UK racing takes a hit today with only the All Weather surviving the snowy conditions. Chelmsford is hardly inspiring but Lingfield hosts a class 3 and a class 2, which are worth looking a little further into. I’ll be backing just the one at that meeting and will tip at the end of today’s article.
Last week, I wrote about preparing for the Cheltenham festival and if you missed it, you can read it here.
This week, I wanted to write about some of the adventures I’ve had at the Festival. Times have changed a little now and it’s not quite the party it used to be but that’s okay with me as I get older!
When I worked for the bookie, we used to have to travel down to Cheltenham and spread ourselves around various shops to do what we called “spotting”. This would involve looking out for people trying to get down large sums of money down.
We knew various faces and would attempt to limit the amount of cash they got down on certain horses. The “runners” knew we were in the shops and as a result would wear some of the most ridiculous disguises.
There were wigs, fake moustaches, baseball caps pulled down low and my favourite, a bloke dressed up in full glamour gear and pretending to be a woman! He actually got away with it, as we assumed he was part of a stag do. We later found out he was part of a huge syndicate and had stung the firm for nearly 100 grand at the end of the four days!
When I left the firm and went out to do it myself, it was great fun! We would hire a minibus and get driven to Gloucester. We had a hotel and started the whole adventure on the Monday. We would have to try and get down as much money as we could and then send photos to the “head” of the syndicate to prove we’d got the money on. The evening would then descend into chaos and rarely did our heads hit the pillow before 4 am. It was then up early for the shops opening and more gambles would be attempted before heading up the hill to the course.
They were great days and a lot of money was won and lost over the 3 years I did it.
It’s a much more sober affair these days and we rent a house for the week, go to bed early and drink Malbec by an open fire every evening! We actually watch the racing for what it is, horse racing and although I’m still getting money down, it’s not the same vast sums and the bets are placed on my own analysis.
Next week, I’ll relive the time we were blown off for the festival and spent the week in a hotel bar with some great characters and I got to meet one of my heroes!
At Lingfield, I’ll be backing –
3.00 – Kyllachy Gala
He went close over this course and distance last December and was outclassed on his last appearance. Pretty much on the same weight, he should be able to make amends today and win the race.