Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cheltenham Episode 3: The Punter Strikes Back

Shortly after I decided to place a whopping EUR 30 per day on the order in which some quadripeds (about whom I possessed only half-baked, hearsaid information) passed a fence-post in a field somewhere in the English countryside, I started to feel nervous.

A possible loss of EUR 120? Calamity upon possible calamities! What would that crazy money buy me? Seven copies of My Defence by Ashley Cole! Three tickets to Jason Donovan's eagerly awaited upcoming concert in Vicar St! Two of those nifty panini makers that I've been eyeing up for some time! Approximately 3.5 goats for an African village to do with what they saw fit!

And so on. All better causes than putting foie gras on Paddy Power's table.

Thankfully though, after two thrilling days of gambling, I've kept my stake and have the price of my bus fare home to boot. Bread and water for you Mr.Power!

Day three is when I make my big play. Today I try a different tack, however. Hearing the voice of my old Jedi master, Obi Wan McCririck, in my ear, instructing me to "use the force, Tom", I have decided to forego the pretense that I have any understanding of the form. Instead, I will stare at the cards until winners suggest themselves to me, simply by the pleasing quality of their names.

In the 2.00 Jewson Novices Handicap I notice an old pal of mine from running the numbers game outta Philly, Vic Venturi. He had his finger in a lot of pies - racketeering, girls, protection - helluva nice guy though. EUR 3 e/w on the paisan at 12/1.

Monet's Garden (the name of the favourite in the 2.35 Ryanair Chase) doesn't sound like a my kind of place. An old French bloke sitting around staring at waterlilies - non merci! Instead I smile on the old racing convention of horse names taking a phrase and running the words into each other: Thisthatandtother gets EUR 3 e/w at 12/1, benefitting as well from the use of a Yorkshireism.

In today's feature race at 3.15, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, I'm drawn to another old friend, Inglis Drever, a Church of Scotland minister from Inverarie who once offered me spiritual counsel, in the form of a 30-year-old bottle of Balvenie he kept sequestered in the sacristy. Tenner on his purple nose at 4/1.

The 4.00 Racing Post Plate Handicap is a veritable menagerie of exotic sounding creatures, featuring the likes of Reveillez, Opera Mundi, Le Volfoni and, er, Big Rob. Madison Du Berlais gets our EUR 3 e/w for sounding like the tragic heroine in a Tennessee Williams play.

Our final EUR 2 e/w goes on Rhinestone Cowboy in the last (5.20), the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final, because of the picture in my head of Glen Campbell, resplendent in stetson and deep mahogany tan, riding his horse through the winners enclosure like it was a star-spangled rodeo.

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Blogger Fence said...

Nothing on Julius Caesar today then :)

1:11 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

Even Julius Caesar is no match for Glen Campbell in full flight....

6:28 p.m.  

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