One of my readers, the one who doesn’t live in North Wales, sent a note to remind me that Beau Geste, who I mentioned yesterday, died at his post. He asked if I was, like Beau, considering doing the decent thing, should my Cheltenham failure continue. Trust me, Mr Scrote-Boggis of Pinworm Villas, everyone here at Fort Zinderneuf feels your pain and Sgt-Maj. Lejaune intends popping over to put your mind at rest. However, he is the least of my worries as I have been much preoccupied with a serious punting problem. For background let me set the scene.
I once knew of, though never met, a pair of very clever inventors, whose principal employment involved diving. Suffice it to say that they invented the world’s first entirely portable, lightweight, diving rescue pressure chamber, that would allow Lifeboat crews, for example, to rescue a diver suffering from “the bends”, get them into a pressured atmosphere and then by road or air to a specialist hospital. It could not be developed, because they wanted to keep the secret of manufacturing, a secret as well as 90% of the ownership. We have all seen enough Dragon’s Dens to know how that ended. Similarly, there is out in the real world, a software programme that essentially fills in the gap between ALL bookmakers and ALL punters, providing unified banking, best odds, arbitrage opportunities allowing me to have one bank, one ID, one profile and so on. In return the bookmakers would have my big-data credit profile, various useful insights and whether I was capable/compus or not. Their compliance costs would fall away, their security would be hugely increased, their risk-management would be AAA and their mistakes minimised. Most importantly – I know because I saw it in action over four years ago – it would tell both sides all they needed to know to make “Trust” a believable concept. In brief, it was pure, bloody genius – which means of course and much like the diving chamber – it was never seen again because A wants more, and B would rather it were never seen.
Today I found myself wishing it existed. The first problem was that Paddy Power wanted my late Mother’s Maiden Name, Passport, Dog’s name, DNA Samples, Driving Licence and bank account details, and something called a Tax Return for the last 20 years, simply in order to use a new bank card. I explained that there were at least six official bodies mentioned with whom I had no deliberate connection, and so I went elsewhere. I then spent an hour trying to find the bookies with whom I had backed all the Cheveley Park Cheltenham runners in Trebles. You may recall that I wrote about it, (search Cheveley) and actually, it now looks quite a sensible punt at the odds. BALLYADAM in the Supreme (Tues) 6/1 – SIR GERHARD in the Bumper (Weds) 2/1 – ENVOI ALLEN in the Marsh Nov Ch (Thurs) 4/6 – ALLAHO in the Ryanair (Thurs) 5/1 – QUILIXIOS in the Triumph (Fri) 4/1 – A PLUS TARD in the Gold Cup (Fri) 5/1. But where the bloody hell did I place it? With Punter Core, (my name for the wonder-programme that only needs £2m to bring it to market), I would have the answer instantly, and it would tell me the best cash-out price or arbitrage opportunity with a peer-to-peer market. If I’d had more luck this week, I would have sunk my winnings into this project.
Talking of bets that have sunk without trace, here are the tips for the last day of a good racing Festival.
13:20 The JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m abt 1f
We’re not going to get anywhere looking for a long-priced outsider, and it is effectively between three, with a known unknown who might surprise. QUILIXOS, one of my Cheveley bets, has Rachel on board and won the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the DRF, a traditional guide to Irish form for this race. TRITRONIC won the Adonis, which is the recognised trial for the English challengers. ZANAHIYR won a Leopardstown G2 beating a whole pile of horses who turned up in the Fred Winter including Busselton (who had a shoe torn of and clattered a fence – noted for next time out), Druid’s Later and the winner Jeff Kidder. ADAGIO for David Pipe won a lot of respect from the Raceform readers and glowing compliments. He’s probably 5lbs shy of the other three and is German-bred (see Trends) and based on their Leopardstown victory, I’ll have…
13:55 The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle Race 2m abt 1f
Trappy is the word and you could make a case for a dozen. I shall have YOU RAISED ME UP who won a 19f Naas Novice Hurdle on yielding ground. He travelled off the pace, and the between the final two flights suddenly appeared and won up the Naas hill, going away. His trainer immediately declared he was going to the County Hurdle and that he would be suited by good ground, a truly run race and a stiff finish. Problem solved. He’s rated 136 in Ireland, but the English handicapper who knows best has given him another 5lb. I also quite like the look of CAYD BOY, DROP THE ANCHOR and EDWARDSTONE.
YOU RAISED ME UP e/w – DROP THE ANCHOR e/w – throw the other two into the mix for CFC and consider Trifectas for low stakes.
14:30 The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race abt 3m
I wrote on 21st Jan that N’GOLO, following his winning November run at Navan, giving 7lbs all round, and his third behind Ballyadam in The Royal Bond at Fairyhouse, was possibly being laid out for a Cheltenham poke. A number of race readers thought N’GOLO was prime for the Ballymore Hurdle and that 25s was far too big. However there was also some conjecture that he’d be even better over further so, they reasoned, why did Willie Mullins keep him over 2 miles for his next run? Could it have been to keep his 138 OR safe and inside the 145 max of the Martin Pipe Handicap? Or could he have been coming here all along. This is a very good horse. TORYGRAPH is a threat as is ADRIMEL. Olly Murphy was making positive noises about CHAMPAGNESUPEROVER and he is no forlorn hope if only judged on his breeding. STREETS OF DOYEN won here in October on what looked like as sighting trip.
N’GOLO e/w – CHAMPAGNESUPEROVER e/w (33/1 for 7 places with Bet365) – STREETS OF DOYEN Win
15:05 The WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (G1) 3m abt 2½ f
The winner comes from one of only four horses. AL BOUM PHOTO – A PLUS TARD – CHAMP – KEMBOY. I think the Champion Hurdle Gold Cup double is on. We need bloody good news and positive thinking and a jockey winning the double might bring it back. The form will be written everywhere else – just go with the flow.
A PLUS TARD Win Combine the rest into a combination Trifecta 24 x ¼pt Tricast
15:40 The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open FOXhunters‘ Chase 3m abt 2½ f
MR MANTILLA e/w – HAZEL HILL e/w – WISHING & HOPING e/w
16:15 The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase 2m abt ½f
I sort of don’t care. It was added because apparently, we need more mare’s races in this country and the proof of the pudding is the 25% British turn-out. Huzzah. Come on Jessie – cheer me up!
MAGIC OF LIGHT e/w
16:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m abt 4½ f
AND THE NEW won by 16l at Wincanton last month and has been raised 9lbs. He’s capable of winning this from the front if allowed. Otherwise, LEON CAVALLO and WHATSUPWITHYOU might outrun their too big odds.
AND THE NEW e/w