Our Eyes Met Across A Crowded Parade Ring ……. The First Selection



We’ve all had that feeling, it’s a special feeling you get inside your tummy, that feeling when you just know that something special is about to happen. You know the moment I’m talking about and it happened to me in the chilly but near perfect surrounding of the parade ring at Ascot Racecourse ! I’d seen the horse run once before, it got beat but looked an interesting animal, I’d seen it was down to run in the Racing Post and was looking forward to seeing it …. That beautiful beast I had feasted my eyes on was called My Tent or Yours. Ok, so the name might not be as dynamic as Desert Orchid, Istabraq or Sprinter Sacre (these will only mean anything to you if you know anything about the nags !) however that’s one of the things that appealed to me. I mean who’d call a horse My Tent or Yours ….. probably someone who is into romantic liaisons on a campsite !

Anyway, back to the serious sh*t….there’s a MILLION POUNDS to win here !

I knew the horse would be a short price on the day, after all it was owned by a chappy called JP McManus, who as chance would have it, is not only a successful racehorse owner but also a fearless punter too (I like him … I like him a lot !). The mighty horse is trained by Nicky Henderson (the best trainer in the business in my opinion) and was to be ridden by one AP McCoy – The Champion Jockey for the last 150 million years. Now AP McCoy is one proper hard as nails jockey, as just the day before he’d  been kicked by a horse at Wetherby that hard that it sent him flying into a neighbouring farmers field and the poor unfortunate AP was then run over by a Combined Harvester and had his face chewed up and spat out ! (Ok,the last bit may not quite be the truth however his face resembled a bit of a combine harvesting when I was lucky enough to meet him that day at Ascot !)

So, what happened during the race, well My Tent or Yours ran the whole 2 miles with the choke out, he pulled Mr McCoy’s arms out his sockets all way round, and readily won by a few lengths from another likeable horse called Tarquin Du Seuil. Was I impressed…..f*ck me I was !!! How good was this horse…..I wasn’t quite sure however the one thing I was going to do was back it for whatever race I could at Cheltenham the minute I saw some prices. I wasn’t sure what race it would most likely be aimed at, in fact for all I know it might not even be going to run at Cheltenham in March – don’t forget this was the start of November, and the festival was still 4 ½ months away. The key was to make sure the horse knew he had a job to do, therefore with a little wink in it’s direction when it came into the winners enclosure and the ‘telepathic human to horse’ promise of extra sugar lumps come March if he was a good gee gee at Cheltenham, then my love for this horse was sealed.

I couldn’t wait to wax lyrical about this super animal to ‘The Lads’ ….. My Tent or Yours was now referred to a simply ‘The Mighty Tent’ and I had officially formed the My Tent Or Yours Fan Club (or as it’s known on twitter now #mytentoryoursfanclub ).

It took around 3 weeks before I caught a glimpse of the first odds for the Mighty Tent for a race at Cheltenham – Betfair had a market for the Supreme Novices Hurdle – which just happens to be the first race of the meeting – and at just over 20/1 I took advantage of some of these generous odds. A couple of days later, I had a bit more on at just over 16/1 too. This however was not going to make me my million as betting a few pounds at these odds would only get me back a 3 figure sum. I needed those kind bookie chaps to price it up, and then I needed to find some other selections to go with it. Now I suppose I could have just waded in and had £50,000 on at 20/1 – Bingo, I win a million however there was a slight problem. Due to current EU austerity measures, I’ve had to donate my spare £50,000 to the Greek economy …. Maybe Mr F*cking Popadopulus would like to back the Mighty Tent on my behalf !

Fast forward a month or so, and the unthinkable happened. The Mighty Tent ran and got beat…Love can be a fickle emotion however I felt cheated by my new equine hero, however when I’d calmed down I realized that the poor thing didn’t like the nasty dirty mud it was made to run in and that AP McCoy was being kind to the Mighty Tent so he didn’t look all mucky for the after race photos.  Not to worry, things would be fine …. And I was right they would be. Huntingdon in the middle of January would prove to the racing world what I already knew…The Mighty Tent was a legend in the making, not just a legend a superhero that could be dressed up in tight lycra and spin round in a telephone box – a superhero that could save the world – a superhero that could fly (almost) round Cheltenham in March !

That was it, this was the time to put my bet on before it’s next race (all I needed to do was find the other horses to back with it – See future posts !) ….. So armed with my betting ammo I ventured to Stan James (it’s a bookies by the way) and William Hills to place my first wagers – then I jumped on line and topped it up at Corals with some more investments.

So the first horse in my MILLION POUND PUNT is the Mighty Tent – My Tent or Yours to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle – the very first race of the Cheltenham Festival on March 12th. I got 10/1 & 9/1 in my bets to win a million (unfortunately the 20/1 had long gone)…however after it won again at Newbury at the beginning of February by a massive 5 lengths I’m afraid it is now only around 6/4. Now all it’s got to do is win …. But it’s the Mighty Tent, of course it’ll win, cos I LOVE THE MIGHTY TENT !


That’s the first one sorted …. Keep an eye out for the next one !

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