Just when we thought it was going to get a little easier to get a handle on formlines, so the V75 shows you just why this is the best multi-race betting system in the world.
While we got 2 legs home, we sat by as favourite after favourite got rolled as Sanity didn’t prevail and outsiders including a $50/1 longshot and two paying in the high teens came in. And the lucky punter who chose the seven winning horses correctly walked off with 613,588.60 EUR ($845,437).
And just to make it a little tougher, this week the V75 shifts to Norway for one of those occasional joint V75s, this one coinciding with a Norway versus Sweden apprentice drivers challenge.
The Norwegian breeding programme is nowhere near as strong as Sweden’s and so the racing in one of Europe’s richest nations is heavily influenced by imports from not only its bigger neighbour but also Italy and the United States.
Several prominent Danish trainers such as Bo Westerdaard, Flemming Jensen and Jeppe Juel also make a living racing their second-string horses between Denmark and Norway while the top ones foot it in Sweden.
And like Finland, coldblood trotters make up nearly half of the racing stock, which adds another bit of spice into the handicapping stew – although there is only one coldblood race in the V75.
So what is the strategy? Does the horses for courses theory favour local runners or do, Swedish raiders have the tougher racing so are basically dropping back in grade here? They certainly cleaned up in France which should be much tougher. Or shall we go with the early tote, which to be frank hasn’t been that reliable lately as a guide to the “smart” money.
Decisions, decisions. At least the French racing has a bit more familiarity to it, we've been following most of these horses over winter. Anyhoo here goes.
V75-1 Silver division 2140m: The Swedish-breds Your Highness (12), Jaguar Broline (1), Stormysky (3) and Burning Line Gral (6) are the logical picks. Looking for an outsider, and there is a US-bred locally trained runner with three wins in her last five starts who might figure, so I’ve taken Cantabharmony (5). Selection 12-1-3-6-5
V75-2 Klass I 1640m: Ulf Ohlen’s Pedro Bi (1) has had three Sovalla wins in his last five starts while Flemming Jensen’s Roxy Hill (2) won at Aby last start. From these draws, they look the two to beat. As Elvis had it, 1 for the money and 2 for the show. Selection 1 (2)
V75-3 Dack Partner Bil-Vulkan loppet (mares) 2140m: Italian-bred Nalda Nof (5) has won group two races in Italy and Norway and been placed in the same class in France where she was trained for a while. Now with Marcus Lindgren in Halmstad, she looks a class above these, this is her second start back from a decent spell and has the brilliant Swedish driver Bjorn Goop in the cart. That makes her an anchor. Selection 5
V75-4 Östfoldpokalen 2140m: Coldblood race where Gylden Balder (13) and Timian Scott (15) are the heavy early favourites. They’ll do me in the dartboard selection of the mix. Selection 13 (15)
V75-5 Klass II 2640m: A lot of recent winners in this, so it’s a matter of sifting through who they beat and where. Flemming Jensen has another consistent performer here in Solo Nolo (12) off the wide second draw, Reims Gasti (5) has three recent Solvalla wins, while Spirit (2) has won three races in a row, at Aby, Sweden and two in Denmark. This is wide open, with many chances but we’ll stick with these three. Selection 12-5-2
V75-6 Steinlagers Hederslopp (Gold) 1640m: This has been a tough meeting to find bankers, but I was really impressed with Francais du Gull (1) last time out. He might not be in the class of Mr Picolet or Beanie MM, the last two winners of this race, but from this draw he should get to the front, and he is definitely good enough to win from there. Selection: 1
V75-7 Bronze division 2140m: Another toughie with More Than Enough (1), KLM Buymethemoon (6), Huge Star (10) who all have strong Swedish form looking the strongest suspects. We need an outsider somewhere and Vacqueryas (8) is due a change of form, and this might be an easier race than he has been in for a while. Selection 1-6-10-8
R4 Prix Louis Forcinal (Group 2) monte 2700m: This looks a match race between the two best monte horses of their generations, Ulysse (8) and Vision Intense (9). Normally I would choose the older horse over the younger and the stallion over the mare, which in both cases favour Ulysse, but Vision Intense is something special and mares hold their own under saddle more than in the bike. So it’s Vision Intense for me.
R8 Prix Robert Auvray (Group 2) 2850m: A very competitive race with plenty of form to consider. Jean Etienne Dubois’ Villeroi (8) has won his last two starts, but is trailing the early favouritism to Viking de Val (9) while the Jean-Michel Bazire factor is behind the 4 horse Varade d’Hermine’s short price (5/2). Jean Phillippe Dubois has three entries but I’m leaning towards Voltigeur de Myrt (10), the Criterium des 4 Ans winner who was a gallant sixth in the Prix de Selection in a joint equal fastest time under handicap, (1.11.1 or 1.54.2MR/2200m) which was his new record. That indicates to me a horse at the top of his game, and there are no others in this field that fronted in that prestigious group one. So Voltigeur de Myrt for me.
TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20
Also here are my win wagers from Momarken and Vincennes.
SINGLE WAGERS $2
Race 5 Your Highness (12),
Race 6 Pedro Bi (1)
Race 7 Nalda Nof (5)
Race 8 Gylden Balder (13)
Race 9 Solo Nolo (12)
Race 10 Francais du Gull (1)
Race 11 Vacqueryas (8)
Race 4 Vision Intense (9)
Race 8 Voltigeur de Myrt (10)