Bank on Shamwari Lodge to cash in
SO how does it feel to own a bank? That's the position Irish taxpayers find themselves in following NAMA.
The sheer amount of money involved is mind-numbing. Let's face it, the banks have been gambling our cash for 10 years but the odds-on favourite they backed is now struggling, flat-out off the bridle.
It's amazing how some people (banks included) frown upon your average bloke who likes a punt when that's exactly the business banks are in. Around 10 years ago, I called into a bank to ask about a loan. The man behind the desk was horrified to find my 'profession' at the time was full-time gambling.
I couldn't have a loan because of my 'job' he said, but then went on to ask me if I'd like to invest in a rock-solid share fund! To put it into perspective, those rock-solid shares are now worth 20pc of their original value -- yet had you backed every favourite in Ireland priced 1/4 or less since 2003, you'd show a very small profit. The mind boggles sometimes.
OK, back to the matter at hand -- although readers should be aware that betting transactions on their bank statement will be seen in a negative light when they look for credit, even if they are showing a profit.
I try to steer clear of the banks as much as possible these days -- but I'll make sure I take a few quid out of the ATM today to back the Richard Hannon-trained Shamwari Lodge in the Listed 32Red Casino Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes at Kempton (3.15).
On paper, her seventh place last time out at Longchamp doesn't look inspiring but the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein is a competitive Group Two and was a significant step up in class for the then three-year-old.
Mick Kinane kept her wide and she never really posed a threat, but five horses that finished behind her were shorter in the betting so the Hannon team went home quite satisfied with the race.
Previously, she went off as 9/2 favourite at Ascot in a Listed handicap and once again, the fifth placing belies her actual performance on the day. She's now four, and a mate of mine who is close to the yard has seen her work recently and informs me she's wintered very well.
As for dangers? Chantilly Tiffany was sold for 320,000 guineas last year and connections have high hopes that she'll get off to a flyer with her new trainer John Gosden.
The dark horse of the race is Marco Botti's Mosqueras Romance, with Ryan Moore doing the steering. Her trainer is sure to have her fired up for this and any significant market move will make me nervous.
But I've said it before and I'll say it again, the formbook is a man's best friend and that book makes Shamwari Lodge a strong selection this afternoon.
2.55 Haydock -- Noun De La Thinte
3.15 Kempton -- Shamwari Lodge
3.30 Fairyhouse -- Zaarito (tomorrow)
HOT AND NOT
Although some of his horses disappointed at Cheltenham, Willie Mullins had 11 winners from 55 races (20pc) in the month of March and showed a level stakes profit of nearly 5pts.
But spare a thought for Jonjo O'Neill, who could only manage six winners from 77 races (8pc) during the same period and anyone who followed Jackdaws Castle's horses blindly would have shown a loss of 35pts.