Blog from Roy The Boy looking at the open racing scene in Greyhounds and also with a strong bet on Catholic Boy in the Breeders Cup Classic.
Frustration and near misses
It’s been a madly frustrating time for me. I put up Valtteri Bottas to claim the ‘fastest lap’ in the Mexican Grand Prix at 12/1 for At The Races viewers at the weekend. But marooned in Malta (on a poker/drinking thing) I managed to miss the price and then decided I could not back the Finn at his eventual ‘SP’ of 6/1. You can guess the rest.
I did manage to get €50 each-way on Max Hopp in the European Championship Darts though at 125/1. The each-way terms in darts are half-the-odds for finishing winner or runner-up. So when Hopp went 7-3 and 9-6 up in a race to 10 legs against James Wade in the semi-finals I was already planning the next ski holiday. Once again, you can guess how this one panned out. …Hopp missed no less than three darts to win the match.
Open my arse
WTF is going on with greyhound racing in the UK? A plethora of sprint handicaps – which have always been the bottom of the barrel stuff for slow dogs and those that may turn their head over four-bends – grades going down as low as A12, and tin-pot races being described as ‘opens’.
I can understand how an all ‘open’ card at Romford on a Friday is good for bringing in higher spending clientele and owners that will eat in the restaurant but so would just one or two open-races that carry enormous prize-money and top-drawer runners.
Back in the 80’s the likes of Wimbledon operated this way and a one-off two-bend sprint open race would have Scurry winners alongside Sovereign Stakes contenders and Laurels dogs. Now, if you can lead an A2 at Perry Barr to halfway you are ‘two-bend open-racer’.
Look the games changed a lot since I was driving a van full of dogs around the place three decades ago – as underlined by an 8.10am starting time for Henlow meetings on Tuesday mornings – but surely ‘open races’ should be sacred in the same way Listed and Group races are in horseracing. They should all have a minimum £500 purse for a one-off-race and £3,000 for a 12 or 18 two-run competition.
Breeders Cup Boy
With a $6 million purse the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the headline act at this weekend’s Breeders Cup meeting in Churchill Downs. Uneasy favourite here is the John Sadler-trained Accelerate, a five-year-old who has landed four Grade 1 races this year. He is no good thing though – underlined by Ladbrokes 4/1 quote – and I’m no major fan of the Bob Baffert trained Mckinzie, who won the ‘tin pot’ Pennsylvania Derby, either.
But Catholic Boy is on a winning streak of three, most recently taking the Belmont Derby and Travers Stakes. And understanding European representatives Roaring Lion and the massively over-rated Mendelssohn have no chance (European runners have an abysmal record in this race), he’s my strong fancy at a knocking each-way price of 7/1 (William Hill).
Catholic Boy 7/1 (each-way) William Hill Breeders Cup Classic