Hoping for a mistake from Sprinter Sacre; BEHIND ENEMY LINES On-course bookie John Hughes reveals who he's for and against.
AS AN independent on-course bookmaker with no shops I have not laid a brass farthing on a horse at Cheltenham yet. The only serious bet I was asked for was a pounds 7,000 to pounds 4,000 Hurricane Fly at Christmas but the punter was looking for 'with a run' thrown in as well. That said, my week will be a disaster if Sprinter Sacre, Hurricane Fly and either Long Run or Kauto Star win the Gold Cup, as I am going to make sure these are my biggest losers on the week.
1.30 Cheltenham I'm laying ... Cinders And Ashes, who I think has no chance in this cavalry charge. I think Darlan has a favourite's chance and Dermot Weld has a class act in Galileo's Choice.
2.05 Cheltenham I'm laying ... Sprinter Sacre, as they will be flying here from the start and at the short odds I will be hoping for a mistake from him. I was at a wake the other evening and got a tip for Blackstairmountain, so I will keep this one for myself. 2.40 Cheltenham I'm ducking ... Bookmakers never win on these races. We bet far too hard because we all think we can get a result. The one I am afraid of is Quantitativeeasing but in handicaps we try to take on the first half dozen and pray.
3.20 Cheltenham I'm laying ... I have to take on Hurricane Fly at such a short price and will keep Binocular as a winner. The other main danger Zarkandar won a handicap. Enough said.
4.40 Cheltenham I'm ducking ... Quevega is a certainty. I will have a hard job keeping the punters off her but I will make sure she will not be my biggest loser in the race.
John Hughes is number 1 bookmaker in Tattersalls, Cheltenham