Ben Morgan got off to a cracking start during a profitable month
Ben Morgan gets his nose in front after a roller-coaster month
Abig win early in the month is the ideal situation for every punter as it gives them the freedom to express themselves without having to worry about the books too much.
I had a fancy for Henry Daly’s Whatmore at Bangor in a novice hurdle, where he looked up against it as the highly regarded Dostal Phil from the Philip Hobbs stable was lining up also. They started at a similar price in the market but they went opposite directions as the morning wore on.I placed £30 on the nose for Whatmore hoping he may be able to put his experience to good use and serve it up to the French import.
I was shaking my head half way round as Whatmore hadn’t stopped pulling and with less than a mile to go I thought it was a case of when he drops out rather than if he drops out. Although, despite my worries, Andrew Tinkler moved the free going Whatmore up into contention before taking it up up the straight. Dostal Phil travelled well but couldn’t go with them,and it became clear thatWhatmore had them all in trouble.
He pinged the last, full of running and asserted late on, a phenomenal performance for a horse that had pulled that hard throughout.His SP was a huge 13/2 which returned £225,which I was over the moon with, but it didn’t end there.
I have to give great thanks to fellow Racing Ahead columnist, Paul Ferguson, for this next winner as I happened to watch a piece he did with Fergal O’Brien in the close season and he stated that Coolanly was his dark horse for the season. This was of interest because this came at a time where every bumper runner he sent out,they won,so the fact he picked this one out in pre-season sent out positive vibes.
I chucked a tenner on the nose and also put him in a double withWhatmore (13/2 & 5/1 - £10 each-way).It was a pretty careless bet because not a lot of thought went into it and I can assure you I have fancied horses a lot more than these two and they have come nowhere.
Coolanly found more in the final half furlong to secure victory which sent me into delirium. The double paid £496 and the single paid £60, on top of the Whatmore winnings made into a tidy start to the month.
I felt in great touch, if I wasn’t winning, my selections were hitting the frame which gave me confidence. Confidence remained high when I got involved in proceedings at my local course Ludlow a week later. This was a week where Kim Bailey was on fire and most horses were
winning,with this in mind I chucked £20 on his Dandy Dan at 9/2 against a red hot jolly.
All praise for this win must land at the doorstep of David Bass who executed a superb tactical ride aboard Bailey’s charge. His abundance of stamina shone through in the last half furlong and he cleared away from the favourite quite nicely. £165 into my back pocket and leg one of a Lucky 15 landed.
Leg two was Robinshill, who was an unlucky loser last time at the same course as he unseated at the last with the race at his mercy. He surprisingly drifted in the market, before going onto to cease victory with some foot perfect leaps.
Alastair Ralph was responsible for leg three and four. Firstly, his Tempuran looked to be a well handicapped horse judged on his second at Taunton a week earlier. I backed him singularly also (£10 ew @8/1) and was pleased to see him backed into favouritism.
I was even happier to see him take charge of the race and bound five lengths clear. Not many got close enough to muster up a challenge and he surged fur- ther clear after the last bringing home another £120 and again sent me delirious with excitement as I was three from three and on the verge of £3.5k.
Cut The Corner who featured in last month’s best bets, had pushed the classy Starchitect all the way at Stratford a week previous and a big run was expected. I placed £40 each way at 11/2 convinced he would finish in the first two.
My heart was well above 200bpm as they turned for home as Alastair Ralph’s charge was travelling the best of them.He still hadn’t been asked as they approached three out, but a slight peck on landing meant he needed a bit of hustling in order to almost join the second horse two out, but unfortunately he walked through it which flattened his momentum completely and he had to settle for third.A heart wrenching end to a very good day,the Lucky 15 yielded £292 and on top of the singles winnings meant I couldn’t complain.
A £15 each-way bet on Kerry Lee’s Magic Dancer at Kempton yielded £138 which helped erase the Monday blues. Further midweek wins on White Moon (£50 at 7/4) and Cresswell Legend (£40 at 7/2) helped top the satchel up.So much so that when Magic Dancer reappeared at Cheltenham just four days later in a conditional jockeys hurdle off the same mark with no penalty I happily ploughed in,£30 each way at 13/2 — a gift surely?
Richard Patrick anchored his mount out the back but creeped into contention coming down the hill and moved to take it up entering the straight. From then it was never in doubt and I was relieved I got the 13/2 the night before as he ended up a well-backed 3/1 favourite.
I went to the middle leg of the November meeting with a big fancy on Coup De Pinceau (£20 e/w at 9/1) of the Paul Nicholls yard who had some top form against some smart novices, yet was handed an opening mark of 125. But despite such leniency, he faded up the straight probably because of the ground.I expect him to make a mockery of 125 on better ground soon.
The last day of the November meeting at Cheltenham yielded yet more winnings and it capped of a magical month for myself. As much as I felt like Harry Potter, it was Harry Cobden that provided me with the final win of the month on Slate House.
He has always been touted as being pretty special I was surprised to see a late market drift to 5/2,and I duly struck a £60 win bet. The subtraction of the hurdles due to the low sun was a sight negative but as soon as Cobden sent him on round the bend I was confident nothing would catch him and they didn’t as he surged up the hill, with plenty left in the tank.
Straight after the race,Paddy Power left him at 33/1 for the Supreme and I couldn’t resist having £10 each-way on that because if he gets into a jumping rhythm on the front end,there aren’t many getting past him.