It’s difficult to convey to you how good a bet I think this is. I could tell you how much I’ve staked, but that would mean little – you’d either go ‘Gulp!’, or ‘That’s peanuts!’, depending on your own staking levels.
This is like trying to explain how much you love somebody…you can describe all the physical attributes and linger over how that person makes you feel, but you can usually tell by the glazed looks that you’re not getting it across.
Like returning to an old holiday video of you and your darling walking in the sand at sunset, I’ve played again and again the recording of Vautour winning the JLT in March. I backed him that day. On the morning of the JLT I backed him for the 2016 Gold Cup, and told anyone else who’d listen to do the same. I was smitten before the race, mesmerised during it and stunned after it.
You must watch it. Preferably in HD if you’ve kept the CH4 recording. See how clever he is at the 4th and how flawless he is at the others, how majestic he is over the last three. Concentrate on his ears, and how he pricks them approaching each fence, then flicks them as he listens to Ruby. Home in on that long stride and the natural power that drives his athleticism in a way he seems to find joyful. Note how he is still pulling coming to three out, where Ruby has to steady him and, once he’s over and spots that turn for home, the zest with which he quickens…observe his rivals, multiple Grade 1 and Grade 2 winners as they come under panicked pressure long before they’re in the straight. Smile at how he romps toward two out and zings over it and sees the last and gallops toward it and pings it as though it’s the first, and at how he pricks his ears once more and responds to Ruby’s just-for-the-sake-of-it urgings as he comes farther and farther clear. Marvel at how much energy he shows afterwards, walking back in…
…and now, forget the doubts about stamina, ignore those who say he might not be as good right-handed, reject protestations that he’s not a midwinter horse, then type http://www.bet365.com into your address bar, click horseracing, scroll down to where it says ‘AntePost Special Doubles’ and grin widely as you take 14/1 about this superstar landing the King GeorgeVI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Then, pour a drink, and look forward to Boxing Day.
Hopefully, you’ll take this for the light-hearted piece that it is – though do not doubt that I think the world of this horse. But ante-post betting is a dangerous zone at any time. Vautour has been entered at Ascot on Saturday. He could fall and end his career there. He could step on a nail and miss Kempton. He could go wrong in a dozen different ways. I think 14s is a fantastic price, but please bear in mind the risks other than those that I might be wrong, and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.