Thursday, 21 January 2016

Cheltenham Festival Investing for the Over-55s

The stock market is crashing, but George Osborne is allowing anyone aged 55 or over to invest their pension on horse races instead. Or at least he has made it possible for them to draw down their pensions without purchasing an annuity, which amounts to the same thing.

Unfortunately this won’t affect me for a few years yet, but for those of an appropriate age, we are organising a special Investors Evening on Thursday 10th March – otherwise known as our annual Cheltenham Festival Preview Night. Actually anyone can come, and I dare say that even those of us aged between 18 and 54 will be able to scrape together a fighting fund of a few pennies for racing’s most prestigious jamboree in March.

The panel, which will be chaired by Cartmel’s esteemed race-day presenter John Sexton, will include only the most sage advisors. For those seeking maximum bang for their buck, we’ll have the form expert Marten Julian – whose specialism is finding long priced horses with an excellent chance of hitting the frame; ‘This horse couldn’t possibly win,’ is one of his favourite phrases, ‘But it might be difficult to keep him (or her) out of the first three…’

And then we will have local trainer Jimmy Moffatt, who is well placed to tell us which horse will win the Aintree Grand National this year – mainly because he looks at him in the yard every morning. Racing and horses are all that Jimmy thinks about, so he’ll have plenty of views on Cheltenham too – where he enjoyed a famous Festival win in 2010 with Chief Dan George. A representative from Star Sports will give us the bookmakers’ view, while we’re also recruiting a top northern jockey to give us some insight from the saddle.

The ticket price of £16 includes a simple supper, usually a delicious hotpot served with warm bread and red cabbage. I especially like the red cabbage. No I really do! I’ll have to ask Chef Rowley for the recipe. Anyway, tickets can be purchased by calling the racecourse office.

We might even have video footage of this Saturday’s fixture at Haydock, which features an interesting Champion Hurdle Trial where several entries have points to prove. I’m hoping that The New One, our tip for the weekend, will get us off the mark for the year. The race is one of two possible engagements for Jimmy’s Morning Royalty, who has the lowest official rating of all the entries, but is no slouch. Of course he couldn’t possibly win, but it might be difficult to keep him out of the first three.

Good luck and happy investing!

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