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Why Are We Doing It?

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  • #46
    These are class!

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    • #47
      Originally posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
      The simple answer to the question is because I’ve done it all my life.

      My dad used to back horses every day and he says I learnt to read on the racing page of the paper.

      When I was at junior school I'd pick a horse in every race that day and mark it in pencil in the paper before I went to school.

      It annoyed my dad who said it put him off making his own selections.

      Then I'd listen to the results on the radio at 4.30pm when I got home from school.

      The neighbours all had a laugh when I backed the winner of the Grand National aged eight - put my pocket money (a shilling) on Kilmore at 28-1 - ridden by Fred Winter and trained by Ryan Price, my heroes.

      As a young boy I'd do imaginary racing commentaries in bed with my black and white panda (aka F Winter)riding a soft toy donkey (aka Kilmore).

      Finally got to go to the Festival for the first time at the age of 23 with a mate - it was Gold Cup day and we lost nearly all our money before we got to the track. Walking up to the course we saw these guys playing spot the lady on a box on the pavement and thought "this is money for old rope". Ten minutes later we'd got barely enough to pay to get into the cheapest enclosure. We each had about a quid left and went to see an on-course bookie we played table tennis with. He couldn't believe we'd fallen for the spot-the-lady con trick but told us to back the Irish hope Meladon at 8-1 in the first race - the Triumph. He duly obliged and we were back in business.

      I've been going back every year for 43 years ever since - mostly for all four days. Worked for Festival Radio for several years when it was launched and I had the best job at the Festival - interviewing all the winning jockeys and trainers. And getting paid plus two free passes a day. Work never got better than that!! The winning connections were always so elated and happy to share the joy. Interviewed everyone from Martin Pipe and Jenny Pitman to a young Tony McCoy and Andrew Lloyd-Webber and his wife after they had a winner. Had virtually no voice left when I interviewed Sirrell Griffiths after cheering home Norton's Coin in the Gold Cup with my tenner each way at 200-1 on board.

      The Festival and the Grand National are what it's all about for me. I enjoy Royal Ascot and the classics but my season has always started in November with the Mackeson meeting at Cheltenham when things start to get serious.

      The reason I still to it is probably three-fold.

      I love the idea of being able to make a fast buck.

      I love trying to solve the puzzle that each race presents. It's like a crossword with plenty of clues and a solution it's up to us to find. That journey is brilliant fun for me.

      And I love the elation of backing a big price winner and cheering him/her up the hill from the lawn in front of the stands where the atmosphere is just great - whooping with delight and then doing what my wife and friends call my :Cheltenham Walk" at top speed to the winners enclosure where we can cheer all over again.

      This forum has considerably enhanced my enjoyment (and helped keep me occupied in lockdown(s)) by making the Festival an all-year-round event as you guys are out of the traps as soon as the last one is over. Respect!! I've never remotely operated like that before.

      This year I'll have virtually doubled my stakes on the Festival (maybe even go north of that) because of this new strategy .Although I don't keep records for bets I make during the rest of the year I think they are probably significantly down because I'm content to follow "my Cheltenham picks" in their prep races without backing them again.

      As regards strategy and punting goals I think this is where if I had my time again I would do things differently.

      Basically I've spent a lifetime being a mug punter which is what my dad warned me punters were - I think it's fair to say he included himself in this category.

      The local bookie built himself a big five-bedroom detached house when I was a kid and I remember my mum saying once as we walked past it: "Your dad helped build that".

      Anyway, I digress.

      My strategy has always been to try to find horses at double figure odds rather than lumping on short priced favourites.

      On the few occasions I've done that I have hated it - felt the pressure with a big sum at stake.

      But no bookies have ever closed my account - Corals have restricted me which is ironic because I hardly ever use them, just got lucky a few times) and I imagine I'm down over the years.

      There was a time - about 25-30 years ago when the kids were small - when I was putting in a load of time studying form and betting regularly (mostly on Saturdays) that it started to weigh on me and ceased to become fun. But I managed to back off and it's been a hobby I can afford (I'm not wealthy) ever since.

