Saturday 17 November 2018

Step down in class ideal for Sir Dancealot

Betting Ring

Sea The Lion (right), with Ronan Whelan up, on the way to winning the ‘Ragusa’ Handicap from Gustavus Vassa (Declan McDonogh) at the Curragh. Photo: PA
Sea The Lion (right), with Ronan Whelan up, on the way to winning the ‘Ragusa’ Handicap from Gustavus Vassa (Declan McDonogh) at the Curragh. Photo: PA

Wayne Bailey

Born in Denbighshire, North Wales in 1777, Charles James Apperley became a well-known sports writer in his time, usually published under the pseudonym Nimrod.

The origin of the phrase, "It's all over bar the shouting" is somewhat uncertain; some say it came from politics and elections, while others say it comes from sport - but it usually related to an event that had a forgone conclusion which no amount of shouting or arguing afterwards would change.

Interestingly, the first time a similar phrase was seen in print, it actually related to horse racing - and came from a book by Apperley, in which a number of people are betting on a race. One exclaims, "It's all over but shouting."

With one bookmaker going as short as 4/7 at the time of writing, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Irish Derby (5.15 Curragh), was all over bar the shouting, with Saxon Warrior expected to give Aidan O'Brien his 13th victory in the race.

Packet

Regular readers will know I'm a huge fan of Saxon Warrior, successfully backing him in the Racing Post Trophy, winning a sizeable amount on the colt in the Guineas, but then losing a packet in the Derby.

I'm not quite sure what to make of his loss when fourth in the Derby; he had a poor draw for sure in stall one but I was sure he'd overcome it.

He also hung left a little and couldn't quicken up, and not all horses are suited to Epsom. And although bred for the middle distances, there's a chance a mile and a half is not his ideal trip.

But there's also the depressing possibility that he's not actually the superstar us supporters thought he was going to be.

I really hope that's not true, and with the Derby winner Masar aiming for the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, Saxon Warrior has a great chance of getting back on track here.

But I just can't take that price in finding out, especially considering the Epsom runner-up, Dee Ex Bee, also lines up today for Mark Johnston having been supplemented.

That horse has plenty of stamina, is already the ante-post favourite for the Leger, and represents a very serious threat to O'Brien's principal entry.

In short, I think Saxon Warrior can bounce back but I don't want to spend any money finding out and for me, this is definitely a race to be enjoyed without a bet.

Having decided to avoid the feature race at the Curragh then, I had a look around for a decent value wager and I think I've found what I'm looking for in the guise of Sir Dancealot, which was trading at 7/2 yesterday for the Group Three Betway Criterion Stakes at Newmarket (1.45).

A neck in front of the talented Kimberella in a minor event at Hamilton recently, he wasn't disgraced when last seen finishing seventh in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

With five career wins from 20 races, the four-year-old has been a good servant to connections in the last couple of years.

David Elsworth's colt has been racing at six furlongs this term but it's worth a try at seven once again, with three of those victories coming at that trip.

Although he ran with credit at a big price at Ascot, he's not really a Group One horse but the step down in class here gives him every chance, and I'm confident he can get the better of Dutch Connection.

Trained by Charlie Hills, that horse still has talent and was third in the Group One Lockinge - although it's fair to say the six-year-old is not the force of old and, could only manage fourth in the Group Three John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock last time.

At Newcastle, consider backing the aforementioned Kimberella around 9/2 in the Betfred TV Chipchase Stakes (12.55). Aged eight, he's another that's been around the block a few times but he's decent on the artificial surfaces and was unlucky not to win this last year.

Each-way

While this week's selection is not exactly a massive price, I reckon the 7/1 about Amazing Red is an each-way steal in the race once known as the Pitmen's Derby, the Northumberland Plate Handicap (2.05 Newcastle).

Officially rated 102 following a win in a decent handicap at Newmarket early this month, he gets to race here off his old mark of 93 as this was an early closing race, 9lb ahead of the handicapper.

He does carry a 5lb penalty however, but that still leaves him 4lbs 'well in' and he should be in the mix at the finish.

Today's selections

12.55 Newcastle: Kimberella

1.45 Newmarket: Sir Dancealot

2.05 Newcastle: Amazing Red (e/w)

4.10 Windsor: Oh This Is Us

4.35 Curragh: Land Force

Do the double

Soccer

All eyes will be on Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo as Uruguay take on Portugal this evening (7.0). Uruguay are slight favourites at 9/5 and although they got through the early stages with an impressive clean record, they had an easier group. Portugal were not in top form against Iran, but they can put it up to the best, as shown against Spain. I'm backing Portugal at 2/1.

Racing

Priced 13/8 in the early markets yesterday, I'm very keen on Oh This Is Us in the Listed Sunbets.co.uk Midsummer Stakes at Windsor (4.10). Richard Hannon's charge was well out of his depth when finishing down the field in the Queen Anne, but that was expected at 66/1. He went very close at this level previously, when a neck-second to Arod here in May. That was his first run in a couple of months, and he'll be much sharper today following Ascot.

Irish Independent

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