Sports betting

Weekend Review: Irish eyes left smiling as winner Westover plumps punters’ pockets

Victories for favourites in the big races at the Curragh and Newcastle bash bookies as lack of football drives punters to the turf

It was a weekend for the punters as horseracing on both sides of the Irish Sea went to the way of bettors, much to the bookies’ disappointment.

In the Irish Derby, 11-8 joint favourite Westover emerged victorious after putting in a dominant display at the Curragh on Saturday.

Ridden by 2017 and 2020 Irish champion jockey Colin Keane, the Ralph Beckett-trained colt blitzed the field with a seven-length win over closest challenger Piz Badile.

Westover shrugged off the third-place finish at Epsom behind Desert Crown to show the horseracing world his credentials, while English Oaks winner Tuesday could only finish in fourth.

Virgin Bet’s Janis Strauts said: “The Curragh hosted the Irish Derby which was won by 11/8 joint favourite Westover. This was not a good result in the books for us as we laid far more bets on Westover than the other 11/8 favourite, Tuesday.”

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill added: “It was Irish Derby weekend at the Curragh and some redemption for Westover as he got the job done very impressively as the 11/8 favourite, no surprises that being one for the punters.”

Elsewhere, Betfred’s Alan Firkins mused on Westover’s impressive performance, detailing to EGR the thinking behind a future rematch between the colt and Desert Crown.

Firkins said: “Westover confirmed all the promise he’d shown in the Epsom Derby with a power-packed, well-backed demolition job in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh. He’ll probably meet his Blue Riband conqueror Desert Crown in Ascot’s King George – and we have ‘Desert’ fav at 11/10, with Westover hugely tempting at 4/1.

“We have sons of Nathaniel and Frankel respectively likely to dominate – two horses who made their racecourse debuts in the same Newmarket maiden 12 summers ago. Frankel prevailed by half a length – advantage Westover?” he added.

Elsewhere, in Newcastle, the punters once again pushed ahead as 3-1 favourite Trueshan ridden by Hollie Doyle won out in the Northumberland Plate on the all-weather.

The result was all the more remarkable with the six-year-old carrying 10st 8lb as the Alan King-trained runner won by half a length from Spirit Mixer, who was carrying 23lb less than the winner.

The victory had some hailing it the greatest weight-carrying performance of modern times on the Flat.

In fact, Trueshan was only running at Newcastle in preparation for the Goodwood Cup, having missed out on Royal Ascot.

Gill said: “The Northumberland Plate saw a truly remarkable weight carrying performance from Trueshan, who ground out a win that looked slightly unlikely at times in running.

“Punters had never been worried about the weight on his back and he was very well backed, going off at 3/1 fav and leaving us well in the red for the race. However, some reprieve for us in the consolation race, with 16/1-shot Zoffy winning the Vase well to claw back some losses,” he added.

Following the theme of clawing back, Strauts revealed results in smaller races at the Curragh, Uttoxeter and Windsor helped support the bookie over the weekend.

He said: “Other results at the Curragh were favourable for us however, most notably in the Railway Stakes with 9/1 shot Shartash beating the odds-on favourite, Blackbeard.

“On Sunday, we got some good results at Uttoxeter and Windsor, while at the Curragh there were only two winning favourites on the card, and we got a favourable result in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes with La Petite Coco winning at 9/1,” he concluded.

Betfred | Horseracing | Kindred | Sports betting | Virgin Bet