Thursday 14 December 2017

So You Think to pull rabbit out of the hat

Wayne Bailey

GOODNESS knows where the phrase came from, but on the first day of every month, my old man used to say "rabbits, white rabbits" before the Angelus bell rang at noon.

I'm not really one for superstitions but apparently, if you say those words at the start of a new month you won't be stuck for a few bob. Today's 'Betting Ring' column happens to fall on the first of October so we'll give it a go and see what lady luck brings.

With the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe taking place tomorrow in Paris, I asked the man who runs Google Translate to do a job on the phrase and he's come up with 'lapins, lapins blancs', so if my tips don't come up trumps, you can blame Google Translate and not me.

In fairness, it's not the easiest puzzle to figure out this year but with the ground going against Workforce, I think I'll scratch him from the shortlist. Another one I fancied, Alain de Royer-Dupre's Reliable Man, may also find the ground a little quick, so I'm reluctantly putting a line through that colt's name too.


Stablemate Sarafina heads the betting at the time of writing and while I'm finding it hard to pick holes in her form, it takes an exceptional filly to win this race and 7/2 just seems a little too short. Not a highly original pick then but at 5/1, Aidan O'Brien's So You Think gets the tentative each-way bet-to-nothing vote, although stall 14 is far from ideal.

I have my concerns after the Irish Champion Stakes as Snow Fairy made him work much harder than expected -- although he never traded above 10/11 in-running and dug deep when he needed to. A bigger field will suit tomorrow as he can let some of them take him along and if he can get the trip he should go close.

At Newmarket today, Samitar is the one to beat in the Tattersalls Millions 2yo Fillies' Trophy (2.25), priced around tips (11/10). She was narrowly beaten by the very useful Lyric Of Light in the Group One Fillies' Mile last time and if she runs anywhere near that level, she'll take this with plenty in hand.

Away from racing, I fancy Ireland to have few difficulties in beating a dogged if a little one-dimensional Italian side tomorrow morning in the rugby.

Don't expect Ireland to fall into Italy's trap and get bogged down in a scrummaging battle but even if they do, they'll be able to hold their own, and our backs are far superior to theirs.

If Ireland come anywhere near the dizzying heights they reached against Australia, they'll win with a bit in reserve.

The half-time/full-time odds of 2/5 are a little bit skinny and there's much greater value in backing Ireland to cover the 12-point handicap at evens (Victor Chandler).

If you're looking for something with higher odds, you could do worse than backing Ireland to win by 13-24 points at 15/8 (Betfred).

Finally, the odds of 4/6 on Ireland scoring first with Ladbrokes are too good to refuse as the price is closer to 1/2 with most other firms.


Jonathan Portman's Joe Packet is the one to watch in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot (3.50). I reckon he's slotted in nicely at these weights based on his third place in a Listed contest at Newbury a couple of weeks ago, and if running to form, I think he'll do better than his early odds of 14/1 suggest.


2.25 Newmarket: Samitar

3.50 Ascot: Joe Packet e/w

5.50 Wolverhampton: Right Result

3.15 Longchamp: So You Think e/w (Sunday)

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