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Lucky 13 for punters

The news from UK bookie Ladbrokes that it had suffered "unprecedented" losses in this country due to the record 13 Irish winners at last month's National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham will have brought a smile to the lips of punters everywhere.

All punters dream of beating the bookie, something which only happens rarely. Last month's Cheltenham Festival was one of those rare occasions. As one Irish winner after another passed the post, patriotic punters took Ladbrokes to the cleaners.

And the word on the street is that Irish punters' Cheltenham winning streak wasn't confined to Ladbrokes. Most of the other bookies operating in this market were also clobbered. Just for once the normal terms of gambling trade were reversed, with punters pocketing the bookie's money rather than vice versa.

Punters should enjoy their good fortune while it lasts. It mightn't be a good idea to bet on this run of good luck continuing indefinitely.

Sooner rather than later the balance of advantage will swing back to the bookies. It always does.