Sportsman Racing: Princely Reward at 40/1

In this regular Monday segment, racing expert Scott Armstrong rounds up all the action of note from this weekend’s racing for SBC Blog readers.

On Friday, Scott labelled this weekend’s feature race – the Cambridgeshire as a ‘fiendishly difficult puzzle’ and so it proved with an unexpected 40/1 winner, which was so unfancied, he wasn’t even backed by his professional gambling owners!

Scott unpacks both that race and also some of the other highlights of the weekend past, with the previously highlighted ‘Lexington Bay’ obliging at 12/1 at Haydock and an 11 strong list of horses to follow, based upon his own recent race watching analysis.

Prince Of Johanne sprung a shock as he landed the historic Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday priced 40-1. Not many would have picked this unlikely winner with the two professional gambler’s who own him not having a penny on and trainer Tom Tate having gone 71 days without a winner. Tate said “I was thinking the handicapper may have got to grips with him. I could tell you I’d laid him out for this all season but it wouldn’t be true”. 3lb claimer John Fahy rode an impeccable race on Prince Of Johanne, sending him to the front some way from home and keeping his mount out of trouble. The gutsy Prince Of Johanne repaid Fahy, finding plenty on the rising ground to hold on well.

The draw was a crucial factor and despite a 32-runner field there was no major split as strangely all the low numbers crossed over to the stands rail as a mass of horses converged. It’s tremendously difficult to form a judgement on these races when bettors have no idea where the action will take place. Stevie Thunder was the only horse to place from the low stall numbers and given he had to cross over the track his was an excellent effort to finish second with Proponent third. The evergreen Nanton in fourth place may well have won given an extra furlong and with 9st 9lb on his back that would have been some feat.

Daddy Long Legs won the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at 11-4, breaking well from the gates to make all. Frankel won the corresponding race last term and Daddy Long Legs has been given a 25-1 quote to win next year’s 2,000 Guineas. I wouldn’t be in a rush to take that price as although the horse is improving this year’s Royal Lodge looked a weaker affair than previous years with Fencing and Ektihaam non-runners. The Breeders Cup looks a feasible target should connections opt to take that route.

The Rod Collet-trained mare Sahpresa landed the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket for the third year running, travelling strongly under Christophe Lemaire, she could be nominated as the winner a long way from home. A journey to the Far East and Kyoto looks likely for Saphresa to take another shot at the Mile Championship where she has been placed in the last two seasons. Ger Lyons won the first Group 1 of his training career as Lightening Pearl took the Cheveley Park Stakes.

Two horses to keep an eye on from Saturday’s meetings are Anatolian and Mass Rally. Anatolian was one of two bets I recommended to my members over the weekend and he duly did the business at 11-10. The slight concern was his ability to last the 1m 4f trip, but those doubts were unfounded as he ran on strongly at the business end of the race and Godolphin’s three-year old looks capable of making the step up to listed company.

Mass Rally was second in a Class 3 handicap at Haydock and looks to be on a winnable mark. The four-year old made up a lot of ground in the six-furlong race running on strongly at the end and building on his fine Silver Cup run at Ayr last week. Mass Rally is worthy of consideration should he run again before the end of the flat season though it’s noticeable that both his wins have come on polytrack and he’s one to watch out for on the all-weather surface over the course of the autumn and winter.

Last week I mentioned that Richard Fahey’s Lexington Bay should be winning again soon and he duly did, at odds of 12-1 at Haydock on Saturday when relishing the soft conditions. Bearing that in mind I have introduced a list of horses to follow from previous columns that might net you a few winners when the correct conditions suit. I will update this list on a weekly basis.

Deacon Blues
Mass Rally
Pastoral Player


Scott’s service is one of the many racing and sporting tipsters that we monitor and recommend at the Smart Betting Club. You can read more from Scott via his racing blog at the Smart Betting Club every Monday and Friday. (