Saturday, 26 February 2011

Plodding along

It's been a funny start to the year for me punting wise; keeping my head above water but with just small bets. Take yesterday for example, the wife was out so it was in front of Racing UK & ATR for the afternoon with the laptop on and punting in most races, a couple of winners, a dozen or so losers and a bit down. So nothing to write home about; one good thing though was to discover Tanya's blog on the Racing UK website where she talked about her "better half" going off to Sandown where he particularly fancied one (it was a loser.)

I can imagine Miss Stevenson spending most of her afternoons glued in front of the racing but she is also mad keen on cricket and you certainly get a flavour of all this from her blog - plus she puts up pointers for the day with what I hope will be some good clues in the months ahead. It's well worth a look at Certainly far more informative that anything on this blog or many others!

Can't make Home Park today for Argyle V Colchester which is a great shame as the club is teetering on the edge of oblivion unless a buyer is found in the next couple of weeks. It is a tale of gross mismanagement and our future is now in the hands of Peter Ridsdale who is acting as an unpaid consultant to try to get new investors. Ridsdale has plenty of detractors from his time at Leeds & Cardiff but at the moment he seems our only hope and if he ends up taking over the club with some others then I don't think he can do worse than the current board who have led us to the precipice. In my absence from Home Park I've managed to persuade a mate of mine who hasn't been to a game all season to go along but am not giving him my season ticket to use; the club has cut prices for the game and they need every penny.

Back to the punting and I've had the chance of a good study this morning and have come up with Fistral Beach at Kempton in the RP Chase and the slogger Glies Cross for the Eider Chase at Newcastle. Tom Segal on the Morning Line said the going stick was off the radar at Newcastle where it was softer than the Atlantic and this will be a real test.

Cheltenham on the way so funds needed for the annual battle - can't wait!

Friday, 7 January 2011

New year new hope

Well, what a wretched punting period this has been for Westcoast. The enforced absence from betting through the snow did nothing to kill off the virus which has been afflicting my betting for ages and with the few measly bets I've had since it's all come back it's clear things are no better.

I must admit though that it's been difficult to get down to some proper study such has been my lack of confidence and lack of enthusiasm for continuing to see all my bookie accounts disappearing down the drain. It's not helped by being regaled regularly by my pal John about how superbly well his punting has been going and today he tried to help me out by emailing over his bet of the day which I didn't even see until after the damn thing had won at Wolverhampton at 5-2.

But are we about to turn a corner? Is the example of That Man Reid and Plymouth Argyle in mounting a superb backs-to-the-wall campaign in the face of a winding up order from the taxman and huge other debts going to inspire a sudden improvement?

At least I'm back studying and this evening have been like a whirling dervish of the form book as I got stuck into the Welsh National. And the excellent news is I have come up with a 20-1 stormer - just the horse to get me back in the game!

The beast in question is Ballyfoy, trained by Jamie Poulton. He has won twice over 3m on heavy and was staying on really well on both occasions but particularly the second time so this trip should be within his reach. His jumping let him down at Newbury on his last chase appearance in March but he was given a nice warm up over the hurdles at Ascot in November.

Yes, this could be the one to get the ball rolling (well, we can all dream...)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Can Denman do it?

A severe lack of punting at this end, bits and pieces but nothing of any consequence but I've got to back Denman today at 6-1. The weight, his age, the quality of the opposition all count against him ofcourse but the way he has won his other two Hennessys suggest to me that he will once again go out and run the rest into submission.

I've also had a bit on Madison du Berlais each way at 16-1 which seems a cracking bet for a horse that won this race two years ago so let's hope for a decent return - I certainly need it.

Life at the B&B is very quiet now so I just hope we'll have some racing to sit down in front of next week, particularly on Tuesday when a horse I have a share in is due to run at Hereford. All the forecasts would indicate it is a 33-1 shot the meeting being on but we live in hope.

Another little punt I'm having today is on Canalturn in the 1.30 at Newbury. This one is running for the first time in more than two years but Charles Egerton is a bit of a master at getting horses ready after a long lay off and I hope he works his wonders with this one.

Happy Punting!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Paddy Power picks

The punting has been lack lustre to say the least for the past couple of weeks; I've watched a fair bit of racing on ATR & RUK but been hardly betting which is a most unusual state of affairs brought about by continued frustrations each time I've dipped my toe back into the water.

