Have you ever found yourself liking a horse pre-race so much that you start to go a little crazy?

It’s that little bit of madness that we all experience at one time or another. That feeling that “today is the day”, and that “I’m due” itch which compels you to stand up and declare that your selection cannot be beaten. You’ve done the form, you’ve watched all the lead up races, and you’ve eliminated the opposition – now all that’s left to do is to “unleash”….

And what happens next is probably the worst feeling for a punter – defeat by the narrowest of margins. No matter how long you look at the photo, the print finish is not going to go your way. Such was the theme to my day at Ascot today – left lamenting over what could have been. To make things worse – it happened twice.

We found Ascot today with perfect racing conditions – a Good 3 track with the rail in the true position. The leaders did well early in the program, when Devilish Intent ($7.00) led from “whoa to go” to win the Bisley Protective Workwear HCP 1600m. Bonny Zara ($2.70 eq fav) repeated the effort in the Seacorp Ship Broking Plate 2yo 1000m – winning a spirited duel against equal favourite and first starter Busimiss.

Lumping a massive 60kgs, Detection ($5.00) surprised a few to salute in the Seacorp Ship Agency HCP 1100m. Milken Whiskey ($7.00) accounted for rivals in the Bisley Ladieswear Launch HCP 1400m, while Amelia Storm ($6.50) had its first win in over 400 days – collecting the winners cheque in the Country Cup 1500m, and the Group 3 WFA Prince of Wales Stakes 1200m was taken out by the Simon Miller trained Power Princess ($2.80 fav).

And now for the pain…

Global Flirt ($2.20 fav) came into the Mt Hallowell Stud HCP 1800m backing up from an amazing purple patch to its career, with two wins and two seconds this preparation. The McFlirt gelding sat handy throughout, with the well backed Uncle George ($4.80) right alongside. After shaking off early leader Knight Fury ($7.00), the pair wound up for a battle royale over the concluding stages. Uncle George looked to have Global Flirts measure, until peaking on its run – the two horses crossing the line together. A dead heat looked the likely result, until the photo found a margin – Uncle George prevailing by a nose. Bugger…

But the one that really hurt came in the last of the day – the Bisley Workwear HCP 1200m. Taken straight out of the black book was the 6yo O’Reilly gelding Honest Lies ($6.50), following a stunning run behind Barakey last start. Solsay ($6.00) did as expected, jumping straight to the front where it commanded proceedings until the final furlong. Out of the pack bounced Honest Lies, along with race favourite Checkpoint ($3.40 fav) – the two clearing past Solsay to hit the line together. Another photo was required to separate the pair – Checkpoint getting the nod – again, a nose was the difference. Double Bugger…

But there is a remedy for the defeated punter – multiple medicinal tonics heal the wounds quickly, and before you know it, you’re plotting your next punting campaign. And as the continual gibes of “there’s no such thing as a certainty” fade further with every beer, one is left taking solace in the fact that there IS such thing as a “certainty beaten”.