      But I've never won a huge sum because I rarely go for the big accumulators that could change my life. That's something I regret. I think the size/scale of my winnings has been limited by my lack of ambition. It wouldn't have broken the bank to have gone for the jackpot a bit more often. But hey ho....my motto in life is - You either do or you don't. And in this case I don't - although I've had a bit of a pop this time round thanks to you guys.

      Norton's Coin paid off about 25 per cent of my mortgage which was nice and the festival paid for an Italian leather jacket (always wanted one, never had one before) for me and one for my wife after she took me to Venice/Florence as a 60th birthday treat. Venice is amazing - if you haven't been put it on the wish list but avoid May to September at all costs, it's too crowded (apart from during covid). We went in April which was perfect.

      Most years I win at the Festival but my aim really is to break even - anything else is a bonus. Although that sentence in itself is a lie because I'll be disappointed if I only break even but relieved all the same. Lots of fun at no cost is fine and it keeps the pressure low which is important for me personally. It was the same when I spent 12 years self - employed. I set low targets which would be enough to put food on the table (I was the sole earner for our family) and it was psychologically good to exceed those targets most of the time. Would have been a downer for me to be constantly failing to meet the targets.

      But the trouble with this outlook is that if you don't shoot for the stars you are never going to fly to the moon. Mixed metaphors but you know what I mean. If you don't aim high you wont get high. So it all comes back to you either do or you don't.

      Anyway, I daren't read this rambling bollocks back or I'll just press delete. But that's me - for better or worse!!

      Thanks for your comradeship everyone , I really appreciate your company and am continually in awe of your horse racing knowledge and punting expertise.

      I wish you all the best Cheltenham Festival you've ever had in your entire lives.

      Good luck all.
      I loved reading this NC200. Thankyou for taking the time and sharing.
      Last edited by Spectre; 7 January 2021, 05:09 PM.
      Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more I sweat, the luckier I get.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by robith View Post

        So I've learnt and learnt and learnt. This place has been great, I'm like a sponger - Saxon's race planning thread is like statistical crack to me, I pour over GaultStats etc. I may not add much bar some banter, but I no longer just take someone else's thinking, but have my own view on it. Hence my make profit from singles project this year. In my job I have a mantra, if you surround yourself with data, but the decision doesn't work out, not much you can do about it. You made the best call with the data you had available. I'm determined that's how my Cheltenham bets will be too.
        So I set it our like this, with different aims for each year
        I think that's absolutely spot on. I absorb myself with stats and trends in the lead up to the Festival. I keep my own in addition to those in the mainstream and update them every year.

        I don't solely rely on them though. I've said before I aim to fill the places in every race, and I do that as a combination of my stats and trend and race reading. It's easy to use stats for stats sake. It's so important to interpret why something has happened, and not just be a slave to the stats.


        Originally posted by robith View Post

        Tier 1 - something nice for me like some a bottle of Dom and a big ticket item for the wife
        Tier 2 - something I'd never buy usually like Grenson shoes or something
        Tier 3 - dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant
        Tier 4 - holiday
        Tier 5 -everything above that goes into my stocks and shares ISA


        But mostly it's the bragging rights at work. Very fond memories of my first year in my current place and telling everyone to back Superb Story in the County. When he came in we all just fucked off to the pub for the rest of the day. That's worth more to me than anything, the fun and the camaraderie
        Spot on with the camaraderie. I love Cheltenham most of all for being there for the week with my friends. All you see on here from me about my approach, etc, pales into insignificance when compared to easily the four best days of the year. I truly love it more than anything else in my life. Don't tell the wife and kids though!

        Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more I sweat, the luckier I get.

        Comment


        • #49
          Like many others I have enjoyed this thread and reading about the reasons why/what got people into the festival/a repost. Gives a bit of a glimpse behind the profile pics and like a couple of others have said I have been surprised at how many have said they are small stakes or very laid back about it all - before signing up to the forum I will admit to being a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of posts from some and the depth of knowledge and thought it would be all a bit above my head.

