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Monday, 18 September 2017

3.25 Redcar, Tuesday, September 19

The Racing UK Straight Mile Series Handicap (3.25) is the best race of the day at Redcar on Tuesday and, although roundly thrashed in 0-90 company at Newmarket and Thirsk on his two most recent starts, Showboating can take advantage of this slight drop in class. John Balding’s 9-year-old has shown his best form on turf with plenty of cut in the ground and, although still 5lb higher in the weights than when winning the Carlisle Bell Consolation Race Handicap in June, promising apprentice Lewis Edmunds takes off a useful 3lb.

Obviously, the Shamardal gelding isn’t getting any younger, but he’s been given a short break since finishing out with the washing, at 50/1, at Thirsk in August and demonstrated earlier in the year that he’s still a force to be reckoned with at this level. His trainer has a paltry 5-140 (4%) career strike rate at the North Yorkshire course, but that shouldn’t necessarily be held against Showboating, who has his favoured conditions and is by no means impossibly handicapped on his best form.

Of course, Showboating is fully exposed but, with the possible exceptions of the 3-year-old Kynren, who’s had just three career starts, and the 4-year-old Poet’s Beauty, who returns from an absence of 431 days and must have fitness doubts, the same can be said of the opposition. John Balding has used Lewis Edmunds to good effect this season, so Showboating should hopefully go well at a decent price.

Selection: Redcar 3.25 Showboating to win  - 25/1

Monday, 4 September 2017

Pie in the Sky!

When you're down on your luck, even betting on an odds-on favourite can feel like you're climbing a mountain. In that mindset it can be easy to totyally write off long shots. Let's hear it then for those not dissuaded by dizzying odds selections who reaped rewards for sticking to their guns, whether they were just putting a few quid on, or laying much more on the line!

1) In 2003 Mike Futter, Dublin bingo hall owner, clearly knew he was onto something special with his horse Monte's Pass. Both he and all four of his co-owners had a 'put your money where your mouth is' moment placing numerous bets in the £5,000 - £10,000 range e/w at odds of between 20 and 33-1 on the horse. The result? A cool £1,000,000 + profit. Not a bad day at the office!

2) In 1989 a 40 year old man from Newport, Wales managed to win big by making a number of predictions about events he was sure would come to pass by the year 2000. Namely that: U2 would remain together  (4-1), Cliff Richard would be knighted (4-1), Eastenders would still be a weekly soap (5-1), Neighbours (5-1) and Home and Away (8-1) would still be televised in the UK. The man, who placed a fairly modest bet for this combo of events, won £200,000 for his troubles. It remains the biggest 'novelty' bet win to date!

3) The first betting shop millionaire became so as result of a meager 50 pence bet. Fred Craggs from Thirk landed an accumulator with mind boggling odds of 2,000,000-1 on his 60th birthday of all days! His 8 selections had a prophetic aspect to them too, with the first winner called 'Isn't That Lucky' and the last 'A Dream Come True'!

4) At Royal Ascot in 1996, a Frankie Detorri follower decided to back the man to the nth degree, which on the day meant doing an acca on all 7 of Detorri's rides that day. For his troubles the punter saw his £59 bet turn into a cool £550,000

5) The sad death of the aptly named Nick Newlife would be no obstacle to a big outsider win. When his 2003 bet for tennis star Roger Federer to win Wimbledon 9 nines by 2019 came up, the winnings were left to Oxfam. They had retained the ticket since Mr Newlife's death in 2009, and no doubt many benefited from the 66-1 windfall of £101,840