Good morning all,
Apologies for the weekend's mix-ups, not sure what happened myself but hopefully it won't happen again.
I'm off to Cheltenham today – no, don't worry, you're not missing a meeting or anything, but I'm having a meeting with a couple of people that might lead to something exciting. It might not, but I'm going in with an open mind, let's see how things pan out!
The rain is well and truly set in, and I expect we will lose a meeting or two this week. How is Ascot going to ride, I wonder….? Anyway, here's my weekend adventures, plus a selection from Carlisle.
The forecast looks pretty grim as we set off for Newmarket. Rain in the morning that’s supposed to clear away by lunchtime, then a windy and showery afternoon. And we’re gpoing to be standing in the middle of the Silver Ring at Newmarket, a place that’s pretty exposed at the best of times, and one where you need good weather as it’s essentially a family picnic area. What could go wrong?
Well the first thing that could is an accident on the M1 near Leicester that closes the road. So a diversion is needed, only for us to discover it wasn’t needed after all, as the road had, in fact, reopened and traffic was flowing freely.
That wouldn’t really cause us an issue unless we had to be somewhere bang on time. Sadly for us, McDonalds stop serving breakfasts at 10.30, and we both want one, so now it’s a race against time to the A14 or we’ll have to starve until lunch. We make it with two minutes to spare. Maybe our luck has turned.
We get to Newmarket and it’s hammering down, and the wind is howling around the car. We both look at each other and Daren says “Let’s just say we broke even on the day and drive home.” It’s very tempting.
Daren, pragmatic as ever, says there’s no point going in and setting up until about an hour before the first. What’s the point of standing there in the rain, no punters, getting wet through? So we sit tight until pick time, at which point Daren rushes in, makes the pick, and we get the gear up. Between us, we can set up from scratch in about ten minutes, we’ve done it that many times.
The rain starts to die off a bit and better still, the wind is coming from the south, so the row of trees at the back of the Silver Ring are providing some cover. It’s not that bad, and people are starting to come in (there’s a concert after racing, Chic are playing).
Daren sets a target of 2k for us to take this afternoon. There’ll be no betting back, what we take is thrown into the book and at the off, whatever is a loser will stand, whether that be a favourite or a 20-1 shot. Realistically there’s only so much you can win on an afternoon like this, and you’re basically gambling you hit a result or two to make a profit.
Daren’s already getting frustrated by the time the second race comes around. He likes to take a few good bets and work around them. Every bet is a pound, or two pounds, from novices. Here’s a classic example from one punter that had Daren holding his head in his hands…
“Hello mate. A pound on four…”
The look Daren shoots me at this point says it all.
It’s almost pointless telling you about the bets people have, as they are all insignificant. Well, almost. We’re playing one punter that’s having reverse forecasts on each race. He has a fiver rev fcst on the first, which loses, a tenner reverse forecast on the second, which loses, and then a tenner reverse forecast on the third. That loses too. His mate is having them as well, and it’s helping our take quite a bit. As long as he doesn’t hit one, we’ll be fine.
Then the fourth comes, and favourite Flavius Titus is a good winner in our book. We do the printout sheet and horror of horrors, our friend has had a tenner reverse forecast up. Over £400 he draws and basically that’s game over for us, all profit wiped out and now we’re well behind. He ups his stake and starts having £20 reverse now. Gulp.
Two more favourites go in and they are both good results (pound punters don’t want favourites, unless they really have no idea and have a pound e/w on them) and we’re back in front. We’re actually taking decent money now and we’ll take nearer 3k on the day than 2, so we can’t complain about the business. Here’s our friend back for the last.
“£20 reverse forecast 3 and 9 please.”
And with that bet, the day is torpedoed, as Number 9, Caradoc, beats Number 3, Ventura Knight. We know our fate at the furlong pole as the two start to pull clear. Another £400 to collect.
The drive home always seems longer after a losing day. Oh well, there’s always Leicester on Monday (looks at weather forecast…..oh dear…).
Carlisle tonight isn't a bad card for a bet or two, it'll be tough going in the conditions and you can rule a few out on that alone. Jackhammer has been made favourite for the 7.00 in what looks a bit of a match with Milan Reef but I think I prefer the claims of the latter after another solid effort at Haydock on Saturday, in better class than this too. No issue with trip or ground, and she deserves to get her head in front after some consistent runs. The 7lb extra Jackhammer gets makes his task a bit tougher, whereas Milan Reef is actually a pound lower than Saturday. She'll do for me here.
Good luck with all your bets today,