          I have always had an interest in the horses as my family have been involved with racing going back generations. Interest in the festival tamped up a few years ago as the Mrs has family who live not far from Cheltenham who suggested we all go one year so have gone down the past 5 years (with free accommodation).

          I am generally a bit risk averse when it comes to gambling as my brother has had problems with it over the years and so I am always reluctant to bet big for the fear of losing and being drawn in to chase the loss. I also don’t really like the idea of having funds tied up for long with no guarantee of at least a run for my money but have built up a small antepost diary this year (will post up soon). Although the dream of winning big would be nice - the biggest buzz for me is actually just finding the winners (even without my money on) or tipping a nice priced winner to a friend.



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          • #50
            Originally posted by RufusFlynn View Post
            Like many others I have enjoyed this thread and reading about the reasons why/what got people into the festival/a repost. Gives a bit of a glimpse behind the profile pics and like a couple of others have said I have been surprised at how many have said they are small stakes or very laid back about it all - before signing up to the forum I will admit to being a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of posts from some and the depth of knowledge and thought it would be all a bit above my head.

            I have always had an interest in the horses as my family have been involved with racing going back generations. Interest in the festival tamped up a few years ago as the Mrs has family who live not far from Cheltenham who suggested we all go one year so have gone down the past 5 years (with free accommodation).

            I am generally a bit risk averse when it comes to gambling as my brother has had problems with it over the years and so I am always reluctant to bet big for the fear of losing and being drawn in to chase the loss. I also don’t really like the idea of having funds tied up for long with no guarantee of at least a run for my money but have built up a small antepost diary this year (will post up soon). Although the dream of winning big would be nice - the biggest buzz for me is actually just finding the winners (even without my money on) or tipping a nice priced winner to a friend.


            And that's all it needs to be Rufus. As you quite rightly point out, it's no less enjoyable.

            The quality of the racing is no different whether you're high stakes or a 50p punter, and there's an argument that says it's actually more enjoyable if your the latter!
            Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more I sweat, the luckier I get.

            Comment


            • #51
              First up, cracking thread, thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's take on it all. Great stuff!

              As for me? I do it like I do most things, for a laugh and the buzz. Expect the worst and happy with anything over and above. If I get the worst then fuck it, i'll keep getting up for another go.
              I try and be as knowledgeable as I can and this forum has brought that on leaps and bounds, there'd be far too many to thank. Even putting all the info this forum provides aside, it has spurred me on to better myself and my own understanding of the game in a way that still feels like a hobby rather than a chore.
              I have definitely taken it a bit more seriously than normal this year, I have recorded everything and given microsoft excel a good hiding. I have studied in greater depth than ever before and taken much more note of early season races, especially the Irish stuff. But I have still only ever bet to levels I consider a laugh or that i'm reasonably confident based on previous years I can at least break even on. I feel if I concentrated on trying to make a profit i'd risk falling out of love with it all, i'll take any profit as a massive unexpected bonus. So long as my stakes aren't causing 'normal' life any problems then i'll never lose any sleep.
              I suppose for me it's a bit like a Vegas trip, you save up and take what you're willing to lose. I save up all year round, can have an absolutely horrific week, but so long as I get a buzz or two out of it along the way I can go away happy and look forward to doing it all again the next. I've always lived for moments and memories, I could probably lose every race of all 4 days and still come away happy if daft stuff had happened along the way (which is essentially exactly what happened til Pacha Du Polder pulled me out of the shit a few years ago...).
              I live in a City that hosts what I genuinely consider to be one of the best flat courses in the World. I walk up there, run around it (when i'm not a complete fat cunt) and am overwhelmingly proud of it. I love attending meets there. But still, it doesn't even come close to competing with NH racing and what that 4 days in March means to me in particular. It's a nice day out, whereas this is almost a way of life.
              I love that there's a mix of all sorts on here, I hope we all get out whatever it is we're looking for from it all. And even if we don't, we'll all be back, we're lifers in this! Just stay safe.
              Last edited by Jorvik; 8 January 2021, 10:43 PM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Faugheen_Machine View Post
                I have been obsessed with Cheltenham since 1999. In the early days I'd save all year just so I had a pot to gamble with during the week.

