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You could describe us as a little battered and bruised this week: From The Dragon’s Mouth #15

You could describe us as a little battered and bruised this week.

After getting away with a few near misses recently we were briefly put on the canvas last weekend.

It was a kick to the solar plexus from a sport that caught us a little off guard.

At DragonBet, we set out with an ethos of flying in the face of the corporates who are now well known for not taking a decent bet.

With our racecourse heritage, we believe bookmaking is a game of give and take.  “Always a fair bet” was a slogan our father used to use and it’s a principle we like to carry forward in all senses.

But, my goodness did we take a big hit last Friday and it wasn’t even on horseracing.

The knockout blow came via a £2,500 double on Mixed Martial Arts  (or MMA).

The payout came to nearly £25,000 – enough to make anyone’s eyes water and leave them struggling for breath.

Perhaps, in hindsight, it was too much of a liability to take on for a sport we know so little about.  But then again, we had ample time to hedge the bet should we have wanted to and we’ll have to count it as an expensive lesson learnt.

This game of ours is a bit like snakes and ladders – one step forward two steps back. So, as we have done many times before, it was a case of learning, shaking it off, and going again.

The first chance to do that was at Bonvilston Point-to-Point, which is on the outskirts of Cardiff, where I was licking my wounds on Saturday.

If you’ve never been to a point, you really should. We’ll be at the same venue this weekend – first race 2.30pm for those who want to attend.

You’d be surprised at the money that changes hands in this particular farmer’s field. It often trumps many times over what we take ‘under rules.’

It’s very much a hark back to the good ol’ days of betting and bookmaking with no internet or betting exchanges to guide the markets.

Often, you’ll see just a fellah in a field, with a book and a sharp pencil and nothing else but his wits.

The racing was competitive, and we managed to duck and dive the right way in a few races.

A dent was made in the MMA losses and although we were a long way off where we were before the weekend the recovery mission had begun.

Tuesday saw a return to the racecourse proper with the start of the flat at Chepstow.

Personally, I’m a jumps boy but when the sun is shining it’s nice to enjoy the change of pace that flat racing brings.

The crowd was different as well. It appears lots of people I hadn’t seen since the end of last year were back and brimming with all the optimism a new season brings.

Wales’ grandest racecourse wouldn’t be known for holding the very highest grade of racing in this discipline, but it always has good fields and like those returning racegoers you get to see the same old equine friends time and time again.

It pays to follow the local trainers such as last year’s leading trainer, John O’Shea. It also pays to just bet the handicap favourites, blind.

Had you been doing that for the past five years you’d be showing a profit of eight times your stake.

We finished the day with a small loss, after taking an early lead before the afore-mentioned John O’Shea’s winner Romanovich, which drifted alarmingly, brought us into the red.

There were a few ups and downs around it before another 3/1 out to 10/1 drifter, Way to Amarillo, put the final nail in the financial coffin.

Another step backward, but, thankfully, more a stumble than a fall.

This week’s ladder came in the shape of York on Wednesday.

There were seven races on the Knavesmire and the quality of racing seems to have brought out some of our big punters.

Seven races and zero favs, with five double digit priced winners. Lovely stuff!

We’re back and ready to fight again.

So, bring the weekend on! Pob lwc!!

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