am­a­teur Punter

An­other Rac­ing Ahead writer comes out on top while Ben Mor­gan has an up and down month

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Ben Mor­gan has an up and down month, and is usurped by Fer­gie!

David Egan eased Moun­tain An­gel to the front two fur­longs out, a bold move with a long way to go on test­ing ground. His body lan­guage ra­di­ated con­fi­dence as he sat mo­tion­less with a dou­ble hand­ful. I was con­fi­dent be­cause he was an un­lucky loser last time who looked hand­i­capped to win soon.

He liked soft ground and stayed the trip well so I was al­most do­ing cart­wheels when he was still clear a fur­long from home. How­ever, Egan now started to ask his mount to give him more. I was get­ting more anx­ious also as some from the back where start­ing to pick up mo­men­tum and he had been in front for what felt like a year.

The £60 I had on at 11/2, which looked a sure­fire in­vest­ment 20 sec­onds ear­lier, was firmly in the bal­ance. Even in the last 50 yards I thought he might just hang on but in the last few strides the fast fin­ish­ing Buzz put his head in front and chinned Egan and my­self on the line. A heart­break­ing blow as a big win was taken from me in painstak­ing fash­ion. If held onto for longer, would he have won? I’m not sure.

Just two hours later, my nerves took an­other bash­ing. Fly­ing Pur­suit looked the bet of the year in the Ayr Gold Cup as the ground got more and more test­ing.

He loves soft ground and six fur- longs and he was a free each-way wa­ger at 12/1. A £10 each-way bet was enough con­sid­er­ing the run I found my­self on and I was curs­ing my luck as he ended up lead­ing a group of three on the far side, miles from the main pack. He never stood a chance to be hon­est but I was im­pressed with how well he bat­tled on for third and I’m sure if he had some com­pany ear­lier on, he would have won.

It was Cam­bridgeshire week­end seven days later and al­though my two main bets were run­ning away from New­mar­ket I took an in­ter­est in the ma­jor­ity of races.

Un­for­tu­nately, all my se­lec­tions at New­mar­ket lost, ex­cept the red hot jolly, Ten Sovereigns. Tri­corn couldn’t get go­ing in the big one, while Pretty Pollyanna and Arthur Kitt were also dis­ap­point­ing.

For­tu­nately, the first of my main bets, Jack Rea­gan (£20 at 11/4) won very cosily at Mar­ket Rasen on hur­dle de­but. His con­nec­tions sent his brother (The States­man) hur­dling and he hosed up on de­but at Lud­low so I was ex­pect­ing a sim­i­lar per­for­mance. He pulled hard early and con­tin­ued to yank at Tom O’Brien’s arms through­out the race so it was im­pres­sive to see him not only last out the race but do­ing so with­out re­ally com­ing off the bri­dle.

My other bet of the day was my old friend, Bay­dar, who co­in­ci­den­tally shares con­nec­tions with Jack Rea­gan. Af­ter an un­lucky run last time out at Ch­ester I was ex­pect­ing a con­so­la­tion wind­fall this time around.

Turn­ing in, he was go­ing as well as any­thing but as the even­tual win­ner, Surya, made his move, Bay­dar and Harry Bent­ley found them­selves in a bit of a pocket.

Bent­ley re­mained cool, which I nor­mally pre­fer but this time I would rather he pan­icked and got him out as soon as he could. For ev­ery se­cond he sat still, Surya was putting a length be­tween him­self and the field and by the time the gap ap­peared the race was gone along with my £30.

The fol­low­ing week­end, late show­ers ru­ined any chance I had of win­ning big. I was most keen on First Eleven, Pro­jec­tion and Lau­rens and conse-

quently put them in a mon­ster £15 trixie.

First leg, First Eleven, hosed up last time and I was con­vinced he was a group per­former but I didn’t en­vis­age the ground be­ing a prob­lem. As it was one of the first races that day, the mur­murs about the go­ing be­ing softer than de­scribed didn’t re­ally get com­mu­ni­cated.

He got to the leader’s tail turn­ing in but that was as close as he got as be­gan to pad­dle up the straight. That loss meant I couldn’t win any­thing sub­stan­tial but Pro­jec­tion gave me hope of mak­ing a small profit as he took a tac­ti­cal re­newal of the John Guest Rac­ing Ben­gough Stakes.

I was then pretty keen about my fi­nal leg, Lau­rens. I backed her sin­gu­larly as well be­cause I felt the book­ies got it wrong big time by pric­ing her up at 10/3 on the morn­ing of the race. She had just taken down ‘the best miler’ we have seen for years and yet the book­ies were mak­ing Wind Chimes favourite.

I wasn’t hav­ing that, and nei­ther was Lau­rens. She kept it sim­ple, popped out, made all, quick­ened and just about held on at the fin­ish. She looked as if she would win by miles at one point but per­haps the tacky ground just told in the fi­nal fur­long. I picked up £275 from that vic­tory and I was pretty con­tent with that.

It still should have been more, as nar­row de­feats, and I mean nar­row, haunted me again. Beat Le Bon couldn’t quite get up at Red­car but fin­ished with a fair rat­tle, while Ripp Orf couldn’t quite get to Rais­ing Sand. Li­hou was a close fourth in the big sales race at New­mar­ket and Dawaleeb ran Give It Some Teddy very close, con­ced­ing plenty of weight.

Af­ter so many close sec­onds, I could feel my at­ten­tions slowly turn­ing to the jumps but I felt that I should have a bet on Arc day.

My wa­ger on De­foe was more a show of loy­alty than a care­fully cal­cu­lated bet as the ground didn’t soften up like I thought it would. How­ever, a £10 each-way bet on Mabs Cross yielded £152 as she won the Ab­baye in good style.

I was at Chep­stow the fol­low­ing Sat­ur­day where I had an en­joy­able day with three good win­ners. My girl­friend chipped in with a few as well as she rather rudely, yet quite wisely, de­cided to lis­ten to my co writer Paul Fer­gu­son as he was do­ing a piece on the big screen.

He tipped Grand Sancy in the next race which he kindly spon­sored and of course that went and won while my se­lec­tion, Pad­dle your own ca­noe, came se­cond. I ac­cepted de­feat grace­fully but just watch your back Fer­gu­son!

While I was down­load­ing dat­ing apps propped up against the bar at Chep­stow, Bay­dar was run­ning again at York. I had to in­vest de­spite the fact he was step­ping up to two miles for the first time.

Two fur­longs out I was glad I did. Late on though he got in­volved in a ding-dong bat­tle with the strong stay­ing Ar­row­town, which he un­for­tu­nately lost. An­other £40 down the Bay­dar drain and I still await the day he cashes in on his low mark.

Af­ter a busy month mix­ing it in both codes I will be glad to set­tle down to pure Na­tional Hunt ac­tion in No­vem­ber. Happy Jump­ing folks!!


If The Cap Fits


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