Enable one of the best but Battaash equally impressive
If, as I did, you backed Cloth Of Stars in the Arc, and yet were still happy and celebrating when Enable strolled home on Sunday, then I have one observation.
You clearly didn't have enough on.
That's obviously said tongue-in-cheek - you have to be careful about what you say in these socially responsible days of ours, clearly jesting or not - but, perhaps to my detriment, I am not one of those who love the sport more than I enjoy betting on it.
And that's not a purely financial observation. Everyone who knows me is in little doubt that I have a very healthy disregard for money, and I am not one of those sad people who believes every pound is a prisoner.
And, as I'm having a dry October (two days in, what's the hassle?), I have decided to relieve the unremitting boredom of feeling healthier by going to Kempton tonight just for the love of the game. Yes, I know.
But it did irk me, for some reason, when I heard people on Sunday afternoon saying how chuffed they were that Enable won, even though they had backed something else in the race.
I'm sure I even heard someone on TV in the morning - it could have been the Post's Julian Muscat, apologies if it wasn't, as I can't remember - saying that he didn't mind losing money if the favourite obliged.
Well, I am not sure what punting planet he lives on, but it isn't mine.
Sure, Enable is quite clearly one of the best we have seen in recent years and you had to be mightily impressed by her victory - though in terms of raw class and a talent I suspect she wasn't even the best horse at Chantilly on Sunday following Battaash's breathtaking win in the Abbaye - but brilliance comes and goes in horse racing.
The next superstar is never too far away; your next big-priced winner may be.
So, sure, celebrate Enable's win, but don't trot out the line that "I don't mind losing to a performance like that" and trying to convince yourself you'd rather be all happy-clappy than go and collect.
Following, and betting on, racing is primarily about the pursuit to be proved right, even though I am sure we have all had the occasional "emotional hedge".
And to be financially compensated for it, though as a tipster I genuinely get a bigger buzz on the all-too-rare occasions that I pinpoint a winner, rather than backing it. Then again, perhaps I need to have more on, too!
Like I said, I am half-joking here to a degree, though I think the Enable love-in did detract slightly from the immediate analysis of the Arc.
My eyes followed Cloth Of Stars all the way from gate to line and he certainly didn't get a trouble-free passage. In fact, when his jockey had to sit and suffer for a run, while swinging on the bridle approaching the furlong pole, I did let out a few expletives. And he wasn't nearly as well positioned as the favourite was the whole way round. He ran a blinder in the circumstances.
I am not suggesting that he would have beaten the winner with a clear run, but I just wonder what the press would have said if Enable had got the run of the second, rather than her faultless ride from Frankie Dettori.
Yes, "if my auntie had..." line doesn't hold much water in racing and betting, but you get my gist. Well, actually I imagine a fair few reading this won't, and think I am a soulless bore.
If so, I've heard worse.
Consistent Firmament can go well again
I have also seen better opportunities when it comes to ante-post punting than this weekend. Don't get me wrong, there are some decent races, but trying to work out what will run is problematical.
Take Ascot's Cumberland Lodge on Saturday, for example.
If Highland Reel came over for the race on decent ground , he would be vying for favouritism with Waldgeist (assuming he is an intended runner), but doubts about his participation - Aidan O'Brien didn't mention this contest as one of the possibles for him in an interview in the Irish Independent today - explains why his price ranges from 9/4 to 6/1.
The same is true for the big sprints, too, and races like the Redcar Sprint Trophy, though I imagine most of the entries in the Newmarket's Sun Chariot, will stand their ground given that it is a Group 1.
I can't argue with the prices, with Persuasive the right favourite at a top-price of 11/4. Usherette and Aljazzi are fair alternatives at around the 8/1 mark but I don't have a strong opinion.
With an £180k purse, then I wouldn't have thought that too many would be deserting the 7f Challenge Cup at Ascot, but all the firms betting on the race are "only" offering the standard four places on the race, and these days it is commonplace for firms such as the Betfair Sportsbook, even if only a maximum of 18 will line up, to go at least five.
I suppose we shouldn't expect these "freebies" as punters as a matter of course but it is undoubtedly something to factor in when betting ante-post these days.
It is also very hard to disagree with the market leaders on the race but if he gets in then I may be persuaded to give Ultimate Avenue another spin at 16/1 after he patently failed to handle Goodwood last time, though the handicapper has ignored the run and left him on the same mark. However, he has three entries this week, so we can't back him at this stage.
Others on my current shortlist include 25/1 chance Firmament, who rarely runs a bad race in big-field handicaps here and was runner-up last year, and 20/1 poke Stamp Hill, but I'll wait until playing.
I'll be back on Friday. Good luck with your punting during the week.