Racing: Punters pour money on Dues

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The Independent Online
Confidence in the talents of Harbour Dues, the Ebor Handicap hot favourite, has turned ante-post betting on the big York race on 21 August into a one-horse book.

Ladbrokes yesterday reported further support for the Lady Herries-trained colt. "He's been backed to the virtual exclusion of everything else in the race,'' Ladbrokes spokesman Ian Wassell said. ''Rumours that he is up to Group class, and even a potential St Leger winner, seem to have spurred our customers to back him from 7-1 to 9-2 and dissuade them from backing anything to beat him."

The firm bet: 9-2 Harbour Dues, 8-1 Beauchamp Jade, 10-1 Snow Princess, Clerkenwell, 12-1 Celeric, Top Cees, Ambassador, Private Song, Better Offer, 16-1 Monarch, Nabhaan, Desert Frolic, Foundry Lane, Corradini, 20-1 bar.

But a reminder of the perils of ante-post betting came yesterday with the latest bulletin on Nash House, a strong fancy at one time for this year's Derby. Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt was heavily backed for Epsom after winning a Newbury maiden in April by five lengths.

Nash House then finished only fourth in the Dante Stakes at York in May. He was found to be suffering from a virus and was pulled out of the Derby.

Now he is set to return from a three-month lay-off in the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday. Chapple-Hyam has earmarked the 10-furlong test as the comeback race for the son of Nashwan.

The trainer said: "All being well he'll run at Haydock. He's well in himself and has been working very well. I would think the English Champion Stakes or the Arc could be on the agenda for him. But Saturday looks a hot race."