                During the last 10 years I've started doing almost all of my Cheltenham betting ante post. The first year I attempted it I'd lost 42% of my bank to non runners , it was disastrous but I still made a profit so it was enough to convince me to keep going.

                I've had 1 losing year in the last 10 and Cheltenham profits have bought me a car, holidays and helped reduce my mortgage.

                The dream is to pay off the mortgage and that's why I keep doing a load of multiples. Failing that, if I can get a family holiday or two out of the profits and keep growing the betting bank then I'm happy.

                The lazy line you hear in the racing media is that ante post betting is dead. That suits me fine, as I know it to be the complete opposite.
                This makes good reading now!

                Comment


                • #53
                  ....it’s entertainment for me. I’m old and retired, I love building a portfolio & chatting with folk on here.

                  I note all my bets but I don’t keep profit/loss accounts. I understand they are the gospel on here, but it’s too scientific for me. I have no bother with losing, but I don’t want to detract from the fun. I know I’ve won monies the last 3 years I’ve had time to concentrate on this.

                  This year was particularly fantastic, it’s great to win & I know I won a good few bob. It was connecting with a few multiples that made the big difference.

                  This is simple for me, it’s affordable and I’m in control but I appreciate it’s not that simple for all. I like it lots. I’m comfortable in not having the knowledge of others but if I can bring anything to this forum by way of highlighting the odd price then I feel like I’m making a contribution.
                  Last edited by Eggs; 28 March 2021, 06:27 AM.

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                  • #54
                    I had planned a massive hand on heart, fist pumping post on the eve of the festival but kept doubting anyone would care and it would be perceived as self indulgent and egotistical. I’m glad I didn’t because it would have come across too needy and desperate.

                    I did well though and I really enjoyed telling people who doubted me before hand that I genuinely doubled my money to the penny and when they dismissed me and questioned my figures I really really enjoyed seeing the blood drain from their faces and the realisation that gambling on horses can work and this dirty habit of mine trumped their years worth of work trying to secure a bonus or promotion. I have to say I’ve never felt so proud stood in a mismatched tracksuit on a Saturday morning explaining to a dear friend dressed like a mature model in a Next catalogue that I nailed it.

                    I need to work my experiences into a stand up routine but hopefully one day in the future I’ll be able to explain the way I felt in a way I can make you all laugh in person and justify why we do this.

                    ps I spent a load of money last week hammering the Screwfix and Toolstation catalogue, I finally bought myself a top end rubber mallet and a decent set of mole grips.....it’s times like that you know you’re the man

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by The King Pimm View Post
                      I had planned a massive hand on heart, fist pumping post on the eve of the festival but kept doubting anyone would care and it would be perceived as self indulgent and egotistical. I’m glad I didn’t because it would have come across too needy and desperate.

                      I did well though and I really enjoyed telling people who doubted me before hand that I genuinely doubled my money to the penny and when they dismissed me and questioned my figures I really really enjoyed seeing the blood drain from their faces and the realisation that gambling on horses can work and this dirty habit of mine trumped their years worth of work trying to secure a bonus or promotion. I have to say I’ve never felt so proud stood in a mismatched tracksuit on a Saturday morning explaining to a dear friend dressed like a mature model in a Next catalogue that I nailed it.

                      I need to work my experiences into a stand up routine but hopefully one day in the future I’ll be able to explain the way I felt in a way I can make you all laugh in person and justify why we do this.

                      ps I spent a load of money last week hammering the Screwfix and Toolstation catalogue, I finally bought myself a top end rubber mallet and a decent set of mole grips.....it’s times like that you know you’re the man
                      Brilliant! The best bit about winning at Cheltenham is telling those people about it who love to watch people fail. You know they type who are genuinely relieved because leg 4 of your acca fell and hate to see other people win. Oh I love to tell those people how well Cheltenham went and watch their fake face pretend to be happy for you while inside you know they are raging!

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by The King Pimm View Post
                        I had planned a massive hand on heart, fist pumping post on the eve of the festival but kept doubting anyone would care and it would be perceived as self indulgent and egotistical. I’m glad I didn’t because it would have come across too needy and desperate.

