When it comes to being lucky sometimes it’s all in the name

Dave O'Connell

Unfortunately the secret to gambling success comes too late for those who are now shirtless after a barren week in Ballybrit – but now it turns out that they probably failed, not because they didn’t know what they were at, but because they thought they knew too much.

It turns out you can overdo this preoccupation with the form guides, when really all you need to do it pick a horse with a nice name.

It worked last week for one English woman who landed herself a £250,000 bonanza from Goodwood for less than a fiver, after she picked horses – because she thought their names were ‘nice’.

And who can argue with lovely names like Dark Red, Breton Rock or El Astronaute – but, with all due respects, what drew her to 100/1 shot, the Children’s Trust?

Sticking a pin in the card, winning the office sweep, picking the horse that’s wearing your lucky number – it may never turn you into the next JP McManus, because it won’t work on a regular basis . . . but wouldn’t it be lovely if it worked just once?

Instead, those of us who know as much about racing as Donald Trump does about diplomacy have spent many a fruitless afternoon in the Ballybrit shadows, furtively tuning into the conversations of these loquacious experts talking of some nag who was held for Galway or who was flying over the gallops at six in the morning last Thursday.

Unfortunately it invariably turns out that this sure thing appears to have left all of his ability on those gallops or he wasn’t actually held back in the first place – that was as good as he’d get.

There are the ‘sure things’ that you’ll hear whispered in the pub or the office; it’s straight from the trainer’s mouth, if not the actual horse’s – and then, like a metaphor for life itself, it just goes and lets you down.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.