Vinny keeps his fingers crossed as Angie goes to war
Over the weekend, and right up to Monday night, Angie kept herself busy, compiling offers for her Super Tuesday to tempt even the stingiest punter. Against Vinny’s wishes, she had decided to go to war against the formidable stable of Willie Mullins, the most powerful National Hunt trainer in the land, and the most successful Cheltenham raider of recent years.
Angie had scoured the prices being offered by her competitors and was trumping them. Hurricane Fly, best priced 9/4 for the Champion Hurdle, was on offer at 3/1. She went Sir Des Champs 6/1 for the Gold Cup, Pont Alexandre 4/1 for the Neptune Hurdle.
It was madness, thought Vinny, and it got worse. Angie was offering evens on Mullins training four or more winners at the festival and 9/4 to be top trainer – no-one else was higher than 7/4.
As he scanned the offers, Vinny could feel his fingers and toes tingle; there was money to be made here.
A part of Vinny wanted to scream at Angie and warn her she was taking a high-risk strategy but this was his wife’s roll of the dice, her livelihood, and he knew better than to interfere.
As Tuesday dawned, Angie and Vinny were at Boru Betting at nine bells along with Craig Carruthers, her long-serving right-hand man, and the tellers, Mikey and Babs, whose giggling suggested to Vinny they were not long out of the same bed.
Vinny, who’d taken a day’s holiday, had agreed to work the floor, dealing with queries and ushering punters towards the tills.
“Best foot forward, team,” said Angie, who was done up to the nines. “Keep the teas and coffees topped up, the sambos and wraps fresh. Don’t forget to smile and thank anyone who places a bet, whether it’s for €2 or €200.”
It was the longest of days, and almost 12 hours passed before Vinny and Angie collapsed in a quiet corner of Foley’s, well away from the Champions League action.
In terms of PR, the numbers of bodies present, and the amounts of money wagered, the day had been a huge success for Boru Betting.
The little shop had been jammers at lunchtime, and again between five and half seven as punters queued to get inside before tearing into the Cheltenham Specials.
Liabilities on Willie Mullins’ runners were massive, so much so Vinny reckoned wins for Hurricane Fly and Sir Des Champs, who were lumped together in countless doubles, would probably scuttle Boru Betting.
Vinny feared for his wife’s sanity should that happen, only he didn’t let it show. As Angie raised a large gin and tonic, and gave her husband a conspiratorial wink which suggested the night held wondrous possibilities, it struck the bus driver that his wife was a far greater risk-taker than he ever would be. For that, he cherished her even more.
Bets of the week
1pt win First Lieutenant in Gold Cup (22/1, Betfair)
1 pt each-way Countrywide Flame in Champion Hurdle (16/1, Boylesports)
2pts lay My Tent Or Yours in Supreme Novices Hurdle (6/4, William Hill, liability 3pts)