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Taking A Pull

vautourSince Cheltenham, my punting life has taken a few significant twists and turns. It was a record Cheltenham for me and I rolled into Fairyhouse full of optimism. I attended all 3 days and despite doing everything wrong on Easter Sunday, I managed to get out ahead on the festival thanks to a max bet on Emily Gray in the Mares Chase. I had lost €600 on Lift The Latch and missed out on a few decent Geraghty winners, thanks to some poor indecision.

The day before Aintree started, I had my first bet of the flat season (quite unusually early for me). Ballybacka Queen was no 16/1 shot in my mind but unfortunately she found one too good, still it was a nice each way bet that nearly landed a touch. The next day I max-bet Annie Power and backed Don Poli each way against Cue Card. While Annie produced the goods, Don found the favourite too hot to handle and finished second.

Day Two of Aintree was a rollercoaster in itself as no sooner had I won €1080 on Buveur D’Air, €900 was lost on Vautour. 1/3 was a good price compared to SP but I know deep down betting these short ones is no good. I fired €900 at the hotpot treble on National Day and they (Thistlecrack, Douvan and Yorkhill) all obliged. My bet in the National was disgraceful. The plan was always to back Ucello Conti and the night before the race I found myself fairly inebriated. I backed the horse each way but instead of focussing on the place terms of the bet I was staring at the 28/1 in Betfred and thinking about landing a touch. I was raging when I realised Victor Chandler were offering 6 places and needless to say he finished 6th. This error cost me over €1,000.

I made a very minor profit on the US Masters thanks to Paul Casey’s 4th place finish but golf is not something I would know much about and I shouldn’t be betting on it. The following weekend I lost €300 on Heathfield in the Scottish National and €300 on Blossom Queen at Navan who was found to be heavily in season afterwards. These 3 bets were all needless and worse was to follow.

Sandown had a nice flat meeting the day before the UK jumps season was due to finish. I lost €300 on both Western Hymn and Belardo. Again, very needless. The next day I lost €300 on Ashoka when he pulled up lame after racing for only 50 yards. All of a sudden I was on a bad run. On Tuesday, Yorkhill was chinned at Punchestown and I had double him up with Vautour (also beaten) for €900 at 6/5.

Yesterday was not as loss-making but far more frustrating. I broke my staking rules and had a total of €600 each way on Coney Island. I backed the horse to win €5,000 and really fancied him. Just beaten in second, soon after the race I realised I was chasing. Earlier in the day I got two mutually exclusive pieces of information. Long story short, to back both Be Seeing You and Presenting Persie. I had €150 each way on both and both were unplaced.

Although I have only lost €500 since Cheltenham I am quite uncomfortable with how I’m punting. I took a considerable chunk out of my “punting” bank account for personal use and I have been trying to win it “back”.

I generally don’t bet in handicaps, in bumpers or on golf. I don’t make mistakes with each way terms. I don’t break staking rules. Yet, in the last month I’ve done all of the above. So, it’s time to re-group and I’m taking some time off. I don’t know for how long and it is worth finishing on this point – year to date, this one has been my most profitable.

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