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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

You need to pay your luck money or else…

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup


You would have to be a mean-spirited cuss to suggest that last week’s selections were a poor lot because we had a cracker. Those of you who know my slightly adventurous approach to money will appreciate that I favour doubles and trebles and the like, and while this has bought Bookies-R-Us Plc several dividends over the years, it has just occasionally dumped money into my own account.

It is also a golden rule passed won through generations of Kneesups, that money in the bank is wasted and should be immediately thrown back into the economic cycle for the benefit of all. Thus I can tell you that I have done my best to safeguard all the second wine of that excellent 3eme Cru, Boyd-Cantenac, aka La Croix de Boyd-Cantenac 2014. This charming Margaux is currently available from Aldi at £20 a bottle. It will not be there on Monday. That is probably a 25-35% discount and is a bit like getting 3-1 about Envoi Allen at the Festival. I’ve had my dibs so over to you.

The rest of my accumulated winnings fell victim to that travelling trickster “Bad Luck”. Every Kneesup has known of the risk since the very first Kneesup, who died when a tribal Totem fell on him after winning the meat-for-dinner ticket in the Cave Lottery. The key to avoiding this visitation is to pay your “Luck Money”, a sort of toll on your winnings, without which Bad Luck is surely on its way. For example. when young and playing a stout and winning end-box on the Blackjack tables, you rarely kept your winnings unless you’d supported a fellow traveller with a little Luck Money.  It was never patronising, just a few chips slid into the void left by the former stack, enough for a couple of hands and a cab home.

Anyway, in my case, I had had no chance to pay my Luck Money and my bad luck was a dead Hard Drive and a damaged row of memory within 48 hours. Luckily a former Fleet Air Arm sailor, whose specialism was fixing on-board computers for sub-hunting choppers, lives nearby and he has built me a new very high-end box for £500. He has saved 95% of the data, but vast swathes of my accumulated racing knowledge currently lie in his workshop. Meanwhile, I’m on a steam-driven laptop and suffering from ergonomic-backlash-tennisneckitis, so the amount of work I can do is limited.

Talking of Bad Luck, here are today’s (necessarily brief) selections.

1:50 SANDOWN My Oddsboost On Betfair Novices’ Limited Hcap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 2m4f

FUNAMBULE SIVOLA hacked up at Wetherby on his chasing debut and by my calculations is 6lbs to the good here even with a 7lb penalty. He jumped well and should be capable of taking on Sandown. Emma Lavelle has made positive noises about KILLER CLOWN who drops back in distance and if he travels as well as he did at Exter LTO  could go very close.


2:05 EXETER Download The tote Placepot App Novices’ Chase Cl2 (4yo+) 2m3f

There is nothing here to worry THE BIG BREAKAWAY, and BOLD PLAN is the obvious forecast. At odds-on and around 7/2 you might get 7/10 about a forecast. Alternatively just use him for doubles.


2:25 SANDOWN Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle (G2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4f


2:40 EXETER Home Of The Placepot Hcap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m3f


3:00 SANDOWN Pertemps Network Hcap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m7½f

All the Pertemps races are tricky to assimilate as horses try to get a qualifying place while protecting their handicap mark. A wise person might therefore look for a horse that might have another plan, and PORTRUSH TED was might be one of those. He previously won the Aintree bumper, with Harambe and Al Dancer behind, and almost had an unbeaten Hurdles record when falling LTO.He goes well fresh, (won from 519 DSLR) last season, doesn’t;t have many miles on the clock, and I think is probably 7-12lbs light of his correct mark.


3:15 EXETER Close Brothers Hcap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 3m6½f

DANCING SHADOW was the favourite for this race last year at 7/2 and ran off 125- 3lb higher than today. He’s around 16s and with Vic Dartnall having two winners at 18/1 and  7/1 and a 14/w 3rd in the last 30 days from 8 horses, I think there’s real value here.


3:35 SANDOWN Listen To Weighed-In Podcast On Betfair Mares’ Hcap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-130) 2m4f

WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI will appreciate the step back up in trip and this is also Harry Fry’s only runner here and with Johnson on board, all pointing to stable confidence. Can’t see RUBY YEATS not making the frame and Gary Moore isn’t a total stranger to a plot.



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