Oh, the pleasure and the pain. I’m there nice and early for Race 1 – the two-year-olds. Horse watchers have a serious advantage in these races with little or no exposed form. I have taken an exception to the favourite, Rockshaft, who is bouncing around the mounting yard in a state of high arousal and is sweating copiously behind, despite the cold. The strapper is struggling to contain the horse. I’m keen to lay this horse as he’s showing $1.20 for the place on the tote. I’m also keen to back the Sheik’s horse Kuhreihen, who is lobbing around the yard in a very relaxed state of mind. It looks like a back and lay race. I back Kuhreihen on the tote and with one minute to the jump I fire up the iPhone for the lay, and oh no, not again, that dreaded message from iBetmate: “This product requires a funded account”. How can that be? There must be some mistake? I try it again but of course the horses jump. Kuhreihen powers home for second at $2.80 for the place and the favourite struggles into fourth. Oh, the pleasure and the pain.
Race 2. Time to take stock. A deep breath. My account can’t have been hacked and cleaned out, can it? I have faced this problem before. If there is no activity on your Betfair account for three months iBetmate won’t work. But the app seems to only recognise your UK wallet and not the Australian wallet as your Betfair account. I remember that last time this was fixed by transferring one dollar from the Aussie wallet into the UK wallet. So I login in to the main Betfair site to check my account and transfer the one dollar. Oh, no! How can that be? A balance of $0.00? I must have been hacked! So much for laying horses today!
Race 3. It is deserted out the back. There’s only one desperate watching them in the parade ring. Everyone must be at the other races, the Grand Prix. And another possible lay, of course, with Frenetica far too frantic for my taste. Frenetica finishes fourth.
Race 4 and Ariarni has the nose roll. It reminds me of last Wednesday out at Sandown when an out of control Follonica appeared with a nose roll, my favourite no-no. This horse had been restless in her stall, kicking out, resisting the strapper and jockey, and taken in hand by the clerk. I layed it at $1.52 for the place but the bet was not matched despite plenty of action at $1.53. Too greedy! The stewards noted that “Follonica jumped in the air as the start was effected” and questioned Craig Williams about his riding of the horse. Craig replied that the horse was always awkward and reluctant to race inside other horses, and furthermore, in his opinion, the horse resented the nose roll! And today I can’t even lay Ariarni! Marheta has the ear muffs, but they look like helicopter blades, or maybe the muff fitting department at Myers didn’t have the right size. But the Cat’s Pyjamas certainly looks the bee’s knees and duly salutes at $2.50 for the place.
In Race 5 Testa My Patience is a standout and is showing $1.80 on the books and $2.20 on the tote with one minute to go. I go for the tote and the good thing returns a disappointing $1.60 for the place. That is a serious crunch. The win price went from about $7.00 to $4.40 in the last 50 seconds. That’s pretty serious too. It really makes you wonder if someone is getting on after the jump.
In Races 6 and 7 I have the winning favourites on top, but too short to back for the place.
So, come the last, Race 8, the get out stakes, my eye is on fire and I’m sitting on three out of three. I like the longshot La Fanastique, at over $6.00 the place. What a let down. The horse is pulled up and finishes tailed off last by 45 lengths. How could I get it so wrong? And how I hate having a winning day and then going home on a loser.
Oh, the pleasure and the pain.
Postscript: Home to urgently check the Betfair account. Whew! All still there and I transfer the one dollar. I still don’t understand why I couldn’t do that at the track. Fire up the iBetmate, and it is all systems go. I allow myself a brief lamentation – oh, the opportunities lost - all for the sake of one dollar.