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Cheltenham Festival 17th March thread


chrisobee
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Well, after a pretty awful day for most of us there is always tomorrow.

For starters another excellent preview courtesy of Matt Bisogno ( geegeez.co.uk) suitably edited:

 

http://www.geegeez.co.uk/4108/cheltenham-festival-2010-day-two-preview/

 

National Hunt Chase

 

A novice chase over four miles with amateur pilots: can you think of a less appealing betting proposition?!

 

Jonjo O’Neill he has three entries: Synchronised, Theatrical Moment, and Cruchain. Knowing as we do that he doesn’t always bag it with the favoured runner, I’ve had a closer inspection of Cruchain, currently 40/1 with the bookies and 130-odd on Betfair! Unfortunately, he looks to have it all to do, weakening over shorter trips and not being the most fluid leaper in this field full of ‘not fluid leapers’.

 

Synchronised might do well, but I have a feeling that Theatrical Moment could run a big race and prove the pick of the three.

 

The Ascot staying race in which he finished fourth behind Any Currency looks to be the best form in this race, and he has clearly improved since – as evidenced by his two facile victories at Leicester.

 

The trip looks spot on for this multiple bumper winner and, granted normal luck in passage, he ought to be knock-knock-knocking on victory’s door.

 

Any Currency, who ostensibly seems to have regressed since the Ascot win over Theatrical and co, actually has a fine chance. He appears to need a going description containing the word ‘good’ somewhere in it, and he can be expected to run much better than his last two outings on the sounder surface here.

 

Cast Cada looks interesting over this longer trip (as a 3m2f hurdle winner at Southwell), as does Pennek (staying on third in the Pertemps Final last year, and from same stable as 2008 winner, Old Benny).

 

I have to admit to being surprised to see that 33/1 is available about the last named, and I’ve helped myself accordingly. He’s got loads of very good Cheltenham form and is another who will undoubtedly improve for better ground. Importantly, the jockey has at least won races, and knows how to ride, so this one will make a nice big priced tickle.

 

Side note: it’s a novice chase, so you’ll only get paid on the first three on each way bets, unless you find a generous bookie. That said, at least most bookies are paying a quarter the odds as opposed to the traditional fifth the odds in such races for a place.

 

NIM Novices’ Hurdle

 

A pretty decent Champion Hurdle nursery in recent years, I wonder if anything will advertise its claims for bigger prizes next year, this year (if you see what I mean).

 

Rite Of Passage has a stack of top class flat form, both in bumpers and at the Summer game (as an eight length win in the Irish November Handicap from Champion Hurdle aspirant, Donnas Palm, testifies).

 

His hurdling career has been uninformative to date, with my tongue in cheek report after his last race summing it up. I ran the headline ‘Rite Of Passage Still Has Leg In Each Corner‘, to illustrate the fact that this unquestionably talented horse had proved no more on his last outing than the fact he’s still a quadruped.

 

More importantly, his trainer Dermot Weld was equally stoic about the performance, saying, “He wasn’t spectacular, or overly impressive, but he did it nicely.”

 

Fair enough.

 

But I’m not going to take 7/2 about that one. Weld also said that his horse took time to get used to the undulations. If he takes too long about the Cotswolds ups and downs, they’ll have gone without him. The Old Course, where the first two days racing are run, is more of a speed test than the grind of the New Course, where Thursday and Friday’s racing take place.

 

In truth, Rite Of Passage has any amount of scope, and he might very well win in the style of a potential future Champion Hurdle horse. But, as I say, I’ll not be wading into 7/2.

 

Next in is Quel Esprit, another Irishman with sound if not spectacular credentials. Beaten just two lengths by Rite Of Passage (and considerably further by Dunguib) in last year’s bumper, QE lost his hurdles invincibility last time against Coole River in what was a shock result.

 

Sound if not spectacular doesn’t get my vote, especially give question marks about the faster ground. That said, his trainer, Willie Mullins, has won the last two renewals, and will be keen on the hat-trick.

