Sometimes it’s best to let the facts speak for themselves. Over the Cheltenham Festival, Raceweb recommended 66 bets across various betting types, e.g. from Win and Each Way to Combination Forecasts, Tricasts and Dutching. We lost money on Tuesday and Wednesday, did moderately well on Thursday and made a huge profit on Friday. Our suggestions reaped six winners and ten places and showed a 71.18 pt profit and an ROI of approximately 25%.
The Raceweb stats performed pretty well, and I shall do a full report when I find the time. However, my old friend “Never back a German Hurdler” remained rock-solid, as did “Never back a LTO Huntingdon runner”. However, we got severely done by a certain 33/1 SIRE DU BERLAIS, who beat the C1 11yo statistic, and we also had a 5lb claimer score big. The Guide was a comprehensive tool to make one pause and take stock.
Having been accused of becoming a grumpy old man with my perceptions of the Cheltenham User Experience, I will take stock. I think the JC needs to do much, and that one has to separate the racing experience from the user experience. The magical hour of Tuesday – which incidentally is unlikely to ever be repeated emotionally – is not the aspirational benchmark in marketing terms, but far more importantly, it has absolutely nothing to do with the price of Guinness, the traffic system, the useless marshalling, the weakness of the race planning system, or whether the food on sale was edible or affordable. Zara Tyndall’s UE is different from yours or mine as attendees, for example. Until this week, when I was delayed endlessly trying to cross the horse walk; (and no I don’t want to walk up, and over, and down the bloody footbridge in the rain – sorry getting steamed again); did I realise that the horse walk is now a significant dividing line. You’re home and hosed if you’re on the winning post side in transport and parking terms. But if you’re on The Auchtermuchty side, all roads lead to Bristol, Ireland, Wales and Liverpool.
So a good week, in the end, was marred only by a poor user experience but enriched by the racing. The only question is whether the ambivalent and first-timers thought the latter strong enough to override any dismay caused by the former. A very brief tilt at a couple of today’s races, then, just to keep my eye in.
1:30 KEMPTON Virgin Bet Novices’ Limited Hcap Chs Cl3 (5yo+ 0-135) 2m2f 7 run
WHISTLE IN THE DARK 4 pts Win
1:50 UTTOXETER Your Dream Holiday With Optimum Experience Hcap Hdl Cl3 (4yo+ 0-130) 2m4f 10 run
RAFFERTY’S RETURN 4 pts Win
2:05 KEMPTON Virgin Bet Hcap Hdl Cl2 (5yo+ 0-145) 2m5f 12 run
HARBOUR LAKE 4 pts e/w – THE BOMBER LISTON 2 pts e/w
2:25 UTTOXETER Perfect Payroll Provider Optimum Pay Hcap Hdl Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 2m7½f 14 run
BALLGRIFINCOTTAGE 2 pts win
2:40 KEMPTON Virgin Bet Fives Hcap Chs Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 2m4½f 12 run
COMPLETE UNKNOWN 5 pts Win
3:00 UTTOXETER Boulton Group Midlands Grand National Hcap Chs Cl1 (5yo+) 4m2f 17 run
My five against the field are THE TWO AMIGOS – SECRET REPRIEVE – TRUCKERS LODGE – CAPTAIN KANGAROO – NOTACHANCE
THE TWO AMIGOS 3 pts Win – TRUCKERS LODGE 2 pts e/w – CAPTAIN KANGAROO – 2 pts e/w
3:35 UTTOXETER Extra Furlong With Trinity Create Novices’ Hcap Chs Cl2 (5yo+) 3m 11 run
The favourite is IRON BRIDGE who bypassed the Kim Muir at Cheltenham on Thursday to come here. I think this is his last run of the season before being out away for a campaign next season on bottomless ground in staying handicap chases. However, my eye is also drawn to stat no 457: Harry Fry has had five runners in this finishing 11131. Hmmm.
IRON BRIDGE 4 pts win – HOW’S THE CRICKET 3 pts e/w