Just the one race today, the others being either too many runners or too low a class. In the event, this is a class 4 race with 10 runners so just about right (class 3 is the ideal minimum).

FV prices and early prices so far this morning:

Ayr 4-15

PANAMA AT ONCE 3 6
NELLIEDONETHAT 3.5 2.75
TRISON’S STAR 8 6
SKENFRITH 10 16
INCAS 12 25
ALMIRE DU LIA 12 14
CHAMOCO 14 8

The forecast had Skenfrith at 20s which would be tempting. His recent form is not very good but won this a couple of years ago and on a ‘winning’ mark – I see a chance of an outsider popping up on the soft/heavy ground and am encouraged by the jockey’s course strike rate.

Panama at Once is obviously value; again the short-price vs greed scenario. I will think on this and see what comes up at Ladbrokes in a while.

Update: Took the early price of 6/1 for Panama at Once, twice my odds of 3/1 favourite. Skenfrith is as short as 9s at Coral’s which is too short for a bet and suggests they think it may pop up. Otherwise, Incas might be of interest at 20s (VP 12s) but there are doubts about fitness, distance and going – possibly a CSF behind Panama?

The bookies favourite this morning is Nelliedonethat at 2/1 (VP 7/2) – I rate Panama a couple of FV points higher but he is on offer at a much bigger price – this is the key to value betting, the balance of Form and Prices, quantifying uncertainty – it’s like a roulette wheel which is biased – over time you cannot lose. Plus, it’s fun to go shopping :-)

Post race: Good race! Taken along by front runner Beobach, who was 8 lengths clear at one point, Panama was always handy in 3rd or 4th. The field became strung out in testing conditions and the leader was overtaken by Almire and Panama, the rest increasingly further back. After the second last, Panama passed the steady-paced Almire and had only the last to clear for victory. Would you believe it?! Tired, he jumped awkwardly, almost fell and handed the lead back to Almire. He was unable to make up for the error in the run in and Almire won by half a length, the pair clear of the rest.

I wouldn’t have backed Almire at the prices though 9/1 would have been welcome. My price was 12s. The bet was Panama at 6s early price, subject to a deduction (Rule 4) of 10p/£ when Skenfrith was withdrawn. A conspiricist might think that the shortening price during the day was deliberately setting up the deduction across the board; in the event, 5.4/1 was value against my 3/1 odds.

Beyond that, there is not much to say except that this is the type of result that reassures me the ‘system’ is working. More fun tomorrow!

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