Cheltenham Highs and Lows....
It's only a short one today, looking back over the highs and lows of another Cheltenham past along with a cry for help!
Cheering Finians Rainbow past Sizing Europe on the run in of the Queen Mother Champion Chase. What was looking like an unpleasant Cheltenham for me on the betting front, was saved, right there in a single moment.
Synchronised - a little horse with a huge heart -showing every ounce of that heart and a will of steel to go past them all and win the Gold Cup. I knew he was a top class handicapper but prior to his facile win in the Lexus Chase, I would never have dreamed he was this classy. An amazing achievement.
Nicky Henderson smashing Fulke Walwyn's all time Cheltenham winner record. I know Mr Henderson isn't the most loved of trainers (and there are plenty of reasons why not) but I've had the utmost respect for him since he was kind enough to write and read a very moving eulogy at the funeral of a close friend of mine a few years ago. Since then, he can do very little wrong in my eyes - so more power to his arm. There can be no doubt he is one of the National Hunt training greats now - whatever your personal opinion of him.
Big Bucks record breaking 4th victory in the World Hurdle. I was beginning to fear for the fate of all horses sent out from Ditcheat last week but Big Bucks found enough to stay exactly where he belongs, right at the very peak of the staying hurdler world.
Mixed High and Low
I'm not sure how to feel about this.
I would have loved to see Kauto Star win the Gold Cup for sentimental reasons, so it was a real low to see him pulled up. Not a fitting end to a great career and I don't think he should have been put in the race.
The high comes in the fact that, due to the multiple factors against him, I had layed him throughout the day. I'm afraid there's very little room for sentiment in betting for a living and I made hay at what I viewed as a ludicrous price.
The unnecessary deaths of Scotsirish and Garde Champetre in the Cross Country Chase - shouldn't have been run and should never be run again.
The failure of Binocular in the Champion Hurdle - I thought he was a good thing for at least a place - and I'm still convinced he was. It just wasn't to be.
The lowest low, in a personal sense, was my each way treble on the Friday, which promised so much - and, ultimately, failed to deliver. The treble was as follows:
Synchronised - Gold Cup - 12/1 Won
Salsify - Foxhunters - 7/1 Won
Make a Track -Martin Pipe Conditionals - 16/1 4th
I had better than 2 grand riding on Make a Track (I know, I know -I should have layed some off!) after the first 2 went in and as they leapt the last, for one glorious moment, I thought he was going to sail past them all. He then got horribly squeezed up by the eventual winner and was unable to regain his stride in time. I'm not sure that he would have got there anyway - but it certainly didn't help.
So near and yet so far...there was a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have to admit. The place return softened the blow slightly but not enough to stop me fuming about it for most of the weekend. Apologies to Mrs MYBP are probably in order!
I'd love to hear the highs and lows enjoyed/endured by readers so please leave a comment!
I thought I'd been so clever running my Cheltenham tipping competition in conjunction with the Telegraph Fantasy Cheltenham Competition. It certainly turned out to be a true test of tipping ability and in that sense it was a roaring success. Congratulations are due to Mark Shepherd (who lead almost from start to finish), Stuart Boa, our second place finisher and Richard Halliday our gallant 3rd.
Unfortunately, I was not aware that the Fantasy Cheltenham website would not allow me access to the email addresses of League entrants. And therein lies my difficulty.
I have, as yet, been unable to contact any of our top three finishers to learn where I should send the prizes!
That being the case, I would be most grateful if Mark, Stuart and Richard could contact me asap on email@example.com and I will get prizes sent out post haste!
Thats all from me today
PS I've heard a very strong word this morning for Gold Ingot, running in the 5.35 at Warwick. Apparently, he's improved enormously for his first run and, though not a huge price, he's expected to win.