In low grade affairs, the market can tell a lot of the story. We often see large gambles taking place on poor standard affairs for a couple of reasons. Often, the prize-money is nowhere near attractive enough to make it pay as an owner. It can cost £20,000 plus to keep a horse in training each year.
Winning £3,000 in prize-money for finishing first past the post won’t pay your fees for the year. As a consequence, we often see owners and trainers try to plot their horse for a gamble. Let’s take a look at the big gamble of the day below.
Jockey Ben Curtis has got 2021 off to a very fast start, operating at a healthy 21-per-cent strike rate already. It is very interesting that he takes the ride on Richard Fahey’s BARONIAL PRIDE in the finale. Ben has ridden 90 winners in his career at this venue, by far his favourite course. This is no small gamble – for a runner to be backed from 10-1 all the way into 11-4 takes some money. It must also be worth noting that the current favourite, Higher Kingdom, has been very well supported overnight.
Getting back to the mover we are more interested in, this is a five-year-old Mayson gelding. He has gone eleven starts without success and is without doubt a very tricky quirky character of a horse. Not without support here last time from 2lb higher, he ran OK in defeat. The last time Ben rode him was at this course back in October, where he was beat two lengths off a 5lb higher mark. He looks extremely well treated now taking a closer look into that run and if the handbrake is off he can win.
It must also be worth pointing out that it can really pay to have a high draw here on the straight course at Newcastle. We often see a cross-breeze at Newcastle and it favours horses being covered up by the stands rail. Drawn 12 of 13, it would be no surprise to see this boy scorching home down the rail in the closing stages.