“Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t” …. Unlucky Bill, I think you’ll find there was ! Poor old weathermen, they don’t half get some sh*t when they get it wrong, I mean fancy telling everyone on national TV there is no hurricane on the way, only to find 12 hours later the majority of the south east resembles New Orleans after a hen party for (Hurricane) Katrina & The Waves !
Over the past few days, I’ve had one eye in my 2013 Cheltenham Festival Guide going through all the race stats & trends trying to see if I’ve missed anything, half an eye on the latest betting markets checking how the MILIION POUND PUNT selections are fairing under the weight of ‘my disciples’ money, and the other half an eye on the weather forecast. As I mentioned when I ran through my selections, there are at least a couple who really, really don’t want the ground to come up too soft, and too much rain means too soft, too soft and the million pound stays with the bookies, it’s as simple as that. Cheltenham is a strange place, that’s not meant as an insult because Cheltenham is actually a very nice place, however the racecourse has somewhat of a micro-climate. In the shadow of Cleeve Hill, and nestled into the Cotswalds, often the racecourse is sheltered from the extreme weather that the surrounding area in the South West has to endure. Not so this year so far, the loss of one meeting already on New Years Day due to the course resembling a paddy field, and having seen at first hand the state of the ground, grass and lawned area in front of the Grandstand, believe me, that place has taken some water over the last 6 months. So the recent dry weather has been perfect however I’m typing this with crossed fingers as the five weather forecasting websites I’m currently following tell a worrying story. Today, Wednesday for Cheltenham – RAIN, Tomorrow for Cheltenham – RAIN, Friday for Cheltenham – MIST ….. and some RAIN, Saturday for Cheltenham – RAIN, Sunday for Cheltenham – Cloudy, Risk of RAIN ……. B*llocks !!!!!
This is not good, it’s not a disaster, but it’s not great. It’s always good to get your excuses in early, and this is the first one I’m lining up just in case my selections are as successful as Bill Giles weather forecasts !
So in seven days time, what will the situation be. Well, I’d say there is a fair chance there will be one or two headaches in our ‘racing party’ as we rise on morning number two of the festival. Tuesday is usually the day of drinking too much as we think it’s a sprint and then realise it’s more than a marathon. We don’t drink to stupid levels, we’re too old for that and our bodies over time seem to have become resistant to the level of alcohol in 15 pints of Guinness. Depending on the previous days results though, will the drinks have been in celebration or commiseration ? Three runners in the million pound punt run on day one, in fact three in the first four races on day one, so by this time I could either be in a brilliant position dreaming about that seven figure payout, or nursing a severe head due to drowning my sorrows….however whatever position I’m in I know I’ll be looking forward to day two of the festival.
In my head, I’ve imagined the outcome of all the races my selections run in ….. and the great thing is, they all win, every time. I should be employed as a racecourse commentator with some of the commentaries I’ve given as they jump the last hurdle or fence and power up that Cheltenham hill to the winning post. Never have I been more confident about ‘The Famous Five’ … Usually by this time I’ve talked myself into so many reasons why they can’t win, this time (weather apart !) I’m still 100% behind them…..at the moment. So in seven days time, I expect to be sitting pretty, with my first three winners safely in the bag, feeling slightly delicate through over celebrating, standing at the bus-stop waiting to travel the 18 miles from our ‘Racing Hideaway’ into Cheltenham to do battle on day 2.
Another night of studying has also been completed, I’ve got another couple of ‘interesting’ runners in a couple of the handicaps I’m thinking of backing however I’m delaying just for the moment just to see how much it does p*ss it down in the ‘Theatre of Racing Dreams’ before I invest ….. As soon as I make up my mind if I’m going to back them, I’ll let you know (oooohhh, get me, I sound so much like a professional tipster ….. idiot !)
Short and sweet today …. Thank f*ck for that I hear you say …. But if you do anything over the next 24 hours, please do the one thing I’ll be doing (I’ll get some funny looks this morning in my credit control meeting !) …. Close Your Eyes, Put Your Hands Together, and pray that it doesn’t rain too much (I’m not that religious, but I explore every option this close to the festival) …. Racings for horses, not for hippos !!!!
As always thanks for reading …. Below are some links to some people on twitter that you may find interesting to follow this close to Cheltenham … lots of good advice and comment about the Festival –
Also check out the following for some even more in depth comment with regular festival updates and some great online web analysis –
Or go online to www.jpfestival.com/
And of course, feel free to follow me on twitter @grahameletts