The return. Leg. Yep, I’m back. Amazing scenes – Fulham knock out some old lady, Palace change their name to the Diddymen and Mint Imperials win the Gold Cup. I’m never going away again. Well, that’s a lie. I am.
The Cheltenham ante-post book had its usual list of casualties, but there were some notable exceptions. Carole’s Legacy was a decent price for the place money on the first day. Peddlers Cross was a very decent ante-post price winner on Wednesday – but we had some terrible blunderers through the rest of that day’s card. A few places on the third day, but finished off with a 9/1 winner in the lucky last.
Gold Cup day was unbelievable exciting, just to see the punter’s friend and RP columnist Paul Nichols finally loosening his grip on the toughest jumping contest in the game. A few selections tipped for the wrong races showed their ability, but normal Cheltenham rules applied and my early retirement is off for another year. Still, I’ve always got the transatlantic golf double.
Anyway, on to other things. I uncovered a conspiracy while away in Barbados. Yes, it’s a bold assertion I know, but we are detective as The Thompson Twins famously sang. I’ve never been to a cricket match abroad. So imagine my delight, surprise and screams of valium- induced ecstasy when Essex cricket club boarded the same flight to Grantley Adams airport as my good self.
I wandered up to some old chap who must have been the medic or some such and asked why they were heading to the sunny Caribbean Sea. “We’re playing a few warm up matches; the schedule will be on the website – come and join us”. “Brilliant!” I screamed until I was hushed and calmly shown back to my seat.
So, after a few days of drinking and lying around I visited the Essex website. After reading Danny’s (who is Danny?) live report from the Kensington Oval claiming that Lancashire were 326-6 after the first day of a two day match I decided to go along and watch the second day’s play.
Well, imagine my surprise when I turned up at the gate of the famous old ground and the ground staff all gave me looks of incredulousness (word of the week). Nope Essex were not playing. Nope. So I ask you. You. Yes, you. Are they making it up? And if so, is everyone making everything up? Do teams like Stirling Albion really bother to turn out every week, or do they just post a score online and send it through to the vidiprinter? I want Mel Gibson to look into this for me. And I want him to do it while he is drunk.
Anyway, apart from Cheltenham, it was a quiet week on the betting front. I visited Garrison Savannah racetrack, but it was full of power walkers walking powerfully. Apparently, it’s the national sport. Good to see Nick Watney get a place last week – you will probably get around double carpet this week for him at the Arnie Palmer thingammybob. At this point, I’m going to see what’s left in the ante-post locker and hand over some incredible golf advice. Ready? Here goes…
This week’s golf – stick with the system… Watney, Freddy Jacobson, Rickie Fowler (had a shocking 4th round last week) and replace Yang with young Jonathan Byrd. I’m throwing in Thomas Aiken, Nick Fasth and Richie Ramsey over in Andalucia. Decent prices, the lot. Rum sours all round, normal practice will resume next week.
Running total after Week 8 and Cheltenham: £-15
What’s left in the ante-post locker…
Big Fella Thanks – Grand National 20/1
Our Vic– Grand National 66/1
Black Apalachi– Grand National 16/1
Co-ordinated Cut – The Derby 33/1
Twice Over – Dubai World Cup 7/1 – Come on Henry.
Chelsea – Premier League 6/4
Bordeaux – Champions League 33/1
Barcelona – Champions League 3/1
Cardiff – Championship 25/1
Aston Villa – FA Cup 9/1
Lionel Messi – Champions League Topscorer 9/1
Didier Drogba – Premier League Top Scorer 6/1
Torres – Top World Cup Scorer 12/1
Ding Junhui – World Championship 12/1
Stephen Maguire – World Championship 14/1
Nick Watney – The Masters 50/1