My plan was simple. Choose three of the biggest certainties on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, and put them all in a treble. All three would romp home as expected, and I would leave Cheltenham considerably less poor than when I arrived.
No such luck.
It started off just as it should. Sprinter Sacre, the steeplechasing success story of the season, cantered home seven lengths clear. One down, two to go. But then it went somewhat off script. Hurricane Fly, the horse everyone thought would win a second Champion Hurdle, couldn't do any better than third.
Even when racing's supermare Quevega romped home well clear of her rivals, it was too late. I'd lost out on my 'dead cert', having conveniently forgotten this morning that there is no such thing as a dead cert.
But that's the thing about Cheltenham. From the minute you arrive, you get swept along with the fever. The 55,000 strong crowd roaring as the first race goes off, the jubilant celebrations of someone who's had a big win, that unshakable feeling of 'it could be me next'.
With 27 races and more than 400 horses, it's never going to be an easy task to gamble on who might win at Cheltenham. Racing is a sport with endless twists and turns, where outsiders can usurp favourites, where almost anything can happen. So when it comes to predicting an outcome all you can really do is guess, and hope.
You can sit and study the form for hours, and a name might jump out at you. 'Oh he's good', you think, marking his name with an asterisk. But then you spot another horse's name and think, 'But he's pretty good too'. Another asterisk. Soon enough there's more asterisks than you know what to do with, and the only horse who doesn't have a mark beside his name is the 200 to 1 rank outsider, and even then you can't quite shake the feeling that he might just have a chance.
Or maybe that's just me.
Yet somehow it doesn't matter. Having a small flutter on a race is nothing compared to the thrill of a fairy tale win, of watching an epic jumping performance, of hearing the cheers ring out as the winning jockey rides past the crowds. Every jockey, and every horse, whether they win or lose, are heroes to me.
And when it comes to choosing a winner, maybe I'm not very good. But I've still got three days left to keep trying.