After the sturm and drang of Christmas Day I settled back for an afternoon of racing on TV - Kempton, Leopardstown, and a few decent races at Wetherby and Wincanton. I had a winner and a couple of placed horses but was heading towards breaking even by the time the last race at Kempton came up. To tip me into the profit zone I decided to put €27.50 on the favourite Alternatif - at 5/2. The quirky amount of the bet was to leave me with a rounded balance if the horse lost. I went into my Paddy Power online account and performed the transaction. I also confimred the bet - a last chance to change your mind. Having completed that fatal step it suddenly struck me that the putative winnings were 10 times what I expected. Too late I realised I had put €227.50 on by mistake. There is no recovering from this - ringing up to whine is not an option. I had to let the bet ride. Parsing the race carefully I decided that there was only one real danger - a horse of Nicky Henderson's called Theinval at around 7-1. I stuck a €30 saver on him and also did a reverse forecast on Alternatif and Theinval.
The race began in the late afternoon mist. My fellow, like a lot of David Pipe's runners made the running. From about half way (the race was two miles five furlongs) it was clear that Alternatif had the other horses struggling. Coming to the last he was four lengths clear but beginning to falter. Out of the murk came Theinval (the others were nowhere) and all the way up the finishing straight he made up the ground remorselessly. He arrived level with Alternatif at the same time as the winning post. Another stride and he'd have passed him. I couldn't split them but the commentator confirmed that my boy had prevailed. Now that was exciting.