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the Tote becomes a political football again

In all the posturing between Gordon Brown and David Cameron before the UK general election sometime next year, the big debate is now how are we going to pay for the mess we are in, particularly the huge government bail-out of the economy. Brown has proposed a sale of several public assets including the Tote again, the sale of which had been put on the shelf during the economic downturn.

Government's £16bn sale of assets

Is this what is best for the country or just the bet they can come up with to save Brown's arse as PM? As Vince Cable says in the article, "This is not a good time to sell assets." Dumping it cheaply will not serve the racing industry like it is supposed to.

Here's a thought. Rather than constantly talking of selling the Tote off at a fire sale price, how about floating it? Encourage mum and dad buyers to get involved, and hopefully increase the client base as well. People who buy shares in a firm are more likely to spend money there when given a choice. Obviously the UK Tote is a whole different kettle of fish to the Australian TABs which have had huge IPOs in the past decade, but it's certainly worth a look at floating the Tote...

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Gimcrack Stakes preview

The final day of the Ebor Festival has a great spread of races, and just one of them could be described as having a clear-cut favourite. A solid reward for anyone who can find a winner.

The 2yo feature of the day is the Gimcrack Stakes, and saddling up again for the preview is Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. You can read more of his work here.

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


What a week it has been on the Knavesmire, some impressive juveniles to keep on the note book especially Tasleet of William Haggas's and Wesley Ward's Acapulco who impressed me taking on older horses, but even though with the 29lb allowance he could not over come proven Group 3 winning sprinter Mecca's Angel.

Mark Johnston has not improved on his six percent average here at York and I have reservations that it is going to improve with Buratino or Ode the Evening. The Listed Woodcote Stakes and Group 3 Coven…

Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.

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Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

I’m going to stick with that form line; here’s the horses who ran in the Festival, running today.

1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
2 [0.1] Estonian Princess (54) 7-1
3 [0.3] Strawberry Boy (57.5) 6-1
5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

Out of all those runs in the Festival, Strawberry Boy was a clear top pick for mine.

He worked very hard out in front with his 1500m to 600m times and was 3L quicker than the average. He was entitled to drop out of the race but instead he fought on dogged…