As I am fond of telling members of VG Tips, life as a punter would be dull if all you ever did was back the favourite. My analysis and betting tips offered to followers over two decades have always been about one thing. Value. Is the price of a favourite too short? Are there better bets to consider at bigger prices? Each way bets worth having.
I had planned to back Masar for the Derby at Epsom long before the price about the Godolphin entrant had drifted out to 20/1 the day before the race, and as big as 25/1 at one point on the day of racing.
I happened to like what I had seen from both Masar and Roaring Lion in most of their previous races and I was of the belief that the pair would do better for racing over further. I was not convinced, however, that the Aidan O’BrIen trained odds on favourite, Saxon Warrior, would relish 1 mile and 4 furlongs. At least not this early in his four race career.
Masar won the Derby in fine style and punters who are subscribed to my long established selection service were very happy.
Loyal follower Brian tweeted to say: “Never Fails to Impress. Nice One Vern. Top Punting.”
Andy said: “Hell of a shout on Masar. Thank you, Vern.”
Matt messaged to say: “Great work as always. You put in the study whether it’s a maiden at Windsor on a Monday, or the Derby. You don’t just sling odds on tips out when the right decision is a no bet day. Quality honest service.”
Chris e-mailed me to say: “Well played Vernon, as usual. I swerved Saxon Warrior, too short for me. But Masar and Roaring Lion each way must be the best bets of the year, up to now.”
David tweeted: “Very well done and deserved.”
Trevor, who is about to renew his membership for a second year, said: “Thanks for the comprehensive professional service.”
Here is part of the detailed Derby analysis those members and others received on Friday.
I wrote on Friday:- “The draw took place earlier in the week and once the favourite Saxon Warrior had been allotted stall 1, the price about him drifted out to 11/10. Some experts say he cannot win from stall 1. Others say class will out regardless.
“It is true that historically a low stall has not been a good thing in an Epsom Derby, but that is more the case when the field is bigger than is the case this year when only 12 go to post and by far the majority of the losers that have emerged from stall 1 would not have won a Derby had they been given a head start.
“If Saxon Warrior is good enough, he’ll land this race regardless of Ryan Moore coming out of box number 1. Saxon Warrior will not mind the conditions underfoot and would be a bet for me if odds against on the day. But prior to this week I had not planned to back the favourite, regardless of the draw.
“On May 16th I told members I was backing Roaring Lion, ante-post, each way at odds of 20/1. That’s what I did. That was before his last time out victory in an easier race than this one. I am content with that bet. I think Roaring Lion will stay 1 mile 4.
“The one that now offers potential value in the betting market is Masar. Drawn favourably in stall 10, I cannot understand why the price about him has drifted out to 20/1. Third behind Saxon Warrior in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, Masar was only beaten a length and three quarters that day. Now you could not be adamant that Masar would turn the tables on the favourite, but the price differential between the pair is much bigger than it should be. A son of New Approach, which won the Derby in 2008 and won on soft, good to soft, yielding and heavy ground during his career; that all makes Masar look a decent bet at 20/1 with several bookies.”
I had watched the previous races of Masar, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior. In some cases, I had watched those races several times. It’s all part of the research full time punters and tipsters undertake. We don’t see daylight as often as we’d like. Some of us lack Vitamin D. On days like Saturday, however, it’s worth it.
Not all punters or tipsters agree all of the time. On Saturday I also tipped Dash of Spice to members when 5/1 was available in the betting market. That too won at Epsom, but at SP odds of only 11/4. I also tipped Sam Gold to win the last race of the day up at Doncaster. That was my one and only tip at the South Yorkshire racecourse, another NAP selected for members of VG Tips at odds of 5/2. Sam Gold came home first at Evens. If you are going to bet, it’s wise to take an early price.
Now other experienced profitable punters also tipped those two winners. I often say to members that they should not put all their eggs in one basket, including mine. Follow the tips offered by a handful of fellow punters who know what they are talking about. Learn which of us are most reliable or who suit how you like to bet. Check out which of us do our homework and offer honest opinions. When we agree on selections, perhaps that’s the time to be on.
We didn’t all agree about the Derby, but I respect the opinion of all those who, like me, have been at this a while and win more often than not. We all have our good days and our bad days. But profitable punting is a marathon and not a sprint. You should judge your success over the course of one year, not one day, week or month.
For the record, I do believe Saxon Warrior will be back winning races and probably sooner rather than later. I hope to be on when that day comes along.
But Masar was the right winner of the Derby and I was pleased for jockey William Buick, whose sheer delight at winning the big race was evident.