June 2021

Biggest Upset in Breeders’ Cup History

If there’s one thing that sport and indeed gambling has going for it that makes it ever entertaining, it’s that it’s never 100% predictable. Whether you’ve ‘lumped on’ an outsider, or someone playing the best real money online casino sites, regardless of what the odds to chance are, or are thought to be, there is plenty of scope for surprises to happen, and these surprises are what makes the event!

On November 6, 1993, at Santa Anita Park, California, Arcangues made history by becoming the first overseas-trained winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the longest-priced winner in Breeders’ Cup history. Owned by the late Daniel Wildenstein and trained, in France, by André Fabre, Arcangues swept past the favourite, Bertrando, trained by the late Robert Frankel, in the home straight to win by two lengths at eye-watering odds of 133.6/1 . Those into horse racing or other forms of online gambling, will all agree that you typically only get a winner at odds like that once in a blue moon.

The son of Sagace had won the Group One Prix D’ispahan at Longchamp the previous May, but had been soundly beaten in the Group One Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and the Group Two Ciga Prix Dollar, back at Longchamp, en route to Santa Anita Park. His victory in what was, at the time, the most valuable race in the world, was made all the more unlikely by the fact that he had never previously raced outside Europe, or on a dirt surface. Furthermore, New York-based jockey Jerry Bailey had never laid eyes on Arcangues beforehand and, in the absence of instructions from Fabre, was left to his own devices regarding how to ride the five-year-old.

Bailey later admitted that Arcangues ‘had a lot more run in him than I could have ever expected’, but Fabre was less fazed by his unlikely success. The French champion trainer described Arcangues as a ‘backward type’, but also reported that he had ‘dominated’ some talented horses in a piece of work on a dirt track at home in France a month or so before the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was instrumental in his decision to send his charge to the United States.


The Betting Ring

In simple terms, the betting ring is the area of a racecourse in which on-course bookmakers compete against one another to take bets from punters. Think of it much like a site listing top rated online casinos each vying for your custom.  Traditionally, the often ‘colourful’, but invariably honest, bookmakers who ply their trade in the betting ring were part of the quintessential British racing experience. Professional punters and those old enough to remember the days before betting exchanges – notably Betfair, which was founded in August, 1999 – may argue that face-to-face interaction in the betting ring is still the only way to bet seriously, there is no doubt that online betting has revolutionised the industry.

The days when serious punters would travel from far and wide to secure value-for-money prices in a strong on-course market are long gone. Nowadays, on-course bookmakers assiduously follow betting exchange prices, which not only reduces their margins, often to unfeasible levels, but reduces the betting ring to a bland, moribund shadow of its former self.

If a ‘proper’ punter can obtain the same price online, there is little point in visiting the betting ring, or even the racecourse, so it is easy to see how money, and liquidity, has drifted away from the on-course layers to the betting exchanges. Declining turnover, and profit, has resulted in fewer on-course bookmakers standing, especially at midweek meetings. In October, 2018, for example, William Hill announced that it was selling all 82 of its betting ring pitches to focus on providing ‘a full retail experience’, via its racecourse betting shops.

Notwithstanding the absence of on-course bookmakers during the coronavirus pandemic, the demise of the betting ring also calls into question the integrity of the starting price system. The current system relies on the availability of ‘good money’ in the betting ring and, in its absence, may eventually become unworkable. Conversely, during this time the best payout casinos online thrived due to the fact that it was one of the few past-times that could carry on unimpeded during the pandemic.

America Casino Venues – Bigger and Better!

It’s often seen as a bit of a cliche that the United States of America has to do everything bigger and better (well maybe the better part is more subjective!) than everyone else but there is of course a grain of truth to it. Take Las Vegas for instance, with its towering resorts and casinos, like MGM and Caesars Palace. Famous not only for their casinos but also for holding some of the most highly anticipated boxing bouts (think Floyd Mayweather and co) and concerts in the world. It’s perhaps no surprise that as gambling legislation relaxes the US also has its eye on having some of the best american online casinos around too.

The scope of some of the biggest casinos in Vegas has to be seen to be believed. Take the aforementioned Caesars Palace for instance. It’s both a luxury hotel and a casino, all in one. On the hotel front we’re talking almost 4000 rooms. As for the casino, whether your game of choice is blackjack, poker, roulette, slots, craps and something else, there are countless opportunities to play. Founded in 1966 the complex is grandiose and elegant throughout.

The MGM Grand Las Vegas too, has so much going for it and is on a scale that you rarely see repeated elsewhere. With 6,852 rooms it’s the largest hotel in the entire country and is spread over 30 floors. The most expensive suits can cost in excess of $20,000 per night though many are much more affordable. Interestingly enough when it opened in the 90’s the MGM Grand had a ‘Wizard of Oz’ theme to it, and even included a theme park, though since that time there has been a notable change of direction. Several renovation projects has since made it what it is today. It’s gaming floor is 171,500 square feet and features 2500 slot machines as well as 139 poker and table games. There is also a sportsbook area with giant plasma TVs. It’s all very much state of the art.

As a casino goer, it’s good to mix with up. Whereas in downtime there is the relaxed convenience of https://www.jokaroom.net/en/ and the like, if you do so happen in these post pandemic times to get the chance to visit the states, and especially Las Vegas, you’ll really get to see the scale that we’re talking about here. Be sure to ‘push the boat’ out if you do, as it’s a once in a lifetime experience for many!