What I thought I might do this week is jump on the Cheltenham bandwagon as it was rumbling on by. I wrote last night's post retrospectively. Today I changed this and instead wrote after each race. I quite enjoyed doing this and I hope it allows a little more of the emotions to come through. I will do the same tomorrow and Friday. On Saturday, I'll do Mark's post on setting up a portfolio as an idiot...(*that's me who is the idiot, you understand...not Mark).
1.30: Amateur Riders Novice Chase
Naturally looking to the first today to signify a change in yesterday's rotten fortunes, and it was yesterday's two culprits - 4PA and On The Nose - with an early chance for redemption. 4PA went for Aberdale win and each way at 12s, On The Nose had two single win bets on Beshabar (9/1) and Be There In Five (22/1). Aberdale never really got into contention, but I must say I found it galling to have Beshabar finish a game second and Be There In Five come third and yet receive no return at all. Can't remember the last time I backed a 22/1 shot win only. Actually, not sure "galling" sums it up!
2.05: Neptune Novices' Hurdle
I don't know who the guy at On The Nose has upset, but I wish he'd go and apologise and ask for forgiveness. Mind you, it's me saying the Hail Mary's now as I can't seem to buy a winner at Cheltenham. Rock On Ruby (15/2) was the only bet in this race, again from On The Nose, again win only. Travelling well throughout the race, I thought I had a chance here from some way out. Jumping the last hurdle, it went a length clear before being overtaken in what were literally the last two strides of the race. What is this now, "Super Galling", "Mega Galling"!?! Whatever, I am well and truly galled.
So On The Nose has had three selections so far today. All three have placed, and no returns have been provided. Surely a change of luck is due? Please...
2.40: The RSA Chase
Yes! A return! Get in! A winner at last? No, don't be daft.
On The Nose reverts to each way betting which with the benefit of hindsight is, let's face it, two races late. However, at the moment I'll take anything and Wayward Prince (9/1) finishes third under a typical driving ride from McCoy. It was actually gaining ground on the winner after the last and another 50 yards or so would have made things interesting. Having said that, as they flashed past the post, I wasn't certain that it hadn't got chinned for third which quite frankly, would have been too much but oh so typical based on what has gone before. Northern Monkey had tipped Wayward Prince at 12s a little while ago, but win only unfortunately. He also had The Great Booster (or something) each way at 33s. It may have well have been called The Great Jessie for the way it unseated it's rider early in the race.
It's a sign of how desperate things have become when I feel great relief at gaining some sort of return, even if the actual race produced a loss! On The Nose has now had all today's selections run great races. Got a feeling in me bones he might just fire in a winner or two before too much longer.
Meanwhile, over at Sedgefield in the 2.55, Chasemaster's speculative selection - Absolute Shambles - shows that it must have been named by Doris Stokes. Still, at least it's not only Cheltenham where we can't find winners.
3.20: The Champion Chase
Well, well, well. Would you believe it? A winner at Cheltenham, the first (and I pray not the last, although I wouldn't lay odds much above Evens about it being so) being provided antepost by Northern Monkey. Sizing Europe (12/1) won in a way that any punter likes to see. Always prominent, jumping beautifully, leaps the last in front and then powers away up the hill.
On The Nose had given Master Minded (4/1). Funny watching the market before the race. In the space of about a minute, Master Minded went from 3s to 2/1. In a market this strong, that must take a bit of doing. Sizing Europe meanwhile, opened at 8s and drifted to what was 11s at one point. Tells you something, I think. I'm just not too sure what.
Anyway, forget that...let the floodgates open...
4.00: The Coral Cup
Wey hey! With the demise of the big 4PA tip (Ballyhaunis - 16/1) I wouldn't say that the floodgates have opened, but step forward On The Nose. Carlito Brigante (20/1) scooted in and ensured a nice profit on the race. This is a bit more like it. I quite like Cheltenham again.
Northern Monkey and On The Nose also had Bothy each way at 14s and that came home second. Being serious, the standard of tipping from On The Nose today has been superb; it just hasn't really been reflected in hard returns.
Am I being a touch churlish though if I resent the fall of For Non Stop at the last when seemingly nailed on for second place (a PJA NH tip each way at 7/1)?
4.40: The Fred Winter
Well, after all the excitement of the last two races, a bit of an anticlimax. Only a small On The Nose bet on Paintball at 9/1. Travelled well but then found nothing when push came to shove.
5.15: Champion Bumper
And the anticlimax becomes a fizzle out...On The Nose's Raise The Beat (10/1) starts mid-division, races mid-division, and finishes mid-division.
4PA: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.
PJA NH: Staked 2pts, -1.118pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 1.75pts, +3.625pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.125pts, -0.112pts.
On The Nose: Staked 6.25pts, +11.125pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £78.16.
Wednesday 16th March: Staked £435, +£78.16.
Week to date: Staked £1,176, -£195.86.
Month to date: Staked £8,143, +£377.61, roi 4.63%.
So, better than yesterday then, but still a little frustrated. On The Nose has had a very good day, but I can't shake the niggle that it could have been even better. Northern Monkey had an overdue decent time of it, too. Ultimately though, for Cheltenham to be a punting success, I do think 4PA need to come good. Hopefully, that will happen tomorrow.
Right, a check list...Fingers crossed, check. Lucky heather in place, check. Horseshoe placed above the door, check. Three goats sacrificed at a burning altar, check.