Yesterday’s first selection, Chaplins Bay, ran a creditable race in defeat, finishing fourth, only a short head behind the third horse, having gone off the 3/1 favourite. Let’s hope he takes his chance again soon. The race was won by an 18/1 outsider from the Fahey stable, which I hadn’t fancied myself, but you can never underestimate the man. Wavelet won in fine style with Jamie Spencer looking around for dangers from a long way out, so he knew he had a horse under him. The betting market was a bit confused – with three non-runners there were 9/2 co-favourites of four for a while, in a six horse race, before clever people came to the same conclusion as me. Wavelet went off 7/2 favourite and won as it liked. Advised at 5/1, which I got myself late in the afternoon, so another good day at the office. This has been an unprecedented run, over a short sample of selections, so don’t go mad thinking I will maintain this strike rate – there will be losing days ahead, as sure as eggs is eggs.
Derby Day today, and despite Keiron Fallon telling the newspapers he fancies the outsider he rides today, I will be giving it a swerve. My first selection couldnt be running further away from Epsom, and goes at Musselburgh in the 4.00pm race. EXCHEQUER, yet to win on turf but with some very solid form under its belt, is taken to provide a winner for David Brown, who quietly achieves a very good strike rate from his base in Nottinghamshire. The selection won a Class 3 handicap at Lingfield two runs ago, but didnt handle things at Goodwood last time out, though was only beaten 5-6 lengths in a Class 2. I don’t hold anything against a horse that doesn’t handle Goodwood, and Musselburgh wll be more to its liking. With a 21% strike rate at the track, the trainer knows the score and isn’t going all that way without a live chance. At 7/1 you could afford to have an each way bet for safety, because I don’t see it being out of the frame, but the bet today is 2pts WIN EXCHEQUER (4.00pm Musselburgh).
Another trainer who isnt generally in the spotlight is John Mackie, who trains a comparatively small string in Derbyshire, and seems to do particularly well at the likes of Nottingham and Southwell but has the occasional tilt at Doncaster and his Hurry Home Poppa takes its chance in a 7 runner field in the 3.05pm. The market for this race may be twisted slightly by the presence of a racing club horse, so if their members smash into Christmas Hamper, we may get a decent price on the selection which is currently available (just after noon) at 9/2 with Ladbrokes and Corals but is generally available at 4/1 which you should find no trouble getting. Third and second on its last two outings, Franny Norton takes the ride over from Joe Fanning and I expect it to do the business. 2pts WIN Hurry Home Poppa (Doncaster 3.05pm).
There will be no bet tomorrow (Sunday) so I will hope to have something decent for you on Monday. Good luck, and enjoy the Derby – but bet elsewhere!