20 February 2009
Do you think that is the end of the Cold Snap? I sincerely hope so. It seems to have been around longer than Arsene Wenger and I for one am fed up with it.
What is often forgotten is that us punters have to get ourselves in shape for the big contests. The Cheltenham Festival is only just around the corner and serious punters are not going to get ourselves fit lying on the sofa watching Countdown or worse still betting on jumping racing when nobody, including the trainers, know what is going on.
As is well known, I am a big fan of the winter all weather racing and I am quite happy to nurdle along taking a few quid out of the bookies at Southwell, Kempton and Lingfield but the heavy artillery has to be polished and oiled ready for the Cheltenham Festival.
Sorting out the Placepot at Southwell and winning thirty quid is like preparing for a bout with Joe Calzaghi by having a game of ping pong with the vicar.
Those of us for example who had a pop at Kasbah Bliss were treated to the trainer's various comments that "he was the best hoss in the race" and that he had "schooled marvellously" but were put off by the dissing of the depth of the ground and the comment that this was a "comeback run".
Add to all this the fact that the punter was dealing with ground which could be described as anything between arctic tundra and Irish peat bog on a daily basis and you get the idea that those of us who must get in shape before the Big One at Prestbury Park are very much out of condition.
In my experience the two worst enemies of money making at the races is being pissed and not having had a proper bet for weeks.
The trainers have tried their honest best to level with the punters but they are just as much in the dark as the rest of us. Take our own trainer Mrs Dunnett for example.
Last Saturday morning she sent me a text message to get a few bob on her Thumberlina in the 4.10 at Lingfield. She placed her confidence in the filly being visored for the first time and the impressive work she had been doing on the home gallops.
The filly had all the wind knocked out of her in the first few strides out of the stalls when she was struck into by another hoss and that was her race over.
I am sure she had been working well at home and that the visor would make a difference but when such a little filly takes a wallop like that, your money is lost.
The Scoop6 Bonus record payout of £2,755,923 to go with the £669,465.50 already won by a single Suffolk based punter last Saturday looks like being in either the Racing Post Chase at 4.10 at Kempton or the Totesport Eider Chase at 3.30 Newcastle. My selection for the
Racing Post Chase is Big Fella Thanks with a saver on Venetia Williams' Stan. The Eider Chase is a much more tricky affair but I give my vote to Lyes Green. I do not envy the Scoop6 punter trying to sort that lot out
Before I close I must suggest one for your Cheltenham Festival notebook. It is the six year old Donald McCain trained Whiteoak.
She ran a cracking race behind Ashkazar at Wincanton last Saturday on her seasonal debut and the 7lb pull she would get in the Champion Hurdle would give her a real chance to emulate the last mare to win the race, Flaky Dove in 1994.
I hope we have seen the last of that horrible cold weather and that the Scoop6 jackpot punter wins with Big Fella Thanks.
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