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Canine capers take the fizz out of bubbly; BETTING LOWS.

LAST weekend was a hair-raising experience then, but I could have been resembling a woolly mammoth with a little bit more luck.

My pounds 80 on Matt Kuchar to win the Barclays at 34 on Betfair was looking jolly well invested when the cheerful American took a one-shot lead into the final round of the weather-ruined 54-hole event on Saturday. Dustin Johnson, though, then started holing bunker shots for eagle and what not, leaving my man as runner-up.

I ended up having the runner-up in the Johnnie Walker Championship too. I was happy enough to see Thomas Bjorn triumph (see Betting Highs), but would have preferred George Coetzee (on whom I had pounds 110 at 42 on Betfair ante-post) to have won instead.

Bjorn and Coetzee were the last pair standing in the five-man playoff, so Bjorn's decisive birdie actually cost me more than a grand. The pals I was drinking with were disgusted with my greed when I looked disappointed to have won 'only' pounds 3,000 rather than pounds 4,510.

En route to that champagne supernova at the harbour, we dived into our favourite Coral shop to have a little tickle on the hound action, and I almost managed to claim another bag of sand. An opening wager of pounds 80 on Trap Five at 2-1 for the 6.57 at Sittingbourne created some momentum and the pounds 160 winnings went straight on Trap Five at 3-1 for the 7.06 at Poole.

Soon after entering the shop, pounds 80 had been turned into pounds 640 and I was on a roll. Trifleface was urging me to pop the wedge in my pocket and depart, but I was hungry to hit the bag-ofsand jackpot and the shop manager was using one of his favourite catchphrases ("Never leave on a winner - it's bad luck!) to lure me in.

Trap Two in the 7.14 at Sittingbourne looked a class apart, so I threw pounds 560 on the little blighter, which opened at 10-11 and drifted to 11-10. Victory would have moulded pounds 80 into pounds 1,256 in just over 17 minutes, but sadly my hound got embroiled in some early skirmishing and I ended up winning (and losing) zero pounds on the session.

Still thirsty for canine capers two days later, I lost pounds 175 backing three losers in the first three races of the live-on-Sky Wimbledon dogs, before pounds 90 on Aero Gaga at 2.94 on Betfair for the 8.35pm marathon drew me back level. The 894-metre dust-up was one of the most exciting dog races I have ever seen, with Gaga clearly gagging to eat the hare and finishing like a ruddy aeroplane.

A timid pounds 30 on Trap Four at 3.8 in the 8.50 put me pounds 80 up, but I lost pounds 280 on the last three races, with Blue Bee's defeat in the 9.10 the decisive hammerblow. A 25-1 rag beat a 9-1 chance in the Grand National, the big race of the night. As Sir Alex Ferguson once didn't say at Camp Nou after the 1999 Champions League final: "Greyhound racing - ruddy hell!"

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Thomas Bjorn's victory was bitter sweet
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2011
Words:535
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