Not enough hours in the day…

…that is what I blame my abject punting display yesterday on.

Once again the world turned and I was slightly behind it.  Leaving late on account of the 8 a.m. inspection, missing the first and not being able to get a copy of the Post until I was on course all meant I had no chance for some proper study.  This is what you need when entering the bear-pit and I had a)  forgotten b) little opportunity – which was my own fault.

Time was on a Saturday, when the girls were little and had naps in the day, that I would take the dog out early doors and buy the Post.  I also used to buy the ill-fated Sporting something or another in its brief life.  Then I would read the form and read the trainers’ comments which, as a novice, I set great store by.  Then I would take the dog out again via the bookies and place my bets.

The kids never sleep during the day now, not even when they are ill.  On weekends they like to do stuff.  Come on dog walks, hang out, watch films.  I knocked the sticking my head in a paper habit on a Saturday a long time ago because it was selfish and didn’t read well.  Consequently, I have come to terms with Saturday, the biggest punting day of the week, being my missed opportunity so to speak.  I’m ok with that in the comfort of my own home.  Doing a nearly 8 hour round trip with your dear mother counting her wonga in the dusk is a little harder to take!  I don’t begrudge anyone a winner though.

I was able to read the Racing Post last night at bedtime.  Therein were  some of the nuggets I could have done with on course.  In one small field hurdle race I had a nice theory about the well-bred Fiulin, trained by Evan Williams (in form) and was somewhat seduced by some fancy entries (Champion/World Hurdle).  This fella downed tools before the home turn on the hill and came home last.  As he dragged his sorry, and as it became evident fat, arse past the stands to explain himself to his connections I popped him in the mental notebook “will come on for the run”.  If I had acquainted myself with the trainer’s view I would have know this:

“Time has conspired against us. It’s now the end of January and we haven’t been able to run him, so instead of going for a Mickey Mouse race and learning nothing, we are going for a good race to hopefully find out where we are with him. He has done a lot of schooling (makemeadiva notes: the beast jumped nicely it must be said), but he is a big horse and will come on a bundle for whatever he does here.”

So basically, I paid money to find out what I had already paid money to find out when I bought the paper.  This, incidentally, is what trainer, Robin Dickin, said of the race winner Restless Harry who laid it down from the front and earned the only applause of the day from me.

“I have been riding horses for 40 years but the feel he gave me when I rode him on Tuesday was the best I’ve had. It was an extraordinary piece of work so I have to be expecting a good run. He is in better order than before (his last race) and was hardly trained or fed – this time he’s highly trained and well fed, so I hope I haven’t messed him up!”

Of course, not all trainers’ comments are equal.  Paul Nicholls did not fancy Taranis, who delivered at 20/1 (well done to one Ms AMB 🙂 )after 766 days off the track since breaking down in the 2007 King George, saying:

“…it’s been a hard road back and I have yet to see the old ability’s still there.”

Yep the ability’s still there Paul and Fiulin is porky sort who thinks he doesn’t fancy actually running fast after about 1m6f. 

It was all there, shame I didn’t read it first.

On the upside, I saw a Red Kite and Buzzard on the way out (these are impressive birds of prey and deserve to be proper nouns).  I met some old and new friends on course and saw a fantastic yellow moon on the way home. 

Oh, and mother bought the chips.

Mine was on the M40

Posted on January 31, 2010, in Horse racing, Jump racing, Punting, The Sport of Kings and Hobby of Paupers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. AMB, having been out all day, came home and proceeded to be served cups of tea in front of the C4 coverage while I dutifully made her dinner. Her brownie point pot is now empty, the credits all spent, as I’m sure your gambling pot is.

    Apparently ‘next time’ you will be under orders to arrive the night before for a full study. Having read your account of the day, I’m not sure what AMB has got to complain about.

  2. Oooh you are a hard woman duck x

  3. That’s a beautiful red kite, Diva! 🙂 We have one who hovers around above the houses here and over the park. I don’t know why he/ she likes it so much here when there is so much open countryside and woodland a mile or two down the road.

    Wasn’t Taranis good though? I was extremely pleased to see him come back so impressively from such a serious injury. :))

  4. I don’t know much about Birds of Prey but punting post-mortems are a bit of a speciality. After all, I’ve spent most of the last 13 years wondering how I managed to miss the Grand National winner (with the exception of 2007, which in my book was a moral victory for Mckelvey. Shame Uncle Bill Hill didn’t see it that way).

    All you can do is go with your judgement on the day, whether it comes from the heart, the head, is borne out of devoted study or, in my case, out for desperation for a long priced winner after seeing your nap fail to get up by 3/4l.

    Dust yourself down with that copy of the Racing Post, and onwards my friend.

    To quote Roy “the boy” Brindley, the second best thing to gambling and winning is gambling and losing.

  5. Sage advice AMB. You were unlucky with the NAP and deserved recompense.

    I have dusted myself down with said rag and found a 10/1 maiden on the AW this afternoon, who only came a length second but it’s the start of a new trend UPWARDS 🙂

    I blame that coaster; I won’t be taking it for my hip-flask again. Thank you for being such an excellent (and forbearing) MC. x

  6. Your ride home reminded me of watching my mother count the winnings from her £1 e.w. on Silver Birch as I was reflecting on my near grasp of the Crown Jewels.

    RE coaster, I tried to present mine as a highly valuable gift for Your Little Sister. Didn’t work.

  7. Hahahaha and great minds – I did the same to Mick. Identical outcome.

  8. Cheapskates, the pair of you.

    • Skintskate in my case please 😉

      Anyhoo, when’s the P2P with your pies?

      That is probably my other excuse, insufficient sustenance for quality thinking.

      The last gasp Mars was a lifesaver.

      • They keep postponing them. And they’re a hard circle to break. I need to start hanging out in the right places with the right people and vote Tory. They are the only things left to crack – I got the hat, the wellies, the accent, the car, the dog and the house, so only a little way to go…

  9. I was never offered one of those coasters. I feel left out.

    I put a fiver e/w on Silver Birch for my Old Man AMB: his first national winner in seventy years. He at least bought me a pint.

  10. You can have mine – it says:

    Stewards Enquiry

    I think it should be Inquiry?

  11. It’s okay, you keep it 🙂

    By the way Red Kite does have Upper Case, otherwise it could be a red triangle on the end of a length of string.

  12. Good point well made, but Buzzard would be buzzard? Then I would write Red Kite and buzzard and it somehow reads like I’m dissing the buzz.

    I might sell the coaster.

  13. I don’t know why, but buzzard is l/c.

    If you really want a project, some dog breeds are U/C whilst others, like lurchers, are not dissed with the l/c.

  14. or rather, are dissed (I had to do 23 corrections to my own blog post today)

  15. I suspect the dog thing is to do with provenance.

    Great Dane
    St Bernard
    German Shepherd/Alsatian


    I hope you are not counting corrections!

  16. Not liking the birds turning up on the blog

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