Sunday, March 21, 2010

Festival review 2010

Firstly, the profit/loss details on the blog's highlighted selections at this year's Festival to a £1 level stake...

Punjabi WIN 15/2 - unplaced
Garde Champetre WIN 7/4f - fifth

Poker De Sivola E/W 14/1 WON - returned 8.75
Peddlers Cross WIN 7/1 WON - returned 8.00
Punchestowns WIN 2/1f - fifth
Kalahari King WIN 9/2 - third
Shot From The Hip WIN 3/1f - unplaced

Poquelin WIN 11/4f - second
Karabak E/W 15/2 - fourth

Tell Massini WIN 100/30f - pulled up
Kauto Star WIN 8/11f - fell

Total wagered £11.00
Total returned £16.75
Profit/loss +£5.75
Win strike rate 18.18%
Profit as % of turnover 52.27%

Surprisingly, the figures read well enough. Wednesday was the lucky day - you may have noticed a more conservative approach thereafter... Some others mentioned in dispatches also performed with credit, most notably Cue Card who won the bumper at 40/1 (paid 60/1 on the Tote) and 14/1 Ryanair winner Albertas Run. Having gone to the trouble to dig out Colin Tizzard's quote about Cue Card the night before, you would have thought I'd have taken the trouble to place a bet but I didn't; at around 5.25 Wednesday evening I received a text from a colleague at the track who had bet the horse on the Nanny - that's racing!

This time last week media talk was of the four 'bankers'. Of the four - Dunguib, Master Minded, Big Buck's and Kauto Star - only Big Buck's obliged, making this a Festival for the layers. Commentators estimate the bookmaking industry is £60 million up over the four days.

Congratulations to connections of Imperial Commander who won the Gold Cup with authority. The decison to bill the showpiece as a two horse race (Kauto v. Denman) looks flawed now. I was amazed to hear Ms Fiona Bruce tell the nation on Friday's ten o'clock news that 'an outsider' had won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. If Imperial Commander was an outsider at 7/1, what was 250/1 shot Mr Pointment? A rank outsider possibly - I suppose we'll have to put it down to cutbacks in the BBC's racing coverage.

There were some notable performances over the four days but one that will live with me for a long time was Barizan's effort to make all in the Triumph. I've replayed that race a couple of times - had he not run down the last obstacle and landed in something of a heap, he would have gone extremely close; to me it looks as though he starts to make some ground on winner Soldatino as they climb the hill to the line - the form book reads 'rallied towards finish'.

Friday was Nigel Twiston-Davies' day. After taking the Gold Cup, elder son Sam Twiston-Davies rode the stable's Baby Run to victory in the Chrisitie's Foxhunter Chase. By this time the rain had started to get into the ground; fans of the slow-motion finish were in their element - for a moment I thought I was watching the final stages of a three mile handicap chase at Towcester. Not to be outdone by his elder brother, the younger Twiston-Davies was caught on camera running around in a highly-excited manner and then doing a quick 'live' interview. Some words of advice for this young man... I have no problems with your wagging off school, especially if you want go to the races, but don't do live TV interviews from the track as the chances are somebody will snitch on you. I fear a visit to the head teacher's office for a severe 'dressing down' will be on the cards tomorrow morning...

Finally, with the return of the Flat just around the corner, a quote from Kieren Fallon who was unfortunately punched by an owner while unsaddling Elna Bright at Lingfield yesterday: '...but I'm all right - he hits like a girl!'

No comments: