There was a moment on Thursday when the Kneesup world took a definitive turn for the worse. Not the excessive prices that Cheltenham has been charging for a Pint of Guinness, nor the ludicrous absence of mobile signal in the 21st century; nor the woeful and controlled wifi signal that allows you to only bet online with one of three partner bookmakers… no it was the discovery that girls I have historically admired from afar, have in fact now raised children who are big enough to be allowed out and drink in public. Children who are in fact young men and thus represent the bubbling future of our planet – whereas we husks now sit by and can only complain about arthritis. This insight came today when Sexy suddenly became Mumsy. It was an awful moment of realisation and full of melancholy. My hero Jeffery Bernard, on whom my Liver has based most of its surprisingly long life, wrote on this very subject and almost to the day some 40 years ago.
Admittedly I did have a flash of melancholy at Cheltenham on Gold Cup day when a girl in one of the bars told me that she could just about fancy me if I was 20 years younger but it passed with the arrival of the next round. I thought 20 years a bit cruel but then it’s always some consolation, if you need it, to look at the young twerps who are 20 years and more younger under whom these girls bestow their favours. And is it in fact a favour?
Mumsy didn’t help matters, or my mood, by telling me she “enjoys my rants.” I was, frankly, surprised at the use of the word. I thought I took my losses on the chin like a relatively decent, but slightly stale, egg. I don’t get too cocky about the rare victories – self-effacement might even be glimpsed, surely, hoving into view over the tipping horizon? I try very hard to mark cards political, social and even from time to time sporting with an honest opinion… but rant seemed harsh?
Then I remembered a line from Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus” when Emperor Joseph II criticises a new piece by Mozart and declares that the problem is “there are too many notes.” Perhaps that is the problem – I’m not ranting, just writing too much. I shall write less then and make little reference to potential conversational clashes. Though by golly, you did have to feel sorry for Galopin Des Champs and you had to love Allaho. I never saw Flooring Porter coming, nor indeed the others. As days go, it went and went sobbing. Thus in one quick, surgical strike, my libido has been laid to rest; along with several ante-post tickets and many Kneesup Cheltenham tips.
Still and all, when I looked over the panoply of racing disasters today, I drew some small comfort from discovering that Nancy Pelosi would be reading, in a nationwide US broadcast, a poem about Ukraine, written by Bono. This cultural high point, when coupled with the possibility that it will shortly be suggested that Evgeny Lebedev is a Godfather to one of the BoJo kids, (vicars are being hunted down for evidence), seems to me a suitable point to tip tomorrow’s winners in as few words as possible. Then off to bed before 10:00 with a hot cup of bromide and chocolate.
|… before the bromide kicks in, I have discovered this at Skybet which I placed in a full combination Acca. Doubles, Trebles and Fourfold are all on the cards – there is hope.
1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
You know from above which way the wind blows: PIED PIPER’s Cheltenham Trials day performance was simply breathtaking. He took down a well-touted Mullins runner on his hurdling debut at Punchestown, had done all his previous winning on heavy ground, but he glided round Cheltenham in January in a different league to his rivals before cantering clear from the last.
PIED PIPER 2pts win – KNIGHT SALUTE 1pt e/w
2.10 The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hdl
When I run my Raceform computer model over the race I get Dan Skelton’s FAVOIR and Gordon Elliott’s ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU. Both of them are in the top third of the Timeform ratings. I really hadn’t expected that at all. Stick in the Trends selection TAX FOR MAX and GUA DU LARGE and I think you have a reasonable spread. Do all four e/w
FAVOIR 1pt e/w – ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU 1 pt e/w – TAX FOR MAX 1½pts e/w – GUA DU LARGE 2pts e/w
2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Obviously I fancy STAG HORN and he is backed to within a whisker of my max. I suggested ERIC BLOODAXE a while back as an antepost bet and I also fancy MAHLER MISSION though I’m aware I’m nearing my limits on investments.
STAG HORN 1½pts e/w – ERIC BLOODAXE 1pt e/w
3.30 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup
Venetia continues onwards
ROYAL PAGAILLE 2 pts e/w
4.10 St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase
DUBAI QUEST 1½pts Win – COUSIN PASCAL 1 pt e/w – LORD SCHNITZEL 1 pt e/w
4.50 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase
MONT IDA 4 pts win – ZAMBELLA 1½pt e/w
5.30 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
BANBRIDGE 2pts e/w