Betting Articles

Nick's Punting Diary w/c 02-09-13

By popular demand or otherwise, my £100 to £1000 challenge has now become a “live” event.  I am more than happy to share my selections with you but please remember this is a bit of fun and I am not a professional!  I just hope you enjoy the ride and we get to the other side with a few quid in our pockets.

As I write this, we are 3 days in and the bank stands at £108.35.  The highlight for me so far has been Gifu from the Japanese J2 League who did not let us down even when reduced to 10 men.  Well done boys!

On Saturday I went to Haydock for the Betfred Sprint Cup meeting, the feature race being…..the aptly named Betfred Sprint Cup and we had tickets for the County Stand, right next to the winning post.  I went with two friends, Steve (the most successful punter I’ve ever met) and Bryn, or “Traed” as we know him (founder of, blogger for the Colossus Bet website and all round betting whizz).  The three of us constitute the “Level Stake Tips” team who provide free horse racing, golfing and football tips.  The site is still in its infancy but we are doing quite well!!

Now, when it comes to betting on course I am hopeless.  My first ever visit to a racecourse was Bangor-on-Dee where, not only did I blank, but I ended up borrowing money for the “lucky last” and yet more money for a burger on the way out.  And it has never really got any better than that.

More recently I have taken to placing the majority of my bets on-line prior to the racing.  I always take a few quid with me for on-course betting just in case there are any going changes or big gambles going down that I would not have known about when placing my bets at home.

This Saturday is no exception especially as William Hill are offering second-place refunds on all races at Haydock as well as all C4 races.

Firstly I take a look at the Ascot and Kempton C4 races.  I duly back Gabriel’s Lad @15/2 in the 1.55 and Café Society @5/1 in the 3.30, both at Ascot.  On to Kempton and I plonk on Royal Empire @3/1 as my NAP of the day in the 2.20 Group 3 race and I back Ehtidaam @5/1 in the London Mile at 2.55.  Both are Godolphin horses and both are in with serious chances.

Haydock is a tricky card and the forecast rain, that duly does not arrive, only serves to make things even harder.  Montiridge is my banker of the meeting in the 2.40 and I take 5/4 with William Hill given the insurance for second place.  Surely he’ll be in the first two home.

I have been nothing but impressed with Lethal Force this season and I just have to have a piece of the 3/1.  The lack of rain only serves to reinforce my confidence and I back him with William Hill as he will surely be in the first two home.

The Hannon/ Hughes combo have a strong hand across the card and I back Musical Comedy @5/4 in the 4.25 and Chief Barker @7/4 in the 5.00.  I’m probably taking this second place refund thing too far, but again I see both these horses being in the first two home!

I stick with Hughesy in the lucky last and back Nearly Caught @4/1 in the closing 5.30pm race.  That just leaves a mortgaging-busting lucky 15 of Racy @10/1, Poyle Thomas @7/1, Rex Imperator @14/1 and Bounty Girl @20/1.  Hey you never know!

We arrive nice and early at Haydock and they open the gates at 11.30.  We head to the County Stand and have a pint of Guinness in the, you’ve guessed it, Guinness lounge.  We grab placepot coupons and quickly decide it is not worth the effort!  Steve begins studying the Racing Post and I’m interested in seeing who he fancies.  This is a guy who has semi-retired on his winnings and it will be interesting to see how he goes about his selection process.  One thing I do notice is that Steve does not pay much attention to the tipping press or the Racing Post spotlights.  He seems to make up his own mind.

All in all we had a fantastic day and the racing was top class.  From a punting perspective, Traed came out well on top with wins on Confessional @9/1, Gordon Lord Byron @9/2, Hoof It each-way @40/1 and Chief Barker @6/4.

Steve managed to get Hoof It each-way @66/1 with Bet365 and that was about all he managed, as most of his money was on a big ante-post bet on Rex Imperator @25/1.  I think a win bet on Montiridge was his only other wager and judging by the wad of cash he handed to the bookmaker it certainly looked like a “decent” bet!

As usual I was left with very little to cheer about as Racy trailed home in 5th in the opener and my meeting banker Montiridge failed to run to his form and also trailed home in 5th.  Meanwhile over at Ascot, Gabriel’s Lad finishes 2nd as did my NAP Royal Empire over at Lingfield.

In the Old Borough Cup I could not resist a wager on the old boy Nanton on course @80/1.  He came home last by 32 lengths.  My lucky 15 was also in trouble as Poyle Thomas could only manage 10th.

Worse was to follow as Lethal Force and Rex Imperator never featured in the Sprint Cup.  Having said that, I doubt any horse would have beaten Gordon Lord Byron on the day.  Further misery ensued as I check the results to see that both Café Society (Ascot 3.30) and Ehtidaam (Lingfield 2.55) failed to make the frame.

And so to the final three races and my hopes rest firmly on the shoulders of Richard Hughes.  Unfortunately Musical Comedy got beaten into second so it was another money-back second.  Hughesie made amends on Chief Barker with a rallying drive to get up on the line after being passed by Chriselliam and at last I had a winner.

Richard Hughes again put in a fantastic ride on Nearly Caught in the final race and the 4/1 meant I had more or less broken even at Haydock on the day.  What was more remarkable was that Nearly Caught drifted from the far rail to the stands rail in the final furlong and still managed to win by 1 ½ lengths.

In quite high spirits we head home and all decide to plonk on Al Kazeem @5/4 in the Irish Champion Stakes after learning of the withdrawal of Declaration of War.  With The Fugue wanting better ground we felt this was the proverbial “shoe-in” that would send us all home in even higher spirits.

As with all things betting related, it does not take long to be brought back down to earth with a bump.  In this case it was 1 hour and 25 minutes!!!

On the whole though, it did not spoil an otherwise great day out at a fantastic racecourse.  If you ever get the chance to go to Haydock I strongly suggest you get tickets for the County stand.  The view is spectacular and the parade ring allows easy viewing of all the horses, trainers and jockeys.  You will even get to rub shoulders with Tanya Stevenson in the betting ring if the C4 team are there!


Old Borough Cup
The Portland Handicap


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