Is there a better feeling than getting up early for The Open?
19 July 2012
4.00 Hamilton: Naseem Alyasmeen
7.25 Doncaster: Tickle Time
To stand clinging to the railing at the first tee at silly o’clock to watch the first competitors launch the ball down the fairway on their Open journey is an experience recommended to all. Having done it many times in all weathers and hear the immortal words “On the tee…,” followed by possible cheers and rapturous applause sends shivers down the spine.
It is also a time of hope, a time of dreams, not only for the golfer whether he be a major winner, a multiple tour winner or a qualifier, but for you if you ave poured your hard-earned on to his ability to craft the ball on a ‘Links’ course.
A special skill is needed to tackle the tangled rough, the swirling winds, the bump and run of the fairway. Or not if it’s saturated in addition the constant movement and distractions of those watching.
Each day I would walk the course twice, minimum, selecting a three-ball which would attract the least crowd yet be head of the entertainment list and have some value to back. Some players play those they are aligned with in the three-ball rather than the course. They are the ones to watch when it comes to Matchplay; David Toms was a prime example and it makes me chuckle to see he doesn’t come over to these shores any more.
As you can probably tell there will be part of me wishing I was on the move pacing the 18 holes at Lytham today. Yet to be at the Oval was an opportunity too good to resist and at present it is dry and sunny.
There's lots going on within the racing world including too much arguing and politics that is lost on those stepping through the betting shop doors or leisurely taking an interest while watching the various media outlets. The compelling message from them is why can’t we get on with each other. Why are there always non-runners reducing 16 and eight-runner handicaps to the detriment of each-way terms and while we are on each-way terms why is nothing being done about sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth and now 1/12 of the odds on course! That’s after in some circumstances it costs too much to go in!
Having been at Newmarket last week and there again this week, the bookmakers there will tell you about drop in turnover of the last few years. To them turnover barely exists; the big crowds which go through the turnstiles enjoy the ambience and are not there to bet. Instead those with pitches would take more selling strawberries, or better still, ice-creams.
Wake-up all! Without them weaker on-course markets will affect the off-course market, which I will go in to at greater detail at a more relevant time at which point there will be a boycott by punters! Rant over.
Seb Sanders and Sir Mark Prescott have a 70% strike rate when teaming up at Epsom
Sir Mark Prescott has a 43% strike rate at Epsom
Saeed Bin Suroor has a 30% strike rate at Epsom
Paul Hanagan has had four winners and four seconds from his last 15 rides
Clive Cox has had five winners from his last 16 runners
David Nicholls and son Adrian Nicholls have a 31% strike rate when teaming up at Hamilton
Jason Hart has a 33% strike rate when riding at Hamilton
David Simcock has a 33% strike rate at Brighton