Winning on a bet by a whisker makes up for those days when you lose by a nose. I don’t like it when a horse I fancy gets beaten by a short head, a head or a nose. In some ways, I’d rather a tip were beaten by a mile.
But when a horse you have tipped and backed wins by a nostril, that’s a good feeling.
Ulysses won the big race at Sandown, the Coral Eclipse, an 8/1 selection for members of VG Tips the night before racing.
All the talk was of the race being between Barney Roy and Cliffs of Moher, but I felt the Sir Michael Stoute trained contender was the one being overlooked. If anyone was tipping an outsider, they were discussing the chances for Decorated Knight. But as I told subscribers to my selection service, there was only a short head between second place Decorated Knight and Ulysses in third when the pair met in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Ulysses lost second place at the winning post that day. So was it a mistake that Ulysses was being largely ignored by the so called experts when they were previewing the race?
I suggested to members that Barney Roy was the most likely winner. That I didn’t fancy Cliffs of Moher racing from 12 pounds higher in the handicap than when a runner up in the Derby at Epsom – a track very different from Sandown. But I did tell members that Ulysses was a good each way bet at odds of 8/1.
Ulysses and Barney Roy fought out the finish and some followers of VG Tips did back the reverse forecast, so predicting those two would be the first two home in either order. It was a dramatic finish to the race. Ulysses edged in front but Barney Roy – whose stamina over 1 mile 2 furlongs is no longer in doubt – came back for more and a photo finish was guaranteed.
The trainer of Barney Roy, Richard Hannon, held his breath. Sir Michael Stoute said he didn’t have a good view of the finish so could not tell if Ulysses had held on. Minutes passed and punters began to think there a dead heat would be announced. But, eventually, stewards released the photo and Ulysses, wearing a noseband, was seen to have won by the slightest of margins.
Several members of VG Tips joined me in celebrating a narrow but profitable victory. You can watch a full replay of the race, and interviews with Stoute and winning jockey Jim Crowley, via this link.
It wasn’t the only profit last Saturday. Battaash, a 3/1 tip, was an impressive winner earlier in the day at Sandown. While, up at Haydock, 12/1 each way selection Soldier in Action returned profit when finishing second in the Old Newton Cup.
Next up will be the three day top quality meeting at Newmarket. The first tips for that meeting will be available to members old and new on Wednesday July 12th, for racing the following day.