Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 25th January 2014
Racing UK
Why look at successful punts through rose-tinted spectacles?

There has been much said and written already about the four-horse betting coup that took place earlier this week.

There are those who have no problem with it at all, others who see it as cheating in some way, others who are clearly jealous that they were not part of it. There are those, including myself, who were prepared to climb aboard the bandwagon.

I take the view that there is nothing wrong with what happened. A well-orchestrated and painstakingly planning gamble came off with horses that could not have been fancied by serious form students.

Those who spend hours studying form and watching videos could not have seen this coming and some feel that therefore this gamble was unfair, that it was not in the spirit of the sport, or more selfishly, gave those that really work at the game no chance.

Bad luck I say, there are hundreds of races every month to study and find the winners of so if you don't like what happened, if it makes you feel jealous or in some way undermined, just move on and keep chiselling away.

You could of course have joined in on the gamble, and had some fun on the back of what was going on. For me this gamble was exciting and brought a good deal of colour to an otherwise drab Wednesday.

My final word is why do we reminisce with such fondness about great gambles of the past and yet some in this great game of ours cannot find it in themselves to say to those involved in this one, well done?

The gamble on Wednesday rather overshadowed Frankie Dettori's return to the saddle at Lingfield. He looked a tad rusty, but his pace judgement is clearly still very much intact and he will sharpen up physically as he rides more.

Two winners was a dream return for this world-class jockey and his second place in the Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan on Thursday on Mshawish was further evidence that Dettori is no back number.

In fact I am looking forward to him writing a good deal of headlines for the right reasons this forthcoming Flat season. Welcome back Frankie.

Anaerobio provided us with an 11-2 winner here on the blog on Thursday, and as far as today is concerned all eyes will be focused on Big Buck’s at Cheltenham in the Cleeve Hurdle.

The percentage call is to leave the race alone, and the probable outcome is that he will win. The injury he had was not serious, we know he has miles more ability than the others in the race and all being well he will oblige.

One question interests me though and it will be answered today. Just how important was Ruby Walsh to this horse?

We should not underestimate Walsh’s talents and while he made riding Big Buck’s easy, and said as much in his column on , was it really that easy?

All will be revealed in the capable hands of Sam Twiston-Davies this afternoon.

I will leave the Cleeve alone as far as a tip is concerned and instead look to the Triumph Hurdle trial, in which I am very interested in Goodwood Mirage.

This horse was a useful stayer on the Flat and won at Kempton on his hurdling debut. In fact he won despite himself for he jumped poorly and only managed to win because of his ability on the level.

Surely his jumping will have improved since then and the experience will have done him good. If we knew he was going to jump well he really would be something to bet on, but stakes should be tempered a little given the errors he made at Kempton.

Nonetheless I believe he will win and stake his claim for Triumph Hurdle glory.

That's it for this weekend folks. May all your gambles be winning ones.

Angus McNae's Saturday tip

12.40 Cheltenham: Goodwood Mirage at 5-1 with BetVictor