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Horseracing: Dave Nevison DIARY OF A PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER; This really was one El of a bet.

Byline: Dave Nevison

MONDAY WOLVERHAMPTONSCOTTISH trainer Ian Semple has impressed me greatly this all weather season but I have to admit I wasn't too chuffed when he won the seven furlong handicap at Wolverhampton on Monday.

I was anxious to have a good start to the week and had backed both Alpen Wolf and Rimatara to win a few quid, leaving the Semple runner out as I thought it wouldn't stay.

Unfortunately Arogant Prince did stay and swept past my two selections as though they were standing still. Not the start to the week I was hoping for, that's for sure.

I wasn't going to get out of trouble in the next as Moyne Pleasure was a very short favourite. Instead I played safe and had a bit each-way on Avebury which looked an absolute "bet to nothing."

I certainly ended up with nothing as the normally ultra reliable Sarah Bosley gave the horse a shocking ride. It started last and just about stayed there!

It was beginning to look like it would be a very expensive day and the next race certainly didn't alter the situation.

Betting Oscar Urbina's mounts must be one of the main reasons why I spend my days scrubbing around Wolverhampton instead of looking at topless beauties from my luxurious Monte Carlo apartment.'Betting Urbina is why I am at Wolverhampton and not Monte Carlo'I simply can't remember ever backing him on a winner and he did me again on Loves Design in the next.

This horse has to be held up and brought late but Urbina gave "brought late"a whole new meaning and I suspect the first and second were hosed down and back in their boxes by the time my bet got going.

Last with a furlong to go, a Lear jet couldn't have got them past the post first and the form book's comment "too much to do" is an understatement to say the least.

The winner of the next was called My Last Bean which made me chuckle as I was fairly close to mine by this stage. But fortunately I did not join in the gamble on Hearthstead Pride.

This horse has possibly been the most expensive to follow on the all weather this winter having been just about odds on on all three starts.

He arrived at the track with a Derby entry and a tall reputation but has done nothing to endear him to punters in his three runs.

Perhaps those who have backed him are now convinced he is not one to follow after revealing himself to be an absolute plodder even over this 12 furlong trip. It's long odds on that he never wins a thing in my book.

Hopefully the Derby entry was for Blackpool and not Epsom!'I have said before no more ante post bets but this is definitely it'The last race came without me having drawn once on the day and my head was scraping along the floor I was that gutted.

I strongly fancied Elheba as he had hacked up last time and still looked well in. The Post had him at even money which I thought was fair but a price nowhere near big enough to get me out of jail.

Amazingly I saw 6-4 chalked up so I waded in straight away thinking the unfortunate layer had made a mistake.

I then backed it at 9-4 but was beginning to smell a rat. I knew the horse was a "non-jigger" when as soon as I took the 9-4 I could back it at 11-4 next door!

I was punch drunk by this point and shuffled to the exit to watch the race, safe in the knowledge that it wasn't off. At least I would be first out of the car park.

Thankfully, Elheba didn't read the script and didn't know he wasn't trying that afternoon so he duly hacked up as the form suggested he would.

My legs had gone to jelly by this point but what was clear was that I had put way over pounds 2000 on the horse and had won enough to get me in front on the day.

I don't know whether the "smash your way to success" approach has ever been written down as one of the great methods of professional gambling but I can tell you it's great when it works.

The rest of the week had been one of shocks to the system and I am seriously worried about my ticker lasting much longer.

The biggest blow came on Wednesday morning when my copy of the Weekender landed on the doormat. I usually enjoy Geoff Lester's column with my cornflakes but I nearly choked when I read his two headlines.

First up was the news that Mick Channon was considering running his star filly Queen's Logic in the 2000 Guineas instead of staying against the fillies in the 1000.

That might be very bold and a terrific publicity stunt but it is no good to me or those of you who took my advice last Autumn.

I have backed the filly to win a new conservatory and if I don't deliver this summer there will be hell to pay.

I simply cannot believe this will happen as there will plenty of time to take on the colts this season. I think it would be madness to miss out on what I believe is near certain Classic glory if she is still in one piece by May.

The next piece of news was more of a worry as it now seems likely that I have blown my Lincoln money on last Saturday's winning tip, Adiemus.

Despite the fact that the owner is on at 40-1, trainer Jeremy Noseda is said to be "seriously considering going back to Lingfield for the Winter Derby on March 16".

I don't know how many times I have said I will never have another ante post bet but this is definitely it, win lose or draw.

It's simply not worth the aggravation and heartache!

We'll have a chance today to see the strength of the Adiemus form when Paragon of Virtue runs in the pounds 20,000 handicap at Lingfield. The selection was a bit unlucky last time when finishing a neck behind Adiemus.

The former Michael Stoute trained horse has had only eight races despite being a five year old so could be open to improvement. Also Philip Mitchell, of Running Stag fame, is beginning to show a bit of form after some indifferent seasons.

WINNERS ON CALL

YOU can hear Dave Nevison's daily tips on his exclusive telephone hotline:

0906 911 0239

Lines are open from 11am and calls cost pounds 1 per minute.
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Title Annotation:Punter
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 2, 2002
Words:1120
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