Sahpresa can keep the good times rolling
WHAT a cracking weekend just gone in sport. Between Ireland beating Australia and Dublin winning the All-Ireland, I spent most of it in seventh heaven.
I was somehow lucky enough to get my hands on a football ticket outside Croke Park last Sunday 20 minutes before the throw-in, but I must confess I was feeling as glum as an Irish ice-cream man this summer when I checked the odds on my phone midway through the second half.
The Kingdom were 1/10 in-running on Betfair, which suggested they had more than a 90pc chance of winning. Surely the Dubs, of all teams, couldn't upset those odds?
It looked like the same old record was playing, only someone had set the 45 dial to a slow-motion 33. Not this time, though. The Boys in Blue, for once, didn't crumble under pressure -- they fought back and deserved their one-point victory.
In fairness to the Kerry fans, they were gracious afterwards in defeat and they appreciated what victory meant to the Dubs after all those years of heartbreak.
A couple of hours after Sam was lifted in the air I met the brother, who is a well-known bagpiper at the matches, in town for a jar. He embraced me with a hugely enthusiastic "good evening."
In fact, he was so happy with himself, he sounded like he'd just discovered the evening's goodness after 16 years of searching for it. Pints were sunk, tunes were played, good times were had and, to cap it all off, I had a collection of dockets in the back pocket from last week's 'Betting Ring' column to cash in at the bookies the next morning.
To paraphrase yer man on the box, Carlsberg don't do weekends, but if they did ...
The fun and games though, can only roll for as long as you can pay for it so it's back to business today to see if we can extend the good times a little with a couple of choice wagers.
I'll keep a keen eye on the prices, but at 7/4 or thereabouts, I reckon my main bet of the day will be on Sahpresa in the Group One Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (3.10 Newmarket).
She's looking for a hat-trick in this contest and if the form book is anything to go by, she should take it with a bit to spare, despite the fact that she hasn't won a race since Longchamp in June.
She's still had a great season and even though she's now aged six, she's running as well as ever. Make no mistake, her trainer Rodolphe Collet isn't just sending her across the water for the trip on the boat. Connections mean business with nearly £100,000 in prize money on offer.
She finished behind Goldikova in her latest two races at Deauville (one of those won by Immortal Verse) but she's got a great turn of foot that can be utilised to good effect today.
The John Oxx filly Alanza will appreciate the return to a mile and may well be the one to follow her home.
Caspar Netscher: Won at 15/8
Son Of The Cat, each-way: Placed at 18/1
Poet: Won at 5/4
Dublin to win by 1-6pts: Won at 15/8
He's priced around 70/1 on the machine but with a bit of luck, Roger Varian's Tinkertown may just sneak a place in the Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket (3.50).
He's a temperamental sort and it may take time for his new yard to figure him out (he moved from Paul Cole's stable in July).
That said, he showed ability when third in the Dee Stakes in May at Chester and while the handicapper could probably drop his mark a little, he's not without an outside chance if running to the form we saw earlier on this year.
2.10 Ripon: Bay Of Fires
2.35 Newmarket: Best Terms
3.10 Newmarket: Sahpresa
3.35 Chester: Dick Doughtywylie
3.50 Newmarket: Tinkertown (e/w)
6.20 Wolverhampton: Confucius Elite