                        I did well though and I really enjoyed telling people who doubted me before hand that I genuinely doubled my money to the penny and when they dismissed me and questioned my figures I really really enjoyed seeing the blood drain from their faces and the realisation that gambling on horses can work and this dirty habit of mine trumped their years worth of work trying to secure a bonus or promotion. I have to say I’ve never felt so proud stood in a mismatched tracksuit on a Saturday morning explaining to a dear friend dressed like a mature model in a Next catalogue that I nailed it.

                        I need to work my experiences into a stand up routine but hopefully one day in the future I’ll be able to explain the way I felt in a way I can make you all laugh in person and justify why we do this.

                        ps I spent a load of money last week hammering the Screwfix and Toolstation catalogue, I finally bought myself a top end rubber mallet and a decent set of mole grips.....it’s times like that you know you’re the man
                        100% get that feeling.

                        I have my mates who are recreational punters and mug munters, my boss likes a bet and is a big stake gambler but wouldn't read form or anything .. he was that much of a losing type punter he was invited all around the place by a big Bookmaker and we had some great days at Cheltenham/Ascot/Sandown in hospitality last few years. I banged on about Bob Olinger all season to him and I 100% get the feeling that he wanted it to get beat to spite me, if that makes sense. One of the best feelings like you say is telling people who turn their nose up at racing/gambling that you just made good money at Cheltenham and seeing their jealousy/anger/disgust all rolled into one.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Well done The King Pimm ,
                          bit of a favourite of mine , the Toolstation and Screwfix Catalogues ..

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            One of the questions I've been mulling over since the festival and I thread I'm interested in hearing whether anything has changed for anyone? (Why are we doing it?)


                            Last season, for me, was without a doubt the most mentally challenging, from Brexit, Travel issues, COVID always looming and then Gordon Elliott all on top of the normal injuries was a real rollercoaster, with more downs than ups. I remember before the festival saying it'd been the least enjoyable and with hindsight, having the best week I've had (and plenty of others the same) I anticipated I'd feel different and I do, to some degree.

                            The hindsight hasn't removed how hard it was, however the shift in my thinking is that it was that I could perhaps be done forever which to be fair was was never really an option, to how much is it worth it if I stay the doing the same things?


                            Surely, surely.... surely, it can never ever be a worse ride than we got through last year though?


                            My original answer to why I am doing it, is back in post #28 yet since then, we've had FM land a 'life changer'... and it feels like it's moved the goal posts a little. I'll go into much more detail about how it may or may not affect my plans going forward another time as I've not really got an answer yet... but interested to know what others think.
                            Last edited by Kevloaf; 3 May 2021, 12:56 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Kevloaf View Post
                              One of the questions I've been mulling over since the festival and I thread I'm interested in hearing whether anything has changed for anyone? (Why are we doing it?)


                              Last season, for me, was without a doubt the most mentally challenging, from Brexit, Travel issues, COVID always looming and then Gordon Elliott all on top of the normal injuries was a real rollercoaster, with more downs than ups. I remember before the festival saying it'd been the least enjoyable and with hindsight, having the best week I've had (and plenty of others the same) I anticipated I'd feel different and I do, to some degree.

                              The hindsight hasn't removed how hard it was, however the shift in my thinking is that it was that I could perhaps be done forever which to be fair was was never really an option, to how much is it worth it if I stay the doing the same things?


                              Surely, surely.... surely, it can never ever be a worse ride than we got through last year though?


                              My original answer to why I am doing it, is back in post #28 yet since then, we've had FM land a 'life changer'... and it feels like it's moved the goal posts a little. I'll go into much more detail about how it may or may not affect my plans going forward another time as I've not really got an answer yet... but interested to know what others think.
                              Glad to see you back sir.
                              Thought you'd lost your tongue.
                              Mine has been bitten away quite a bit, mainly due to the loveable Lobos blessing us with his many opinions - disguised as statements of fact (I call them blurts).

                              And some ego's are edging close to being maniacal.
                              Which I'm jealous of.

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                              • #60
                                Great to see you back Kevloaf

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