PCB's Betting Week – 22nd July

It is often said that the quickest route to the poorhouse is to chase your losses backing unraced two year old horses on their debuts. It is a good point well made, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss inexperienced thoroughbreds entirely.

It is well known that the biggest improvement that these youngsters make comes with their second run and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve made a profit from following the hype when a highly rated flop first time out reappears on the racetrack.

The way to uncover these hidden gems is through scouring the forecast prices in your morning paper and looking for horses that have been listed with a projected price of 8/1 – 10/1 in the morning only to be gambled into 4/1 or less by race time.

There is a great example of this angle today in the form of Police force in Ascot’s 245 today. After a moderate first run I’d have expected this one to be quoted at 10/1+. However it has been gambled today and could well be nearer 4/1 by the off. Someone is clearly happy to ignore the first run, taking the view that the horse has greatly improved for its debut and when you see that happening I think it is an angle you should always take notice of. This is one occasion where the market is clearly giving you a big hint and this is a strategy you can use again and again.

All Eyes On Ascot

Tomorrow it will be all eyes on Ascot for The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the anticipated shootout between Workforce and St Nicholas Abbey. It seems like all of Newmarket are on the favourite, last year’s Derby and Arc hero, after news of a scintillating workout on the gallops at HQ on Sunday spread like wildfire.

In the Heritage Handicap, aka International Handicap, also at Ascot, Reignier (14/1) looks like an interesting participant now he is back with his original trainer Karl Burke.

And A Quick Dash To York

It’s Skybet day at York so – as I said in an earlier column – it could make sense to take heed of the sponsor’s prices and the runners they are both running scared of and happy to oppose.

In the Skybet Dash, Michael Stoute’s Entitled is a consistent performer at the bottom of the weights and must have solid each way chances. In the Skybet York Stakes, Roger Varian’s Dominant is the pick to overturn favourite Twice Over.

This weekend’s fare feels like the entrees ahead of the main courses to be served up at Glorious Goodwood and The Galway Festival this week.

Jocks Away!

In Scotland though, it is full steam ahead with their big kick off in the football tomorrow.

The SPL looks a tricky proposition unseen on opening weekend as there are no obvious challengers for third place behind the Old Firm. Kilmarnock at 7/2 v Dundee United are a real Jekyll and Hyde outfit who are as exhilarating on the front foot as they are brittle defending. They are a big price though if The Arabs of Dundee suffer a reaction to their exertions in the Europa League on Thursday.

My money though is heading to the Ramsdens Challlenge Cup and a solid treble of Ross County, Hamilton and Dumbarton, who play on Sunday. The first leg pits full-timers v part-timers, the second sees a side just relegated from the SPL against Third Division amateurs with a whole clutch of players absent though injuries and work/holiday commitments. Lastly, Dumbarton have been flying in preseason and they face a Shire side with just nine signed players in a competition where triallists cannot feature. Shire have played just two preseason games and their manager John Coughlin was off on holiday until midweek.

That’s all for this week but be sure to check out the Smart Betting Club for all the latest on my Four Pronged Attack Racing Service and my Football Antepost bets and I’ll see you next time.