Music to miss key contest

The absence of Book Of Music from today's King George caused hardly a ripple in the betting on the big race, but the rain that fell during the early part of the weekend forced a plunge on the Francois Doumen pair, Val D'Alene and Algan.

Kim Bailey had warned that Book Of Music's participation depended on his working satisfactorily and Bailey's wife, Tracey, announced on Sunday: "He doesn't run at Kempton."

William Hill's spokesman, David Hood, reported on the market moves that occurred before his firm's telephone lines closed for credit customers on Saturday. "We have laid Val D'Alene to lose well over pounds 50,000 and Algan has been nearly as popular," he said.

Ladbrokes have eased the favourite, One Man, from 7-4 to 2-1 and have also clipped the price of Val D'Alene to 12-1 from 14-1. The firm has trimmed Merry Gale, Algan and Monsieur Le Cure because of Book Of Music's defection.