Andrew Mount’s Placepot Pointers
Boodles May Festival – City Day
With the going described as ‘good to soft’ with more rain forecast it’s possible that we could see one or two winners challenge wide once the grounds becomes badly churned up on the inside. However, in the earlier races it will probably pay to stick with low-drawn prominent racers. Middleham Park-owned pair ZIGGY’S PHOENIX (stall 1) and ZIGGY’S DREAM (stall 6) both showed good early speed when successful on their most recent starts and will do for me. Newcomer ALFA MOONSTONE (stall 2) is half-interesting at a big price but it’s rare for a newcomer to win this race.
10 Ziggy’s Dream
11 Ziggy’s Phoenix
Early pace can trump the draw in 5f handicaps at Chester but JER BATT (stall 12), the 7-2 favourite at the time of writing, is going to struggle to get across and adopt his usual prominent role as there are speedy types on his inside in stalls 10, 9, 8, 7, 4 and 3. I expect the ‘race to the rail’ to be won by SEANTRABH (stall 3), who was probably in need of his comeback run (also his first since gelded) when a modest fourth from a good draw at Thirsk last month. Both SQUEALER (stall 1) and CARMELA (stall 2) tend to be ridden patiently but one or both might keep on into the frame.
Aidan O’Brien has sent out four winners from 11 runners across the past ten renewals for a profit of £4.78 to a £1 level stake at SP. Three of his beaten horses finished second, so leaving his runners out of the Placepot is rarely advised. All four winners (from six qualifiers) were ridden by Ryan Moore and he’s on-board SAVETHELASTDANCE, a comfortable winner of a Leopardstown fillies’ maiden five weeks ago despite starting at 20-1. However, her stall 5 draw isn’t ideal and with that Leopardstown win coming out of the blue it might pay to have a couple more on our side. ASHTANGA (stall 4) has been nibbled at in the Oaks betting in recent days and could go well under Oisin Murphy. LUCKIN BREW (stall 1) will appreciate the slow ground on her reappearance and Frankie Dettori’s mount also makes the final perm.
5 Luckin Brew
The Chester Vase Stakes has been something of an Aidan O’Brien benefit in recent years, with seven of the last ten renewals going to Ballydoyle. Six of those seven winners were ridden by Ryan Moore and ADELAIDE RIVER, well drawn in stall 2 and a winner first-time out last term, has to be in our Placepots. I’m going full maverick here and including stall 1 runner GALACTIC JACK, a general 40-1 shot at the time of writing. Andrew Balding’s runners are profitable to back blind at Chester and given how often this one has hung to the left when running on straight and right-handed tracks, I’m expecting improvement now that he encounters a left-handed track for the first time in his short career. HADRIANUS (stall 5) is drawn widest of all but Franny Norton will probably be first to the rail and he might be able to slow it down in front before kicking on again.
1 Adelaide River
4 Galactic Jack
Stall 8 isn’t ideal for KING’s CROWN and the Adrian Nicholls yard remains quiet, but I still want him in my Placepot. He did too much too soon when fifth in a hot race at Newmarket on his reappearance last month, doing really well to finish a 40-1 fifth of 14. LAKOTA BLUE (stall 6) clocked a good time when scoring at Ripon last month and also makes the cut, along with TASEVER (stall 4).
3 Lakota Blue
5 King’s Crown
Hughie Morrison does well when returning his runners to the track quickly and LUNATICK (stall 6) looks interesting after Monday night’s Windsor second. Andrew Balding’s SCINTILLATE (stall 5) should also be in the mix. AMLETO (stall 8) isn’t best drawn but looks a likely improver now gelded and I’m loathe to leave him out.
Head over to tote.co.uk to put on your placepot.
Horse racing and betting have been intrinsically linked for centuries, with the origin of the word ‘Steeplechase’ tracing back as far as 1752, when two Irish horsemen had a wager that their horse would defeat the other in a race between two local church steeples.
Fast forward nearly 200 years and gambling and racing forged another strong partnership when Winston Churchill created the Tote. Thus formed the start of one of the most long standing institutions joining the racing world with betting. Now, in 2023, the Tote has been re-invigorated to bring even more opportunities to racing fans and betting aficionados.
The most simple and widely used bet type is the Win bet. Simply, select the horse you think will win the race (or is best value – more on that later), and if it comes home first, your bet is a winner.
Place bets allow for some margin for error. Your selected horse doesn’t need to win, it simply needs to place in the particular race. Depending on the number of runners, the position it needs to fill changes:
When betting with the Tote you also have other types of exotic bets to enjoy, which can yield big returns for a small outlay.
The Tote Exacta and Tote Trifecta require bettors to select the horses that will come first and second in the case of the Exacta, and first, second and third (in that order), for the Trifecta. With a large range of combinations, the odds and subsequent rewards can be substantial.
Single bets, i.e. betting on one horse in a particular race, is the most common type of bet, but there are occasions whereby your stake will be carried over multiple races, or legs.
The Tote Placepot and Quadpot are such examples. The task for anyone tackling either of these two bets is to find a horse to place in the first six races (or races two-six in the case of the Quadpot) on a given card. Successfully negotiate your way through all legs and bettors win a share of the pool, depending on their initial stake.
Other bet types are available with Sportsbooks and fixed odds-betting, but these are just a handful of the options available when betting with the Tote.
When betting with the Tote you are betting into a pool. That means all the money staked on each horse in the race is pooled together. After the race, everyone who has backed the winner will receive a share of that pool money, depending on the size of their original stake.
This way of betting is very different to betting with a traditional bookmaker. With the Tote you are betting against like-minded racing fans and bettors, rather than taking on the bookie.
Secondly, as a business, the Tote do not set the odds that you’ll get when backing a horse like a traditional bookmaker would. The returns on any winning bet is determined by the number of people that have backed that particular horse. Therefore, betting on a horse that is less popular is ideal as it will mean a bigger winning dividend should it triumph.
As the dividend isn’t known until after the race, it is impossible to accurately show you what you will receive for a winning bet before the event. However you will always see an approximate estimation of the dividend based on the money currently in the pool for any given race.
One of the major plus-points to betting with the Tote, especially when you fancy an outsider is that you will often receive a bigger payout.
The Tote Guarantee means that even when the bookmaker’s SP is larger than the Tote dividend, we will top up bet returns online so that you are never worse off.
Some of the time, the Tote Guarantee isn’t needed as you’ll simply be paid more than SP for a winning bet. This is particularly the case when it comes to the outsiders in the field.