Women and cash problems as usual

“MONEY, horse racing and women, three things the boys just can’t figure out.”

So said the crooning cowboy Roy Rogers, and he had a point.

I rarely have much luck with any of them, and yesterday it was the geegees and the cash which came a-cropper for me.

A day that started badly got progressively worse. If I was a horse, I’d have been destroyed before 4pm.

After coming out in the black from my last sortie to the turf accountant on Tuesday, I was confident of denting his vast reserves again.

Armed with my €20 note, crisp and unmarked from the sports desk’s emergency slush fund, I kicked open the door of Hackett’s like I was entering a saloon.

This time, I was going it alone. The ‘experts’ had proved false gods; it was time to go into business on my own.

Anyway I’d enough of the likes of John McCririck (has anyone else had a worse fall from grace? A couple of years ago he was a likeable oddity. One Big Brother appearance and a couple of sexist and jingoistic comments later, and he’s more hated than his lookalike, Osama bin Laden. It’s like you found out RTÉ’s winking weatherman Gerard Fleming had been pistol-whipping the camera man off-set or if loveable Fozzy Bear was making advances on female fellow puppets on The Muppet Show: ‘Hiya Hiya Hiya! Want to see some magic? Look in Fozzy’s pocket...’). But I digress.

There was racing to be done, money to be made.

My first fancy was Rivaliste, a 7/1 shot in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase, which I reckoned was worthy of a fiver of my not-so-hard-earned cash.

Going off the favourite, I was hopeful a good start would be half my battle but Copper Bleu took the honours. Not good.

Time for a quick cheat: I managed to make my €20 daily gambling limit stretch a bit too by using one of the Irish Examiner’s free daily bets at Hackett’s, sticking a €5 wager on Alfie Sherrin, 10/3 in the Pertemps Final at 2.05pm.

Another favourite, another unmitigated disaster.

I was starting to break sweat, but I still had €15 to salvage some pride with.

The smart money was on Pocquelin but I looked elsewhere, keeping cool and turning to Tranquil Sea, another €5 down at 5/1.

In the end Pocquelin and Tranquil Sea both bowed to the Real McCoy, as AP came up with the goods on Alberta’s Run.

Squeaky bum time.

Down to a tenner and getting desperate, I turned back to the TV for inspiration ahead of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Things were getting tense. Tracey Piggott couldn’t have been more excited if she was in the Munster rugby dressing room. She and Brian Gleeson seemed to be agreed Big Buck’s would do the business. But 5/6?

I did what any idiot gambler without a brain would. I reckoned the return wasn’t enough, avoided Ruby and Big Buck’s and weighed in behind the veteran Cousin Vinny at 33/1 with €2.50 each way.

What a mug I am. After a brief sparkle, Vinny faded into the background quicker than Tiger Woods after making an apology as Ruby Walsh and Big Buck’s fizzed to victory.

A fiver left, and this punter was desperate. I came good at the last on Tuesday, could I do the same on Thursday?

I decided to follow Galant Nuit in the Kim Muir Chase at 4.40pm, hoping to save my day. Nina Carbery don’t fail me now!

Nina and Galant Nuit finished third as Ballabriggs held on grimly from the fast-finishing Faasel.

Like Roy Rogers said, I musn’t understand women either.

Latest: Mugs 2 Bookies 1. It’s up to Adrian Russell to save the mugs now.

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