William Hill have seen an unusually sustained ante-post gamble this week on Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration Of War for the Lockinge Stakes.
The lightly raced Coolmore 4yr old heads to Newbury with a career record of five wins from six starts, with his biggest success coming in a Group 3 at Dundalk last October.
William Hill initially made Godolphin’s Farrh favourite for the Lockinge, on the back of a very consistent and top class campaign in 2012, when he was twice runner-up to Frankel, ran second in the Eclipse and was beaten in a photo in the Moulin.
Officially rated 12lbs ahead of Declaration Of War, Farhh looked the one, on paper, to beat at Newbury.
However, Declaratation Of War is the only horse backed this week with William Hill – his opening price of 5/1 lasted less than an hour, and subsequent price cuts to 9/2, 4/1, 7/2, 3/1, 11/4, 5/2, 2/1 and 7/4 failed to stem the flow of cash and the O’Brien runner is now our clear 13/8 market leader.
William Hill, spokeswoman, Kate Miller said, “This is a most unusual gamble. We are used to seeing prices collapse on the day of the race in handicaps, but ante-post plunges in Group One races are as pretty uncommon. For Declaration Of War to move from 5/1 on Monday to 13/8 on Wednesday is fairly significant, and with nine price changes inside three days, our compilers certainly feel under attack from our punters!“
Farhh is now our 4/1 second favourite, and with Saeed Bin Suroor yet to post a UK winner in 2013 (0/12), his price could yet drift further.
JLT Lockinge Stakes: 13-8 Declaration of War, 4-1 Farhh, 10-3 Cityscape, 7-1 Beauty Parlour, 8-1 Fencing, 9-1Trumpet Major, 14-1 Aljamaaheer, 20-1 Penitent, Sovereign Debt, 25-1 Amaron, Chil The Kite, 33-1 Libranno, 40-1Reply (EW 1/5 odds 1,2,3)
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