Friday 15 December 2017

Casamento can make Aesop eat his words

Wayne Bailey

A FEW months back, I was involved in a motorcycle accident and I can confirm that your life does, indeed, 'flash before your eyes' when facing a life-threatening situation.

Thankfully, I got out with just a few cuts and bruises, but it's amazing how many thoughts the mind can process in a millisecond during a dramatic experience.

My mind performed a similar trick last week when watching the Totepool Catterick Dash, for which I'd tipped Favourite Girl as the 'each-way outsider' in this column.

As the selection got herself out of a pocket and stormed towards the finish, a hundred thoughts flashed through my mind on how exactly I would spend the material riches a 20/1 winner brings.

Some fine wine was top of the list, followed by a meal with the wife, and then a trip to the pictures to see my secret hero Gordon Gekko.

Unfortunately, Thats A Fret had other ideas and kept battling on to keep the selection in second place, by a head.

Backing a horse that gets placed at 20/1 is the same thing as bagging a 4/1 winner -- but it didn't feel that way and as I made my way to collect, my face was as long as that of the horse I'd backed.


Aesop, as far back as 570BC, warned about counting your chickens before they had hatched, but even he would have cursed his luck had he been around to back Favourite Girl last week! The good (and bad) thing about racing, however, is that there's always another day to have a gamble, so it's off to Doncaster to see what change we can wrangle out of the layers today.

Last week's Dewhurst may be considered one of the best juvenile races of the season, but today's Racing Post Trophy (2.55) isn't far off and recent victors include Derby winners High Chaparral, Motivator and Authorized.

It's not a bad race for favourites, with five winning since 2000 and this year's likely jolly, Casamento, is worth a punt at around 5/2.

As shown in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes, the Mick Halford-trained colt can easily handle the expected softer ground and his only defeat in three starts came at the hands of Pathfork in a Group One at The Curragh.

His owner, Sheikh Mohammed, has forked out nearly 20 grand to get him into this race and the vibes around Kildare are all good.

Of the outsiders, Dubawi Gold is of interest at 25/1. This is a big step up in class, but he came back to form last time out in a conditions stakes at Ascot and he can spring a surprise at a big price.


Judge 'n Jury was a major flop in the Catterick Dash last week when trailing in last, but I know that he's a better horse than that form suggests and I'm hoping it was just a blip in an otherwise reasonable season.

We have to go back to July 2009 to find the gelding's last win, but he often makes the places at good prices and it would be a mistake to write him off purely based on his latest race. Shop around and you should be able to get 25/1 or higher in the opening handicap at Doncaster (1.55).


1.55 Doncaster: Judge 'n Jury (e/w)

2.05 Newbury: Elzaam

2.55 Doncaster: Casamento

2.55 Doncaster: Dubawi Gold (e/w)

6.45 Kempton: Buddy Miracle

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