Treve all set to rewrite history books and seal Arc hat-trick
Have you ever won a monkey (€500) on a horse and still felt disgusted with yourself? It's my view that successful betting is 70pc psychology and 30pc strategy - and I let myself down on the mental side of things last week.
I'm off to Paris this weekend for tomorrow's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe so my betting stakes have been quite bigger than usual in an attempt to build up a decent punting pot for the main event.
Regular readers will know that I tipped Besharah (9/4) last Saturday for the Cheveley Park, and also put up Third Time Lucky (14/1) in the Cambridgeshire as my each-way bet. The plan was to have €200 win on Besharah and €90 each-way on Third Time Lucky but when Besharah finished third, I decided to have a larger bet than planned on one of my other selections Hakka (11/4).
To cut a long story short, Hakka lost too so within the space of half an hour, I was staring at a serious loss of nearly €400. Having spent a number of years trading the financial markets, I'm well aware of the maxim, 'Scared money never wins', but I must admit I lost my nerve and reduced my stakes on Third Time Lucky to €30 each-way in a pathetic attempt at damage limitation.
Richard Fahey's colt won of course, so instead of collecting a profit of €1,575, which would have gone a long way in Paris, I picked up a 'mere' €525 instead. That's still a lot of money in any man's language and it covered the earlier loss of €400 but I was absolutely kicking myself for losing my bottle and I must have been the gloomiest bloke in the history of gambling to pick up a monkey from a bookmaker.
As mentioned, I've booked tickets for the Arc and it would be nice to earn enough from that race to pay for the flights, hotel and entrance fee.
Well, at least I think I've booked tickets to the Arc - I dropped French after the Junior Cert so I have to confess that I couldn't make head nor tail of the France Galop website.
Having missed out on a very big win last week, I'm now left wondering if I should back my original fancy Golden Horn which offers the chance of a large payout around 5/1, or just enjoy what could be a truly historic occasion and go all in on Treve at 11/10 or thereabouts.
It would be hard to overstate just how big a deal this year's renewal actually is. A lot of racing achievements are described as 'historic' but it would truly be a monumental occasion if Treve becomes the only horse to win the Arc three times since the race was established in 1920.
Criquette Head-Maarek is one of the best trainers in the business and to have Treve in such good condition considering the mare's back trouble last year is a fantastic feat in itself. At the age of five, she seems better than ever and her win in the Prix Vermeille last time was visually stunning although it's a slight worry that she was hanging a little late on.
Golden Horn's connections have become more bullish as the sun dries up the turf at Longchamp. I backed him in the Derby and kept faith in the Irish Champion Stakes even though he'd been beaten previously at a long odds-on price at York. But his win at Leopardstown was slightly messy and it raised more questions than answers in my head with regard to the Arc.
Overall then, the call has to be Treve - yet there's always the selfish option of having a small side bet on Golden Horn, just so I'm not left pulling my hair out two weeks in a row.
That's both risky and expensive though, as a strong case could be made for New Bay and Free Eagle. But, in truth, this race can be enjoyed without a bet at all so make sure you tune in tomorrow as it's definitely one which is not to be missed.
Priced in the region of 12/1, Tanzeel makes plenty of appeal each-way in the Totescoop6 Challenge Cup Handicap (3.45 Ascot).
Charlie Hills' gelding received a poor draw for the Ayr Gold Cup which left him with little chance but the handicapper reacted to his mid-division placing by dropping him 1lb to 103.
Being a son of Elusive City, the four-year-old would probably prefer the ground a little firmer than good but he's a very smart handicapper and should be fighting out the finish
2.35 Ascot: Romsdal
3.00 Redcar: Mayfair Lady
3.10 Ascot: Eastern Impact
3.30 Newmarket: Esoterique
3.45 Ascot: Tanzeel (e/w)
2.55 Longchamp (Sunday): Treve