If I say bumpers, what springs to mind ?
Do you immediately think about those black things that are stuck to the front of your car ? or are you the one with the filthy mind who is thinking about the bird in hooters who served you the warm jugs of beer who was displaying her lovely bumpers ?
Well in the world of horse racing, a bumper is usually a race to be avoided unless you are ‘in the know’ and have some inside stable info. So, what is a bumper …. Well, a bumper, or as it’s also known, a national hunt flat race, is basically a flat race for horses that at some point in their life will be jumping a hurdle or a fence. Most jumps horses start their racing life’s on a ‘proper’ race course in a bumper. You get all sorts running in bumpers, you get decent horses and you get ok horses and you get right dogs of horses running in bumpers, however from a punters perspective, you should avoid bumpers at all costs as generally if you pick the winner you’re just plain lucky.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to include a horse running in a bumper in my PUNT TO WIN A MILLION …. Why ? …… Cos I’m an idiot ? …. Maybe !!!! The one bumper that is always a challenge to pick the winner in more than most is the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham as this is the bumper that has the pick of the best ‘baby’ horses running in it, and the one thing I’ll say is that it’s f*ck difficult to pick the winner. In fact I’ve had a scan back at the last few results in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, and my betting record is as follows (last 8 years) – 8 Bets, 8 Losers !! Out of those 8 losers, the closest any came to winning was 7th ….. Impressive eh !!!!!!!
So naturally, it’s about time I backed a winner in the Bumper, and I reckon this year I’ve got the winner. I might have said that last year, and the year before, and possibly the year before, more than likely the year before that, and without a doubt I definitely said it for the years before those years too. The thing is, when it comes to the Bumper, because I’ve not really got a clue what to back I always listen to the rumours and gossip that goes around the racecourse about which horse is flying on the gallops at home, which horse is the quickest horse his trainer has ever seen….and as the bumper is the very last race on the second day of the festival, it is usually some crazy Irishman who is completely w*nkered on Guinness and Bushmills (Irish Whiskey) that I take notice of. Now it’s hard enough to understand the broad Irish accent at the best of times, add 40 gallons of the black stuff and a couple of litres of County Antrims finest malt and you might as well be talking in wingdings for all I know what you’re saying, however I still try and work out what horse Smashed O’Shaugnessy was on about, and invest my hard earned 50p.
Well as my luck has been dire in the race so far, it’s time for a change of tactics. This year I’m going to use two things. Firstly, what I’ve seen with my very own finely trained eyes, and secondly taking on board what the trainer has said. The good thing is, when I saw my selection run, I had neither drunk 40 gallons of Guinness, nor had I consumed a couple of litres of fine Malt Whiskey (the horse ran on a Tuesday and I only drink that much on a Friday !) When the trainer reported this animal as real top class, probably the best horse in his care, neither was he under the influence of any sort of alcohol. So, what is the name of the horse which is my fourth selection in my PUNT TO WIN A MILLION ? – the horse is called Empiracle .
This little dynamo last ran back in October, when he won a low grade bumper at Huntingdon…however he didn’t just win it, he actually p*ssed it without even breaking a sweat. He cantered round, laughing at all the other carthorses that had turned out that day…he pure and simply ran all over them in the style of a horse that oozed quality. I was suitably impressed but didn’t really have him down as a horse that would help me make my million. In fact I completely forgot about him after a few days as in reality I’ll probably see 20 or 30 horses win just as well as that during a season. I forgot about him until one morning at the start of January, his trainer, a bloke called Jeremy Scott, declared that Empiracle was the dogs knackers and that he was just about the best horse he’s ever trained. He publicly stated that he’d wrapped him up in cotton wool and kept him hidden away just for this one race. Who needs a p*ssed up Irishman when I’ve got the trainer telling me he owns the brother of Shergar….I’m having some of that.
Now, a word of warning …. A couple of years ago the trainer of Empiracle was on a proper winning streak with his horses. In fact I can remember he’d sent out 5 horses in a week, and all five had won…this is easy I thought, it’s like printing money, so I backed the next horse he sent to the racecourse….and it promptly got beaten !!! So I don’t have a great record with this trainer and backing his horses. That said, if I go on first impressions, I like this horse …. How good is this horse, I have no idea, it could be a real donkey or it could be the real deal, but for once in this race I’m going on what I saw with my own eyes and what Mr Scott has said about his horse.
For those that don’t know who Mr Ed was …. Well, Mr Ed was a talking horse. A talking horse in the sense of Horse Racing is basically a horse that is being ‘tipped up’ at the race course ….. The Bumper at Cheltenham is full of Mr Ed’s, in fact you don’t need drunken Irishmen to tell you which horse to back, you need a Equine to English Phrase Book so you can translate what the horses are talking about, you can guarantee one thing …. They’ll speak more sense than the drunken Irishman !
When I backed Empiracle in my MILLION POUND PUNT I managed to get 10/1 & 9/1 …. He’s still a decent price at 8/1 however a word of caution – This race does come with a serious health warning, you’re either going to be lucky…or you’re going to be just like me over the last 8 years….f*cking useless !!!!!
As always, Thanks for reading …. Tomorrow I’ll tell you which is the fifth and final horse in my PUNT TO WIN A MILLION and then the daily countdown to the Cheltenham Festival will begin in earnest …. After all I can’t sleep for the excitement so I might as well do something useful with my time.
twitter – @grahameletts