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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday's bets

Today's Irish Independent article:

CAMELOT'S odds of 2/5 for today's St Leger at Doncaster (3.40) suggest his chances of winning the Classic and thereby completing the Triple Crown are just over 70%, and most readers will be aware that the last horse to do that treble was the great Nijinsky, 42 years ago. The world was a far different place back then;  Dana was singing All Kinds of Everything, PelĂ© helped Brazil win the World Cup and Jack Lynch was busy sacking his finance minster Charlie Haughey. Times have changed inside and outside of racing, and it's impossible to compare today's thoroughbreds to those that raced four decades ago - although the fact that Camelot also comes from Ballydoyle means a certain amount of juxtaposition is inevitable. I won't insult our older readers by harping on about Nijinsky as I wasn't even born back then - but through the wonders of technology, footage of the great horse is easily accessible and I've watched his wins many times. Unfortunately, the St Leger's reputation took a bit of a hammering when Nijinsky subsequently lost the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe three weeks later. The consensus at the time was that the Leger took too much out of Nijinsky and with the value of a horse now very much linked to speed, races over the longer-distances became unfashionable in the decades to come. In that context, it's good for the sport to see O'Brien take a risk today and if the colt is successful, Ballydoyle may have to get another statue made to match his 1970 counterpart at the gates of the stable. As regards the betting, Camelot's odds are probably about right so the opposition are going to be fighting it out for the scraps from the table. But with the favourite's price that short, it's makes for some good each-way opportunities on the others and at 8/1, MAIN SEQUENCE, trained by David Lanigan, makes plenty of appeal.  Camelot beat him into second the Derby which was no surprise but he did manage to finish ahead of Thought Worthy, which is third in the betting today around 10/1. Both Main Sequence and Thought Worthy faced each other again in York's Great Voltigeur Stakes and this time the latter came out on top winning by no more than a neck. But I'm willing to overlook that reversal in form as Main Sequence mistakenly allowed the winner to have the run of the race and left it too late to make a challenge. Thought Worthy, a brother to 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno, will stay the mile and three-quarters but the pace will be different to what he's experienced before and how well he'll adapt remains to be seen. The selection is also the staying type; he was finishing strongly before he ran out of room in the Grand Prix De Paris and his fourth place that day does not reflect his efforts. He does tend to find trouble for himself in-running  so Ted Durcan will need to get the tactics right and keep him out of traffic. In the Irish St Leger at the Curragh (6.05), FAME AND GLORY is worthy of the favourite tag, priced around 2/1. He finished well down the field in the Gold Cup at Ascot last time but it was clear that something was amiss and that piece of form can be discounted.
Take a chance on KALDOUN KINGDOM in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster (3.00). It's well over two years since he registered a win but his mark is on the slide and he's now back down to a level that gives him a realistic chance of making an impression. He produced a seasonal best when fifth of nineteen runners at York last time and early odds of 14/1 are a little inflated.   
Soccer: With four goals in three appearances, ROBIN VAN PERSIE'S move to Manchester United is already paying off. The 29 year-old has scored no less than 52 goals in his latest 58 Premier League games and although taken off as a precautionary measure in an international match midweek, Alex Ferguson has confirmed that he's fit for selection as the Red Devils play host to Wigan this afternoon. Back the Dutchman to score any time at 8/11 (Bet365).
Horseracing: If ESTIFZAAZ goes off anywhere near his forecast odds of 11/10 in the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes (3.20 Chester), I'll be first in the queue with a fist full of cash. There was plenty to like about the Invincible Spirit colt when narrowly beaten in a maiden at Sandown last time and unless a newcomer can spring a surprise, this looks like a straightforward penalty kick.
2.50 Bath: Dr Yes
3.00 Doncaster: Kaldoun Kingdom (e/w)
3.20 Chester: Estifzaaz
3.40 Doncaster: Main Sequence (e/w)
6.05 Curragh: Fame And Glory

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