Main Menu
Top of Page
Top of Page
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Poker   | News   | Email

Welcome to the News desk.

Global Trifecta could boost the allure of pool betting 07/06/2007
Ron Cox

Pool betting has never been a huge draw for British punters, who are spoilt for choice with a wide spread of prices and speciality bets available from bookmakers, plus the relatively new option of the betting exchanges. So the Tote will be hoping for positive feedback from their participation in the first global pool bet this weekend.

Sunday's Prix de Diane Hermes - the French Oaks - at Chantilly has been chosen as the race for the launch of the Global Trifecta. Punters from 10 different countries will be invited to name the first three in the correct order, with all bets going into a single pool. British backers can place their bets through the normal Tote Direct facility although, due to French law, it will not be available online.

The potential for a rewarding Trifecta dividend is considerable and British interest will be boosted by the presence of Frankie Dettori, bidding for a third recent Classic win on the French-trained filly, West Wind. Overall, though, the Tote has been slow to explore the concept of "exotic" bets.

The Toteexacta returns regularly beat the bookmakers' Computer Straight Forecast version. There is surely scope here to extend the bet along South African lines where, for an extended stake, dividends are paid on not only the 1-2 but the first and third or second and third in a combination.

With the sale of the Tote up in the air, there are, of course, other priorities at the moment. But yesterday Tote spokesman Paul Petrie said: "We are always looking at fresh possibilities in our new bets forum."

Meanwhile the Global Trifecta will also feature in two races at Royal Ascot, the St James's Palace Stakes and the Gold Cup. In general Tote prices can offer excellent value at the big meetings, and Royal Ascot is no exception - last year, the win dividend bettered the bookies' starting price in 21 of the 30 races over the five days.

Whatever their method of punting, the betting public needs to be informed and in this day and age there is no excuse for being kept in the dark over a crucial piece of information. This is the time of year when fillies and mares can show much-improved form on the track when they are in foal, but in most cases punters find out all too late.

Last season, Aahgowangowan was a prime example of a mare in foal thriving on her racing, when she won five times before going off to the paddocks. In recent weeks, Bakhoor, Gaelic Roulette and Stolen Glance have all been winning mothers-to-be.

Trainers would almost certainly complain at more added to their work-load. But for punters it is particularly annoying to see a filly trot up, only to find out subsequently that she is in foal. Just like blinkers and cheekpieces, the information should be made public at final declaration time.

However, Harding said yesterday that it was time for "racing's ruling bodies to get off the fence, because the path that's been embarked upon cannot be good for racing."

Kieren Fallon, whose ban from race- riding after a failed drugs test is due to end at midnight tonight, could be riding in Ireland tomorrow according to the Irish Turf Club. "He has applied for his licence, which he will get," Denis Egan, the ITC's spokesman, said yesterday. "He can ride at Tipperary on Thursday if he wants to."

The Derby, which ended its long association with Vodafone after Saturday's running, has yet to finalise a deal with a new sponsor, despite persistent rumours linking Emirates Airlines to the backing of the Epsom Classic.

"These rumours have not emanated from either the racecourse or from Emirates," Stephen Wallis, Epsom's managing director, said yesterday. "We are still talking to interested parties."