Bookmakers failing to act to the highest standard
Fancy a bet on Dakota Gold to win the Ayr Gold Cup? You can if you like.
He won the Listed 6f Garrowby Stakes at York, his fourth victory on the spin, quite pleasingly. Pleasingly, not just because he was The Racing Hub Daily Tip, but also because he has smoothly moved into “Black Type” territory by showing his customary early pace before keeping on strongly at the business end.
So why not back him at Ayr where, at the time of writing, you can get 8/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power. SkyBet go 7/1 but BetVictor are more cautious, offering 5/1.
Why not? Because not long after the race, Dakota Gold’s trainer, Michael Dods, said he wouldn’t be going to Scotland, but instead was earmarked for a Group 3 race at Newbury.
The news was very much in the public domain not long after, not least with a Racing Post news item on its website at 4pm on Sunday afternoon, around 90 minutes after the race.
But, just after 11.30 the next morning, the aforementioned odds were still reported on Odds Checker for the Ayr Gold Cup.
There is a lot of cynicism associated with how bookmakers act these day. News of fines imposed for irregularities relating to money-laundering compliance and care of problem gamblers are not infrequent.
This is a small example of how, shall we say through carelessness, bookmakers are not operating to the highest standard.
♦Talking of standards, the Racing Post needs to pull its socks up. It missed a day’s birthday greetings one day last week, but a more serious omission was the absence, last Saturday-week, of the next day’s runners, despite being listed in the contents. And, a week after Leopardstown announced a new time-table for this coming Saturday’s day-one of Irish Champions Weekend, the Post’s app and website were still showing the original schedule.
Still so much to look forward to
With the exception of a below-par Derby, this season’s top-end Flat racing has been one to savour.
Royal Ascot served it up in spades, Enable brought the house down in the Eclipse at Sandown, Glorious Goodwood delivered, Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes gave us a race we shall never forget (pictured), and York’s Ebor Festival was probably the best few days racing we’ve seen all year.
But it’s not over yet. There are two enthralling days coming up this weekend, with the St Leger at Doncaster and a glut of Group 1 races, at Leopardstown and the Curragh, in the Irish Champions Weekend.
Then Enable heads to Paris to attempt a record third Arc win before the curtain comes down at Newmarket for Future Champions day and then Champions Day for the grown-ups at Ascot.
We have genuinely been spoilt this season.
Curragh can’t afford any slip-ups
It’s not exactly the last chance saloon for the Curragh on Sunday when it hosts the second day of Irish Champions Weekend, with four Group 1 races on the card, but the scrutiny will be intense.
The attendance figure will come under the microscope and the chances are that the numbers will, at best, be respectable. But what can’t be messed up is the response to the two main criticisms of Derby Day – long queues at an insufficient number of bars and an even worse situation regarding toilets.
It doesn’t matter how many people turn up, if there’s no evidence of these two key facilities being greatly improved, the racecourse will have failed the racing public.
One element which is in the Curragh’s favour this coming Sunday is that the train service out of Dublin’s Heuston station to Kildare comprises two trains an hour, whereas on Derby Day it was only an hourly service.
But something which I hear mentioned frequently on both sides of the Irish Sea is why can’t the old Curragh halt be reopened? It was within walking distance of the racecourse even if there was the occasional forgetfulness on the driver’s behalf to make the extra stop.
Sill, the shuttle-bus service between Kildare and the track is greatly improved, not least the coach is big enogh to accomadate (almost) all the passengers waiting for it.
The raceday experience, however, will be in the Curragh’s hands, and no doubt the Secret Racegoer will report back for The Racing Hub.