I kicked off my betting on day 3 of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival with a decent size bet on Peddlers Cross to win and place in the Jewson Novices’ Chase.

The 2012 Jewson Novices’ Chase

A previous entry into the 2012 Arkle before being redirected, Peddlers Cross should have had around 12 pounds in hand on the rest of the field here, so looked like a decent bet at odds of 3/1 with Stan James, Bet365 and BetVictor.

It was actually the second favourite, Willie Mullins trained Sir Des Champs, who took the spoils at an SP of 3/1. Peddlers Cross never got into this and alas, my betting P & L took another turn for the worse on day 3.

This coupled with the fact that I had Peddlers Cross in a number of each way doubles meant I was feeling pretty glum after the bay limped home in 8th. Surely things can’t get much worse?

Next up was the 14:05 Pertemps Final Listed Handicap Hurdle, a very competitive 24 runner race which I was certainly not interested in betting on. The eventual winner was 14/1 Cape Tribulation.

The 2012 Ryanair Chase

The 2012 Ryanair Chase was a hugely competitive betting event, with a very strong field of high-class middle distance chasers. Riverside Theatre went off as 7/2 favourite after winning the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase in February and those betting on favourites were not disappointed, as he just edged out the 2 times Ryanir Chase Victor and 10/1 shot – Albertas Run, by 1/2 a length.

I was betting on Somersby, the talented, but slightly rogue Henrietta Knight trained 8 year old. Inspite of travelling well for the majority of the race, Somersby eventually came unstuck when coming down the Cheltenham hill for the final time and was duly outpaced from 4 furlongs out.

So no joy for me in the Ryanair Chase as-well and by this stage I am thinking that the 2012 Cheltenham Festival is not going to go my way!

The 2012 Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Legendary hurdler Big Bucks in full flow

Big Bucks tackles a hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

The World Hurdle contained Big Bucks. If you don’t know who Big Bucks is, or what the legendary hurdler has achieved, you really do not know your racing. 3 previous wins in the Cheltenham World Hurdle and 15 consecutive hurdling wins, this Nicholls trained gelding is a machine!

I took advantage of William Hill’s World Hurdle betting offer last week and had a good sized bet each way on the second favourite – Oscar Whisky at odds of 6/1. The reason this was a stand out bet is that the general industry price with operators such as Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Stan James was 4/1, so at 6/1 I had myself a good value bet.

Oscar Whisky started gamely, but it was Big Bucks and Voler La Vedette who were battling it out for first place up the hill in the final furlong. The 3 times previous winner of the World Hurdle edged out the 20/1 shot in an enthralling finish, to claim an amazing and truly deserved 16th consecutive win over hurdles. Well done to Big Bucks, a true racing legend.

Unfortunately, my “good value bet” on Oscar Whisky was a loser and disappointingly what I thought to be a very solid each way proposition was eventually beaten into 5th.

By the time the 16:00 Byrne Group Plate was to be contested, I had no further bets riding on day 3, so just had to soak up the action feeling a tad pissed off that both day 2 & 3 were pretty disasterous from a betting perspective. Those are the breaks when betting on the Cheltenham Festival unfortunately; if you are prepared to bet then you have to also be prepared to lose the money. There’s always day 4 to get me back on the winning trail again!

The Byrne Group Plate was won by 9/2 favourite, Salut Flo, which then lead onto the final race of the festival on day 3, the 16:40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase. This is a race for amateurs, however the favourite obliged again and the 9 year old Johnjo O’Neill trained horse took the spoils at 13/2 to keep the Cheltenham faithful happy.

Long Run vs Kauto star today and hopefully some improved betting for the final day of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.

Day 3 was a flop as far as betting goes. My Cheltenham P & L took another battering and I finished the day significantly down…again. It all started off so well on day 1 as-well.

It was back in 2005 that I moved over to Dublin to work for the Irish betting exchange, Betdaq. Having graduated from Newcastle University a year earlier, I enjoyed the odd pint of Guinness and had a passion for the betting industry, so I suppose there was as good a place to start as any! Over the past 4.5 years, I have been a co-Director at the online gaming recruitment specialist Hyperion Gaming, so I have been living and breathing the betting industry for most of my working life. I hope that some of my experiences working in the industry and as a punter will be of interest to those of you perusing our pages. I am very excited to be a part of rolling out with this project and hope to provide you all with some juicy betting blogs and additional ammo with which to take on the bookies. Enjoy the site and happy punting. Alex Lafferty+

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