Ignore The Haydock Hype And Back Imperial To LOSE

| November 17, 2010 | Reply

If there’s one aspect of the media I can’t stand, its hype.

I can see why it’s necessary in terms of marketing and I can see why it’s occasionally justified by a fantastic product or a person with genuine talent…

But if another person tells me that I must see the latest Harry Potter film or play the latest war game or listen to the latest X Factor act, my head might just explode.

It isn’t because Daniel Radcliffe makes me want to wretch every time I hear his smug little voice…

It isn’t because the X Factor is the epitome of all that is wrong with the entertainment industry…

And it isn’t the fact that I am embarrassingly bad at shoot ‘em ups.

All of these things are true of course but the thing that REALLY winds me up is that hype distorts the views of otherwise sensible people.

In the case of a new book or game it can lead to people queuing up all night just to get their hands on a product that will be readily available for half the price in a couple of weeks time…

And in the case of sports betting it can lead to some very questionable selections.

One such example of hype distorting the views of the wider public is the hype that will inevitably surround Imperial Commander at Haydock this Saturday.

The Gold Cup winner is undoubtedly a good horse on his day but ‘his day’ doesn’t actually come around that often…

Making quotes of 8/11 for a win on his seasonal reappearance painfully short.

So, instead of lumping on a horse with one win in his last five, lay Imperial Commander in the Betfair Chase at odds of 1.8 or shorter.

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A one hit wonder?

For those of you not into your racing, Imperial Commander won last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

This is the most sought after prize in National Hunt racing and on the face of it the victory was doubly impressive as it came against Denman and Kauto Star – two of the stars of the sport.

However, all was not as it seems…

Kauto, having beaten Imperial Commander twice last season, looked out of sorts and crashed out at the fourth last…

Denman meanwhile ran out of steam, which wasn’t surprising given the trials and tribulations he had already faced earlier on in the season.

Add to that the fact that both horses are arguably past their peak and suddenly Imperial Commander’s victory doesn’t seem so impressive.

Certainly his performances immediately before and after haven’t been so good.

Prior to the Gold Cup he finished a distant fifth at Kempton, behind Nacarat (one of his opponents this Saturday) amongst others…

And immediately after the Gold Cup he unseated his rider at Aintree.

Imperial Commander comes up against some quality opposition this weekend, including fellow Cheltenham winner Albertas Run, the highly regarded Planet Of Sound and the Paul Nicholl’s trained What A Friend.

It’s not difficult to see something going wrong for the favourite amongst that company and current Betfair lay odds of 1.84 make plenty of appeal.

Pick your moment

The race is taking place at 3:25 this Saturday and is going to be televised live on Channel 4.

As a result it will get plenty of coverage and Imperial Commander will be hyped up to the max; no doubt helped along by the inevitable replays of his Gold Cup triumph.

Because of this, I would expect his price to shorten the closer it gets to the race itself…
A similar fate befell the Paddy Power Gold Cup favourite Long Run last weekend (he finished third).

It will make sense then, to hold off on this bet until shortly before the race.

By that stage you should be able to get lay odds on Betfair somewhere south of 1.8…

If so, snap up the price and get your lay bet on.

As ever with lay bets, you are backing a selection to lose and in this particular case, your liability will be around 80% of your stake.

Before I go – a quick note…

Following on from my ‘four to follow’ National Hunt selections of a few weeks back, I will be posting a tip on the Betting Rant website every time one of the horses is due to run.

This will ONLY be posted on the website and will usually go up on a Friday, with most big races taking place on a weekend.

Make sure you check the site regularly for updates and as ever, feel free to comment on the selections.

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