If you don’t know me, it doesn’t matter … if you do know me, you’ll more than likely have heard this all before !!!
This is my story over the next couple of weeks in my quest to win a million, yep you read that right, i’m going to win a f*cking MILLION POUNDS (sorry for the language, you’ll get used to it, after all, apart from being a part time punter – we all swear – my other job is in transport….and every b@stard in transport f*cking well swears…potty mouths, the lot of them !!!)
Ok, so where do I start…ah yes, lets start very briefly at the beginning. I like a bet, i’ve always liked a bet. I don’t know why i like a bet as nobody in my family really had an interest in horse racing or betting really. Maybe my Mum’s not telling me something, I wonder if the postman we had 40 odd years ago liked a bet ????
So my first bet in a bookies was at the age of 14 – yes, 14 … I didn’t look 18, in fact i don’t even think i looked 14, but the sun-dried wrinkly old dear behind the counter at Ladbrokes down the road from my school happily took my 10p ew on Soybean, and happily banked it as the useless bag 0f sh*t finished well down the field. Losing 20p (in fact it was 22p as those nice bookie chaps stitched you up for 10% tax in those days too ….hows about that eh, i bet me and Richard Branson are the only 14 year olds to ever pay tax !!!) on the three legged donkey didn’t put me off, in fact it made me more determined to find that elusive first winner. It took a few days however a return was soon to be had, and at the age of 14 I was convinced I could make my fortune at this racing racing game.
Fast forward a year or so and the sun-tanned wrinkly had sussed that we were not quite of legal gambling age and had promptly banned the last of the big (schoolboy) punters from her delightful smoke filled emporium, which meant a walk of another mile down the road to the local Billy Hills to invest the pocket money. It was at this new home of punting that I found that not all the lovely people who work behind the counter of such establishments are as honest as they should portray themselves to be, in fact the settler and the cashier were a pair of right robbing b@stards. After landing a couple of 10p ew accumulators one day after school I was handed back around £8 …. I was delighted as this was a fortune to a spotty school kid at the time, however a few months later when i actually learnt how to work out my returns on my ‘substantial’ investements, I realised that it should have been over £20 i got back….Thieving sh*ts…however I think this sowed the seed in my mind that i’ll eventually win my fortune from these lovely, honest bookie chaps (or sun dried wrinkly fag hags who resembled Madge from Benidorm as most of the lovely bookies women did at that time !)
So as to not bore you with all the other crap, an awful lot happened in between then and now. Betting got me into trouble on more than one occasion, in fact betting was more fun than most things in my teens and early 20’s….well almost, I had the usual interest in football (and the culture surrounding it at the time …say no more !) and women too (again, say no more !!!)…and betting also supplied me with my employment for a few years as I managed a betting shop between 1991 and 1997.
Working in the betting shop did have other benefits apart from being at the coalface of one of my major interests every day….I actually met my wife in the bookies – what’s the odds of that ? She was the fit one who worked behind the counter at Laddies round the corner (which disproved my theory about all bookie birds are twinned with Madge !!!)…and after a bit of flirting over a 25p ew patent we were an item. You’d have thought that as I pulled her in a bookies she’d have been ready for my future punting antics….however as we all know, women don’t understand men and men don’t understand women – anyone who says differently has had a bang to the head. Anyway, after several ‘secret gambles’ which got found out over the years (there’s only so many places you can hide betting slips in a 3 bedroom house !), the penny just about dropped. Time to stop guessing, stop playing, stop betting money you can’t afford – the kids needed feeding (have i mentioned 3 childern … No ? …. ok, THREE CHILDREN ARE EXPENSIVE) …. Finally it was time to either take the punting seriously or stop it all together… So I stopped !!!
