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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Obviously it's not been a good day for Londoners, fans of public transport, and people who don't like loud bangs, and I'm sure Ken Livingstone feels a bit guilty about telling people to get out of their cars and onto the tube, but it's ok, I'm here to raise everyone's spirits with a few more tales from my adventures in horse racing.

Actually, before I do that, can I just mention that I'm ill? I don't like to make a fuss about these things, so I haven't previously mentioned it, but for the past week I've had a cough. I'm permanently sucking the Halls Mentholyptus and downing a bottle of Covonia a day. But despite that, I took a turn for the worse yesterday, and was forced to upgrade the situation to tonsilitis, with possible food poisoning. I then had a major coughing fit in the night, got up this morning with a headache, and felt so rough I was forced to go back to bed at lunchtime.

Which meant I missed the first race at Newmarket. Meaning I didn't get to see the horse I'd backed romping home way down the field, and losing me six quid. Which is probably just as well. I was already feeling pretty rough.

However, I was well and truly awake for the July Cup at 3:05pm, and (possibly due to the mind-altering effects of cough medicine) decided to go completely against all the numerous tips of the so-called experts (pah!), and back two hugely priced outsiders which I happened to think had great chances, and were far better than people realised.

Obviously I was alone in that opinion, and seemed to be the only person on Betfair merrily backing horses at 66-1, but hey, I'm not easily deterred. These are horses, not popes, and I know what I'm doing. So I backed Avonbridge and Etlaala each-way at ridiculous prices, then happily settled down to watch my boat come in. Sorry, my horses come in.

And what happened? They came second and third, and I won £135. You can't argue with a financial investment like that. Of course, if Avonbridge hadn't been overtaken just yards from the line, it would have been over £400, but I'm trying not to think about that.

Oh, and yes, I am very sorry I didn't share those tips here beforehand, but as I've said before, I seem to do so much better when I keep my cards close to my chest. Or in this case, my chesty cough.