A trip to the Coast

I had something of  a ‘lazy one’ last week, though you might not know it due to the amount of walking I did. A group of us went on our yearly trip together to Great Yamouth to watch the races, go to the casino, and soak up a few rays (an optimistic way of stating ‘avoid the rain!’). On this occasion we decided to book a caravan for a more ‘authentic’ experience, though the beds were about as wide as a plank of wood so in future we’ll likely stay at one of the countless hotels in the area instead.

While we were there, we ate in a lovely restaurant called Pamela’s, and spotted a few seals bobbing up and down in the sea during a beach walk. We also chatted to a good few taxi drivers who all seemed to be local characters with stories to tell, it was a bit like being plunged into the a sitcom scene once some of them got started with their stories! The only down side perhaps was the on-site entertainment, which was anything but entertaining. We have declared that if we return, we’ll have to have drink ourselves to the point where it becomes amusing. I’m not sure if that’s humanly possible though!

The restaurant is a stones throw away from the local casino, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective! They certainly have their fair share of characters in there too, especially at the roulette wheel. Sometimes it’s easier to spot what numbers people haven’t bet on, than have! I tend to set myself a limit and just stick with that, so even in a worst case scenario things can’t go far wrong. As it turns out, due to a bit of early luck on single numbers, I more than doubled my money, so not bad going at all. One member of our group had a rather memorable run of wins while betting on red and black. Another One had a decent win on a fruit machine too, a fruits gone wild online type game. That was on the first day – it’s nice to have things go your way  from the off!

Our time at the races was eventful too. We managed to pick the odd decent priced winner between us, and also lumped on the odd favourite or two, which turned out to be a decent idea since it’s known as a good track for favourites, and that was certainly the case the three days we were there. At an eye watering £24 a ticket to get in each day (premier badge price), I’m glad I managed to get the odd winner ;).

 

 

 

 

3.35 Worcester, Monday, September 18

 

The Sparkling Anja Potze Fine Jewellery Handicap Chase (3.35) at Worcester on Monday is a decent enough contest for this time of year and may present an opportunity for Jamie Snowden’s progressive young chaser Adrrastos to make it 3-3 over the larger obstacles.

A consistent, if unspectacular, hurdler, the son of high-class German sprinter Areion won unchallenged on his chasing debut, over course and distance, in July. He subsequently took advantage of the early departure of favourite Going for Broke when making all to win by 10 lengths in a better novices’ handicap chase at Stratford last month and, although that form is slightly questionable, he is clearly going the right way.

Adrrastos is another 7lb higher in a better race again here, but he’s still only a 5-year-old and, having shown his best form on good, or faster, ground on sharp, flat tracks, he should be in his element around the easy, left-handed turns of Worcester. Winning jockey Aidan Coleman is replaced by Gavin Sheehan, but the Cork jockey has a 2-5 (40%) strike rate on chasers for the yard this season, so the statistics augur well for the chances of Adrrastos in his bid for a hat-trick.

Selection: Worcester 3.35 Adrrastos to win – 5/2

 

York Racecourse

As one of the most prestigious racecourses in the United Kingdom, York Racecourse is renowned with good reason. As the third most prestigious racecourse in the whole Union, given the level of money that it’s taken in, it’s a location with a massive amount of history within the world of the sport. With over 350,000 visitors per year, too, it takes a huge number of the top races, with the likes of the Yorkshire Oaks and the Nunthorpe Stakes being held here/

What makes York so special for some people, though, is the location. Based near the old Terry’s Chocolate factory, this classic racecourse has stood in an area of ground which, for centuries, has been known only as the Knavesmire. While rarely used as often these days as it once was, the name remains in use.

The actual racecourse itself has existed in some form or another for as long as people can remember. Indeed, it stretches to the Roman times – perhaps even further back. While not in its current state, the ground was a common racing areas and, eventually, the actual track was put together sometime in the 1730s.

Today, the old horseshoe look that was so impressive for so long has been replaced. Now, the home straight goes around the course fully.

Outside of a rich racing history, it also has a more gruesome past. This was the very location used to hang the infamous Dick Turpin in 1739! This is more than just your average race-course: it’s something special.