Well I did stop … for about 8 months … and then started again, but with the attitude that i was going to make money, maybe not loads but at least a profit. This was about 5 or 6 years ago, and I can safely say things haven’t gone that bad over the 5 or 6 years since. The bets weren’t massive, there was the odd tenner, the odd small double and treble and the occasional Ante-Post punt…I loved an Ante-Post punt….and the meeting I loved more than any was (and is) the Cheltenham Festival. For racing fans, Cheltenham is the dogs b*llocks, the meeting of all meetings, the greatest 4 days of sport every year. For those outside the sport, it means virtually nothing. I’d been to a few festivals before for the odd day but always wanted to go for the whole four days – It used to be the ‘Lads’ who went on the Tuesday, then back down on the Friday for Gold Cup day with the ‘Good Lady’ and the in-laws. Just for the record, my Mother-In-Law used to be a manager for Ladbrokes however i’m not going to make any further comments about Madge from Benidorm (Love you really Mother xxx)
Anyway, in 2011, I was given a pass for the whole week….four days, FOUR WHOLE DAYS in the Cotswalds horse racing…I was in heaven. The previous year hadn’t been great for punting at the festival, although that followed two very good years, so how would I fair for the marathon FOUR DAYS ? …. The answer, not bad, in fact that’s a lie, it was f*cking awesome. St Paddy’s Day, Thursday, World Hurdle day was the big day thanks to Buena Vista @ 20/1, Albertas Run @ 6/1, Aimigayle (2nd) @ 25/1, Faasel (2nd) @ 20/1 and even the winner of the St Patricks Day Derby, which is the Charity Race, Plato at 6/4 (Henry Cecil trained it …. he was being honored or something that day, how couldn’t it win ?!?!) That little lot returned a rather nice four figure sum, and i felt like I had officially arrived as a professional gambler…I could make my living from this game…it’s easy, i’m going to give up work and study horses full time. F*cking Idiot …. Of course I wasn’t, but it was the best day i’ve ever had on a racecourse.
Fast forward to Cheltenham 2012 and it couldn’t have been much different….I was there for all four days again, i’d tried to study however my proper job was getting in the way. I had a new boss who just didn’t understand that horse racing and gambling was much more important than moving parcels around the country. We also won a new contract at work which meant for the two weeks before the festival I was working almost 24hours a day…no time for some proper homework..how was I going to make my fortune this year. Answer – I wasn’t !!!
Alfie Sherrin won the first day at 14/1 but I only had a small bet on it …. All the ‘good things’ i’d picked out before got hammered. I’d gone three days and ended up with one winner, i’d got the sh*ts from drinking to much Guinness and still had the Friday to go. Thankfully Friday brought a little bit of relief as one of my main Ante-Post bets on Salsify in the Foxhunters (i’d backed it on Betfair @ 26) came with a perfectly time late rattle to bring home a small piece of bacon – I also backed it on the day at 8’s as it was surely too big a price…an it was !
2012 Festival was a punting nightmare really….It was great racing, but just not profitable. I loved the racing, but I wanted to come home with pockets full of cash too and it hadn’t happened. From that point on, I was determined that i’d be in a better position for the 2013 Festival. I was going to take this more seriously than I had ever before, and from the minute the curtain came down on the Festival 2012, I was looking forward to laying some ghosts and getting back into action in preparation for the 2013 Festival.
I’d always fancied a Members Badge for Cheltenham, it was going to cost £420 for the year however i’d done the maths and worked out that just my club badges for the 4 days of the festival would cost nearly that, so i decided i’d make an early investment. I’d convinced the ‘Good Lady’ that it was a good idea and the benefits of spending this money would be more than worthwhile, so the nice shiny badge arrived early in September. The road to the 2013 was mapped out in front of me….It was time to start the car and get back to the racecourse.
And with this determination, I decided it was time to study and invest, and if I did it properly I was convinced i could land my MILLION POUND PUNT !
Read On !!
Have a look at the date of this post …. Tuesday February 26th 2013 ….
In Just 14 Days time, on Tuesday March 12th, the 2013 Cheltenham Festival gets under way …. and in the next 14 Days, and then the four days of the festival, I want to share with you all the ups and the downs, all the excitement, the studying, the sleepless nights, the anticipation that surrounds the whole Cheltenham Festival, but more importantly you’ll be able to see how I get on with my MILLION POUND PUNT !!!!