Let this be a lesson

I’ve a funny (that’s not a promise) story with a message to recount in relation to the Cheltenham Festival. This story is funny for one reason and one reason only: I had a good day today.

Let us start at the beginning, so often the best place for a story to start. As long time readers will know, I do enjoy a good bit of horse racing. Many of the on-line bookmakers have special offers to entice one’s money in their direction. These offers are usually along the lines of ‘Stake £25 and we’ll give you a £25 FREE BET’. However, this week, one of the major sites had a much better offer, namely, stake up to £50 and they would give double the stake in free bets. It was actually in tiers rather than a straight doubling, but that’s not important here.

I thought, ‘So I can bet fifty quid and it doesn’t matter if I lose because I can stick the hundred on Kauto Star and double my money anyway.’ The more perceptive, or more accurately, those who’ve heard the result of the Gold Cup, will know that Kauto Star did not in fact win the Gold Cup. Again, this is secondary to the story.

After having a good hard look through the form for Thursday’s races, I decided that Albertas Run had the best form in its race and should win. Hill’s had the horse at 9/2 and I decided to play it safe in a competitive race and stick £25 on each way. This would only return a small profit for a place but together with the £100 free stake money I’d be happy. Now, for some unknown reason the William Hill website lists horses in betting rather than race card order. So, Albertas Run, 9/2 favourite, at the top right? Well no as it turned out. For some reason they’d got Air Force One (notice it begins with an ‘A’) also at 9/2 and since Air comes before Albertas alphabetically this was listed first.

There’s no excuse for what I did. Always pay attention to what you are doing when placing bets. So I only went and stuck £25 each-way on the wrong bleeding horse! Obviously had Air Force One won the race I wouldn’t have minded, but it didn’t (for the record it finished 5th, 2 places less than what would have won me some money). No prizes for guessing what did win. My stupid mistake meant instead of winning £140 on the race I had lost £50. I was not best pleased.

When I came to look at the form for Friday my ‘eggs in one basket’ plan didn’t seem such a good idea. It looks even worse now. My first alternative was to stick £65 on Kauto, with the other £35 on his main rival Denman, in what was shaping up to be a two horse race. I decided instead to stick the bulk on Kauto but then pick out a few other horses at decent prices so that any one winner would see me come out with more than the original £50. It turned out to be a good plan today as first Fiveforthree at 8/1 and then Celestial Halo at 13/2 both came home in front.

Kauto at even money would have been a lovely bonus, but I’ve more than doubled my money and I’ve still got £3.50 in free stake money to bet by the 20th. Any suggestions for what it should go on would be welcome.

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~ by yorksdevil on March 14, 2008.

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