Biggest Gambles of the Flat Season Landed

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot was the home of several of the giggest gambles of the flat season. (Photo credit: Ascot Racecourse).

The flat season is coming to an end and has been one to remember with a number of star performances to take forward and a lot of horse betting. There has also been some big gambles to note. Here we list four of the successful major punts.

WITHHOLD

Owned by professional punter Tony Bloom and when his horses get backed it is always worth noting. Withhold was the subject of one of the biggest gambles of 2017 when he made virtually all the running to clear away with the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. This gamble led to jubilant scenes from supporters around the course on the day.

Trained by legendary trainer Roger Charlton who is adept at getting a horse ready for the day. Withhold made his next appearance following a 259 day break in the Northumberland Plate. Money continued to come for the horse in the run up to the race despite connections voicing their concerns. Once again he made all and quickened clear to win unchallenged come the finish. This was a stunning performance from a horse that still looks to be way ahead of the handicapper.

His next start is now set to be at the Melbourne Cup at the start of November, so could he land yet another memorable gamble for connections? He is currently the joint 12/1 favourite for the race.

CALYX

Although it took until the 9th June to reach the racecourse it did not take him long to show his class. Following an effortless five length success at Newmarket on his debut, he was made the second favourite for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot that was set to take place just ten days later. He raced keenly and green, but put the race to bed with ease clearing away in the final furlong, very impressively.

Money then continued to arrive for the horse in the run up to the Royal Ascot race in which he then surpassed the long-time ante post favourite Sergei Prokofiev at the head of the market. Sent off at odds of 2/1, he put in one of the most memorable performances at Royal Ascot. His jockey, Frankie Dettori, was also very complementary about the horse in what was a fantastic performance considering it was just his second career start. He is certainly an exciting horse to look forward to watching next season.

Coventry Stakes

ALPHA CENTAURI

One of the leading fillies of modern times who has now unfortunately been retired due to an injury following defeat in the Matron Stakes. Just how good could she have been? Having run to an RPR of 124 on three starts shows the level of animal we are dealing with; a very classy filly. She had been struggling, with many believing she had not trained on, but she was running on unsuitable heavy ground. When returned to running on good ground she showed her form in landing the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

It was her next start that she will be remembered for at Royal Ascot. She was one of the leading contenders for the Coronation Stakes and was heavily supported in the run up to the race. This, therefore, meant she was sent off the clear market leader come the race at around 11/4. What was to follow was a breath-taking display of dominance in which she smashed the track record by 1.3 seconds and in the process posted the highest rating in the race for over 25 years. This was an exceptional performance from a three year old filly, and she will be a huge loss to all involved and racing in general, following her retirement.

AGROTERA

The final horse to make the list who was the subject of one of the biggest gambles at Royal Ascot was Agrotera. The three year old’s price more than halved overnight, prior to the race, as punters continued to back her for the Sandringham Stakes on the Friday of the meeting. This was no surprise considering she was entering the race following a comprehensive success over a next time out winner in Four White Socks. Her trainer, Ed Walker, voiced the opinion after the Ascot race, that they believed she was very well in herself and that they would have been very disappointed were she not to win.

Under Jamie Spencer she looked very well before the start but was slowly away and sat at the back of the field for much of the contest. Moving to the final two furlongs she angled out and passed the entire field taking up the running at the half furlong marker. She cleared away to win very impressively landing a major punt in what was a classic Spencer holdup ride. This was a performance that stamped Group horse on her and she is a very exciting horse moving forward, despite her three subsequent defeats.

Coverage of this race can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrTHcy-_ohM

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