Punting dos and don'ts for when British racing resumes next week
Racing is set to resume in Britain next week, with Newcastle hosting the return fixture on Monday. As resumption looms into view, our informed and experienced judges have offered up their advice on how to tackle the first few days.
Do start using a tracker
With the Flat season yet to get started, most horses have not raced this calendar year and you will undoubtedly witness a number of eyecatching performances from those who are gearing up to strike on their second or third run of the campaign.
Make sure you get those names down in a tracker so that you get a notification to alert you when they next hit the track. There is nothing worse than telling yourself to back a horse next time only to forget and see that they won at juicy odds. This move will pay off in the medium term.
Do watch out for new brooms who may clean up
Simon Crisford and his son Ed break new ground on Monday when they will become the first joint trainers with an officially licensed partnership to send out runners in Britain.
They will want to get off to a good start and Rock Of Diamonds (3.55), who has had a couple of months in which to learn how to settle better – a comment that applies to plenty of the population – and Wise Glory (6.15) may be best of the new partnership's three candidates.
Simon was operating at a 26 per cent strike-rate before the curtailment of racing and 34 per cent when he hit his stride last summer. In five of the last nine months it was possible to back all his runners and make a profit.
Don't jump right in with big-stake selections
We haven't watched any domestic action since the end of March and although that isn't overly long in the whole scheme of things, you are now relatively in the dark about the condition and form of each individual horse.
Certain trainers in France and the US have needed to get a run into their horses since they returned from the enforced absence, while others started firing on all cylinders straight away, so it wise to play cautiously in the first couple of weeks until you notice the trends.
Don't forget that bigger may be better at first
Build up a sense of which trainers are ready to rumble, particularly as the bigger yards with more staff may have found it easier to keep horses fit during the lockdown.
John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute and Roger Varian are among the Newmarket trainers primed to send their battalions north to Newcastle to take on the locals and they will be hard to keep at bay.
Do play yourself in gently and bet responsibly
There is no need to try to hit the ball for six as soon as racing resumes.
Placing that first bet on British racing after such a long gap will feel like quenching your thirst after crossing the Sahara, but the betting equivalent of small sips will be the healthy way to return or there may be big gulps when you check your betting accounts.
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