Our Bet Enthusiast service is now at number 3 in the Betfan Top 10 for March. The service would be even more profitable if Manchester United had qualified for the next round of the Champions League. They looked on course to do just that until Nani was sent off in the second leg of the last 16 tie with Real Madrid.
You could argue all day about that decision and how the match was likely to develop with 11 players on the pitch for both sides. However, it is indisputable that the two sides had been evenly matched from the start of the first match in Madrid. Once the referee decided to dismiss Nani the while dynamics of the tie changed.
United almost to a man then sat back and let Real control the play. It was going to be a difficult task to defend the lead for more than 30 minutes and the two deciding goals seemed inevitable. It was a shame that such an intriguing tie was in effect decided by one questionable call made by the referee.
Moving on from that losing bet the Cheltenham Festival is now almost upon us and we have a strong portfolio of ante post bets. We have added some more selections which have been gleaned from a preview evening held near Aintree Racecourse on Monday evening.
A working man’s club 300 yards from the start of the Grand National might seem a strange place to be discussing the Cheltenham Festival. However as one of the many Cheltenham preview evenings around Britain and Ireland the event at The Old Railway Club on Melling Road in Aintree attracted a predominantly male audience of about 500 racing fans and a decent panel of racing experts and familiar faces.
One of the familiar faces was John Parrott, the former world snooker champion who lives about five miles from Aintree Racecourse. Ben Pauling had travelled a few hundred miles further but his contribution was invaluable as he currently works as assistant trainer to Nicky Henderson. Charlie Longsdon provided unique insight as a trainer with runners at Cheltenham and Andy Holding represented the Form experts.
The event was excellently hosted and organised by John Morris, the author of the annual Jumping Prospects publication which pinpoints potential National Hunt prospects at the start of each season. The venue was full and what was striking was the relative lack of alcohol consumption. Perhaps everyone wanted to give keep their punting heads on for a night that would help us in the battle to beat the bookies at Cheltenham.
The night was structured around the Grade 1 championship races at the Festival but there was some useful insight into the handicaps when time allowed. There was certainly consensus in some of the races but every pundit brought something to the party and John Parrott even told us who he thought would win the World Snooker Championships, which was something of a bonus… get on Mark Selby at 7/1.
Charlie Longdson was asked to suggest his banker of the week and his selection caused something of a stir in the audience. He runs Pure Style at Stratford on Monday and given good ground suggested this horse was capable of increasing our betting bank for the best four days of racing in the world. There was also a strong word for the Irish trained Zand in the Derby.
So the night had given us the world snooker champion, the winner of the Derby, a minor race contender at Stratford and the winners of several Grade 1s at Cheltenham and the beer was cheap. A wonderful night and a great appetiser for the carnival of fun that is the Cheltenham Festival.
Back next Friday.