With summer officially over and the evenings getting darker earlier, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s very little horse racing to look forward to before the New Year celebrations in a few months time. But don’t fear, whilst there are still days left in the year, there is still time to take more money from the bookmakers pockets in time to treat your loved ones at Christmas. Here’s a rundown of the big meetings left in 2016.
Later in October, Ascot will host some of the most sought after titles at the British Champions Day. Amongst the trophies up for grabs on Saturday 15th October is the Champions Sprint Stakes. Currently there are currently two favourites with odds of 4/1 to win the title at online bookmakers Betway. The Coolmore Nunthorpe winner Mecca’s Angel is one of those, but recently many experts have doubted the horse’s ability to win a number of upcoming races. The joint favourite Quiet Reflection has almost the opposite story, as a huge number of pundits have suddenly backed the horse for great things after winning the Sprint Cup at Haydock Park in September. Behind those two are another three strong horses that all share odds of 7/1 at Betway – Limato, The Tin Man and Twilight Son. With a lot of uncertainty over the favourites, this looks like an ideal race to take a risk on an outsider. But if you don’t fancy braving the British weather this autumn and winter, you can get great odds on online betting on today’s races at Betway.com.
Also in October, Newmarket will host the Dewhurst Stakes. The current favourite is the suitably named Churchill, who has constantly won four races in the last four months. In June he won at Ascot, in July he won at Leopardstown and in both August and September he has won at Curragh. It seems whatever course and even whatever jockey rides him, you can be quite confident at getting a small return with odds of 8/13 at Betway. If you’re looking for a bigger reward, then second favourite South Seas has also won his last three races. He could easily win you a nice return with odds of 5/1 also at online bookmakers Betway.
But the biggest day of racing to look forward to this winter is of course Boxing Day. Amongst the races across the country on the day after Christmas Day is the King George VI Chase at Kempton. The current favourite by some distance at betting website Betway is currently Vautour. The seven year old came second in the race last year, and currently has odds of 7/2. Behind him is the horse that beat him last year Cue Card, but the previous winner has odds of just 5/1 for this year’s race. The popular horse has won just once since last Boxing Day, and performed badly at his last outing at Punchestown finishing just forth.
In the Coral Sprint Trophy (3.45) at York on Saturday, Robert Cowell’s attempt to reinvent Sir Robert Cheval as a sprinter has yet to bear fruit, in terms of a win, but the Green Desert gelding has run creditably in defeat on all five starts since joining the yard in May and should find this easier than the Ayr Gold Cup three weeks ago. After holding every chance at Ayr, the five-year-old weakened in the closing stages to finish eleventh of 23, beaten 8¼ lengths, behind Brando and, although 1lb higher in the weights, is reunited with Louis Steward, who takes off a useful 3lb.
Sir Robert Cheval has won just once on turf, over a mile, but his sire, Green Desert, won the July Cup and Robert Cowell is a pretty shrewd judge of sprinters so, from a decent draw, it would be no surprise to see him go close at rewarding odds.
Selection: York 3.45 Sir Robert Cheval to win
Mark Johnston’s progressive 3-year-old filly Haley Bop is obviously on good terms with herself at present and was unfortunate to run into a similarly progressive at Ayr two weeks ago. She had no answer to Morando, who was completing a hat-trick, on that occasion, but lost little caste in defeat and should be highly competitive once again off a 1lb higher mark. All her wins so far have come on good, or softer, going, but with an unsettled outlook for the rest of the week some easing of the current good to firm going at Newmarket is a distinct possibility, in which case she’ll be in her element. She can make the trip from North Yorkshire worthwhile.
Selection: Newmarket 2.50 Haley Bop to win