Shrewd Cash Out

Shrewd Cash Out  The ability to ‘cash out’ horse racing bets has always been, and probably always will be, a bone of contention. The practice is probably best applied to ‘all-or-nothing’ accumulator bets, where two, three or more winning selections can produce a return that is difficult to resist, particularly with the prospect of losing it all if a later selection is beaten.

The quandary in which punters find themselves has, perhaps, never been better illustrated than by Paul Dean, who made headlines in March, 2021, when cashing out a bet potentially worth £511,000, for a £5 stake, for £250,000 with Betfair. The 40-year-old, who hails from Stockton-on-Tees, placed a long-range, five-fold accumulator on Golden Horde (12/1) in the Commonwealth Cup and Hello Youmzain (10/1) in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and Shiskin (4/1) in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, Bob Olinger (25/1) in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and Envoi Allen (9/2) in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

His first four selections won, leaving him with the choice of letting the bet stand – which, granted that Envoi Allen was, by now, odds-on for the Marsh Novices’ Chase, must have been tempting – or cashing out for a smaller, but by no means small, amount. In any event, after due celebration, a restless night and an early morning walk, Dean ‘bite the bullet’ and partially cashed out his bet, such that he stood to win £300,000 if Envoi Allen won and £250,000 if he didn’t. The decision proved shrewd because, despite starting prohibitive odds of 4/9, Envoi Allen made it no further than the fourth fence. Thus, Dean won £250,000 for a bet that was, effectively, worth nothing at all.

Future Champion Novices’ Chase

he Future Champion Novices’ Chase is a Grade 2 novices’ steeplechase run over 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 110 yards at Ayr in April. Open to horses aged five years and upwards who, prior to the start of the season, have yet to win over regulation fences, the race is currently scheduled for day two of the Scottish Grand National Festival.Inaugurated, over 1 mile, 7 furlongs and 112 yards, in 1968, the Future Champion Novices’ Chase assumed its current title in 1988. The race was increased to its current yardage in 1991, at which point it was promoted to Grade 1 status, only to be demoted again four years later.

Reigning champion trainer Paul or, at least, the horses in his charge appear to have enjoyed the 800 mile-plus journey from Ditcheat, Somerset to the southwest coast of Scotland. Nicholls is the leading trainer in the history of the Future Champion Novices’ Chase with seven wins, courtesy of See More Indians (1994), Valley Henry (2002), Val Solitaire (2003), Natal (2007), Pacha du Polder (2012), Le Mercurey (2016) and Secret Investor (2019). Other notable winners down the years include Night Nurse (1979) who, in 1981, came as close as any horse, before Dawn Run, to complete the Champion Hurdle – Cheltenham Gold Cup double, and Monet’s Garden (2006), who went on to win the Old Roan Chase at Aintree three times, in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

In recent years, the Future Champion Novices’ Chase has rarely attracted more than a handful of runners. The last three favourites have been successful, but it is worth noting that, in the previous seven runnings, just one market leader prevailed. Recent trends suggest that likely winners will be aged six or seven years, rated 141 or higher and possess recent, although not necessarily winning, form.

Leicester City v Liverpool

Leicester City v Liverpool  Facing relegation in a season where fans expected to be competing for European positions, Leicester City are in real trouble. The arrival of a Liverpool side they have enjoyed some good results against in recent times, though, could be just what they need. Liverpool have failed to rise to the occasion against relegation threatened teams all year, and know they need to win to keep up the UEFA Champions League push.

Leicester City News

The Foxes will be without a few key players, with James Justin and Kelechi Iheanacho unlikely to play. Ryan Bertrand could come back into contention, having missed the entirety of the season so far. Outside of that, only Jannik Vestergaard is missing. The Foxes have finally seen some clear-up on the injury front, and not before time.

Liverpool News

Liverpool are missing the usual suspects of Thiago, Nab Keita, and Roberto Firmino. Young duo Calvin Ramsey and Stefan Bajcetic look certain to miss out, too. The Reds are expected to have much the same team that won out last time fit, though, so they should not have too many selection issues when it comes to retaining the consistency that has seen them somehow spring back into top four contention.

Verdict

Liverpool to win, but it will be an exciting game. Leicester have had little issue scoring goals, but it is the defensive side of the goal where they lack so badly. Expect plenty of goals, especially as Liverpool have a habit of being quite porous themselves.

Score Prediction: 2-3

Desert Orchid Chase

The Desert Orchid Chase is a Grade 2 steeplechase run over 2 miles at Kempton Park on day two of the Labrokes Christmas Festival, which is staged annually on December 26 and December 27. Open to horses aged four years and upwards, the race was inaugurated in 2006 and is named after Desert Orchid, a legendary racehorse who died in November that year at the age of 27.

Trained by David Elsworth, Desert Orchid won a total of 34 races, including the traditional Boxing Day highlight at Kempton, the King George VI Chase, four times in five years between 1986 and 1990. A life-sized bronze statue of the popular grey was unveiled at the Sunbury-on-Thames track in 1991 and, following his death, his ashes were buried nearby. Over three decades after he ran his last race, Desert Orchid remains the sixth highest-rated steeplechaser of the Timeform era, which began in the early Sixties, as far as National Hunt racing is concerned.

In its relatively short history, the Desert Orchid Chase has thrown up several subsequent winners of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the following March. Voy Por Ustedes, Finian’s Rainbow, Sire De Grugy, Sprinter Sacre and Altior all completed the double in the same season.

The 2022 winner of the Desert Orchid Chase, Editeur Du Gite, benefitted from the fifth fence fall of odds-on favourite Edwardstown when successful at Kempton, but accounted for that rival again, albeit by just a head, in the rescheduled Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham a month later. The Clarence House field also included the reigning champion chaser, Energumene, who ruined his chance with a final-fence blunder, but may not have won in any case; at the time of writing, Editeur Du Gite is a top-priced 6/1 (from 25/1) for the 2023 Queen Mother Champion Chase.