Patience has proved key with 'Waiting'
The Greek physician and so-called 'father of medicine' Hippocrates, who died around 375 BC, described what is thought to be the first recorded case of someone pulling their own hair out in an essay entitled 'Epidemics III'.
In it, he wrote about a woman in an intense state of grief who "groped about, scratching and plucking out hair and alternately, wept and laughed".
The poor woman was obviously losing her mind and God knows what drove her to that behaviour, but it's actually a somewhat common practice that has been observed by doctors since.
These days, medics have recognised an impulsive disorder called trichotillomania, a serious issue which we shouldn't make light of, which results in a person pulling their own hair.
But I must admit I was feeling a bit like that woman in Hippocrates's essay recently when I was left, in the metaphorical sense at least, pulling my hair out having backed Belami Des Pictons at 11/8 in a Listed Chase at Carlisle back in November.
Venetia Williams's gelding appeared to be going very well a few fences out, and the in-running punters pushed his odds down near 1/4 on Betfair. But Malcolm Jefferson's 4/5 favourite Waiting Patiently was doing just that, and confidently took the lead between the last two, staying on well to beat Belami Des Pictons by two and-a-half lengths.
This betting business can drive you insane at times but for better or worse, there's always chance of redemption and I reckon I can get my money back this afternoon by backing the horse that scuppered my bet, Waiting Patiently, at what appears to be a very decent price around 7/4 in the Listed 32Red Casino Chase at Kempton (2.05).
That Carlisle success was his fifth in-a-row, four of those over fences lately, although he's quite lightly raced and was only seen twice in 2017.
Regardless, he has risen quickly through the ranks and is rated 156, meaning the seven-year-old will be aimed at some of the better non-handicaps.
He's shown enough class to take the step up, however, and he actually has a few Grade One entries over the coming weeks with quotes of 20/1 available ante-post for the Ryanair Chase.
Connections say what makes him special is his ability to quicken, and I'd concur with that having seen it happen to my cost.
He's the youngest horse in the race here aged seven, and takes on the likes of God's Own which won a number of Grade Ones. But Tom George's 10-year-old has now gone seven races without success and is becoming frustrating to follow.
Alan King's Smad Place will also prove popular in the betting, but I lost quite a few quid backing him in a Grade Two at Ascot in November, and I'm starting to doubt whether the 11-year-old can continue to put it up to these promising youngsters.
Brian Hughes, who has ridden Waiting Patiently in all of his races over fences, teams up with the selection once again and connections deserve plenty of credit for letting the horse live up to his name by being quite selective in where he runs.
At Warwick, On The Road makes appeal in the Grade Three Betfred Classic Handicap Chase (3.35), and was trading at the nice double-figure price of 12/1 yesterday evening.
He unseated jockey Mitchell Bastyan just four fences into the Welsh Grand National last week but he's almost always thereabouts, winning seven of his previous 10 races over both hurdles and fences, and taking the runner-up spot in the rest.
While he's now at an all-time high chase rating at 144, he's improved significantly over the past year and may have more to come.
In fact, he's even surprised his trainer Evan Williams who said last year that he didn't have much ability and they'd be glad to win a chase with him.
He's done far more than expected and is one of those surprise packages that you just can't write off wherever he shows up. He's not guaranteed to stay but if he does, he should go close under Adam Wedge.
Priced around 10/1, Coeur Blimey is my idea of a value each-way bet for the 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (2.40 Kempton) under Lucy Gardner, riding for her mother Sue.
I sometimes feel the Gardners are under-rated as a team, and it's worth noting that they had a strike-rate of 17pc in handicaps in 2017, with 13 wins from 75 races.
Blindly backing all of those would have almost broke even to SP and actually produced a profit to Betfair prices, and the talented Coeur Blimey risks being overlooked in the market in favour of some bigger names such as Nicky Henderson's Diese Des Bieffes and Paul Nicholls's Topofthegame. Both of those have strong claims but are priced accordingly.
While he was out of his depth in a Grade Two last time, Coeur Blimey has ability and easily dismissed his four rivals to take a handicap at Wincanton previously off 121.
He's now well up in the ratings at 132, but I still feel there's more to come and readers may remember he was a decent sort in bumpers, beating Ballyandy in a Listed race at Ascot.
12.15 Lingfield: Every Chance
2.05 Kempton: Waiting Patiently
2.40 Kempton: Coeur Blimey (e/w)
3.0 Warwick: Mr Whipped
3.35 Warwick: On The Road
Do the double
Arsene Wenger fielded a weak side against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last week and paid the price with a shock 4-2 defeat - although there was relief of sorts with a draw with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. Arsenal's form has been up and down, but they can get back to winning ways at 3/4 tomorrow in the league against a Bournemouth side who have won just once in their last 12 games.
Seller races can often throw up some strange results and I'm cautious about betting in them, although I'll make an exception today for the Jamie Osborne-trained Every Chance, which was trading around 4/6 in the early markets for the Betway Selling Stakes at Lingfield (12.15). Fairly useful in handicaps, he went close in an amateur riders' race on Wednesday and should have a bit in hand today.
*Last week's double was successful at an overall price of 5/1