Sir Mark Prescott: Has found an excellent opportunity for Whatawit
Sir Mark Prescott: Has found an excellent opportunity for Whatawit

Record for shortest starting price this century likely to be set at Ffos Las

The shortest starting price for a runner in Britain and Ireland this century is likely to be eclipsed in the concluding bumper at Ffos Las on Saturday.

Stand Guard won at 1/80 in a match in a Southwell seller in January 2014 after his chief rival La Estrella was taken out. However, Whatawit, a rare bumper runner for Sir Mark Prescott - who sent out Alpinista to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last season - has been installed as a 1/100 favourite with Paddy Power and the Betfair Sportsbook to take care of his sole rival at Ffos Las.

Prescott has been represented by only two horses in bumpers since 2016, with Zonisty winning two of his four starts and Whatawit one of his two.

Whatawit found one too good on his debut at Market Rasen in February but ran out a seven-length winner at Huntingdon a couple of weeks ago, looking in control from a long way out.

Whatawit will surely never get a better opportunity to double his tally than at Ffos Las on Saturday as the only rival standing in his way is Johnthepostman, who failed to beat a rival on his only outing in a point and was also the last of the finishers on both starts in bumpers. He has been sent off at the maximum price of 1000 on Betfair on both starts under Rules.

Prescott is famed for his race planning prowess, but this also looks a good bit of placing by Tracey Barfoot-Saunt as Johnthepostman will pick up £1,204 for completing in second.

Barfoot-Saunt enjoyed notable success in 2019 and 2020 with Bay Watch who completed a hat-trick during each campaign. However, the yard hasn't had many realistic contenders since then and seven of the stable's last ten runners have been sent off at a Betfair SP of 1000. Prescott, in contrast, has sent out five winners from his last seven runners.


On the match between Whatawit and Johnthepostman, Timeform's jumps editor Dan Barber said: "It’s hard to believe many beyond those working at the track or connected to the two runners will still be present as the woefully mismatched pair make their way around Ffos Las for the closing bumper on Saturday evening. This is Mike Tyson versus James Buster Douglas in racing terms - except the rank outsider in this clash will need a miracle to even lay a glove on his rival, never mind a knockout blow."

If Whatawit is beaten it would represent the biggest shock on a British or Irish racecourse this century. The shortest-price losers in that timeframe were Triple Dip at Lingfield in 2015 and Tree Of Liberty at Ludlow in 2018, both of whom were sent off at 1/20.

Shortest-price runners in Britain and Ireland this century (all winners)

1/80 Stand Guard (Southwell, January 2014)
1/66 Positive Impact (Brighton, June 2022)
1/50 Mister Angry (Hamilton, August 2009)
1/50 Seamless (Yarmouth, June 2013)
1/50 Presentandcounting (Sedgefield, August 2022)

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