Being A Sport

Healthy carry over Pick 6 at Scottsville on 25 March

Big Money. Basketball is one of the popular betting options.

The changing landscape of betting  in South Africa and a reflection of the mindset of the people who run horseracing, was  reflected quite coarsely Sunday morning on the home page of the Tabgold website. The shout was all about the Soccer 10 and Rugby 5 carryovers and not a whimper about the Scottsville Pick 6 carryover of R562 484.

The tragedy is that the blurb for  the popular sports betting pools is splashed under ‘racing news’. That is obviously designed to add a litte insult to injury for the sport of kings purists amongst us.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm, the Scottsville Pick 6 pool reached a few rand shy of R2 250 000. Not bad for a Sunday and despite Tabgold’s determination to ram sports betting down the throats of the public.

If other income streams be the saviour of horseracing in the medium term, then we can’t argue with their role. And any carrot to lure a prospective new exotic bet punter should be encouraged with open arms,

With the fantastic coverage of sports these days on our satellite television channels, as well as live streaming via the internet, sports betting can really only go from strength to strength.

Technology has been a big friend of sports betting with live coverage of the most obscure events and results available in real time.

Expanded coverage has also stimulated interest in sports considered outside the former norms. Who would have ever imagined that Americans would bet so heavily on the World Cup? Or that British punters would wager millions of pounds on the Men’s College Basketball Finals? The online bookmakers and betting exchanges, broadening their scope, have placed sports and wager types outside of a traditional bookies purview a mere mouse click away from an adventurous punter.

Forums, blogs and tipster services also  add to the thrill of international sports betting. Becoming an expert in an obscure multi-national sport is a fair recipe for adding a bit of exoticism to one’s life! But nothing really beats a Pick 6 for us and the Scottsville exotic paid a shade under R10 000 today for a rand unit. It wasn’t too difficult either!

Journeyman jockey Nicky Roebuck took the fight to his highly vaunted colleagues in the top-liner of the day, the Kay Makan – Iser MR90 Handicap run over 1400m. Roebuck had been an unlucky loser of his last jump three weeks ago on the Argentinian –bred Bielorruso, who was only caught in the dying strides  over the course and distance by the talented Maliyakhe.

On the soft to heavy going today, Roebuck had no hesitation in scooting away from his nearest rival Ransom Of Choice, who vied for favouritism with his stablemate Cato Donato. Anton Marcus kept his sniper sights within five or six lengths of Roebuck the whole way round the turn but his Australian-bred mount showed again that he lacks the heart when the chips are down – folding tamely at the top of the straight.

Front Runner! Nicky Roebuck outgunned the opposition on Bielorusso.

In the meanwhile, Roebuck and Bielorruso had skipped clear and they made a mockery of their opposition in an exotic bet jolt of note, with the unfancied Trendline and Lago Lida running into the places. Old Mac Donald, the slow away Cato Donato and Watch The Sunset were all disappointing along with Ransom Of Choice,

Bielorruso has now won five of his twenty-two starts for earnings of close on R300 000. He is a powerful front-runner on his day who has tried his luck at various yards and also on the sand surfaces. He runs out of the Kom Naidoo stable these days and could continue to pay his way as he is in the form of his life. Anton Marcus and Anthony Delpech may want to watch the replay a few times too!

Western Cape based Dean Kannemeyer has never looked back since opening his Clairwood satellite yard and he registered yet another winner in the form of the revitalised On A Wing, who streaked clear to win the MR78 Handicap over 1200m. The Tiger Ridge filly was an unlucky loser last time.

Wendy wings it! Wendy Michel leads On A Wing in with Corne Orffer up.

The Robin Hamilton horse did not receive the best of rides in that previous start, but Corne Orffer rode a peach today and she has now won three from twelve after  battling to win her maiden! Assistant trainer Wendy Michel was on hand to lead her in as Albie Going is on leave.

The shrewd horseman Garth Puller tipped his Requiem colt Beacon Point his best on the day in the Under Starter’s Orders show on Tellytrack. And he was spot-on at a healthy 10-1! Kelvin Jupp rode a good race from his 11 draw in the Maiden Plate over 2400m.

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