With deposits, solicitors fees, arangement fees, decorating and furnishings to think about for our new holiday home my punting war chest wasn’t as big as it has been for some of the other major meetings this year. A more restrained and selective style of betting was called for.
I also needed to hit the ground running with some decent early winners and in the very first race of the day I had a major fancy in Almiqdaad. I thought he looked fairly well treated on his Newbury win last Autumn and the drop back in trip was a major bonus as he had just failed to last home at Haydock on his previous run. I’d had £40 at 7/1 the night before and went in again with another £20 at 6/1. Quite what Richard Hills was doing on him is anyone’s guess and I’d imagine that also includes Richard Hills who really must be the most clueless jockey currently riding….
Much better to back a horse ridden by Ryan Moore, so that’s exactly what I did in the next. £30 at 4/1 Rebel Soldier and never a moment of doubt that the ‘champ’ would get him home (well except for the last 1/2 furlong!). That Tom Queally’s not too bad either and my £30 Lord Shanakill, £30 Dalghar with a £5 rfc looked like a great bit of race reading by yours truly until Cat Junior got up to split the two of them. Still it was another nice return and meant I’d nearly forgotten all about Richard ‘bloody’ Hills. Nearly….
Another jockey who’s not too bad is that Richard Hughes. His ride on Zebedee in the Moelcomb was about as good as it gets which wasn’t so good for me as I’d backed Stone of Folca. Still it was worth losing my £40 to see such a great ride from a jockey in such good form. Yeah right! It’s at times like these that you wish Hannon had asked Richard Hills to be his stable jockey. I’d like to see him try and win so many 2yo races with him onboard….
Which meant there was only one jockey missing from that illustrious list. The master. The real champ. The enforcer. Mr Kieren Fallon. Jim McGrath on Channel 4 had said Start Right was his only bet of the day and that was good enough for me. I probably didn’t have as much on as Timeform Jim but £50 at 4.3 was plenty and after a dodgy start to proceedings I had pulled it around and had just the opening day I was looking for. I did do a little back in the last when I had £1oew on Gary’s fancy Becausewecan but all in all a satisfactory start.
Dylan has football training on a Wednesday morning at the local leisure centre. I say training but basically it’s 15 or so 6-8yo’s running in a big group chasing the ball like some migrating flock of birds. I sit in the balcony with my laptop and the Racing Post and get an hour of peaceful form study.
Gary had emailed me his fancies and I was in total agreement with him about the chances of Ghimaar in the first. I had £20 at 8.4 on him and a throwaway £5ew Enjoy the Moment at 50′s as I’m just waiting for him to recapture his form. He didn’t. But a great ride from Eddie Ahern on a willing partner and things had carried on from where they had left off on the Tuesday.
And just as my confidence was about as high as it had been for some time I came crashing back down to earth with an almighty bump…
£80 on Crown Prosecutor lost to another Hannon / Hughes 2yo after he seemed to slip on the bend and came home a well beaten 6th. I was hoping for a bit of evens on Canford Cliffs but it never materialised so I just watched the race. Another masterclass of jockeymanship from Richard Hughes (were you watching and learning Richard Hills?) but it left me feeling rather unsatisfied. I wish I’d have had the bottle to stick £500 on him at 4/5. That last furlong would have got the adrenalin pumping!
£60 Berling was probably my worst bet of the week. I’d convinced myself that a return to a left handed track would see him revitalised but I hadn’t taken into account the total lack of form in the John Dunlop stable. I should have just backed Ryan Moore. £40 on Oratory in the last and £20ew on Sarteano in the Galway Plate meant a complete reversal of the way Tuesday had gone as I was now behind on the day after the perfect start.
Onto Thursday and what was to be a case of so near yet so far…
I had to drop the family of at the mother in laws in the afternoon so my plan was to put my bets on in the morning, take them (the family not the bets) over to Porthcawl and get back in time for the second race. I was then set for an afternoon of watching the racing with a spot of poker in the evening. Perfick!
Gary had emailed me a whole bunch of tips for 6 of the Goodwood races and as my own fancy Kite Wood was a non runner in one of the races I decided to go with him. I did various each way Lucky 15′s and Lucky 31′s on his 12 horses along with a 2x2x2x2x2x2 25pew permed accumulator on the lot. A quick dash up the M4 and back dodging the speed camera van on the bridge just before junction 34 (it had me twice in the space of 3 weeks back in February) I got home just in time to see Fallon ride a peach of a race on the old boy Borderlescott.
I’d recorded the 2.10 and having watched the replay I’m glad I’d already dropped Dylan off at Grandma’s because I don’t think the language Daddy was using was suitable for the ears of a 6yo. The shortest of shortheads and denied on the very last stride at 50/1. It doesn’t get any closer than that.
By the time Eastern Aria and Citrus Star had won and Electrolyser had finished second I was in a right old sweat. As is usually the case I hadn’t managed to get Gary’s three winners in the same Lucky 15 and in fact I’d done a pretty good job of matching one winner with 2 or 3 losers in most of the bets but one slip stood out like a sore thumb….
I had a £1ew Lucky 15 with Electrolyser (2nd 33/1), Start Right (2nd 50/1), Eastern Aria (16/1 winner) with Mythical Blue (25/1). Along with the ew accumulators I stood to win around £25,000 if the last one made the frame. Even if Gary’s other choice Matsonuke made the frame I was on for well over £10,000.
Matsonuke travelled strongly and looked set to play a part at the 2 furlong pole but eventually couldn’t get competitive and finished 9th whereas Mythical Blue never looked like landing me a big payday and came home in 11th. That’s the last time I follow my brother. What does he know?
From an outlay of just over £250 I returned £1186 which I certainly would have took with both hands at the start of the day but I couldn’t help feeling I hadn’t made as much as I could, or should, have done from those tips………
I did my best to give my winnings back to Fred Done on the Friday with a poorly judged £150 on Duncan in the first, a ridiculous £25ew on Mac Gille Eion in the second, a stupid £2oew Mahadee in the Mile, a terrible £30 Satin Love in the next and an utterly bonkers £120 on Jacqueline Quest in the Fillies race! The old saying ‘if it looks to good to be true it probably is’ is never better used than when applied to horseracing and betting (especially in fillies races).
The only respite on the day was my £2oew on Webbow and £10 on Perfect Blossom in the last.
With the missus away for a few days it did allow me a couple of nights in the casino playing poker. My 7th place finish on the Thursday and a 8th on the Friday made me a small profit but when 32 repeated on the roulette wheel in the early hours of Saturday morning I made more money in 3 minutes than I had done all week at Goodwood. Happy days…..
Which just left Saturday and after what can only be described as an up and down kind of week I was about ready for a break.
I had £25ew Shimmering Moment in the first and a £5 Lucky 15 with a £12.50ew Acc on Critical Moment, Midday, Pasuanias and Jonny Mudball in the Stewards Cup. I didn’t know it at the time but Odds and Evens getting up to beat the Mudball would end up costing me another £25k payout. I had to settle for a lot less than that and to say I was upset would be a major understatement.
By all rights I should now be in Las Vegas playing poker in the Bellagio! Life’s just not fair sometimes…
All in all it’s been a terrific week though and I owe my brother a drink or two on his birthday later in the month for all his help. Who knows I may even take him racing for the day.
I have also been knocking on the door of a big payout and just hope that with York coming up in a fortnight’s time it can all finally fall into place for me then. Fingers crossed……
P.S. Gary will be back at the weekend with an indepth look at the Shergar Cup races at Ascot. I absolutely detest the meeting and am happy to pass the buck on this occassion.