BEN’S BLOG: ‘Cheltenham 2019: Moments of Doubt’

Cheltenham is not just where we show off our sport to the outside world. It’s where we find out about ourselves too. And it is where we develop.

Over the years, there have been horse and greyhound Trainers who are lauded for their skills in being able to pull off huge gambles out of nowhere. But what do these individuals have in common? They are not seen in the Winners’ Enclosure at Cheltenham, Royal Ascot or the Greyhound Derby. When it comes to it; they are good at their level. The Level of Pulling a Stroke. But winning big competitions fairly? No, no. Let’s let the grown-ups come through now, please chaps…

At the Festival, there is a lot more public money in the market. Money that causes moves in the market, which are obvious to shrewd punters and bookies. And both factions work round these moves, to take value. Now, although these four days of racing, should not have a dramatic effect, either way, on one’s P&L at the end of the year, situations come about. Opportunities to play bigger, on very favourable terms.

When you are a bookmaker, the market will find out what kind of player you are and who you will be. The rest of the year, it is a fairly consistent level-stakesish zone. Cheltenham removes that comfort. When asked for a big bet, every nerve in your body screams “DO NOT TAKE THIS BET! THIS BET WILL HARM YOU!!”. It is a Moment of Doubt. But then, one quiet voice, at the back of your mind, delivers the key message: “If you want to be the next Tony Morris/Victor Chandler/Freddie Williams, you MUST take this bet”. And then, without thinking, you calmly accept the bet, and turn, like an out of body experience, to watch the race. A seal has been broken. A new norm found. Until next time, of course… So Blog; Who are you choosing to be? What’s your level? Don’t worry; YOU’LL BE FINDING OUT NEXT WEEK.

In other news:

WARNING: THIS IS AN ADVERTORIAL: I take this opportunity, to congratulate the Star Sports Social-Media team, for passing through one million Views on YouTube for our Previews & #BettingPeople interviews. Like the best teams; they fight and they bicker BUT they box-clever and move forward. And I’m proud of them, as the quality of their work keeps on improving. STILL TO FIND THEIR LEVEL…

#BettingPeople

Over and out, B x