Good morning all,
Very enjoyable day at Worcester yesterday, shame Starlit Night could put her best foot forward but I did learn a few bits and pieces, which I'll document up next week.
The latest in the Ascot week of tales is on the main piece, plus a selection from Yarmouth.
Friday. Two days to go. Starting to flag a bit.
Today is, unofficially, Gentleman’s Day at Ascot. This is the one day of the five when you should take money, decent money, and you pray for results. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it can make or break the week, but it’s a big day all the same.
I’m with Alan in the very last pitch by the 2f pole. Effectively this is where the Windsor Enclosure ends and Tatts begins. There is, of course, a huge fence to separate the areas and also a VIP picnic area (it makes me laugh how many have selfies are taken by the VIP sign, despite the fact they’re clearly not in that area, and they’re merely trying to impress mates) and this area has both it’s plus points and negative ones.
The main negative one is the litter. There’s no bins down here and as people meander down and realise there’s nowhere else to go, they simply drop their litter on the floor and it feels like you’re working in a rubbish dump. Stella bottles, prosecco bottles, crisp packets, plastic cups, it’s not that pleasant an environment to work in. But on the plus side, you are at least guaranteed some business, as there’s always folk around you.
The Queen passes by and as we do on every day, we ask two ladies that are smaller than most if they would like to stand on the joint so they can get a better view. Just another public service the Bennett firm provides…
Business is a bit more brisk than it has been for the first three days and in the first, most of it is on favourite Daahyeh. She doesn’t look like getting beaten from a long way out and it’s first blood to the punters.
Japan up next, and I don’t fancy it at all. I’ve laid it a bit in the morning, I just don’t think he’s quick enough and the track might not suit him either. The punters disagree, as we take a £200 at 6-4 and another 2 x £100 bets. On the home turn he looks in a spot of trouble as he struggles to muster speed but once Ryan Moore gets him sailing down the outside there’s only ever one result. Costly for me, and we’re now 2-0 down.
We start betting for the Commonwealth Cup and Ten Sovereigns is, of course, very popular now the first two favourites have gone in. But just as we’re getting busy, disaster strikes….
One young woman, rather the worse for wear already, crashes into the back of the joint, bringing the laptop, keyboard and all manner of wiring down with her in the process. We try and get it up and running but something’s clearly broken. We’ve no prices on the board and we’re losing business fast. It’s up to me to try and find the RDT (tech) lads and get them to us as fast as possible. Needless to say, we’re not the only ones in the betting jungle that need their help, and there’s a wait of about 20 minutes.
However, the printer is working and we can print tickets, so whilst we are waiting for RDT to come, we go back to a rather more old fashioned method and merely shout the odds out! Remarkably, despite having no working board, we still take another £400 on the race to try and help the book out. Thankfully RDT turn up before the next and it turns out our lady has snapped the data cable, which basically transmits all the prices from the laptop to the light board. With that fixed, we’re up and running again…
Having got Ten Sovereigns stuffed, now it’s time to try and get Hermosa beaten too. The bets come flying in, plenty of £50, £60 and £80 ones but Hermosa simply can’t get past Watch Me, who hasn’t gone unbacked but is a great result for us. We’re getting back on top now and if we could get one more good result, it could swing the day. Enter stage left Thanks Be.
33-1 she goes off for the Sandringham and when she holds on to win a neck, Gary comes running over with the finger in the air. “Absolute skinner!!” he shouts, and I have a look at the book. Remarkably, we laid every horse in the race, bar one. And that one was Thanks Be. That’s the result he needed. It’ll be peppercorn sauce with the steaks tonight, for sure…
I’ve had one lady punter with a lovely lilting Irish accent betting with us all afternoon but bless her, she’s not had a winner. “Now look, you lads, you know every winner, don't you?” she says, as she turns to me for guidance. I half feel like telling her to read the Punt this week for clear evidence I don't, but instead tell her Baghdad won here last year and must give her a run for her money. She takes the 5-1 for a tenner ew and when it wins, I get a kiss and a thankyou. It’s not a bad life this, you know…
That night we go over to Reading to join Paul Johnson’s firm for a few drinks and to take part in their pub quiz. We lead going into the last round but, frankly, are robbed, and finish third. It matters not, we’ve had a good day and with just the one day to go, and the weather improving all the time, it can’t go wrong. Can it?
Over to Yarmouth today for today's selection. I'll give a small mention for Little Brown Trout in the 2.50 for those of you that like a tilt at a windmill, he's 80-1 this morning but I'd have him nearer a 20-1 chance based on his debut sixth at Newmarket, where the first two pulled miles clear of the rest, however it's working out – the third finished second in better company at York next time, the fourth got beat a neck at Kempton, the fifth won at Lingfield and the eighth finished second, beaten less than a length, at Nottingham. That doesn't make him an 80-1 chance in my book and might be worth a quid e/w. (Update – can't believe it, just as I'm about to post the price has collapsed. 33s now the price. Someone else has put that up as a bet, how annoying!). But for my main selection I'm going with Battle Of Waterloo in the 3.20, who was a horse I liked a lot last year but doesn't seem to have really gone on this time around. However, his effort at Lingfield in May shows he's still got it, and this step up to a mile may well be what he needs now. Worth a try to get back on track.
Good luck with all your bets today,