Actually, I don't believe those sort of things, and it's simply been a case of a freak incident on Monday (Musseburgh abandoning after one race), and a bad pick / bad luck yesterday.
Having selected the first three winners on the Yarmouth card yesterday, a non-runner in my quartet of selections in the fourth race became all the more relevant when those units were transferred to the favourite, with whom I was already represented. Typically, the favourite missed the frame, and it was a 9/2 shot, heavily backed, from the Luca Cumani stable that streaked away to win.
I also failed to register in the last. This, however, is more common for me, as it is a tactic I often employ when there are less than eight runners. I will deliberately leave out one fancied runner and one lively outsider, and insure myself by backing the exacta with the two horses in case they finish first and second. This can be staked accordingly, based on what the placepot is likely to pay (at the low end).
Thus, in a case like yesterday's, I would have had a Â£5 reverse exacta on Bathwick Bear and Society Rock, which would have more than covered the investments.
In any case, it looked tricky and so it proved.
Today may be no easier, at Sandown. There is a tricky nursery to start off; a four runner contest at 3:30; and a fillies' handicap at 4:40. Finally, a second non-runner in the last race would take that down to two places, which I'm hoping for.
More later on...
Sandown's card is actually an horrendously tricky affair, and were it not for this Placepot Challenge, I wouldn't be entering the pool!
We start at 2.20, with a fiendish nursery handicap, made all the more difficult by a perception that low are well favoured here and most of the leading market horses are drawn high. So, on the bright side, it could set the placepot up nicely.
On the down side, it could go to the market leaders, and/or I may not get through! I've sided with the well drawn (hopefully) pair, Dark Ages and Roy's Legacy on the A list, supplemented by three B's: Lupo d'Oro, Worth and Invincible Dream. Two of these are also well drawn, so hopefully low numbers will hold sway...!
Race 2 at 2.55 is a maiden where many of the main contenders are seeing a racecourse in public for the first time. Against them all, then, I've taken two A's in the experienced pair, Greek War and Free House. The latter is especially expected to improve today for all sorts of reasons, and looks a reasonable bet.
Race 3, if I'm still standing, is a four runner contest off at 3.30. It looks between Farraaj and Kinglet, and I've set up my tickets in line with that: both A's, no B's.
If the early races go well enough to justify it, I'll have a bet covering saver on Tell Dad, who has bits of form to win, assuming neither of the front pair improve. In reality, both should improve.
Race 4 is a Listed contest and there's a level of exposure to the form that makes this a contest in which to be a little more optimistic about progress. As such, I again only have A list horses: this time I've taken the trio of King Torus, The Rectifier and potential improver, Lay Time. I suspect it will be hard to keep the first two named out of the frame.
The penultimate leg is a strong-looking fillies' handicap. That said, I'm not sure of the depth to it as, although many are last time out winners, the form of ALL of those races has taken knocks since. None of the wins look reliable, and it will be the fillies who can step forward again today that are likely to challenge.
With that in mind, I've gone with the nigh on certain progress of jolly, Tanaami; the next least exposed runner, Jiwen; and, reliable place machine Moone's My Name for A's.
I've taken B's as well here, as I'd like to get through if I'm still alive on the wager. On the second wave, I have Golden Tempest, whose win last time is arguably the best form here; and, The Queen's Abergeldie, which I don't really fancy but for which there's been money.
Blimey - one to go, and I don't feel confident about a single leg!
The last is another handicap, and I'm in on A and B lines, thus: Fadhaa and Groomed, with the former looking pretty solid in truth. On the BÂ line I've added some ballast with John Gosden's Look Left, for whom there were excuses last time.
If I get the placepot up today, it ought to pay a couple of quid, so fingers crossed! Here's the perm: