Letters From Ascot: Disparity in Payoff

Friday, June 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm |

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Blue Point | Racing Fotos

By Dave Johnson

I can tell there is more attention than ever for eyes and wallets on this Royal Ascot meeting, which ends Saturday. The amount of emails I am getting asking questions only a punter would serve up are more than any other years. Quite telling.

If you won a bet, the difference in the win price could be substantial as to where you wager. This disparity in the payoff for the same winner at different sites was something we saw in the states only when the pools for Triple Crown races were being handled by different hubs. That is the same here. But to confuse the matter even more, when a race has a high number of entries, there are even more different prices.

There is now a “world pool” which incorporates some 30 different pools from 10 different countries, including the United States. But only if there are no huge fields!

Here is what happened on Wednesday of this week. The G2 Queen Mary S. had 28 runners. Too many to handle for the world pool computers. Remember the phrase, “shopping for odds?” Well, that is what you should have done. It was back to 30 individual pools. The payoff result was a head scratcher.

The winner was Raffle Prize (Slade Power {Ire}) paying almost 20 pounds to win ($23) on track, but $84 at Twinspires! The lesson here is: big fields equal shop for odds! And realize the on-track crowd and casual player like to land on the favorite.

And what about the quick turnaround Thoroughbred? It would be unheard of in the states. Blue Point (Shamardal {Ire}) who won the G1 King’s Stand S. for the second year in a row Tuesday, is gearing up for a run again this weekend! The Godolphin runner, trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by James Doyle, will attempt to also win the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. Saturday.

Wouldn’t racing in America be more fun if trainers ran their horses more times when the challenge was presented, instead of keeping the steed in the barn, and the trainer’s win percentage unchanged? Just think about Citation (Bull Lea) who won 27 of 29 races as a 3-year-old, and still came back to race until he was age six!

Another who raced Tuesday is coming back Saturday. Le Brivido (Siyouni {FR}) finished fifth in G1 Queen Anne S. and is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who believes this French-bred will appreciate the six furlongs more than the five furlongs on Tuesday.


If Frankie Dettori had won his fifth straight race, the legal bookmaker, Paddy Power, said it would have been the third worst day in the company’s history. But, the bookies won again, as Frankie finished second.

Matthew Broderick, who is appearing in a play in the theater district here, was supposed to present the trophy for a featured race. He bailed out. Will someone please tell Mr. Broderick what a great show he missed?


There was something fishy about the odds for the queen’s hat betting. Pink was 4-1, but before wagering was halted, the drop was telling, plummeting to 1-2. Someone at Windsor Castle must have gotten the word (colour) out.

Yep, at 2:00 p.m. the golden gates swung open. Four white horses pulled the first Landau carriage onto the track, and there she was, 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, in pink hat and coat.

As the carriage moved up the track, she kept leaning out to check the condition of the turf course. I guess her runner in the fifth race, Magnetic Charm (Exceed and Excel {Aus}), needed softer ground. She finished second in the Sandringham S. (Class 2).


Whoever does win the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. we may see in November for our Breeders’ Cup, as it is a “win and you’re in” event. I am hoping and betting on Blue Point. Good luck to him and you.


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