Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 22 August 2009
If you find yourself thinking, "I wouldn't mind betting that..." you may be developing a punter's instinct for spotting an attractive wager.
Two weeks ago, watching Padraig Harrington's brilliant first round in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, I backed him for the PGA Championship at 33-1. For three and a half days the bet looked on, until Harrington, as at Bridgestone, found a watery grave. But the instinct had been sound.
Last week, after seeing Andy Murray in Montreal and Cincinnati, it was hard not to be impressed. Dispensing with his "rope-a-dope" defensive strategy, he attacked his opponents. "I wouldn't mind betting that Murray will win the US Open," I thought – Boylesports' 11-4 about the Scot looks worth taking now.
Similar instincts surfaced at York. Godolphin's Mastery finished second in the 1m 4f Great Voltigeur, a Group Two trial for the St Leger, giving 3lb to winner Monitor Closely. His stablemate Kite Wood, receiving 10lb from older horses, won a Group Three last Saturday, yet is 5-2 for the Leger while Mastery can be had at 20-1 with Coral.
The final hunch was for Showcasing, who scorched home in the Gimcrack Stakes. Winners of this usually stay as sprinters rather gain Classic success but Rock Of Gibraltar and Mill Reef were notable exceptions. Showcasing's sire was Oasis Dream, a brilliant sprinter who also produced Monitor Closely – 25-1 at Ladbrokes for the 2,000 Guineas is worth a nibble.
*Liverpool, fine; Ipswich, iffy; MK Dons, OK; Bournemouth, top dogs – the usual mixed start for our football bets.
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