Okay – I realise my job is to do the heavy lifting, but today's a tricky one.
Nicholls has had his month off and is going mob-handed to a meeting at Sandown where he does well historically, plus he’s sending a train-load of horses up to Musselburgh for the two-day meeting – it’ll be like that scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where the posse jump out of the box car. “Who are those guys?”
He comes up against the usual Henderson squadron at Sandown – as per last year and the year before. Which makes it tricky. Plus, we have to consider other course specialists, Sir Gary Sandown Moore, Kerry Lee and good old Phil Middleton who is going for a life-changing treble tomorrow (keep that onside).
Play it as you will, but I think I’ve found a way in. Our Saturday heroes – James and Bryony. James’s rides are Top Gamble and Kris Spin for Kerry Lee, Holly Bush Henry for Middleton, and Colonial Dreams for his guvnor Henderson. Doubles and a facespitter. Kris Spin is 25/1 in the big handicap. So is Gary Moore’s Ubak. And so is Fergal O’Briens’ Okotoks, who is my idea of a decent each way thwack. Combination exactas and whatever else you fancy.
Musselburgh – Bryony rides three of Nicholls’. Did you see her ride on Frodon last week? That was something like perfection. Enough said – except to say Donald McCain single-handedly paid for my January dividend. Best placer of a racehorse since W A “little fish are sweet” Stephenson.
Dan Skelton has a similar talent, has dodged the big guns and goes mob-handed to Wetherby. No-brainer, plus Graham McPherson targets this meeting. Not forgetting you can currently back Harry Whittington and Tom Lacey blind and still show a profit. As will we, at Wetherby today.
Of course, you might want to watch the Scotland/Wales 6 nations game instead. I have no clue myself but Tony Calvin passes on the notion that the French referee is a nutter who likes sending people off. Which you can back at around 8/1 if you shop around. Be an interesting way to watch a game of rugby if nothing else…
Well, that was a day. 22 races and I had a bet in 21 of them. Yep, that was probably the problem, though it is the new approach.
Let’s see. Kerry Lee tick, Bryony tick. McCain tick, Skelton tick, tick, Henderson tick, tick, tick, Nicholls tick, tick, tick, tick. James – well, nearly. And Phil Middleton – well, he deserved better. Still, I should be bathing in asses’ milk, no?
Yeah, none of them in the right order, or combination, or at the right price. Whatever way you cut it.
Had I just backed them all in singles I might well be showing a profit. But that’s not the new game. Still, not much damage – McPherson drops off the “winners come in clusters” roster – but otherwise business as usual. Saturday is a losing day so far under the new regime. If I was the soulless automaton type of gambler I’d probably give it a swerve. But, when them ducks line up in a row, Saturday remains the day that offers the juiciest fruit. In the meantime…