Showing posts from 2008

Post festival flat spot

Every season around this time, I free-wheel out of the Cheltenham Festival mayhem like Lance Armstrong down the Alpe D'Huez, before gently coming to rest in a flat spot wider than the Nevada Salt Lakes. Becalmed in the doldrums in between the festival, Aintree and the start of the flat season proper. No mans land. This usually means it's time to over-analyse my festival punting. Surprisingly, the first batch of Cheltenham ante-posts published here in January stood up reasonably well. This is not always the case. Not that they got off to a flyer on the first day. Silverburn never made it to the Arkle, so that long shot hope was dead long before the tapes went up: but maybe I can take crumb of a moral victory from the fact that he ran in the SunAlliance chase over a mile further AND PATENTLY DID NOT STAY! Ergo, he should have turned up in the Arkle! Marodima , from the same Paul Nicholls stable did turn up, though one would have been hard pushed to notice. He ran very freely

Cheltenham 2008 - The return of the three dayer

The festival is always special: the highest quality racing in one of nature's great amphitheatres played out in front of a raucous crowd packing the stands to the rafters and gambling their every last penny. But the festival is a test of endurance too. In the days of the three day festival I would collapse in a heap on the train home after the County Hurdle wrapped up proceedings feeling knackered. I would be emotionally drained, physically shattered, mentally overwhelmed and usually finacially bankrupt. The full four day festival has always been one-day further than I have been prepared to go. I know my limits. So this year provided an interesting return to the three-dayer. After a full day's helter skelter action at Prestbury Park cheering home a new Arkle hero in Tidal Bay and a new Champion Hurdler in Katchit, we awoke on Wednesday morning to find Champion Chase day had had been cancelled. Or at least postponed, dismembered and put back together in some crazy Frankenstein&#

Progress on ante-posts

CHELTENHAM ANTE-POST PUNTING There are only five weeks to go before the Horseracing Olympics get under way in the shadow of Cleeve Hill at Prestbury Park. The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival is just around the corner. I've been going every year since 2000. Each year, at about this time, I start to worry, agitate, stress about the state of my ante-post bets. These bets are usually struck months ago to keep me warm through the dark days of Winter. Bets to pull from my kit back during the festival like precious gems. Cheering on horses that I've backed at double figure prices months ago that trot to post as short priced favourites. It is the stuff of dreams. Every so often these big, ambitious bets pay off. Just now and again a horse backed at a massive price sometime in October on the basis of gentle tropt round Exteter can pay off. These are the moments you live for. The moments that keep the dream alive and also lull you into overconfidence. Down the years I remember the big

Towcester Races April 2007

I want to use this blogspace to record my trials and tribulations being a small time mug punter: having a bit of a laugh following the horses, sometimes winning, usually losing, but always making the most of it. For my first blog entry I'm going back to last April to record a top day out at Towcester races...... ......Today I am going to Towcester Races. The day has broken blue, clear and gorgeous: a clean Spring day with hot Summer temperatures in a climate changing world. I do a spot of gardening before making for the track. Potting on the poppies sowing the sunflower seeds before reaping a harvest at the races. Well, that's the plan. I go by public transport to Towcester, but the bus connection at Northampton lets me down so I end up flagging a taxi. Cabbies are always worth a laugh. This one is no exception. “Gambling, eh?”, he says. “Gambling. I went in that casino last month.” He nods over the road. “ 'Do you wants some chips?' says this girl in a short ski