Sunday 10th March
Well Saturday was pretty darned decent, and yesterday wasn't at all bad either. It's an easy game to play when it's like this. Call me a pessimist though, but I don't half feel nervous about giving it all back again over Cheltenham week?
There was a strong spanish thread running through yesterday's profit-making. It's been a great weekend for Sportyy, based in Spain but hitting winners galore at the tennis in Indian Wells, America. There were some great tips amongst yesterday's three winners from four tennis bets - Andy Murray to lose the first set versus Donskoy at 8.27 being the highlight. The other winners were Phau to bt Chardy at 3.8 and Reynolds +2.5 games vs Fish at 1.971.
Sportyy also picked a winner in the Spanish football (Athletic Bilbao to bt Valencia at 2.61) which was also selected by an on-fire The Football Analyst E3-E7 which then doubled up in the evening's game with a superb tip (Real Sociedad (DNB) vs Atletico Madrid at 5.5)! It's been another very good weekend all told for TFA and I know the SBC was quite rightly drawing attention to an excellent February for the workaholic footie tipster.
No luck yesterday for Summer Of Football (0/1), Football Elite (0/1), On The Nose (0/1) or On The Oche whose small antepost selection in the UK Masters lost a very tight match that went into a deciding leg (I suppose the last legs of all matches are "deciding" even if 6-0, but you know what I mean).
On The Nose: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Sportyy: Staked 6pts, +9.792pts.
The Football Analyst E3-E7: Staked 0.75pts, +1.93pts.
Football Elite: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
On The Oche: Staked 0.1pts, -0.1pts.
It's nearly here. One more sleep.
You know I don't remember there being quite so much hype over the Festival a decade or so ago. Perhaps it's just my memory playing tricks on me but certainly the build up now seems to reach fever pitch weeks in advance. As far as betting is concerned, I don't see it as a vehicle that is in any way different to a wet Thursday meeting at Ludlow. I would never bet at Cheltenham just because it is Cheltenham, and I'm pretty sure that the tipsters I follow treat it in the same way, although there are some out there who do suddenly seem to want to make selections at Prestbury Park for the sake of doing so. To me that is wrong, and I would give any such tipping service a wide berth if I felt this was something they were doing deliberately. I want my tipsters to do one thing for me and one thing only....to maximise the potential for making profits. Where that profit comes from, I really couldn't care less.
But all of that doesn't mean we can't revel in Cheltenham. As an event, it has a unique atmosphere and I love everything about it. The sport we will see over the next few days is to be marvelled at as man and beast literally risk life and limb in pursuit of glory. It is this chasing of glory that is the very essence of sport, particularly when placed in the context of the sort of sporting behaviour we typically see amongst the competitors. There will be no quarter asked for or given in any of the races, but the camaraderie that exists between the protagonists is plain to see, as is the dedication of stable staff to the horses they care for and adore, and the outpourings of joy from the victorious owners. This is sport for sport's sake. It strikes me that very, very few are involved for the money. No, it's all about the glory of winning, and it is this that makes the Festival an unmissable few days, simply as a sporting event in itself. If we can back a winner or two along the way of course, then even better.