Showing posts from September, 2010

40 to follow

Every year I pick 40 sturdy steeds to bear the burden of punting wedge through the winter months. It’s previously been a successful project and I’ve turned a profit every year bar one since 2002. Some years are better than others. Last season was a bit marginal. For the last two years, my Dad, my brother and I have pitted our 40 to follow lists against each other. 1point stake per run, win only. Dad’s cleaned up both years. The competition runs from 1 st October to 31 st April. Here is this season’s stable: 1.             Alfie Spinner             Nick Williams Decent prospect for good quality 2 ½ m novice chases. Best form on soft. Good hurdle campaign with progressive profile. Represents up and coming trainer. 2.             Alasi                            Paul Webber Another with a progressive profile, although not too many wins in the book. This mare could go novice chasing up to 3 miles. 3.             Babysitter                  Nigel Twiston Davies Classy on best form,

Bigger than the Pope

Freddie Flintoff has retired from competitive cricket. This is no surprise. Last Summer, Fred traded the remains of his gladiatorial test match career for some time and surgical expertise that might eke out a one-day future at the highest level. But it was not to be. His crippling knee injury is not improving and on Friday he took the advice of his medical team to call it a day. In some ways it is an old story. When he left the Ashes stage in September last year for another knee op, not many of us believed he would be back. So it was a mild surprise to see such blanket coverage of this decision last Friday. In fact the Metro declared it to be more significant than the Pope’s arrival in Edinburgh. Based on trend analysis of tweets during the day, Freddie knocked the Pope into a cocked mitre. Freddie Flintoff is bigger than the Pope. It’s official. Well, in the Twittersphere at least. There can be no doubting Flintoff’s hero credentials, though. The epic Ashes series of 2005 produced,

Another Lost Weekend

Last Saturday’s punting was not a complete disaster. But it was pretty grisly viewing. One clear cut winner at pretty skinny odds and a hole in the secret off-shore gambling account is all I have to show for some furrowed brow effort and stubby pencil scribbling. Sans Frontieres, the one winner, did the job very nicely in the Irish St Leger, though. I enjoyed that. He was given a supremely confident ride by French jockey and avid paintball competitor, Olivier Peslier. I   momentarily thought too confident when Sans Frontieres was out the back turning for home, particularly on slow ground, but the horse found plenty of gears and cruised passed Profound Beauty no more than 100 yards from the post. He beat Laheeb last time out who has come out and won since (despite the burden of my wedge), so the form is holding up well. Honestly, it’s like joining the dots sometimes. Couldn’t be easier. Sans Fronitiere heads to Melbourne now where he will meet the runner up again in the showstopping

When Saturday Comes

Another big race Saturday. They just keep coming. It's St leger Day on both sides of the Irish Sea and a sparkling supporting cast of quality fare is on offer too. Whilst I'll struggle to luxuriate in a feet-on-the-sofa, peel-me-another-grape TV-fest like last Saturday, I do hope to catch some of today''s best action. Equally, I'll struggle to luxuriate in the success of last week's bets. But for the record, and to prove it was all a complete fluke, these are today's mug punts: 2.10 Doncaster -  Approve:  Pretty consistent in top company all year. This step up to 7f is an unknown, but all evidence suggests it is likely to suit. 5/1.  2.45 Doncaster - Masamah: The phenomenal Portland Handicap. I've backed the winner of this previously, Hogmaneigh, who lines up today. This year, I've had some success following top weight Masamah who is a lightning bolt from the gates. Back in trip, no ground concerns, could be on the premises come 2.46:30pm. 20/1

Driving ambitions

My driving instructor was going on about gees gees the other day. I’d let it slip that I was a fan of the horses and liked a punt. “It’s so cruel though. The horses bleed from their noses and suffer burst blood vessels every time they race.”   “Well that’s not exactly true”, I said, struggling to maintain the correct line on Hemel’s Magic Roundabout at the same time as fiddling with the blinker thing. “And when it comes to the jumps, there are just too many deaths. I disapprove”. “Yeah, but things are improving, these horses have the best possible care - whoops!” Grinding noises suggested I’d engaged an inappropriate gear. Again. It was no use, Guy had me at a disadvantage. There was no way I could refute his arguments whilst trying to turn off the radio turned on by mistake and peering through wipers set to intermittent on this beautiful day. (Overtures of Mike’s New car!: Driving for me is a bit of a saga. Truth is I’v

Telly addict - the results are in

0301 33091. Sounds like a phone number. Gamblers Anonymous possibly? In fact, it is the results of my misspent afternoon in front of the telly on Saturday. Plenty of thrills and drama along the way but wins with Cape Blanco at 13/2 and Laheeb at 9/4, together with a place token on Braveheart Move who eventually went off at a whopping 25/1 gave me a plenty nice return of   +9.75 points. Cape Blanco was the highlight, never sighting a rival in a tour de force from the front in the Irish Champion Stakes. For a while I thought he was fulfilling pace maker duties, but from 2 furlongs out he powered up again and stormed further clear. marvellous. Braveheart Move very nearly fulfilled that Jonjo scam in the staying handicap at Haydock. A place return was all I had to show for his game run. Laaheb’s performance was a joy to behold though. Not least for number one daughter and her friend. Peeking round the door of the living room, she said, “Watch my Dad when he’s cheering his horses on!”.

Telly addict

Decent racing on the box today. Time for a couple of bets. I’ve got one of those delicious Saturdays with nothing specific planned. That is, except to unblock the drain in our back yard - again - that is causing a persistent and unwelcome backlog. It seems a while since I had a Saturday like this. Summer weekends are busy and packed with competing priorities. But school reopens on Monday, so a chilled weekend is overdue that will involve the girls finding that none of their school uniform fits, Mrs A cajoling some violin practice out of them and me sampling the top notch action from Haydock, Leopardstown, Kempton and Thirsk on the quiet.  Will I be rumbled?              2pm, Haydock : Tricky, trappy conditions race over a mile. Eight runners with mixed form, some of whom have been round the block more than once, none of whom can be ruled out absolutely. Nightmare for punters really. But this is Saturday afternoon’s TV coverage opener, so let’s see what we can plunder….Awzaan has the