Just when hope was leaching away, when bookies were about to snap shut their satchels and as hog roast caravans were closing down and hitching up for York, the project began to deliver.
First Toofi came late and fast-ish to claim 2nd in the Stewards Cup for the place element of our 20/1 stake. 4pts net profit that ate away a little of the (by then) 20pt deficit. Then, after missing out in the maiden, it became the late, late show.
Enlace held on for the first of this exercise's Johnston winners at a backed price of 7/1. Then Balmoral Castle prevailed at an even more slender margin at a morning price of 10/1. That gave a net profit on the day of 21 points to exactly and precisely wipe out the accumulated losses.
In the very last breath of the Festival's 35 races, I was honours even with the bookies. Ridiculous and spectacular.
Blind value betting cannot be endorsed on the basis of this foolhardy exercise. Of course not. But it has been a tremendous ride. Where fields are as big as this and the races so competitive (the impact of the prize money injection by Qatar is clear), there is always a chance for the value punter. No matter how late!
The real lesson from this project is the wisdom, in big festivals like this, of getting on early and taking prices either the night before or first thing. All the winners here were backed at significantly bigger odds than SP. Without that, these five days would have yielded a double figure loss.
As it is, I'll settle for the score draw.