A study of my Twitter feed at the weekend revealed that I was not alone in watching Champions Day at Ascot with a mixture of pleasure at the racing itself, but dismay at how much money the bookies made on the day.
Channel 4 racing commentator Richard Hoiles tweeted “One of those days when not having a bet felt like winning.”
Spot on Richard. It was one of those days.
But what is a punter or tipster to do when faced with a card as rich in quality as that which made up Champions Day? Should he or she run a mile and avoid the meeting altogether? Possibly. That would have been the wisest move for many on Saturday. But where is the fun in that? Is it not at such meetings that we test ourselves as punters and learn most what to do next time such a rare selection of top class races be on offer?
Had you put a gun to my head prior to Saturday and say: “Give me just one bet for the day. No more. Just the one”, it would not have been at Ascot.
My one and only would unquestionably have been Balthazar King at Cheltenham. Especially at the odds on offer from Paddy Power the night before. PP priced up the gallant Balthazar King at 9/1. At that price I could afford to be on each way in a race that saw bookies pay out on the first four past the post. That is exactly what I did.
Had I left Ascot alone, I would be better off today.
But remember this when it comes to punting. What goes around comes around.
We win some and we lose some. It is the nature of the beast.Bookies were smiling on Saturday. Some, including the ever witty Geoff Banks, were grinning from ear to ear as many of the best backed horses lost on the day. Or so I thought.
Geoff Banks tweeted: “We turned over a lot of money on BCD (but it was an) odd day – thought I should have cleared up but favs were as weak in market as their form.”
But then bookies are like estate agents. They are always quick at telling you when they are having a bad time of things. They rarely gloat in a loadsofmoney type of way.
I say let the bookies have their day. We will have ours. The main thing is that our days in the sun outnumber those the bookies enjoy during the course of the calendar year.
I saw tweets from some serious, long term, very good punters on Saturday which made me wonder if they had a loaded gun by their side.
I am reminded of the quote from the late Clement Freud, a man who loved racing and a bet. He said: “If you mind losing more than you enjoy winning, do not bet.”
If you want to be a profitable punter then be in it for the long term.
Don’t judge your success on one day, one week or one month. Learn from your mistakes and don’t make them again.
Discover which courses deliver you most profit and ditch those that do not. When you have a bad run, as we all do, resist a strong temptation to throw the baby out with the bath water and totally change your way of picking horses.
The chances are great that you are not alone. If you are having a bad day at the races it is highly likely that the majority of other punters are also suffering.
But you will be back winning before long. Patience is your best friend when it comes to punting. So don’t panic! Be patient.
Bashing the bookie and wiping the smiles from their perma tanned faces!