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GENERALLY speaking, I'm not a man who believes in the concept of good luck and bad luck. Sure, we all go through phases where a series of good things happen to us and we also go through phases where a series of bad things happen. But I don't believe there is some sort of external force which makes us lucky or otherwise.

People make their own luck and so-called luckier people are probably just more perceptive and open to new ideas. Also, they don't beat themselves up so much when they fail.

But I was beginning to question my belief system this week when a number of unfortunate incidents cost me a small fortune.

Last Sunday evening, the tv packed in, costing me a couple of ton, and the next day bang went the washing machine, which saw the best part of a monkey (€500) swiped away from my plastic flexible friend.

Last Tuesday, I thought I'd spotted a good opportunity to recoup some money in the guise of Westlin' Winds, which was well fancied at a short price for the 2.10 at Leicester, so I put whatever little money I had left on the six-year-old.

But betting with money you don't really have is like introducing your girlfriend to your wife. Yes, it's possible, but it's not such a good idea.

Things were going well two out and he even hit the floor price of 1/100 in-running on the machine, but the Montjeu gelding was beaten by a neck.

I don't know which is worse -- your horse coming last, or your horse coming second. Was it bad luck, or simply bad betting?

Call it what you like, but all I know is that it was extremely hard on the wallet and I could do with getting back on track by taking some money from the layers today.

A chance is offered at doing just that at Warwick, where Marodima is a general 11/4 shot for the Betfred The Bonus King Handicap Chase (2.0).

He destroyed the field in a class four handicap on Thursday, and a quick return to racing may be just the trick before the assessor gets his hands on him.

Whether we learned anything from Thursday's race is up for debate as the opposition were really quite poor, but, as they say, a horse can only beat what's put in front of him.

Educated Evans is a potential spanner in the works and is looking for his third victory on the trot. He managed to overcome an 11lb hike last time for his previous victory at Chepstow, but I feel the handicapper has his measure and he may struggle under topweight.

Back Bob Back makes some each-way appeal although he made a number of jumping mistakes last time at Uttoxeter and is not the most reliable.


Despite the fact that he finished 25 lengths behind the winner, connections of Moleskin will be pleased with his second place last time in a handicap chase at Hereford. He improved on his previous performance at Sandown and the blinkers seem to be helping his jumping.

It's hard to know where he's at right now, but the handicapper hasn't been too harsh on him and at the weights, the nine-year-old is in with a fighting chance today in the williamhill.com Novices' Handicap Chase at Kempton (2.15), priced around 12/1.

The likely favourite, Reblis, has won both his races this season, but his mark is rising back up and early odds of 3/1 under these conditions, look a little shabby.


1.05 Kempton: Menorah

1.40 Kempton: Captain Sunshine

2.00 Warwick: Marodima

2.15 Kempton: Moleskin (e/w)

3.05 Warwick: Highland Lodge

Irish Independent