Don't do as I do. Do as I say
I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this blog entry for fear of looking like a whingeing greedy bastard. Mind you it has never bothered me in the past now has it?
I had one of those days today when I got everything right but did everything wrong.
I got out of the house ok, on time, and I didn’t even leave my wallet at home this time either 8-)
I was worried about the thick fog that accompanied me for most of my journey…a real pea souper guv and no mistake no never it weren’t…fucked if I know what that actually means either...pretty bad it was too, so much so that I was a bit worried about the racing.
I needn’t have worried, as once I was past Witney, just the other side of Oxford; the sun was out over the Cotswolds to leave a beautiful crisp, sunny winter’s day. This really is a very beautiful part of the world when the sun is shining.
What about the racing? Well I actually ‘got away with one’ in the first. I had fancied the favourite but had ‘my price’ at which I was prepared to back it. I had been liasing with ‘the Bethnal Green Branch’ en route to acquire such price. However it did not reach what I was after, and I was quietly pleased to see it beaten, although not so much when it was passed for second spot half way up the run in as I have ‘bankered’ it in my Placepot…I know, I know, bankering a horse in a 7 runner race. Not good Placepot etiquette. This was to haunt me later on.
On to the second race. Just like the first I had wanted to be with the favourite, and just like the first race I did not follow my ‘fancy’. However this abstention, unlike the first race, had little to do with ‘doing the right thing’. On the contrary it actually went to a price above what I had told Shippy I was prepared to take earlier in the day. I did something I rarely do, that being, listening to the gossip and bad vibes about it. I kept my money in my pocket and it won…grr. I really should know better. I was annoyed with myself. An expensive lesson learnt…again! I had bankered it in my, now defunct, Placepot as well
In race three I had narrowed it down to two runners and backed them both. Top weight and Grand National 4th, Royal Auclair and recent Festival winner Liberthine. In the end the former won but only after the latter had fallen two out when looking all over the winner. In fact I had included three runners in my Placepot, I had left out Liberthine, and they filled the first three places at the respective odds of 13-2, 7 and 8! I could easily have selected the first four home in very competitive handicap. Thanks to Shippy, who I drove mad all day on account of the fact that it has been nigh on impossible to get a decent enough reception for my bluetooth PC connection in the Cheltenham car park, as has been the case for the last few meetings here, I managed to get 8.6 about the winner. It was my original selection in the morning and, although I was slightly miffed at having ‘split’ my profit it put me in the black for the day…always a nice place to be 8-).
Race four was the Cross-Country race, always a wonderful spectacle. As is usually the case in these races several horses were backed on their reputations in ‘regular’ chases, madness if you ask me. I always find this hard to understand as this course is such a specialist one for the horses and, as such, you should only look at those with form relating to this particular genre. I was very interested in an ex-French gelding owned and trained by Ferdy Murphy called Ivoire De Beaulieu. I had a place bet, at 4.8, and a very small win bet, at 28. Homing my bins on said beast during the race I was so impressed by its’ jumping, particularly at the banks, and the way it travelled that I picked up the phone to call Shippy to get some more on in running…that was until I chickened out and decided not to bother. I even had the bloody phone in my hand…aaagh. It went on to win, at 16-1. Added to that the horse I almost backed earlier in the day and had included in my Placepot, Shady Lad, finished second at 20-1. In fact following the system of only backing horses with cross country form, the winner had won several such races in France, the second had won a 4 ¼ mile banks race at the Punchestown Festival last year and the third Good Step won the ‘La Touche’ at the same meeting. What a tricast that would have been. Still the first and second at 16 and 20 out of three selections is pretty impressive.
The runners for the fifth race on the card included one I had fancied quite strongly upon my first perusal of the runners last night, Philip Hobbs’ promising novice hurdler Motorway. As 4-year-old it which was getting all the allowances in this all age handicap. Unfortunately the third favourite, to whom I had given no chance and whose participation I had been happy about for ‘making the price’ on my selection, had been withdrawn. This had facilitated a situation making Motorway below the price I was prepared to take…you know the rest I am sure. I had actually bankered it in my Placepot too. Shit home it did too. 8-(
In race 6, the Pertemps Hurdle qualifier over 3 miles I had narrowed the field of 20 down to 2 runners. The Charlie Swan trained Oodachee and Attorney General trained by Jim Old. Once again thanks to the Bald-Ship Hotline I managed to secure some fancy prices on the Magic Machine. 6.2 about the former (SP was 4-1) and 18 about the latter (SP 9-1). I also backed this horse for a place. Well the result was that the latter won and the former was third in a close three-way finish.
It had meant that in my Placepot I had had 5 winners at 13-8, 13-2, 16-1, 2-1 and 9-1 and had only won a minimal amount of money. Such was my consistency on the day I would have had £7.20 worth of the ‘Pot had the first leg not been chinned close home. It paid over £1700 for a pound. Now given the horse that let me down was an odds on jolly there is no way it would have paid anything like that had it held on. However, given the other results, it is safe to assume that it would have paid at least a monkey…times 7.2! Aaagh.
Now I am sure some of you will be saying “ What a greedy bastard” but my point is that I will probably never get another day like this for years, especially at Cheltenham, and, as all gamblers will know you have to maximise such opportunities when they arise. As everyone knows on the reverse days from today when you do your testicles there will be no rebates or respites from that.
That said though, looking back at last year’s Festival, admittedly my best ever, and the Paddy Power Meeting too, I have now backed 21 winners in the last 7 racing days at Prestbury Park, 13 of them over double figures too. I am not naive enough not to know that this cannot continue but is certainly a record I am proud of.
Maybe it is greedy but I really feel I have missed a chance to build up the Bank of Bald today and ‘wanked myself off’, if you pardon the expression…not in a nice way either 8-).
It wasn't even the fact that I failed to back a couple of winners, that was a little unlucky and, bar one, I did the right thing from a long term perspective. What was worse was the way I cut and split several bets and did not have the courage of my convictions, most unlike me, both prior to the races and, on one occasion, during the race.
I retired to my hostelry and, after a quick shower and change headed into town. I had a leisurely walk around town and a nice meal before returning to my trusty laptop and ‘tomorrow’s business’…along with updating the torrent of shite too blog buddies… obviously.
Just one more rant before I go today. Can anyone tell me what all this bollocks is about regarding the end of the Routemaster Bus. Breakfast TV were going right over the top this morning with the fact that they are being decommissioned today. Why are people so obsessed with keeping things the way they are and not embracing any change? The new buses hold more people; they are cleaner, roomier and more comfortable so get over it already. I wonder if the same people lamenting these buses felt the same way about powdered milk, ration books and rickets? Haven’t these people got anything better to do? They could write a blog…in fact being THAT sad they SHOULD write a blog. Too much free fucking time on their hands some people.
I’m off to sulk about the placepot that never was 8-(