The golden summer of sport continues…
Olympics, Paralympics, Euro 2012, Frankel, Wimbledon and stacks of great racing, you name it we’ve been treated to it over the last three months or so, and to cap it for racing fans now a chance to see Ballydoyle’s brilliant and undefeated Montjeu colt Camelot secure the first triple crown achieved for a whopping 42 years.
You must’ve just returned from an extremely long holiday if you haven’t already read numerous accounts of the great Nijinsky’s feats back in 1970, but Town Moor will be alive on Saturday afternoon as Camelot treads the boards in a bid to emulate him.
He’s already dazzled us this summer, netting the Guineas first time up, before a romp in the Epsom Derby, coupled with a more workmanlike despatch of Born To Sea on testing ground in the Irish equivalent.
Lester Piggott says he’ll “destroy” them, Timeform have labelled him “a certainty”, and the general consensus is that this step into the unknown, a quarter of a mile further up in trip to the 1m 6f 132y of the Ladbrokes St Leger, the final Classic of the campaign, will all be taken in his stride, like the great horse that he is.
Indeed it’s hard to envisage him being beaten, but equally a fast run race against horses with guaranteed stamina in the bank poses a new challenge, even for one who looks such a natural and does everything with such ease.
It’d be a pretty unpleasant feeling to witness the petrol light flickering on empty if he were to be caught out by the trip, though huge credit must go to his connections for taking that chance and going for it, proving that even billionaires are sportsmen when the occasion demands it…
With that in mind I’ll be cheering on Camelot heartily, but where a wager is concerned the way forward has to be to take advantage of a very punter friendly each way market, one which offers some seriously good horses at each way prices you’d only normally dream of!
The likes of Main Sequence, Michaelangelo, Guarantee (has won over 1m 6f already) and Thomas Chippendale all bear close scrutiny, but at 12/1 with the sponsors I’ve got to be with Great Voltigeur winner Thought Worthy.
John Gosden runs him alongside top notch stablemate Michaelangelo and pacemaker Dartford, but the fact William Buick remains loyal when offered the choice between two of his in-form stable’s big guns swings it.
Thought Worthy was fourth to Camelot at Epsom (Main Sequence second), and third behind Thomas Chippendale in a tight finish at Royal Ascot, but he came good under an inspired Buick at York, dictating from the front and catching his rivals dosing.
Yes this is his first try beyond a mile and a half, but he sees his races out strongly, and crucially is a brother to 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno.
The ideal result would be for him to finish second to Camelot in a thriller, a mighty shot in the arm for the sport and a nice each way draw for us at 3/1 a place (Ladbrokes go 1/4 odds 1-2-3), though of course I’d take the full payout too!
Either way, if he gives his running he’ll be a strong place contender, and 3/1 to make the frame is none too shabby even if Camelot turns it into a procession.
Also at Donny, just 40 minutes prior to the main event, the big betting handicap of the day is the 22-runner Portland in which Welsh sprint wizard Ron Harris is responsible for the favourite Prodigality.
A career high mark of 90, a big field, and much the toughest opposition he has faced mean this’ll be some test for the improving four year old (who’s no bigger than 11/2 at the time of writing).
With that in mind perhaps it can pay to shop around for a bit of value, and at a humongous 50/1 surely I can’t be the only one who thinks his talented and experienced stablemate Secret Witness has a squeak each way?
Harris is still in the middle of a really productive spell, enjoying two more winners in the last seven days, and even if bookmakers have dismissed his second string I don’t think for one second he has.
This horse does appear weighted up to his best, but that’s because he’s run some crackers this summer, with a win and a pair of seconds at York the highlights.
He takes his racing really well, doesn’t have a care in the world about being intimidated in a big field, and has run some of the best races of his career at Doncaster.
Indeed his form figures at Town Moor read: 2, 2, 11, 1, 10, 15, 2, 7 – three seconds and a win from seven runs.
Ground and draw don’t appear to be an issue, and I’ll be having a small interest each way at 50’s (Paddy Power are offering 5 places each way at 40/1).
Later on the card Strong Suit can make up for lost time in a season that hasn’t really got going for him, with a win in the seven furlong Group 2 Park Stakes (4.15pm) in the offing if he can re-produce last autumn’s form.
I back this horse every time he runs, and for better or worse I’m not about to stop now – 5/2 with Sportingbet is the best price in the village.
The re-opposing Lethal Force got first run on him at Newbury four weeks ago, but with a more aggressive ride he can make amends here.
Saturday’s best bets:
3.40 Doncaster – Ladbrokes St Leger – 8 Thought Worthy (each way) @ 12/1 (Ladbrokes)
4.15 Doncaster – Park Stakes – 6 Strong Suit (win) @ 5/2 (Sportingbet)Posted 4 years, 10 months ago