 

The one I like is Reve De Sivola.

 

Trained by the excellent Nick Williams (winner of over quarter of a million in prize money this season, with just 27 horses, all bar five of which have earned win or place cash), this horse will bid to go one better than stablemate Maljimar’s silver medal in the William Hill Trophy last season.

 

His form is very good, only beaten by Tell Massini (favourite for the Albert Bartlett on Friday). He’s a scrapper too, which will come in handy as they turn for home. Whether he’s quite classy enough remains to be seen, but he’s good value I think at around 12/1.

 

RSA Chase

 

I previewed the RSA Chase the other day, so I’ll not repeat it here. Suffice it to say, I’m looking for a street fighter, and I’ve gone with a couple of big priced horses in Knockara Beau and Citizen Vic (if he runs).

 

Queen Mother Champion Chase

 

The ‘Queen Mum’ is the two mile chase of the season, and its alumni reads like a proverbial ‘who’s who’ of speed chasing. This is Wednesday’s feature race and, for me, the third best race of the meeting (after the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup).

 

In my preview way back in December, I flagged Forpadydeplasterer as an each way steal. And then he went and got injured. Or did he?! The conspiracy theorists will have had some fun with this ‘will he, won’t he’ horse, as trainer Thomas Cooper announced he would not run due to a foot problem, and then later on decided he probably would run.

 

By all accounts, he’s fine and missed no work. So the place hope is back on!

 

I also put up Master Minded, then a 7/4 chance, as the most likely winner.

 

And I rowed in with Petit Robin as each way value at 33/1 (now as short as 14’s, but also entered in the Ryanair Chase).

 

Master Minded looks like banker material as I’ve mentioned elsewhere and, of the horses I’ve not mentioned above, Kalahari King was mightily impressive in winning at Donny under a big weight and after a long time off. Whether he can replicate that is a matter of some debate but, if he can, he must be thereabouts.

 

Coral Cup

 

A competitive handicap hurdle over 2m 5f may seem like a strange race in which to have a strong fancy, but both Gavin and I agreed on this one, and I’d had a decent bet at a decent price on one horse in the field.

 

Unfortunately for me, the trainer had different ideas and is running him in the Pertemps Final instead. The horse? Smoking Aces, and another fat-priced ante-post punt goes west.

 

So, in his stead, I’m going to side with Philip Hobbs, who has won this race twice and had two more placed in the last decade. He runs Wishfull Thinking here and, whilst this is a sizable step up in class, he’s been laughing at the opposition in lower grade races.

 

Don’t expect a horse to emerge from nowhere to win this. All of the last ten winners had won one of their last four races, and six of the last seven actually won last time out. So there might well be a case for not over-complicating things too much!

 

Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

After waiting eleven races for a handicap hurdle, we then get two of them, back to back. Following the Coral Cup is the Fred Winter, a new race for those who didn’t get in (or want to get in) to the Triumph Hurdle on the Friday.

 

Five years of info to go on might seem insufficient (and might prove likewise!), but some reasonable trends appear to be emerging.

 

All five failed to win prior to their third start, and this late development looks significant (as it also protects the handicap mark somewhat).

 

And they all had their first run during or later than December.

 

Applying a spot of form (!!) to the above shortlisting strategy brings me to David Pipe’s Notus De La Tour. He’s got a lot of weight, with 11-09, but it’s interesting to note that three of the five winners carried 11-03 or more to victory, so it might pay to look towards the top of the handicap in this particular race.

 

Fin Vin De Leu and Sanctuaire are respected, but I really like the look of the progressive Pipe horse (stable won this in 2007 with a similar type in Gaspara).

 

Champion Bumper

 

A dozen races down, and the bakers’ dozen and half way point is reached with the only flat race at the Festival, the Champion Bumper. This has been an Irish benefit since its inception in 1992. Indeed, since then, just three of the seventeen runnings have gone to Brit-trained horses.

