- It was the pari-mutuel equivalent of a fire sale, with bargain prices being offered on the seven Arc runners not named Deep Impact. It made sense that Japanese bettors at Longchamps, carrying cash for friends and relatives at home unable to bet the race there, would bet Deep Impact down, but I don't think anyone imagined that he'd be 1-10, and stay there until around 15 minutes to post. It may have been even more surprising that he was bet to the extent that he was here, where he was 1-5 early before drifting up to a still paltry 4-5.
"It's the craziest betting race I've ever seen in my life," Mike Dillon, Ladbrokes' veteran racecourse PR man, said as Rail Link was led back to the winner's enclosure yesterday, and he has seen plenty. "We were laying 5-2 about Deep Impact in London, and he started at an industry price of 9-4 in Britain, but at the same moment, there were people here queueing in lines a quarter of a mile long to back him when the screen is showing him at 1-10." [Guardian Unlimited]
"While the defeat of Deep Impact saved us a massive payout, we still lost on the race as smaller punters placed bets on all his rivals at artificially inflated prices on the PMU [French tote], and Rail Link at 24-1 was the most popular."Rail Link was being listed in the UK at around 8-1, so his 24-1 winning odds in France qualifies as an overlay, wouldn't you say? Here, he was merely 12-1, which probably isn't much above what his real value really was. But it was still a fair price on an improving three-year old, and don't we have a lot of those around these days? The three-year old season which started seemingly so long ago with names like Stevie Wonderboy, Brother Derek, and Barbaro, is ending with a bang like we haven't seen in quite some time. Discreet Cat and Wait A While were the other sophomores who made headlines this weekend; George Washington did so last week, and Bernardini and Dylan Thomas are expected to do so next week.
Blue Square's Kate Miller said: "British punters are a shrewd bunch and quickly latched on to the false trading prices of runners. "We started the day with a great book and were looking forward to the race, but in the hours leading up we saw more and more money coming in for all the runners when it was clear that inflated prices would be returned." [Sporting Life]
As for the race, Deep Impact was taken out of his game by being close to the pace throughout, and that could not have helped. When he got to the lead, far earlier than usual, he had to first fight off Shirocco before he was confronted with Rail Link. He made a game of it against the eventual winner, but tired from his effort, creating a bonanza exacta with the similarly ridiculously overlaid Pride.
Winner owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager told the Sporting Life that Rail Link will not race again this year. "He has had five quite quick races on the trot so he has probably done enough for this year, but he is almost certain to stay in training." He added:
"This race proves he is the best three-year-old in Europe. It would be a brave man to put another horse in front of him."I imagine there are some owners who might argue with that and ask just who is the brave one here? But it was the 7th race since he made his career debut just in April, and that's a pretty full slate for thoroughbreds these days.
Rail Link is by Dansili, a son of Danehill who was Grade 2 winner for Abdullah in France; and he's out of a mare by the grass champion Theatrical.
- And yes racing fans, here it is straight out of the mouth of Discreet Cat's trainer Saeed bin Suroor:
"He has the class to go to Grade One races now.The racing world will certainly be waiting with baited breath and rapt anticipation for that decision.
"There is either the Breeders' Cup Classic in early November or the Cigar Mile at the end of that month.
"We will keep the options open and consult with Sheikh Mohammed." [Sporting Life]
- Alan Shuback reports in the Form that Deep Impact - his head held high - (as opposed to those who bet him at underlaid odds) will seek revenge over Heart's Cry on Dec. 24 in the Arima Kinen at Nakayama.