Showing posts from January, 2015

Festival 15: Progress on ante-posts: St Patrick’s Thursday & Gold Cup Day

St Patrick's Thursday I very rarely stay past the first two days for Thursday's action. Like Al Ferof, I’ve tried the extended trip a few times, but recognise that I should really stick to something that doesn’t test my suspect stamina quite so ruthlessly.  Persevering  with the analogy, I refuse to rule out stepping back up at the right moment for the right opportunity. It could be this year. Tickets never sell out for the ambiguously titled St Patrick’s Thursday, so the option is always there. It’s all about quality. This card looks like it’s shaping up nicely. I’ve stoked up a little interest. JLT A fascinating race. Like the Neptune, the market for this intermediate trip has more questions than answers. For my ante-post porfolio, the nightmare scenario is that Gilgamboa and Valseur Lido both pitch up here rather than the Arkle and the RSA respectively. Given that turn of events I’d probably end up backing them both at odds shorter than ideal. The ma

Festival 15 - Ante-post progress: Ladies Day

Traditionally, my strongest day. And in many ways my favourite day, though not just because of the positive financial returns. I love the staying novices better than anything. Save perhaps for the sight of a select bunch of two-mile top-notchers attacking fences with pace and skill in the Queen Mother. Do I say this every year? Yep. But last year I missed this day. We left after the first day due to a number of dull reasons. It felt so odd, out of place, to be at home watching on the races unfold on the telly, rather than baying my head off on the rails. I’ll be back this year. I hear they missed me. My punting action has been limited and unsuccessful this ante-post season. Just a quick round up then. Neptune A market that I habitually get stuck into, but this season is subject to the ebbs and flows of Willie Mullins’ impressive novice hurdle brigade and the shifting targets of other principles. It feels as though Parlour Games heads the betting almo

Festival 15 - Ante-post progress: Champions Day

Like a mud-caked cartwheel turning slowly out of the claggy mire, I’ve come full circle with my Festival ante-post punting. Returning to a decade old strategy of backing big priced Betfair outsiders struck to low stakes that I think I might lay off when the market turns my way.   I rarely did lay off. The markets too often drifted the other way, or I got greedy and hung on to my big prices. I can think of only two occasions when I laid off to a reasonable profit. Once when Nicholls took over the training of Venn Ottery for the irascible Oliver Carter and I backed him at massive odds in the 2004 Champion Chase place market. Nicholls then coaxed four wins from five runs out of the horse who was almost as quirky as his owner. A shot at the Champion Chase became realistic and I laid off my bet. Ottery finished 5 th and tired after cruising into contention at the top of the hill. The other occasion was Sublimity in the 2007 Champion Hurdle. Again backed at huge odds, I laid off a