In terms of its most famous race, many would point to the Ebor Festival, held every August. It’s also the time when the Ebor Handicap race takes place, one of the finest of its kind on the continent.

For various reasons, then, York holds a place in many a heart.

3.10 Epsom, Tuesday, August 29

The Terry Mills & John Akehurst Handicap (3.10) at Epsom on Tuesday is a competitive little heat for the grade, befitting the local trainers it commemorates. However, it may present an opportunity for Scofflaw, trained 250 miles away in Musley Bank, North Yorkshire by Richard Fahey, to regain the winning thread.

The Foxwedge gelding has yet to win in this grade, but his most recent fourth, beaten a length and two necks, in a similar contest at Leicester earlier this month makes decent enough reading in the context of this race. In fact, he’s been dropped 1lb in the weights since that effort so, while still 5lb higher than when winning at Thirsk in May, he’s just 1lb higher than when narrowly beaten in a 0-80 contest at Haydock in July. In receipt of weight all ‘round – including a 3lb weight-for-age allowance from all bar fellow three-year-old Poet’s Society – with Adam McNamara able to claim all of his 3lb allowance, he appears to have been found a decent opportunity by his shrewd trainer.

Scofflaw has previously won at Chester and Thirsk, so his form on sharp tracks augurs well for his first attempt on the fastest sprint course in the world.

Selection: Epsom 3.10 Scofflaw to win

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for horse racing?

There is still plenty of top racing to get stuck into during the rest of 2017 and it will be to the north of England that attention turns later in August.

York’s prestigious Ebor Meeting gets under way on Wednesday, August 23, with the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes the undoubted centrepiece of the four-day meeting.

Run over a mile-and-a-quarter on the Knavesmire, it attracts some of the best Flat horses around and could well see Churchill, Barney Roy and Ulysses go head to head.

Barney Roy heads the ante-post market at 11/4 and Richard Hannon will be looking for some payback after losing by a nose to Ulysses (3/1) in the Coral-Eclipse.

A repeats of his display in taking the St James’s Palace Stakes would go down well for connections but Churchill (9/1) might also have say in proceedings especially if he can bounce back to winning ways at Glorious Goodwood.

Another Group One contest, the Yorkshire Oaks, brings together many of the leading three-year-old fillies over a mile-and-a-half.

King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Enable has been slated for an outing and is as short as 1/3 to claim the spoils.

However, Aidan O’Brien’s Coronation Stakes winner Winter, currently on offer at 12/1, might have a say in proceedings.

A few familiar faces may well line up in the Irish Champions Stakes on September 9, with Cliffs of Moher (6/1) and Jack Hobbs (10/1) thought to be in the frame for a Leopardstown run out.

The former was runner-up to Wings Of Eagles in the Derby but fourth in the Coral-Eclipse while Jack Hobbs has fluffed his lines twice since winning a Group One in Dubai back in March.

Doncaster’s Group One St Leger takes place on September 16 and the world’s oldest Classic might well see a rematch between Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Derby winner Capri (3/1) and Cracksman (6/1), who was just beaten a neck on that occasion.

Scottish racing will be to the fore in late September, with the six-furlong Ayr Gold Cup one of the season’s most sought-after sprint handicaps.

My Racing has all the best free tips available for online betting and provides betting offers and a nap of the day for all the biggest meetings.

Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire Meeting follows soon after which includes the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes but as Halloween approaches, it will be back to Ascot for British Champions Day on Saturday, October 21.

There is something for everyone, with sprints and longer distance contests and, while it is too early to safely say which stars might grace the Group One Champion Stakes, Almanzor has been priced at 8/1 to defend his crown at the Berkshire track.

The four-year-old has not been seen since claiming the spoils under Christophe Soumillon but it is sure to be a tough task with the quality on show.

National Hunt racing will take prominence later in the year, with the prestigious Ladbrokes Gold Cup at Newbury always popular for jump racing fans, while Kempton’s King George VI Chase over the festive period might well see the likes of Thistlecrack (3/1), Sizing John (4/1) and Douvan (6/1) do battle once again.

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