AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: Tales From The Ring Curragh Sunday

CURRAGH SUNDAY: SIMON NOTT reports from the Star Sports pitch at The Curragh on 1,000 Irish Guineas. After the first two days it was 1-1 between backers and layers. How did the afternoon pan out, race by race?

The local bookmakers told us that Sundays have become the busiest days in Irish Racing. After yesterday’s excellent business hopes were high for today.

1:50 Tally Ho Stud Irish European Breeders Fund (C & G) Maiden

The opener featured Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona, odds-on in the ring in a nine-horse race making it ‘nasty each-way’. The race didn’t really come alive, the biggest bet Flynn and Neil took was €400 on the jolly at 8/13. There were no lumpy each-way bets either, so if ever an odds-on shot was to hose up as Arizona did under Ryan Moore this race was a good one to do it in.

2:20 Hanlon Concrete Handicap

The punters came out of the woodwork to bet on the 26-runner handicap. The trouble was they didn’t bet enough horses. At the off we had no less than nine losers a race where they bet 7/1 the field.

The 14/1 winner Baby Power was the best of the losers, only losing a generous round of drinks. The reality was that all of our losers finished in the frame so we did our absolute cobblers on the places.

2:50 Curragh Official Opening Day Handicap

Things went from bad to worse in the next where the only one ‘they’ wanted to be on was Hathiq. ‘They’ knew too. Denis Hogan’s charge absolutely bolted up under Rory Cleary sent off 5/2 joint favourite, the only and very bad loser in our book.

We had an hour to reflect due to a break in racing to give the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar time to officially open the new stand.

He was joined by The Aga Khan whom the new stand has been named after.

3:50 Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1)

Given the prohibitive odds of the jolly in the next Flynn came up with a ‘racecourse only’ special which proved quite popular with the smaller-staking punters.

Well it could have been worse, Magical the 2/7f won easily but by seven lengths, eight would have cost us plenty. Surely a turning point in luck on the day.

4:25 Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Fillies’ Group 1)

Well you’d think so and our luck changed, a bit, sort of. Betting started slowly then trade and clever money started to pile on Hermosa ensuring the 3/1 on offer was never to be seen again going of 5/2 clear favourite. The book looked very lopsided until very late on a punter came in for €10,000 – €2000 each-way Just Wonderful. That meant she was the absolute bogie at the off with Hermosa still a loser. Not pretty. Our chance was the English raider Qabala but she ran no sort of race. Hemosa justified the clever support whereas Just Wonderful wasn’t, and finished out of the frame. The book was saved by the places.

5:00 Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund ‘Habitat’ Handicap

The race before the penultimate was a good betting heat, €4000 – €1000 Crotchet, €3000-€500 Dream Ascot and €4000 – €250 each-way Aussie Valentine all laid on the pitch. Of course we want the punters to find Star Sports if they want those types of bets but Aussie Valentine winning at 16/1 was a real low blow in a race that would have been a winning one for most of the ring.

Pay, Pay

5:30 Boodles Handicap

The punters weren’t finished with us, a gentleman came in for €5000 – €400 each-way, with the fractions come racing, White Desert, while Persian Lion and Dalton Highway were also well-backed and our three losers at the off.

Dalton Highway getting up to win in the shadow of the post was another blow on a bad day.

6:00 Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden

Hazran opened at evens for the finale, if we could lay the jolly and get it beaten all might not be lost on the meeting.

We managed to take a few quid at evens, went 10/11 then laid a €4000- €1000 Guinevere right at the death. Neil on the computer typed in Hazran as the winner a furlong out, it looked home and hosed and about to become the nail in the coffin of a losing three days. Then salvation came with Telepathy collaring the favourite at 50/1, a skinner in the book instead of a bogie. Who’d have thought it. A satisfying end to our Curragh weekend. We’ve been made most welcome it was a pleasure to be here. Next stop Epsom.

Simon Nott

skintmobSimon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring