Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Not Bitter just Bemused

Scatter Dice Confounds the Punters
Betting on horses is a cure for incurable optimists. Ask any bookmaker or check Paddy Power's share price.  It's best to approach it as  entertainment with occasional highs and regular lows.  There are also ways of reducing the randomness of the whole thing.  Stick to the bigger meetings (Ascot, Newmarket, Goodwood, Sandown) and avoid all Irish racing, apart from the Curragh.  Follow trainers who can be relied upon to be trying with their horses.  These include John Gosden, Roger Charlton and Aidan O'Brien.  If you study the form, take cognisance of the going, and keep a special eye out for course specialists, you can do reasonably well.  Also, Twitter has become a source for up-to-date intelligence from stables and courses ("the going has changed to soft at Ascot").

Every now and then however a result comes around that renders moot all calculations and all intelligence.  Such result was Scatter Dice's 66-1 win in the Cesarewitch last Saturday.  He had never won over the course, or the distance, and in fact last won 15 months earlier in a much shorter race on much different going.  In his previous two races he was placed last of 13 and a fourth of 7.  The great Pricewise declared that if he had 30 picks from the field of 34 he would not have selected Scatter Dice.  "Not even Nostradamus could have predicted this result" he opined.  To compound the freakish nature of the result, Scatter Dice was left at the start of the race and lost 10 lengths on the field.

By the way, I had backed the second (Waterclock) at 33-1 and the third (Lieutenant Miller) at 14-1.  Each way of course.  So more bemused than bitter.