Good morning all,
The last part of the Ascot saga on the main piece, plus a big-priced selection from Newton Abbot that I feel has a much better chance than the price suggests.
The video for tomorrow's Preview should be up around lunchtime, I did plenty of work on tomorrow's cards yesterday so if you subscribe to me on Youtube (David Massey, email@example.com to find me) you should be able to see it later on.
One more day, then I’m on holiday. Come on, I can do this…
We say goodbye to the hotel and set off for the final time to Ascot. I’m making sure Alan, who isn't great with directions, is following me all the way and sure enough, he manages to lose me early at a set of lights. I wait for him in the car park of what appears to be a nearby strip joint which looks packed for 9 in the morning. No, I didn’t go in.
We arrive and do the pick. Saturday is often classed as “moving day” in golf, and it’s moving day for us as well, as we take our pitch from the 2f pole to almost the 4f pole. It’s a fair hike and we’ve gone from one end of the Windsor Enclosure to the other!
Liam, one of the RDT tech lads, has been betting on the Queen’s hat colour all week. Liam will bet on anything if he thinks he’s got an edge. “The word is yellow, but I have had a saver on pink, as a few have heard that too.” I can’t help but laugh when she turns up in lime green.
There’s a lot of people here but business is very slow to get going. Worse, people are still coming in as the Queen arrives and there’s simply nowhere for them to sit. So they start to move the barriers behind us (which are stationed higgledy-piggledy anyway) and sit on the hill, which in years gone by has been fine. It’s half full when the stewards arrive and tell them all they have to move. It’s a poor situation, the stewards are lined up and not moving until the crowd moves and it starts to get a bit heated. I have nothing but sympathy for the racegoers who are being told where they can’t sit but not where they can. There’s not a blade of grass in front of us that’s not covered already. Alan goes mad at the stewards and gets reported for his troubles. Next thing we know we’ve got the betting ring manager coming down to have a word with Alan about his behaviour. He’s unrepentant and his “power to the people” manner is going down well with the crowd. Maybe he should be a politician.
Bottom line here is that Ascot simply isn’t big enough when there’s a sellout crowd that want to picnic on the grass. It might have been better for all if they’d sold slightly less than capacity so there was room for all. But they won’t of course.
Anyway, I’m now dealing with a drunk student who wants 50p e/w on one. “I’m poor” she tells me, having paid who knows how much to get in and is swigging prosecco. I finally get her to have £2 on one and when it gets beat, she has a few choice words for me. Lovely lady. Throughout the afternoon she will constantly present us with losing tickets from other bookmakers (including Ascot Tote ones) and generally prove a massive pain in the arse.
One of the bar staff from our local for the week, The Three Magpies, is here and we’ve given her the first winner. Sadly, as we’re not going back there tonight, the free round on offer will have to wait until next year.
Space Traveller is a good result in the second but in truth the business is simply not that great – it’s okay, just not great – and we’re trying not to do a lot of damage. Which is just as well, as the next three favourites all go in, and we’re paying out a fair chunk every race. One bloke has £60 on Blue Point and pays me in tenners – on counting them he’s given me seven of them, so I shout him back and give him a tenner. “I shall bet with you whenever I see you, thankyou for your honesty”, he says. As I always say, play fair with me, and I’ll play fair with you.
The rest of the afternoon passes by without a lot of incident, although the drunk student comes back after the last with a winner. Sadly for her, she’s bet it with John White, not us, which means she has to trot off and find him. It really is time to go home….
We got no run for our money with Battle Of Waterloo yesterday but I don't think he'd have won, even with a clear. Would have been nice to have found out, though. I'll keep him on trackers for the time being.
At Newton Abbot there's already been a bit of money around for Mount Vesuvius in the seller at 3.15 but the 22/25-1 around is still value in my book. He knows how to win, as he showed last October, would have needed a recent run to put him straight (and he ran fine), is a C&D winner and is only 1lb higher than his last win. All of which makes him around a 12-1 shot in my book for what is a weak seller. Have had a small e/w bet at the price.
Good luck with all your bets today,