At 8 a.m. this morning, my column was done, the ‘i’s were dotted, the ‘t’s crossed. I had even suggested a headline, ‘Three mudlarks for Sandown tomorrow’. Within half an hour, I would be pressing the send button on my weekly email to my friends at Spectator Life.
Sadly, just 20 minutes later, the whole column was redundant. My three fancies that loved heavy ground would not have the chance to lark around in the mud: tomorrow’s Sandown card, the highlight of which was due to be the final of the Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase, was abandoned due to waterlogging.
Since a tipping column without a tip is about as useful as a constitutional monarchy without a king or queen at its head, there had to be a hasty rethink. This weekend’s fare at the other tracks had already offered nothing of interest to me on the betting front.
However, as of this week, William Hill became the first bookmaker to offer NRNB (that, for the irregular gamblers, means Non Runner No Bet) on all 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival. Normally, an ante-post post bet is lost if the horse fails to run in the race in which you have backed it, but NRNB is an insurance policy against this.
However, since no bookie I have ever come across can be likened to a charity, the NRNB concessions typically leads to reduced odds. A punter therefore has to ask himself or herself just one question: ‘If horse X runs in this festival race, is it likely to be bigger or shorter odds on the day?’
With that question in mind, my first tip with the NRNB concession is DJELO in the Grade 1 Turners Novices’ Chase.