Cheeky Punt: Money and mind lost at Cheltenham

Date published: Wednesday 22nd March 2017 12:20

So Cheeky had an incredible six winners from his weekend tips for Football365 but he was too busy getting tw***ed at Cheltenham to actually back them himself…

Sometimes in gambling, as in life, the obvious choice is the best choice.

Take last Wednesday. I was reeling from another heavy day of losses on the nags at Cheltenham, though thankfully I had not done my conkers quite as spectacularly as the geezer who was rumoured to have had £500k to win £100k on Douvan at 1/5. Douvan, the banker of the full meeting, duly lost and it begged the question…if you had the 500k why the f**k did you need the 100k?

Anyhow, I was in a dark place and all set to walk into the sea. Thankfully through teary eyes in the betting shop I saw that Monaco were a 3/1 chance to beat Manchester City at home in the Champions League (win and both teams to score). Anyone who had paid any attention to the first leg will have been onto the fact that Monaco looked hugely dangerous yet vulnerable at the back. With home advantage, surely they had a shout at clawing back that 5-3 first leg deficit?

So it proved. Monaco won 3-1, City were eliminated from the Champions League and I went to bed having pulled back a couple of ton, giving me a modest war chest for Cheltenham.


The pick-up for Cheltenham was arranged for 0530am on Thursday morning and I had assured ‘er indoors I would not have a drink till we got down there.

Yet as the French proverb goes ‘You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it’. It just so happened that out of the 28 lads I could have been sat next to on the bus, I was with legendary local boozer called Thirsty Keith. He was armed with 18 cans of Kronenbourg 1664 and insistent that I join him in doing damage to them, despite the fact it was 6am in the morning.

It was over a five-hour drive to the Festival so we got to talking and I asked him how he acquired the nickname Thirsty Keith?

He replied: “Thirsty Keith is my proper name. My nickname is The Exorcist.”

Confused, I then asked him why and he replied softly while maintaining eye contact: “Because every time I leave someone’s house there’s no spirits left.”


Cheltenham was a scream and even if you are not a racing fan it’s worth having a look down there (or up there – depending on your location) at some stage before you croak. If you are doing two days it is probably best not to drink all the way through the first night as by Gold Cup day on the Friday I was a shadow of my former self, though did get a drunken high five from Phil Tufnell. Every cloud and all that.

I was waiting on a horse called Death Duty on Friday for absolute chunks as it was the last leg of a £31 four-horse accumulator I had put on ante post. Alas, it failed to do the business and I ended up well down for both day and week.

Shout out to the unbelievably cheerful taxi driver though who took me back to the digs, a broken man, on Friday night.

Him: “Did you win?”

Me: “No mate.”

Him: “Well at least you had the experience brother. And your flat cap looks fire.”

He was right. I really did have the experience. The experience of waxing the thick end of a month’s wages in just a few short days while dressed as Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins.

Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Manchester United Top 4 finish at 13/8 (bet365/Ladbrokes)

Degsy Bilton

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