infront of to be fair and big and much more enthused crowd than you sometimes get at Ascot it seemed to me that the jockeys were riding as teams rather than as a one off race.
The experienced race reader can spot when someone is blocking someone in to help a pal or a stablemate. Here there seemed to me to be team tactics going on all over the place particularly as the afternoon went on. In the context of an event then you can make a case however this team event is under the rules of the BHA whereby every rider must take steps to finish in the best position for his owners and the betting public so this presents a problem.
Personally I won’t tip on this ever again and it's not sour grapes, what I would consider is betting in the outright result before it starts where I think there might be an angle. We left after the last before the concert after having the same old discussion about whether concert goers will be the racegoers and bettors of the future, they won’t be and many particularly at Newmarket’s Friday meetings have little interest and in many cases no knowledge of a race meeting even taking place. That's fine of course if courses want to put events on after racing and make cash I’ve no problem but please please don’t think they are anything to do with our sport.
Two poor meetings on the mainland today but tune into the Curragh which stages a top class card including a fascinating group 3 sprint at 4.20. All eyes will be on Malton raider Mattmu and Maarek to topple fave Anthem Alexander but the Don suggests an each way on a young and unexposed type Fort Del Oro at 11/1 with betway.
By far the most inexperienced in the field he has looked a horse of great potential and The Don finds it highly significant that he has been pitched in here.
Join me in the private service we have York around the corner and The Don scents it could be massive.
Have a great Sunday and lets hope that this week ends on a high as like many of you I received the crushing email that Andy Bells Racing Diary has finished. Saturday lunch times will never be the same again I will start to enjoy them! It's not exactly John Lennon leaving the Beatles is it anyway The Don doesn’t indulge in cheap shots and looks forward to accepting Mr Bells kind offer of a glass of champagne at York. It's in my diary Andy!!
Trust in The Don his columns will always be number 1
Back next Sunday.
The Gambling Don