This Superpool Saturday at Ascot will mark the final day of the Tote Ten to Follow competition.
It’s all to play for as players battle it out for the £64,452.50 first prize, with just 45 points between the top 20 stables. One of those in the mix is ‘JD’s Last Throw Of The Bottle’, owned by Joe, 50, who currently lies in second.
“I can’t wait, but I would also be lying if I didn’t admit to being nervous”, Joe told us in anticipation of the big day at Ascot.
Joe’s love of the Tote Ten to Follow goes back some years:
“I came third in the 2014 competition and I was quite upset that time."
“My stable that time was called JD’s Last Chance Saloon. I had both Toronado and Olympic Glory going into the final weekend who were both withdrawn from Champions Day races the week prior. None of the two stables above me had them included in their selections, so I was very excited.”
This year, however, luck could be on Joe’s side. He sits just 15.31 points down on the current leader ‘Teleprompter 1’, but the inclusion of Mogul and Circus Maximus could mean a swap in the standings if things fall right at the weekend.
However, it is two shrewd transfers back in August that have been of most importance to get him in with a shout.
“I had a dark horse in there originally who was a bit disappointing in the end, in Vatican City. I swapped him out for Enbihaar who won the Lonsdale for 23 points,” Joe told us.
One of the biggest underperformers of the season is undoubtedly Japan who had so much potential after a bright 2019. He was Joe’s 10th horse in his original stable but was substituted for stablemate Love during the transfer window.
She was the strong favourite for the Arc for a long time but those who subbed her in have only been rewarded with 27.3 points for her Yorkshire Oaks victory. However, that’s still 27.3 points more than Joe would have had if he had kept Japan.
“Obviously it is very exciting but it could really come down to the penultimate race, the Champion Stakes,” Joe said.
“As much as I would love to win, I would be thrilled with the second. As I said, I felt I had a real chance in 2014, but this time, anyone in the top 20 has a chance and with so many different permutations, that would be a brilliant result.”
Joe will have his fingers crossed on Saturday watching the racing from the comfort of his own home. As the flat competition comes to an end he has already been keeping an eye out on the National Hunt horses ready for the start of the jumps competition next month. “I’ll probably do just as many stables as I did this time, £30 worth, so six stables. It just goes to show that you don’t have to bet big to win big at the Tote, and that’s why I love the Ten to Follow.”