Weblog: A Ladbrokes look at the sport
Keep it simple: he wins, say our odds compilers
Not for the first time, the canine superstar bidding to land a famous English/Scottish Greyhound Derby double has got the bookies running scared.
When talking to our odds compilers about the race, I’ve not known them give their thoughts as succinctly for quite some time: ‘he wins’ was the simple refrain and we make no apologies for pricing the race accordingly.
The greyhound I’m talking about, of course, is Ballymac Eske. The Rotherham Rocket, Barrie Draper’s fawn flying machine and the one they all have to run the race of their lives to beat at Shawfield on Saturday night.
It would be remiss of me not to run my eye over the remainder of the field as it takes all six dogs to make the race and given some of the form lines in the book, the optimism of connections of Mags Gamble shouldn’t be disregarded as blind hope. Harry Williams’ standard bearer had the beating of Eske on their match up in the Eclipse at Nottingham thanks to a slick break in conjunction with trouble for the favourite and should events unfold in a similar fashion on Saturday night we’ll have a real race on our hands.
Although it’s not sensible to suggest Eske’s chances rely solely on the break as he could easily trail Mags Gamble to the first bend, before fluently kicking on with a display of middle pace which would surely be enough to put the race to bed.
Those with ante-post vouchers tucked away for the English equivalent will surely be relishing each and every display of class which has seen Eske’s price for the Wimbledon showpiece shorten steadily.
He’s 7/1 from 8/1 after the opening round at Shawfield and whilst we still think there are many more Derby cards to be played, both at home and on the other side of the Irish Sea, it’s difficult to fathom his price getting any bigger come the first round at Plough Lane.
On Saturday night, we’ll be cheering him on regardless of result as it’s a privilege to have such a superstar competing in and winning one of your events.
There’s no doubt those at Shawfield and at home would agree and, should he beat Mags Gamble into second, that’s likely to be a winner for those who wanted to play a forecast at what will be an eminently more backable price for the smaller staking punter.
Our popular ‘what a finish’ offer will be rolled out again for the entire card meaning you get your money back as a free bet if you’re beaten into second by a neck or less, and make sure you keep your eye out on the day for the usual specials and match bets as we’ll be pulling out the stops to make sure you can get involved in the big race one way or another.
Viewers will also be able to welcome a new Ladbrokes face to the couch as odds-compiler Richard Vernon makes his channel debut. He’ll keep you up to date with all the market moves and has promised to put up more winners than I did the last time I was on, which shouldn’t be hard.
There’s not much he doesn’t know about the sport so you’ll be in safe hands.
Enjoy the RPGTV show and the final.