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Week commencing 20th March 

A weekly blog from our very own in-house tipster, host and general racing know-it-all - Martin Higgs.

When I dropped off the conveyer belt in 1964 I was privileged to have been allocated an interest in Horse Racing, what a result was my initial thought, 52 years on I haven’t changed my mind although last week at Cheltenham there were serious doubts about just why I put myself through it.

It all started on the Tuesday; Neon Wolf went to the Neptune so off we go, Ballyandy will surely beat Melon and win, neither happened! Altior did win, but was unbackable, and Footpad who I suggested each way at 20/1 finished 4th. Then low and behold Tully East goes and wins the last under a fine ride by Denis O’Regan at 8/1 and we end the day up.

Wednesday, and confidence was high.  Neon Wolf was a certainty for the Neptune, I had told everyone who knows me and would be a hero by 1.45pm. Oh the wolf growled alright but not enough and was beaten by a head having stumbled at the last.  Time to switch off the phone and call into the ‘Offi’ on the way home as I won’t be drinking in public for a week or so.  Next up was the RSA; Might Bite unbelievably wins by a nose and now it was time for Douvan to prove his super-equine status in the Queen Mother and hope Special Tiara can grab a place at the earlier suggested odds of 25/1.  Noel Fehily shot clear on ST and it was pretty evident that something was amiss with Douvan and there was every chance the each way bet could supply us a win.  The run commentary finished ‘2 lengths up last, held on gamely, all out’, he wasn’t the only one! . Oh my giddy Aunt, Douvan has been beaten and I have a betting account showing I have just backed a 25/1 winner! the tiara has just turned into the Crown jewels, forget the ‘Offi’

Thursday and we are flying.  First race JLT- get on those dancing shoes as we are on Disko, he ran well but instead of getting a ten from Len, he got an eight for being late. The Ryanair and I suggested taking on Un De Sceaux with Sizing John. It was decided that the latter should swerve this for the Gold Cup, a disappointing decision for yours truly, but as we know now a very wise one from the Harrington clan. Unowhatimeanharry just failed to win the World Hurdle and my handicap banker of the meeting Southfield Royale fell.  Feeling a little deflated from a betting angle, but buzzing after watching Un De Sceaux win the Ryanair, that was some performance by horse and jockey and the highlight of my week.

Gold Cup day - spent away from the course hosting a lunch at Taunton Racecourse. Is Defi Du Seuill as good as they say he is? we now know he is and Master Blueeyes was non-existent.  Now for the County, really keen on Winter Escape, he ran well to finish 5th. Next up the Gold Cup, Djakadam is a certainty and the Mullins bandwagon is on fire.  This horse drives me mad, I don’t think I have ever seen a horse jump or travel so well in a race, too well though as he didn’t get home and guess what the horse I put up for the Ryanair Sizing John only went and won the Gold Cup, now I am confused! We finished the day with a wimper as Ask The Weatherman and Lac Fontana finished out of the places.

Of the other horses put up 4 ran without any success so there you have it, quite a week; 18 bets, 3 winners and a profit of 25 points. How that happened I really do not know, but who cares it was rib of beef for Sunday Lunch.

Whatever way you look at it, it was Ireland’s week with 19 winners to the British 9 on the track and then an effort of monumental proportions to beat England in Dublin on Saturday. I do not know what is in the air over there, but I do know what is in the glass and plenty of it was consumed last week.

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