Take Hazzard to duke it out
SO there I was on Wednesday morning, sipping a cup of tea and eating a batch-bread sandwich when the postman dropped in a letter informing me that my NCT is due at the end of the month.
Now, the car itself only cost me a monkey (€500) but servicing it can cost a bomb. And, with the tyres currently resembling Kojak's head, I decided to get to work on Kelso's card in an attempt to generate a few bob.
I spotted Circus Clown in the handicap chase at 9/1 and thought I'd found my saviour, but when the race came around, the gelding was promptly beaten into second, having traded as low as 8/13 in-running.
I cursed my bad luck, but didn't panic as the good thing of the day, Aggie's Lad, was available at around evens for the hunters' chase shortly afterwards.
I got a bit carried away and typed in a bigger number in the 'stakes' box than I'd planned but, as he tumbled along early on, he seemed to be going grand. Soon, the price had dropped to 4/11 in-running and he looked the winner all over so I picked up the blower to order my shiny new car tyres.
Within seconds, though, I had to put the receiver back down as it all went pear-shaped following a mistake five out and he ended up coming only third.
With two bets beaten at very short in-running odds, I suppose I could say it's been a very unlucky week for me, but in this game you have to man up and admit when you've made a bad call.
Looking back, Aggie's Lad wasn't really the cert I'd built him up to be in my mind and I shouldn't have backed a horse that may not have been fit. But at the end of the day, I've no one to blame but myself and there's no point in whining on and calling it bad luck.
Indeed, the former Canadian prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau was spot on when he said that, "good and bad luck are synonyms, in the great majority of instances, for good and bad judgment".
Admitting one's mistakes is all well and good but it still doesn't pay for a new set of tyres, so it's back to the drawing board today to see if I can recover Wednesday's losses by backing Hazzard County each-way in the Get Your Bet On at Blue Square Handicap at Lingfield (2.50), priced around cockle (10/1).
It's a tricky enough handicap and I'd guess that Mr Willis will go off as the jolly but it's been well over two years since he's seen the winner's enclosure.
The selection can be temperamental at times but he won here off a similar mark last year and had he not edged left last time at Wolverhampton, he may well have recorded a better placing than third. He likes a nice pace so I'm hoping the likes of Crown Counsel will take them off at a good gallop early on.
Lockantanks finished ahead of Mr Willis at this course last time out and is another one that should go well.
IF Follow The Flag goes off at 6/1 or above in the Cyprium Grill at Marriott Lingfield Handicap at Lingfield (4.35), he'll be well worth taking each-way, despite the fact that there's only two places up for grabs.
Occasionally, he can race a bit lazily but he mostly runs close to his mark suggests and under these conditions he could have a couple of pounds in hand today.
Belle Josephine will be popular following her debut win last week at Wolverhampton but she raced very greenly and this likely favourite could prove vulnerable to some more experienced sorts.
2.15 Lingfield: Available
2.50 Lingfield: Hazzard County (e/w)
3.20 Haydock: Giles Cross
4.25 Gowran: Glenbarrow
4.35 Lingfield: Follow The Flag (e/w)