For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here is footage of the Japan Cup run on Sunday morning. Buena Vista, controversially disqualified after winning the race last year, won again and was allowed to keep it this time. Danedream, the Arc winner, in orange colours with a black chevron, could only run on into sixth place from a wide draw.
Chris Cook: Poor visibility contributed to lapses by both cameraman and commentator at Ffos Las, when they completely lost track of Azione, the 8-11 favourite at the off. As the field turned for home, Azione could be seen tracking over to the inside rail, well away from the rest of the field, but when the angle changed to a camera positioned near the winning post, she was no longer in shot.
The commentator appeared to be relying solely on the TV pictures, it being a foggy day, and he did not mention Azione until she suddenly came back into shot several strides after the final flight, at which point she was revealed to be in front. “Azione, right up the inside, coming back into it,” said the commentator, rather lamely.
That must have been a shocking moment for some layers on Betfair, as Azione had already traded at 999-1. Luckily for them, she was run out of it by Mickmacmagoole.
Today’s best bets, by Chris Cook
Sam Twiston-Davies has yet to make me think that his new Racing Post column is a tremendous idea – today’s insights include that he is struggling to catch up with his brother on the Xbox game Call Of Duty – but he is an effective jockey and stands a fair chance of riding a hat-trick for his father at Ffos Las today.
The one that interests me is Hunters Lodge (1.45) at 11-4 for the maiden hurdle. An easy point-to-point winner on yielding ground in Ireland in March, he was well backed for his British debut at Warwick a fortnight ago but found things happening rather too quickly for him on good ground that day. This stiffer circuit on soft ground, with the benefit of that experience behind him, will suit better.
The Twiston-Davies may also hit the target with Red Rouble (2.20) and Shannons Boy (3.30), though I can’t say I’m sufficiently tempted to back either of them.
Azione (2.55) has not passed beneath the market’s radar and is only 6-5 for the two-mile handicap hurdle later on the card. This mare returned to form last week on her first run since leaving Pat Murphy for Jeremy Scott, making all at Exeter, and she gets to run off the same mark here because that was a race for conditionals.
That means she is still 12lb below the mark from which she achieved her only other success, on soft ground at Warwick in 2008 when trained by Rodney Farrant. Nick Scholfield, who rode that day, is back in the saddle.
The first up at Folkestone will be along any moment, so it hardly seems fair to mention it but Shipboard Romance (12.30) is fascinating on her first start for Jim Best, having been with Mark Rimell. She is still 10lb higher than for her only previous success but this isn’t much of a race, good ground will suit, Best has a fine reputation for reviving horses, she wears blinkers first time and has been fairly well supported at around 5-4.
Tipping competition – a new week
Congratulations to waltersobchak, who nicked last week’s competition with an 11-1 winner on the final day, giving him a share of the lead with jaygee1, who lost out by virtue of having posted his tips seconds after his rival. Waltersobchak made excellent use of his prize, a £50 bet from Ladbrokes on the Hennessy, by placing £25 each-way on Carruthers at the 16-1 offered by the firm on Saturday morning. Well played sir, and thanks to Ladbrokes for their generosity.
This week’s prize is a pair of Club enclosure tickets to Cheltenham on Saturday 10th December, the day of the December Gold Cup (sponsored by Spinal Research) and the Stan James International Hurdle (aka the Bula). If you don’t win this week, you can buy tickets here.
To kick things off, we’d like your tips, please, for these races: 2.20 Ffos Las, 3.10 Folkestone, 5.50 Wolverhampton.
As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price on our nominated races, of which there will be three each day up until Friday. Non-runners count as losers.
In the event of a tie at the end of the week, the winner will be the tipster who, from among those tied on the highest score, posted their tips earliest on the final day.
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