 

Bizarre then, that in that context, I should nail my colours to the mast of one of the home team? Maybe, but scratch the surface and you’ll note that Al Ferof had the first two of his three races under rules in Ireland. You’ll also note that he won a very competitive bumper at Newbury last time, in a most taking fashion.

 

He’s a scrapper rather than a bridle horse, and I’d imagine he might get tapped for toe turning in. But it’s a very long way home from there, and he’ll not be stopping any time before the jamstick.

 

The Irish are predictably mob-handed, and triple Naas winner, Drumbaloo, and Eddie O’Grady’s Shot From The Hip lead the market. Further down the betting lists we see the first of the Mullins multiple entry (he’s won this race SIX times!), Bishopsfurze.

 

Once raced and impressive in that triumph, Bishopsfurze is expected to be much better on the faster ground at Cheltenham, and has been awarded the Timform ‘large P’ (rarely awarded, and implying much more improvement to come).

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Mobaasher, Finian's rainbow, Punchestowns, Sanctuaire and on Raglan Road (e/w) for me today.

 

Hoping for a better result than yesterday, if the race was 10 yards longer, I think Somersby would have come in for me. Thankfully I clawed a bit back on CSKA Moscow last night, otherwise I wouldn't be betting at all today!

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Hence the or similar.....:)

 

Indeed though in some races you get horses with very similar names so it helps to know the proper name !! I saw one recently where two horses had incredibly similar names, I'm trying to remember the race/horses names!

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All set for another competitive, top quality day of racing. Quevega and Chief Dan George were results in an otherwise tough day.

 

1.30 Pennek e/w

2.05 Quel Espirit win and The Knoxs e/w

2.40 Citizen Vic e/w

3.20 Master Minded

4.00 Shadow Dancer and Silverhand e/w

 

Will run through the last 2 races later, had enough of big fields for the moment!

 

The RSA is cracking race, question marks over most. I like the profile of Vic. Master Minded would be 1/2 if Dunguib and Go Native had gone in yesterday and therefore rates a max bet. Silverhand in the Coral seems to be overlooked, big price on Betfair. Form behind Khyber Kim lto at Chelters is none too shabby, dropped a couple lb from that and put away until today - cracking weight, ideal going, goes well fresh and top jockey.

 

Best of luck.

Edited by notnowcato
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Ok, lets see who I can jinx today ! 2 v the field per race = er, um double the chances of losing !!

 

 

1.30 Abbeybraney @ 9/1 - My best and only serious Cheltenham bet today, if this loses you can safely lay the rest though I'm having a small ew saver on Mobaasher @ 8/1

2.05 Reve De Sivola @ 12/1 ew - Peddlers Cross will run well I think at around 7/1

2.40 Punchestowns @ 5/2 - Burton Port @ 12/1 ew alternative

3.20 Mastermind @ 10/11 Should win if fully fit as he apparently is - Kalahai King @ 5/1 an alternative

4.00 Hampshire Express 20/1 ew- A race to file under "Impossible" but this will be my "only because I have to" selection in various tipping comps though I might plump for Silverhand (33/1) as another ew shot

4.40 Another minefield- again for tipping comp purposes only Hunterview @ 8/1 ew, Notus De La Tour @ 13/2 Win bet

5.15 Shot From The Hip @ 7/1/ Elegant Concord@ 8/1 ew

Away from Cheltenham:

 

DownR 14:00 Martha Elizabeth

Sthl 15:45 Tiger Hawk

Sthl 17:05 Tobrata

Kemp 19:50 Heliodor

 

Good luck all, today must be better than yesterday surely ;)

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Will run through the last 2 races later, had enough of big fields for the moment!

 

 

TBH I'd swerve the 4.40 ! However, in case you have to assess it :

 

4.40 - Fred Winter Juvenile Novices´ Handicap Hurdle Grade 3:

 

 

 

Key Stats:

 

All the past five winners had an OR of between 124 and 133

All the past five winners did not win over hurdles until at least their third start.

All the past five winners were by a Group One winning Sire on the flat.

All the past five winners had a pre-race RPR of at least 118

Four out of the past five winners won last time out.

