Showing posts from November, 2010


Train wreck. Disaster zone. Highway to Hell. Car crash. Calamity. Carnage. A selection of juicy hyperbolic terms often used inappropriately to amplify mundane incidents and inflate banality with exaggerated importance. Which is exactly the way I intend to report the sheer and unadulterated devastation that is my 40 to follow project. Approaching the end of November I am languishing on –25.3 points. My worst ever start to the season.  Bruv is over the horizon with some long shot, high profile winners and even Dad is kicking up a dust cloud for me to choke on. Don’t believe the guff that the non-believers dish out about storm-in-teacup, only-a-game, escapist-nonsense. Because this does matter. I am weeping. It’s desperate stuff. I could claim near misses, but I’m kidding myself. The veneer of bad luck - three place finishes last Saturday and another today - is a mere fig leaf decomposing under a ruthless analysis: they were all completely stuffed by the winners. Thursday was a new low

Slo Mo

So I’m three weeks into this moustache-growing extravaganza known as Movember.   It’s all for charidee mate. But I can’t say it’s too much fun. As with many charitable enterprises it is humiliation that unlocks the donations. Some fund raising activities are based on achievement: marathons, climbs and swims all spring to mind; others are about rewards: auctions, competitions, raffles are the standard fodder of garden parties and school fetes up and down the country; and then others are simply about making a prat of oneself in return for support. I guess Children In Need and Movember both fall into the latter category. Funny that I should be attracted to this one. Here's  My Movember donation page I nearly joined in last year. But not quite.   A couple of mates were doing the mo thing and I said I’d go for it. Then I lost my nerve. I landed a project interview early doors in November with clients I’d never met before. I bottled it! I couldn’t face up to dishing out my usual high

The Thick Of It

It’s all go now. Not just the punting. Everything. I looked at the wall calendar this morning (in these electronic, virtual times I am strangely reassured that synching and sharing our household appointments is still physically delivered with thick indelible ink). It is filled with school fairs, concerts, landmark birthday parties, Christmas parties and assorted social engagements. I’m not moaning. These will all be top notch events (with the possible exception of the girls’ violin concert for the old folks. I don’t know who to feel most sorry for. Bless ‘em). But there goes Christmas. We’re kicking off tonight with my bruv-in-law’s 50 th . It’s a surprise. (I don’t think he reads this…..) My sis-in law is home especially for this, from Tenerife where she’s lived and worked for 20 years. That’s the surprise. This should be a good laugh. But before we leave for revelries in Old Stratford, I have Day 2 of Cheltenham’s Open Meeting to savour. This is how we know we are in the thick o

Tricky Harry

Maybe it’s dangerous to think I’ve turned the corner. But three wins from three bets yesterday cannot go unremarked. Wymott, one of my forty to follow tips, put in a sparkling performance in a novice chase at Bangor. It was a warmish race too. Nice to see a decent line up for a cold Wednesday afternoon outside the Grade 1 tracks. Tarablaze for Philip Hobbs was rated highly over hurdles; Alfie Sherrin, bought out of Paul Nicholls’ yard at the Harry Findlay dispersal, was well thought of; and Silver Kate is an honest front running mare who ran in the Grade 1 staying novice hurdle at the Festival last year. But Wymott, from Donald McCain’s yard, was deeply impressive. He jumped confidently from the front and settled the issue with three furlongs to go, Jason Maguire expertly pushing him out. I was too busy luxuriating in the prospect of the horse turning up in the RSA Chase next March to actually get my arse into gear and avail myself of the fancy prices available in running for that ver

Mug Painting

My mate Pete – he of the damning verdict on my waning rock n roll credibility - is turning into a bit of a barometer for my fortunes. In a comment about this blog down the pub recently he said, “Yeah, I saw your link. ‘Mug painting’, I thought ‘Why’s ole Dave writing about painting some crockery?’ I mused. Funny, never had you down as the artistic type. Then I wondered if it was a sort of DIY self-help group.” Straight as a dye. Dry as a bone. “Oh, mug punting ….yeah, horse racing…” Sometimes I don’t know how much leeway to swing by these blindies. Ever had your plonker pulled? It might as well be mug painting. Or punting by numbers. This has been a pretty poor start to the jumps season. The project, that is, the forty beasts of burden selected to carry my colours this season, is looking badly planned, poorly managed and lacking in vision. In short, I seem to have picked all the wrong horses. October’s return is pitiful. -8.29 to a 1 point stake. From 13 outings there have been 5