Cheltenham Festival 2016: Responsible Gambling

Morning has broken here in Gloucestershire and the Responsible Gambler is up nice and early eager and bright eyed at the prospect an amazing looking day two of this years Cheltenham Festival. Having scrolled through the card for a brief moment last night I have seen than some of the big, big boys are out today in Un De Sceaux, Yanworth and one of the most feared and revered horses of the modern era, Balthazar King. The latter of which is making his first appearance since a horrendous fall in last years Grand National that threatened to call time on an illustrious career.

Gloucester City centre is in good spirit, not as busy as Cheltenham that is for sure but the early morning hustle and bustle is being combined with excitement and sharply dressed race goers and punters alike. Today’s bookie of choice after yesterday’s disastrous trip to Paddy Power is my former employers, BetFred. How fitting would it be for me to make my fortune at the hands of the company I used to work and manage for. I have placed my bets, have made it home, will actually do some housework and then smash some games of Rocket League ahead of the days action. Bring it on. Surely it can’t be as bad as yesterday?

Race 1 – Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle; 1:30pm

Going into this one I was on Yanworth the favourite (placepot) and the 8/1 third favourtie in A Toi Phil. As the race entered its finale it was clear that the favourite was the only one in with a chance as the ever present A Toi Phil faded fast. Yanworth however was pipped to the post by second favourite, the Mullins/Walsh combo once again this time with Yorkhill. But, its good news as Yanworth means I move onto leg two once again in the placepot, loving life. My small lucky 15 however has been hit an early blow, the silver lining being that the big £6 lucky 15 is yet to be untouched, unscathed by the results of day two. Won’t be long till it is though. Bring on the 2:10.

Race 2 – RSA Chase; 2:10pm

Ahead of this one I am nervous as the need for a winner is getting worse. I am on Blaklion in my big lucky 15 and on No More Heroes on the placepot. It’s a small field but at 10/1 with ¼ the odds with the bonus king BetFred. They are at the post and they are off. COME ON HORSIESSS!!!

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNERRRRRR!!! Nigel Twiston-Davies you Sir are a beautiful man who knows how to train and god damn horse. Ryan Hatch, you rode that horse magnificently. My boy, Blaklion kicks off my 20p each way lucky 15 with a romping win. Meaning, that as it stands I will be getting treble the odds on the one winner on my lucky 15 meaning my 10/1 is effectively 30/1 winner thus covering my bet. That is gambling responsibly big time. I am out of the placepot however, No More Heroes faded towards the end but who gives a f**k, Blaklion kick starts the betting for today and that is the sweetest medicine after a bitter day yesterday. My attentions now turn to the 2:50 and the Coral Cup. Something that interests me is the 5 places BetFred will be paying out on this one. Loving it!

Read 3 – Coral Cup; 2:50pm

Well how embarrassing, I completely missed this race as I was watching the cricket. I caught the end of which saw my pick Brother Tedd finish 7th a mere two places away from a place for my lucky 15, Shit! Oh well we move on. Up next is the Queen Mother so I am looking forward to that one, Un De Sceaux vs Sprinter Sacre vs Dodging Bullets vs others like Sire De Grugy and Somersby who will take some beating!

Read 4 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase; 3:30pm

As the race is about to start I am looking at all the horses, excited by the prospect of this fine race, first fence…jesus Sizing Granite nearly went. Come on Bullets and Somersby. See you on the other side.

Well that was a disappointment. Dodging Bullets ran a stinker and Somersby was just beaten by the pace on the day. What a performance by the Henderson trained Sprinter Sacre in one of the best comebacks sport has seen in the last few years. After an irregular heartbeat saw his chances written off over the last 18 months from all angles, nearly forcing the hand of owner and trainer alike into retiring the horse he has comeback and smashed favourite Un De Sceaux up the Cheltenham hill. Domination. Suddenly my big lucky 15 is in near tatters. Thank god for Blaklion. Next race is the Glenfarclas Chase at 4:10 and the mighty 33/1 shot in Bless The Wings.

A victorious Sprinter Sacre claimed his 2nd Queen Mother Champion Chase crown much to the delight of the adoring public (Photo: Reuters)

Race 5 – Glenfarclas Chase; 4:10pm

BLESS THE WINGS YOU BEAUTYYYYYYY!!! A lovely 33/1 third place to join the victorious exploits of Blaklion earlier in the day and I am looking at about a £30 return from the £6 bet, thus giving me a £10 profit over the two days already. Add that to the glorious winner in Any Currency for the real small lucky 15 I had done too. I laid a 10p win lucky 15 on 4 horses that I like and with the 11/1 shot Any Currency coming in I am looking pretty decent out of nowhere. Loving life once again. Loving horse racing again. This is turning into one hell of a week and its only day bloody two!!!

If I get another winner on my smaller lucky 15s I could become moist in a matter of moments….seriously moist. Thats the end of the Channel 4 coverage so what I will do is check back with you guys later on the give you a full assessment on the day and how much I will be looking forward to tomorrow. Come on Duke Street in the next!!

Okay, so the 4:50 didn’t go to plan. Duke Street finished 9th and Voix Du Reve fell. Horrible. But then a fantastic end to the day is wrapped up when Ballyandy crossed the finish line in first place for my tiny lucky15. Thus taking my overall returns for the day to about £40. So I started this week with £40 due to free bets coming in as winners and going into day three I now have £20 of the original amount and the £40 profit, meaning I am still to yet withdraw any money from an ATM so I have made money and if I maintain the budget I have adhered to as of yet then I am guaranteed to finish with £40, exactly what I started with….as it stands! Therefore I cannot lose. Once again I now need to sleep and rest up ahead of another day of fierce racing action.

Ryan Butler