We cannot yet know when we will be able to enjoy a spring or summer of flat racing. While some trainers are campaigning for racing to be allowed to be staged behind closed doors as early as May, they may have to wait until June or July.
The Guineas meeting due for Newmarket on May 2nd and 3rd has been postponed. York racecourse have announced their mid May meeting has been cancelled. Epsom will be hoping they will still be able to host a Derby sometime in June or July. Those in charge of Royal Ascot are keen that the meeting goes ahead in July, but without spectators. That may happen.
Here’s the latest article regarding the hopes of the British Horseracing Authority https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/18/derby-and-oaks-slated-for-july-in-bha-provisional-resumption-plans
I confess I would ideally want the Classic flat races to take place in their usual order. There are good reasons why that happens. Trainers and owners are desperate for Royal Ascot to take place as planned because that plays a part in the breeding schedule thereafter. If your horse wins at Royal Ascot, you may be looking forward to a nice pay day at stud. If your horse doesn’t run at all this season at the age of three, you have a decision to make. Keep the horse in training until four years of age, or retire the horse to stud based on what it achieved as a two year old.
For members only, I have been trawling back through the 2019 flat season and those horses that performed well for us. It doesn’t mean they will do so again, but it’s always worth having in mind those that won for us last year and could go on to bigger and better things. To have their names in mind for when racing returns. As it will.
The May bank holiday was a winning one for us…
..BATTAASH is a horse that can act up before races and has never been the easiest to predict. When he’s mad, he’s crazy. But when he’s good he is very good. On Saturday 25th of May 2019 he was in stunning form at Haydock Park, winning the Group 2 Temple Stakes in style and by two and a half lengths. It was a case of Whoosh!!! He went on to win twice more in England, including the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York. He was last seen racing in September when 14th of 16 in the Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp, France.
ELARQAM was my 5/1 win only NAP the night before racing at Goodwood. Early in a season that would see trainer Mark Johnston break personal records, his colt won the Class 1 Listed race for us prior to further victories in July, including the Class 1, Group 2 York Stakes. He beat Addeybb that day. Addeybb was sent to Australia only last month and the Willie Haggas trained gelding won a Group 1 race on the other side of the world. Well, I guess if you cannot race close to home, why not go and win down under?
Over in Ireland, PHOENIX OF SPAIN was my each way NAP for the hotly contested Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh. A race for which Too Darn Hot and Magna Grecia competed for favouritism. I was very happy when the grey in the hands of Jamie Spencer arrived on the scene late to win the race by three lengths. That was the first and last hurrah for the colt last season. In four subsequent Group 1 outings his best finish was fifth. As a result of that he was retired to stud.
Spring Bank was a weekend to remember for subscribers to VG Tips. On Sunday May 26th HERMOSA won the Irish 1000 Guineas from start to finish. Tipped to members when priced 11/4, Hermosa means ‘beautiful’ in Spanish and a beautiful weekend it was for my followers. There were nine selections from me in total, seven of which won.
Member Phil said:- “Nice one Vernon. I appreciate your time and research.”
Royal Ascot was a splendid meeting for us last year
VG Tips member Charles said:- “Thank you for your diligence and tipping information which enabled me to have the best Ascot ever. Yours is the best service by far.”
In the final race on day one, the Class 1 Listed Wolfreton Stakes, ADDEYBB was a 7/1 tip to members and won by two and a half lengths and with plenty to spare. As mentioned earlier, Adeybb went to Australia to race last month and won well.
On the Thursday, Frankie Dettori rode the winner of the first four races. An incredible achievement that set Royal Ascot alight.
We were on his second ride of the day, SANGARIUS, a 9/1 winning tip, coming home first by two and three quarter lengths in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes.
AFAAK was a favourite winner for members at big odds of 20/1. That race of 28 eventual runners, the Royal Hunt Cup, also saw 33/1 each way tip Vale of Kent finish in the places, so delivering further returns.
I followed up with my winning NAP in the Class 1 Listed Windsor Castle Stakes, the Aidan O’Brien trained SOUTHERN HILLS. 10/1 was available when members received my tips the night before racing. 10/1 about a horse trained by the brains of Ballydoyle, and ridden by Ryan Moore, was too good an opportunity to miss out on.
For the second year running, STRADIVARIUS won the Ascot Gold Cup for members of VG Tips. I have remained faithful to the beautiful looking John Gosden trained 5 year old horse. I was far from alone in being annoyed by the stupid comments of ITV Racing’s big mouth, Matt Chapman. He claimed Stradivarius beat nothing of note. He’s long had it in for Stradivarius. As I write about here, I leave the TV room when his face appears on screen.
DAAHYEH was available at odds of 7/1 when selected for members the night before racing in the Group 3 Albany Stakes. The Roger Varian trained filly won at SP odds of 4/1. Last September she confirmed that Group 2 racing was her level when winning the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.
One of the most impressive winners at Royal Ascot was my next tip. JAPAN was good value at SP odds of 6/4. The Aidan O’Brien trained colt was a class above the opposition in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes. He won by four and a half lengths and members knew they were on a winner some distance from the winning post.
Ryan Moore rode Japan to victory and later on the same day also won for us aboard BAGHDAD, my 7/1 winner in the last race on Friday, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes.
One of my personal favourite successes came on the Saturday, the final day of the meeting, with the 7/2 win by PINATUBO.
I was determined to take on the well backed favourite in the Class 1 Listed Chesham Stakes, Lope Y Fernandez.
Here’s what members read 24 hours before the race:- “A single figure draw has been advantageous in the past three years. That can only boost confidence behind the Godolphin owned colt called Pinatubo. Drawn in stall 7, Pinatubo has won both outings so far, one on the all weather at Wolverhampton and the more recent win on turf at Epsom. It’s the subsequent form of those he beat that attracts. Last time out he beat Platinum Star by three and a quarter lengths. Earlier this week it was Platinum Star that got the closest to my 10/1 winner, Southern Hills in a Listed race at Ascot. On debut he beat an opponent called Misty Grey, which finished five lengths behind the winner of a Group 2 race earlier this week.”
Watch Pinatubo win at Ascot via this link https://youtu.be/XF1hx1lNlHU
In my July newsletter of 2019 I told members:- “I confess I was so impressed by the manner of the victory that I immediately backed Pinatubo to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May of 2020 at odds of 10/1. Betting ante-post is high risk as anything could happen between now and then.” (** Boy, did I get that last bit right!)
After Ascot, Godolphin announced the least surprising news.
Their BLUE POINT has been retired to stud after becoming the first horse to win two Group 1 races in the same week at the royal meeting. Having first beaten Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday, the owners entered the 5 year old entire horse into the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. This was a deliberate policy by Godolphin to maximise the worth of the horse at stud. I was on and I told members to back him to win his second race in the space of five days. 9/4 was widely available in the betting market 24 hours before the race. Blue Point won at an SP price of 6/4.
So Royal Ascot 2019 was a good week of profitable punting. Members of VG Tips were very happy with their returns. Ultimately, that’s all that matters to me. It makes all the intense form study and hours upon hours of hard work worthwhile.
Member Peter was quick to contact and inform me of the following:- “If you played level stakes all week, and did a double bet for the NAPS, it returned 102% profit on your betting bank. Impressive work to keep that rate up over 5 days.”
In summary, I tipped 10 winners at Royal Ascot 2019, along with other each way tips that returned placed profit. A very good return. If the meeting takes place at all in 2020, it will be behind closed doors. I’ll be ready.
Member Giles tweeted:- “Great Ascot Vern. Thanks for your efforts.”
Galway & Glorious Goodwood
Goodwood began on Tuesday with STRADIVARIUS winning the Goodwood Cup for us for the third successive year and my Royal Ascot winner, PINATUBO, winning for us again, this time with ease in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes. A 7/4 winning NAP for subscribers to VG Tips.
LIBERTY BEACH was a 7/4 winner for us at Goodwood on the Wednesday and TAURAN SHAMAN a generously priced 7/2 winner at Galway.
Thursday at Goodwood began with a 13/2 tip coming home first for members. FOREST OF DEAN had been well backed by punters and triumphed for trainer John Gosden at an SP price of 4/1.
I also tipped the winner of the next race, the Group 2 Richmond Stakes. I was particularly pleased that GOLDEN HORDE won at odds of 15/2. This was a case of remaining loyal to a horse that had returned me each way profit at odds of 33/1 when placed in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Friday delivered winners. One each at Goodwood, and Galway. Odds on favourite BATTAASH won the same Goodwood race for the third year running. ALPINE STAR was a 7/4 winner for us at Galway.
KHAADEM was tipped to members when priced 8/1 on Friday evening. I chose Khaadem and made that one my confident NAP for the Class 2 Stewards’ Cup, a race the colt won by a little under three lengths. Khaadem faced 26 opponents and had been heavily backed by punters all week, from 16/1 into 4/1 SP. Two further outings last season, each in Group 1 company, proved beyond Khaadem.
The winning week ended on the Saturday. Not only with Khaadem but also courtesy of KING’S ADVICE a 9/2 win only tip to members. This extraordinary horse won his ninth race from ten career outings. The Mark Johnston trained contender battled back to win when appearing to be beaten.
Across the Irish Sea at Galway, EMPEROR OF THE SUN and ROYAL COUNTY DOWN ensured 4 of the 6 races I analysed for that August Saturday resulted in winners for me and members of VG Tips.
12 winners across the 5 days of Glorious Goodwood and 4 days at the Galway Festival.
Member Julie e-mailed: “Thanks for the tips. I had a great Goodwood and Galway thanks to you.”
I shall keep watching out for the latest plans of the BHA for a return to racing and if you are on Twitter, be sure to follow me @betonsportstips for any updates or points of interest. I will, of course, continue to keep you up to date using this members only messaging service.
Finally, thank you once again for sticking with me during this time when we’ll all eager for sport to return but accepting of the fact that lives matter much more than anything else. All existing memberships of VG Tips are being extended to cover the period of time that we are not able to bet on racing or football.
I am personally touched and flattered by your patience and loyalty. Be assured, we’ll be back beating the bookie together before you can say Indefatigable!
Please accept my sincere best wishes to you and your loved ones. If at all possible, be sure to stay at home. Don’t take any risks with your health.