Weblog: A Ladbrokes look at the sport
Chelsea might be tepid but Crayford was hot stuff
It’s not often a glass of champagne is thrust into your hand at 10.30 on a Saturday morning, but on the odd occasion it happens it’s usually a sign something exciting is ahead and the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket finals card didn’t disappoint.
Crayford was bursting at the seams; punters packed the indoor area, clustered around the ring and lined the terraces while virtually every table was full upstairs ready and waiting for the card to get underway.
The Bubbly Club were in full attendance and had taken over the Brinton Arrow suite, despite not having a runnerin the final. They got their chance to cheer however as their Bubbly Swallow took the Invitational Stakes - in a time a shade under that of the eventual Jacket heroine Blue Bee.
The Bubbly Club and their followers made the short trip downstairs to the ring prior to their winner and devoured all rates for their runner just as keenly as they did the brunch served to their box.
As ever when they have a winner the atmosphere became electrified as they willed their charge on round the final bend and the jolly did the business to cap off one of the best results for punters on the day. Members spilled off all sides of the podium, (usually more than ample space for connections) as they were presented with the trophy and if ever there was more of an incentive to potential owners for forming a syndicate then this crowd certainly showed the way to do it.
The final was certainly the race everyone expected and from a trading perspective the numbers were favourable. More importantly, the race provided all the excitement the crowd came to see and the hive of activity that the betting ring represented prior to the bell was further evidence.
On course layers fielded every runner – even the 20/1 outsider was the subject of a notable number of small bets. Previously fancied finalist Farley Zach was relatively weak.
As we know Blue Bee emerged the game and deserved champion and, after speaking to the owners, the trophy is now displayed with pride on the mantelpiece at home. Their next stop that afternoon was Ascot, so here's hoping the cheque for £15,000 was only the first of the day's successes.
No sooner had racing finished at Crayford I found out that a tepid Chelsea side were trailing by a goal to championship outfit Birmingham at home in the FA Cup. A quick call to our football desk armed me with next Chelsea manager prices, which no-one could argue were prematurely issued given the Blues’ run of late.
Even so, they turned them game around to force the replay - but AVB was still left with the undesired tag as hot Premier League sack race jolly.
The wait for the next chapter in the newly expanded Magic Sign portfolio wasn't long with Monday seeing the heats of the Ladbrokes Mobile Arc from Swindon. The SIS screen on my desk can often act as distraction on an office afternoon, but in this instance I could legitimately enjoy the racing. I've kept my power dry for now but there are a few which have caught the eye.
After making my debut on Sky Sports News for the Friday afternoon bookie interview slot I crawled back through the school run and early knock off traffic to catch the final two races on the Arc BAGS card. It was a case of sighs of relief all round when well backed Droopys Lorenzo was knocked out, but we were particularlyimpressed with Droopys Loner. Sids Dream was another track record breaker to land a blow for punters and one of the dogs we were keen to keep on side.
Watch out for more BAGS action in your shops this time next week –
*Draw for Friday's Ladbrokes Arc semis - First: 1 Mark My Words, 2 King Jaffa, 3 Jazz Apollo, 4 Farloe Titan, 5 Longwood Fantasy (m), 6 Mays Gold (w).
Second: 1 Droopys Loner, 2 Ballymac Cryan, 3 Bowtime Joey, 4 Granard Bound (m), 5 Bit View Micko (m), 6 Sids Dream (w).