It's one of those runs where nothing goes right but the spirit is slowly returning and a superb weekend ahead will fire the enthusiasm. I'm off to see my son, daughter in law and lovely grand daughter today and then tomorrow we're going to Cheltenham for the Sunday of the Paddy Power meeting. What a superb way to spend a weekend, with the big fight to look forward to tonight as well. I once interviewed Audley Harrison when I was a hack so I would love to see him put his past as a big fearful lump behind him and win the title.

Few people give him a chance and realistically he really is up against it but I wish him the best. At the very least I hope he puts up a good performance so he can at least retire with pride but he has looked a far better proposition in the last year or so so I reckon he just might do it.

If only Plymouth Argyle could show some consistency then all would indeed be rosy but they play one great game and then two abysmal games, including being beaten by Exeter on Tuesday night in the Johnson Paint Trophy quarter final. A dire state of affairs.

Anyway on with the punting and the Paddy Power Gold Cup today seems to be all over bar the shouting if Long Run runs to form. But it is on days like this that brave men need to look beyond the obvious that is staring them right in the face and I am backing The Sawyer each way at 28-1. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go off at longer odds so the best odds guarantee could come into play here and I was amazed to see that even Ladbrokes are going 5 places each way along with some of the smaller bookies so well done to them.

I'm also going to have a bit on Mad Max at 9-1 to win. He has won first time out for the last three years and Barry Geraghty says he is flying at home. Common sense would be to have at least a saver on Long Run but damn it, I say. I will not be lily livered about it!

Happy punting one and all.

Friday, 29 October 2010

My punting needs some Brechin spirit..

Back in the punting game and struggling to get a grip of things, unlike my Scottish team, Brechin City, who are flying in Div II. I've been a Brechin fan since the age of eight when as a group of lads in a small village near Plymouth we decided it was time for us to choose our Scottish teams and I settled on the mighty City.

Forty-five years later I finally got to the hallowed Glebe Park during our Scottish trip. I had just wanted to get a picture of myself at the gates but a splendid chap, Alan, who was locking up said he'd show me round and to my delight I was inside, touring the pitch and into the players' lounge where among the mementos was a Plymouth Argyle pennant from a pre-season tour a few years ago! Things got even better when I discovered that the next day City were playing Rangers in a testimonial for Charlie King so the next night I was back and saw a game for the first time ever - what a thrill!

Back to earth now, with guests at the B&B and no winners but hoping to turn the corner today with that old warhorse Mister McGoldrick in the 3.20 at Wetherby. He's won thisrace the two times he's run in it and is at his lowest rating for three years so I'm taking a chance on him at 7-1 even though he hasn't won for two years.

Happy punting!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Return to the fray

Back from a fabulous trip to Scotland which exceeded all our expectations. Stayed in a little town called Dunkeld for six nights, then three nights at the New Lanark Mill Hotel and had a great time throughout.

We drove from Cornwall to Scotland in a day on the way up but took our time on the return, having a couple of nights in Lancaster then a night in Ludlow and then Chepstow where we were entertained by our lovely 16-month-old grand daughter. Had a good day at the races at Ludlow backing a couple of winners to secure a profit and then back home on Saturday in time to see Argyle beat Huddersfield 2-1 to round off a great two weeks.

In the mood to get punting again now and kicking off at Musselburgh with 4-1 shot Graceful Descent in the two mile race at 3.50. This is a very competitive handicap but the way this horse won over 1m5f at Ayr suggests this trip will be right up his street. Also Franny Norton has ridden him twice and won on both occasions so Ladbrokes' 4-1 looks good enough for me.

Here's to a successful autumn's punting for all of us!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Next stop Scotland!

Our very busy season at the B&B is drawing to a close and we are off tomorrow to Scotland for a couple of weeks, with stop offs at Lancaster, Ludlow and Chepstow on the return leg.

Looking forward to it very much but its going to mean an enforced break from punting which is no bad thing as I can't back a winner for love nor money while staying at home. At least I had a good day at Exeter on Thursday with two decent winners to ensure a healthy profit - next racing for me is likely to be Ludlow unless by some miracle I manage to wangle a day at Kelso which is looking highly unlikely.

Been to Argyle today to see them draw 2-2 with Charlton which I suppose was a fair result and a vast improvement on the last two home games. Didn't have a proper bet today, just a small patent on Hugh Taylor's 3 losers and a losing Trixie on three Twiston-Davies horses at Bangor so looking forward to getting back into the fray in two weeks time!

Till then, happy punting!