Ben Morgan saw the less enjoyable side of punting for most of last month with a near miss and a number of short prices missing out
Ben Morgan on the ups and downs of being a punter
Coming off the back of groundbreaking month of high profits is always difficult and I,like most punters, try to get back to basics as soon as possible. The feeling of invincibility is hard to ignore but the thought of not cashing in on a rich vein of form is overpowering for most.
I don’t like to hoard big funds in my betting account because it does encourage complacency so I took my winnings out and started again.This gave me a chance to pick my battles and weigh up a bet like I would before.
One battle I was convinced I was going to win was the Battle of Northumberland, where I was certain Seamour (£50 win) would gain revenge for last year’s narrow defeat. Brian Ellison reported him in tiptop shape ahead of a third attempt at winning the Plate,which boosted my confidence no end.
Disappointingly though, his finishing effort petered out up the straight as he was clearly not suited by the stop-start gallop. He looks an end-to-end galloper and will be much more at home in the Ebor where his preferences are almost guaranteed. I, like Brian Ellison, believe Seamour is more than capable of winning one of these big staying races and I just hope it’s not too long until he does.
The following weekend ended in tears also as Barney Roy was denied by a‘nose’ in the Coral Eclipse. I was bullish about his chances and made him my only bet of the weekend so again I went in with a maximum stake (£50 win).He had a tough ride around the Esher track and was slightly hindered by some scrummaging which Lions coachWarren Gatland would have been proud of,before delivering his challenge up the straight.
Ulysses was spotted seemingly cruising down the outside of the field before Crowley pressed go and everyone assumed the race would be over. But Barney Roy would not have it, and started to come back at Ulysses,yard by yard and eventually ground him down as the finishing post appeared.
I was convinced, utterly convinced, James Doyle had got him up on the nod and at the very least I suspected it would a dead heat. So as you can imagine, I was a broken man when “Horse number 5, Ulysses” was bellowed over the tannoy.
I waited with incredible anticipation for the photo, and when it eventually emerged I was in shock that not one ITV presenter questioned the decision or even debated how close it was. In fact I was very nearly in uproar when Francesca Cumani stated “the older horses have shown their dominance over the threeyear-olds”when in actual fact Barney Roy is half a length clear and going away just a fraction past the line.
It amazes me that viewers cannot be shown the technology and angles that the judge is allowed to see,because I am sure there were thousands wanting to see a slow motion shot of the horses in the run up to the line and just as they hit the line, in order to satisfy their suspicions of human error.
But it was not to be and, as frustrated as I was,I’m sure I wasn’t half as frustrated as Richard Hannon was for not running Barney Roy in the Derby.
The July festival at Newmarket is the first opportunity we get to see how the Ascot form stacks up and therein lies a problem. It’s easy to get carried away with the Royal winners and follow them blind, and if you did then you would have got your fingers burnt as convincing victors; Rajasinghe, Atty Persse and Caravaggio all got turned over at short prices.
It’s also too easy to back the hard luck