Saturday came and went in a flash and it was a thoroughly enjoyable days’ racing. So let’s reflect on how my wagers fared. In the Dubai Gold Cup, Cavalryman had his run blocked not once, not twice but three times and by the time he got out and flew home he failed to catch the leader by a head. Now I know a lot of people who backed Cavalryman may be cursing their luck or criticising the jockey, but this is racing and sometimes the cards just do not fall right. Was he the best horse in the race? Yes, undoubtedly. Would he have won with a clear passage? Yes, he would. Was I paid out at 5/2? No. These things happen in racing and you have to take the rough with the smooth. I backed the right horse, but it wasn’t to be.
Graphic showed a steely determination and dug deep to win the Doncaster Mile but this was one race I had decided to sit out from a betting perspective. A long wait then until my big fancy Jack Dexter ran in the Cammidge Trophy at 2.40pm. Having watched the Morning Line I was not as confident as I was when I placed the bet on Friday, given that the panel of studio guests were keen to take him on with Richard Hannon’s Maureen and were making a big deal out of his 5lb penalty. Well, it turns out they were right and wrong! Jack Dexter ran very, very flat but so did market rivals Tropics and Morning Line fancy Maureen. It was left to the two outsiders of the field to fight it out and Dinkum Diamond led from pillar to post to land the prize ahead of Captain Ramius. It will be interesting to see how the form of this race works out in the forthcoming season.
If Jack Dexter was a letdown then Shea Shea was a soul-destroyer. True he didn’t exactly fall out of the stalls but he wasn’t exactly off to a flyer either. Not even a horse of his stature can go from last to first when the pace being set up front is truly phenomenal. In the end he did well to finish as close as he did but no one was catching the winner. I was very impressed with the winner Amber Sky though. Three races down and no return. Would things get any better?
In a simple word yes! I love Brae Hill as much as he loves Doncaster. What a horse, what a ride and the 8 year old dug deep when it really mattered. As a bonus, Farlow grabbed some place money in 3rd @ 14/1 and he is one to follow this season seeing as this was his first crack at 1 mile. With a 10/1 winner in the bag I can afford to relax a little and really enjoy the rest of the racing. Just as well really as the Lincoln was a big disappointment with One More Word failing to make it into the stalls, Tres Corons never featuring and Gabrials Kaka folding tamely. I think Tullius was one to take out of the race and I’ve got him down as one to follow this season. That was it for the domestic action and a bit of a wait until the Sheema Classic in Meydan, just long enough to see my football accumulator go down the pan.
Even though he only finished second, I think Cirrus Des Aigles was one of my better bets on the day. Dismissed out of hand on the Morning Line, I thought he ran an absolute blinder sent off at 9/1. He obviously failed to live up to expectations last season but he still ran some good races and showed in the Sheema Classic he retains all his ability. The winner, Japanese superstar Gentildonna was a class apart and won a shade cosily. Magician never threatened and the best horse clearly won the race.
I had already backed Red Cadeaux for the Dubai World Cup at 25/1 and decided to have a couple of quid each way on Ron The Greek at 30s on Betfair (and 7s to place in the top three), only to watch him drift out into the 40s. I never quite know what to make of it when that happens, sometimes I chuck a couple extra on at the bigger price but I decided instead that it was a sign he was friendless on the exchanges. Neither horse was ever going to win once African Story and Mukhadram kicked clear and the day’s betting ended rather tamely. All in all I ended up a few quid in front thanks entirely to Brae Hill and Farlow! I’ll be back later next week with my selections and thoughts for all 3 days of the Aintree meeting, including the big one itself the Grand National.