Apple's Jade gets the Annie Power treatment off punters as bookies breathe sigh of relief 1 year ago

Apple's Jade gets the Annie Power treatment off punters as bookies breathe sigh of relief

It was too good to be true, wasn't it?

It always is. At the end of the day, the bookies always get their back. In fairness, most of us are well aware that our odds of cleaning out them out are higher than a rank outsider, but there's always a buzz in taking a chance.

The Cheltenham Festival is the best time of the year to give it a go. All horses are trying hard. The best of National Hunt thoroughbreds are in action so at least we're betting on some kind of logic, rather than just odds and tips we've heard off a friend of a friend.

The 'Dead Cert' double, treble, accumulator or whatever you want to call it pops up a lot. None more so than in the Cotswolds in mid March.

Some horses arrive to Pretsbury Park having beaten their rivals before. All they've to do is jump the fences and hold form, but it just doesn't work out that way.

We've seen it happen before and we'll see it happen again where outsiders stun the field or where the bankers turn out to be the opposite of that.

In 2015, Annie Power fell at the final flight of the Mares' Hurdle. That loss would prove to be one of the most expensive bullets theΒ  bookmakers has ever dodged. It saved them a fortune and it cost punters just as much.

Rich Ricci's horse was the last leg of doubles, trebles and accumulators. She would have been a crucial part of Lucky 15s of yankees and of so much more.

She fell and some of us still shudder to think of the memories.

Tuesday was the opening day of this year's Cheltenham Festival. As always, the racing lived up to expectations. Summerville Boy ran a cracker to land the opener under Tom George.

He was heavily supported in the market and got punters off to a decent start. Footpad bolted up in the Arkle soon after and many of us were thinking this game was too easy.

Buveur D'Air stayed like a true Champion under an inspired ride by the king of the close finish Barry Geraghty to land the big race soon after and that meant everything was going onto Gordon Elliott's Apple's Jade. Bizarrely, it was the exact same race where Annie Power came unstuck.

There's something about the Mares' Hurdle.

Tough as nuts, this horse hadn't been beaten in a year and was expected to do the business again here. Usually so reliable, the mare just didn't travel this time around. Her jumping wasn't far off but it sure wasn't convincing. Willie Mullins' Benie Des Dieux outstayed Jack Kennedy's mount up the hill and punters were left sickened.

There's always one, eh?

You shouldn't be throwing all of your eggs in the one basket.

That has got to hurt.

We feel for you, Tom.