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float, float, float, float.....

Betfair have hired a Morgan Stanley director as head of strategy as the IPO gets closer. For them, the best thing that can happen this year is a World Cup with all the favourites winning, bookies taking a hiding and Betfair just laughing all the way to the bank. But can they have all the prospectus documents ready in time for a float this year, if they wait that long? This isn't the first float-related hire they've had, they have been making them since 2005 and the media still haven't tired of predicting when it will happen. Just get it over with....

Betfair IPO moves closer with Morgan Stanley director hire

Sportingbet are stepping up to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) from the Alternative Index Market (AIM) next month, a move showing they really have graduated to mixing it with the big boys. Their financial reports are quite interesting. Unlike the British retail bookies who were moaning about all the favourites winning and no draws in the early part of the Premier League season, Sportingbet's turnover on the big four football leagues is just 11%. That is brilliant diversification which makes them barely blink when results in one league go the wrong way for a while. A very enviable position to be in.

Sportingbet to cancel AIM shares ahead of LSE listing

UK bookies' share prices all lifted after Cheltenham, probably dropped a little after the National, they'll all be hoping for a big result at the World Cup.

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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…