Tuesday, October 10

GUEST ARTICLE: Beat the Bank a solid tip as betting hots up for Ascot

As the flat racing season draws ever closer to its conclusion, the attention of bookies, gamblers and everyday racing enthusiasts is increasingly focused on the showcase event at Ascot. The odds have been fluctuating as the overall picture of the runners and riders has gradually come into focus.

With less than two weeks to go before the big event, let’s take a look at where the smart money is being placed.

Bookmakers still backing Ribchester

For weeks now, the question among punters has not so much been “who will win,” but rather “can anyone challenge Ribchester?” So far, the odds on offer across the horse race betting sites suggest that bookies think it is a probable “no,” and the four year old product of the Godolphin stable is at 5/2 across most bookmakers.

The colt won comfortably at Chantilly in the Prix du Moulin last month, despite only entering at the eleventh hour. At the time, trainer Richard Fahey told the Racing Post “The original plan was not to run here and give him a break until the QEII, but he was so well it seemed a shame not to.”

Can Beat the Bank beat the odds?

The recent announcement that Beat the Bank would be running is seen by most to present the biggest challenge to Ribchester defeating all comers. The three year old rising star blew away the competition in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in the last week of September, and Andrew Balding’s announcement that he would be running at Ascot sent a ripple of excitement through the horse racing world.

Bookmakers have immediately slotted the horse in as second favourite behind Ribchester, with most offering around the 9/2 mark.

Here Comes When could do it again

Of course, Ribchester is no stranger to being favourite, and most assumed victory was all but assured at Glorious Goodwood earlier in the year. On that occasion, it was a different Andrew Balding trained horse that spoiled the party, when Here Comes When became the first seven year old to win the Sussex Stakes.

Could he repeat the feat at Ascot? He is certainly looking fit and in great form. The 25/1 odds make this one a real tempter for an each way shot.

Churchill will never, never give up

Galileo colt Churchill was looking like he could take on the world in spring, and appeared to be the biggest challenge to Ribchester until Beat the Bank appeared on the scene. Aiden O’Brien played down a disappointing showing at Leapordstown last month, and pointed to the horse’s strong second at York in August. He said “He’s in good form and we’re delighted with him.”

Bookmakers agree that he is in with a shout, and are offering odds of 6/1.

Al Wukair aiming to impress

Anyone who saw the thrilling climax to the Prix Jacques le Marois in August will have no doubts over Andre Fabre’s colt Al Wukair. He dug deep to win by a short head, and there are many who believe he could cause an upset at Ascot. Bookmakers are certainly taking him seriously, and are offering odds of 7/1.

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