Am­a­teur punter

Ben Mor­gan had an en­joy­able Glo­ri­ous Good­wood even if his month ended on a low note

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Ben Mor­gan has an en­joy­able month de­spite a low at the end

Any­one who read last month’s col­umn would have done very well not to have wept as it was quite a tear jerker. It got worse af­ter the piece went to press as both Bal­lykan and Pre­sent­ing Arms ran off course with the races at their mercy.

A tale of woe by all means, but the most im­por­tant part of punt­ing at any level is to ac­cept losses and not go look­ing for a quick re­coup. Feel­ing very sorry for my­self, I sat and waited for Good­wood.

One horse in par­tic­u­lar caught my at­ten­tion when look­ing at the dec­la­ra­tions and that was Richard Han­non’s Mehmas in the Rich­mond Stakes. Reg­u­lar read­ers would know how highly I rate this horse, I think he is miles ahead of any English two- year-old men­tally and ar­guably he is the equine ver­sion of newly ap­pointed Eng­land man­ager Sam Al­lardyce, tough and con­sis­tent with a touch of class.

Not only does he hold favourable comparisons to mid­dle aged men from Dud­ley but also has rock solid form in the book, a clear sec­ond be­hind Car­avag­gio as As­cot was surely good enough to win this but the book­mak­ers thought dif­fer­ently.

He was low­est priced 9/2 min­utes be­fore the race which I thought was astro­nom­i­cal given his form, but the mar­ket doesn’t of­ten get it wrong so I was cau­tious given my cur­rent form as I staked a £20 win bet. Ap­proach­ing the two-fur­long pole I was fairly con­fi­dent but Blue Point looked bet­ter as the race went on but Mehmas just kept find­ing and stuck his neck out at the right time. A very timely win­ner which boosted my satchel and con­fi­dence some­what.

This was fol­lowed by a few good each­way wins, Wick­low Brave bat­tled on into third at 14/1,Kas­sia thrusted home late on at 10s to grab sec­ond and Eas­ton An­gel was un­lucky in the King Ge­orge. I thought she would be suited by the big field and strong pace which would al­low Paul Mul­ren­nan to play her as late as pos­si­ble. But that tac­tic has its down­falls, one of those, be­ing de­nied a run at a cru­cial stage which is ex­actly what hap­pened. When she did get a gap the race was over but she did fly home and prob­a­bly would have won in five more strides. Still, it bought home a small and tidy profit.

The fi­nal day is renowned for the com­pet­i­tive Stew­ards’ Cup which has been won by a cou­ple of pro­gres­sive types in the past few years, and I fan­cied an­other one, Danc­ing Star. She stood out in the en­tries as she was a three-year-old filly go­ing in against some ex­pe­ri­enced boys, but the only worry was whether she was go­ing to get in.

I spent my Thurs­day lunch hour like I nor­mally do, scrolling through the cards of the big races on the Satur­day, I scrolled and scrolled but she was nowhere to be seen, un­til the fi­nal name, “Danc­ing Star (4)”,she got in off bot­tom weight and was handed a favourable draw, a sign my luck had changed for the bet­ter per­haps?

By the time I got round to plac­ing my bets on Satur­day morn­ing she was 9/2, short enough but £15 e/w was struck very swiftly be­fore she short­ened any more. It turned out to be a very big price as she won with a bit in hand. David Probert al­ways looked com­fort­able and prob­a­bly couldn’t be­lieve that the race turned out ex­actly as he would have en­vis­aged, sat just off the lead­ers, took it up two fur­longs out, quick­ened, ran on, sim­ple. When a race like that looks so easy to a horse it prob­a­bly means you’ve found a good one. Back in form, al­most cer­tainly.

Con­fir­ma­tion of this change in for­tune had to wait as the Flat sea­son hits a bit of a lull at this time of the year with not many qual­ity races on show. I could only muster one se­lec­tion the fol­low­ing Satur­day, Na­tions Alexan­der in the Sweet Sol­era Stakes at New­mar­ket.

The foot­ball sea­son kicked off on the same day and I watched my team, Shrews­bury Town, go down 1-0 in a hard fought game against MK Dons which was the only re­sult to let my foot­ball accumulator down, I trav­elled home hop­ing this “change in for­tune” wasn’t a ter­ri­ble mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

I flicked on the record­ing of the race ea­ger to see a pos­i­tive re­sult. De­spite set­ting a good gal­lop, Na­tions Alexan­der was last off the bri­dle and the race soon be­came very com­fort­able. Noth­ing else re­ally got into it and my £20 e/w bet at 4/1 yielded a healthy profit and also a con­tin­u­a­tion of a fine run of form.

The week that fol­lowed was again quiet, Clive Cox’s Zon­der­land pro­vided me with an­other win­ner on Thurs­day as he flew home quite com­fort­ably at Sal­is­bury. I only had a small £5 each way flut­ter on him but a win­ner is a win­ner.

The week­end meet­ings at New­bury and New­mar­ket in par­tic­u­lar had that prefes­ti­val feel about it. Some of the top jock­eys were in Chicago con­test­ing the Ar­ling­ton Mil­lion and not many top train­ers were about ei­ther. I flicked through the cards and not much caught my eye. I could only find two horses of “banker” sta­tus.

Firstly, Es­co­bar, who won go­ing away on his first start af­ter play­ing up in the pre--

A tale of woe by all means, but The most im­por­tant part of punt­ing at any level is to ac­cept losses and not go look­ing for a quick re­coup

lim­i­nar­ies, looked pretty strong and at 11/8 on Fri­day night he also looked pretty tasty. A £30 wa­ger was struck and I was pretty con­fi­dent. Frankie dropped him in and slowly length­ened out to hit the front and with one tap of the whip he was clear with plenty in hand. A classy per­for­mance from a horse go­ing places.

The sec­ond “banker” was a favourite of mine, Home of the Brave.The Hunger­ford some­what fell apart in the week run­ning up to it with Ne­moralia and Hit it a Bomb both pulling out. When the odds came out I was sus­pect­ing to see him best priced at even money but he was around 7/4 which was good enough for me so I put £30 on him.

He bounced out in front which boosted my hopes as he likes to set his own tempo, and it was look­ing good past half way but as soon as the strong trav­el­ling Richard Pankhurst came along side my lad I knew my money had gone which was frus­trat­ing as I had a small each-way flut­ter on Gos­den’s colt in the Sus­sex at 50/1,if only he had come in then. Per­haps Home Of The Brave’s past few runs had took a bit out of him as he didn’t put up much of fight but I’m sure he will have an­other day.

De­spite this loss my ac­count was topped up to a good level which will be needed as we head into the fi­nal third of the flat sea­son. Roll on York!


This lad made a be­lated but im­pres­sive de­but. Straight af­ter his vic­tory at New­mar­ket, trainer Hugo Palmer nom­i­nated the Great Voltigeur as his next tar­get en route to the St Leger but it looks like he may go straight to Don­caster, ei­ther way he could prove su­perb value.

Wall of Fire

An­other Hugo Palmer in­mate, he was un­lucky at Good­wood as he was just hit­ting top gear be­fore he was shut down com­pletely. He looks pro­gres­sive, will love au­tumn ground and could be a big price wher­ever he lines up next.


An ex­tremely un­lucky loser in the Stew­ards’ Cup, drawn the wrong side he ran a mighty race to fin­ish where he did. The Ayr Gold Cup beck­ons and he could pro­vide Richard Fa­hey with more suc­cess in the race.

Wick­low Brave

Mehmas (pur­ple cap)

Danc­ing Star and David Probert win the Stew­ards’ Cup


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