Robert Duvall – possibly my favourite American film actor – once said: “It’s no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes.” Ain’t that the living truth!
I made a dinner that pleased Madame – largely because it came from The Cast Iron Elephant – but which lacked quelq’un and simply wasn’t right, and I was miffed. The computers’ UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply box) suddenly started playing up which meant the entire network grid needed to be reset… I’m making it sound like the Hadron Collider having a hissy fit – but that’s how it felt and that’s the Duvall moment. A new padlock didn’t work straight from the box; an online grocery delivery couldn’t be completed because 85% of the stuff I wanted was out of stock; some rejected presents (only from me to her), have to be sent back by messenger or parcel services. While I try to keep the Post Office going, I am increasingly forced to get Herpes to do the job. Nothing dramatic, just scratching. On the racing front, I wasn’t even close, bar the last, and ended feeling a bit deflated. On the plus side, we seem to have erected a dining room table, and if chums don’t mind Take Away, then it’s the last of the Ch. Boyd-Cantenac and Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs with Crispy Beef looming on the horizon.
I thought I should glance at the P&L for the last few days before I guide you towards further oblivion. On Sat 18th Dec we were -10.2 pts; Sunday 26th +2.8pts; Monday 27th -5.94 and yesterday we were down -9.4pts. So down 22½ pts for four days of punting, but I take heart from another observation of Bob… “Never use money to measure wealth, son”
Unless you’re punting at Newbury of course…
1:25 NEWBURY MansionBet Faller Insurance Hcap Chs (For The Hallowe’En Trophy) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m½f 9 run
GALLIC GEORDIE should win. Will handle the ground and this is his level. However I can’t see DOUKAROV being out of the frame and at evens a place, I might as well have him e/w with what is effectively a free win bet. Unless…
1:45 LEOPARDSTOWN Neville Hotels Novice Chs (G1) (4yo+) 3m 8 run
After Davy’s brilliant ride on Galvin this weekend, I suspect RUN WILD FRED will be far easier to win with. MR INCREDIBLE might make it difficult.
RUN WILD FRED Win – MR INCREDIBLE e/w
2:00 NEWBURY Bank A Winner With MansionBet Hcap Hdl Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f 12 run
I have this between BEAUPORT and DASHEL DRASHER. I’ll back both to get about 6/4 if either wins.
BEAUPORT – DASHEL DRASHER Dutch Win
2:20 LEOPARDSTOWN Matheson Hdl (G1) (4yo+) 2m 6 run
I’ll have a little bet with you. Either Willie Mullins or Gordon Elliott will win this. On ratings, SHARJAH is streets ahead of 2nd favourite ECHOES IN RAIN and he will probably win as he has done for the last three years – albeit that historically he was always overturning the odds-on favourite. There are too many mysteries in Irish racing at the moment, and I think I’ll give this a miss, with the added note that I shall be interested to see Rachel’s ride on SAINT ROI.
2:35 NEWBURY Follow @mansionbetrace On Twitter Mandarin Hcap Chs Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 3m2f 14 run
I sense something of an upset here. My two sensible suggestions would be GERICAULT ROQIE and NESTOR PARK, but there are others at bigger prices who might interest one. WAYFINDER was backed from 14s to 8s LTO when he was bought down at Bangor and he is again being backed this morning. His stablemate is TINKERS HILL TOMMY who looks as though he might be coming to hand as well, and I also noted INNISFREE LAD’s run LTO when he was wearing cheekpieces for the first time. They certainly seemed to work and he was also racing over further. They’ve dropped him back to 3m2f today, but I suspect he’s showing something at home. LAND OF SMILES also has possibilities. The last three are all 28/1+ and you can get 5 places with Skybet and Hills. Gun to head – I’d back the two Curtis horses e/w
WAYFINDER e/w – TINKERS HILL TOMMY e/w
2:50 DONCASTER Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Hcap Chs Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 3m 8 run
A tight little race with COOL MIX being backed and two other possibilities I had considered appearing friendless in the market, CAT TIGER and PORT OF MARS. Instead, I shall go for CHIRICO VALLIS for Neil Mulholland who was a revelation LTO at Chepstow, jumping fluently and enthusiastically, 12s seems too big.
CHIRICO VALLIS e/w
3:05 NEWBURY MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hdl (G1) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f 7 run
Having been conceived at the Naval Air Station LOSSIEMOUTH, I feel obliged to continue supporting what is in any event a very decent horse. He has been improving all season and was impressive when bolting up in Sandown’s Winter Novices Hurdle. I think he’ll beat Nicholl’s talking horse STAGE STAR and I shall have a small e/w on PARTY BUSINESS who had promising bumper form and gave the impression of being a bit of a sleeper.
LOSSIEMOUTH Win – PARTY BUSINESS e/w
3:20 DONCASTER Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chs (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f 7 run
3:35 NEWBURY MansionBet Proud To Support British Racing Novices’ Limited Hcap Chs Cl3 (5yo+) 2m6½f 8 run
It’s a very tight little market FERN HILL and PATROCULUS both have appeal, but I am plumping for Alan King’s VALLERES in the first time cheekpieces to give me a decent return.