Three winners started their careers in France

Only 3 of the 33 horses rated 120 or less made the frame

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1.30 - Pettifour - 12/1 / Poker de Sivola 16/1

2.05 - Peddlers Cross - 13/2

2.40 - Long Run - 9/4

3.20 - Master Minded - 10/11

4.00 - Silk Affair - 16/1

4.40 - Sanctuaire - 13/2

5.15 - Tavern Times - 10/1

 

 

 

I have a grand on that horse, it should walk it.

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My ATR tipping challenge tips: I will not win but would be nice if 1/2 others on here did it to see who does the best/worst !

 

http://www.attheraces.com/cheltenham/tipping.aspx?hlid=507563&day=wed

 

13:30

20 points to win on Abbeybraney at 9/1

 

14:05

15 points to win on Reve De Sivola at SP

 

14:40

20 points to win on Punchestowns at SP

 

 

15:20 15 points to win on Kalahari King at 9/2

 

 

16:00

5 points each-way on Hampshire Express at SP

 

16:40

10 points to win on Hunterview at SP

 

 

 

17:15

10 points to win on Shot From The Hip at SP

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Ok, lets see who I can jinx today ! 2 v the field per race = er, um double the chances of losing !!

 

 

1.30 Abbeybraney @ 9/1 - My best and only serious Cheltenham bet today, if this loses you can safely lay the rest though I'm having a small ew saver on Mobaasher @ 8/1

2.05 Reve De Sivola @ 12/1 ew - Peddlers Cross will run well I think at around 7/1

2.40 Punchestowns @ 5/2 - Burton Port @ 12/1 ew alternative

3.20 Mastermind @ 10/11 Should win if fully fit as he apparently is - Kalahai King @ 5/1 an alternative

4.00 Hampshire Express 20/1 ew- A race to file under "Impossible" but this will be my "only because I have to" selection in various tipping comps though I might plump for Silverhand (33/1) as another ew shot

4.40 Another minefield- again for tipping comp purposes only Hunterview @ 8/1 ew, Notus De La Tour @ 13/2 Win bet

5.15 Shot From The Hip @ 7/1/ Elegant Concord@ 8/1 ew

Away from Cheltenham:

 

DownR 14:00 Martha Elizabeth

Sthl 15:45 Tiger Hawk

Sthl 17:05 Tobrata

Kemp 19:50 Heliodor

 

Good luck all, today must be better than yesterday surely ;)

 

That could have been nice, Peddlers cross went off at 14s....wtf

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Another cracking day for the favourites......Little Josh?

 

Which is the main reason I picked 2 v the field, these races are so hard to call ( I know of a tipping service which charges about £40 pw who gave out 8 losers from 8 yesterday!)

Masterminded getting beat would be another massive result for the bookies:(

However, I can only see Kalahari King as a realistic challenger IF MM is not quite up to scratch. If he is on song Masterminded will win I believe.

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Too many jumping errors from Long Run , what was Davy Russell moaning about?

 

John McCririck slagging off a jockey from yesterday on the Morning Line, Brian O'Connell who rode Dunguib. Big Mac has refused to apologise for saying "he was not good enough", what a surprise!

Fact is the jockey is still learning his trade so in that respect I don't think he deserved the criticism. However, I also don't think he should have been riding such a well fancied horse so blame the trainer/owner.

Edited by chrisobee
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John McCririck slagging off a jockey from yesterday on the Morning Line, Brian O'Connell. Big Mac has refused to apologise for saying "he was not good enough", what a surprise!

 

Dunguib's jockey? Heard him say that this morning.

 

The jockey on The Package had a bit of a mare n all

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Dunguib's jockey? Heard him say that this morning.

 

The jockey on The Package had a bit of a mare n all

 

Yep. I edited my post whilst you typed that. I was annoyed The Package did not win, it was the best horse.

Which free £10 is that?

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Cheers lads, McCririck really needs to keep it shut , noone inside racing has any respect for him whatsoever.Twist Magic in the next

 

Indeed he is an oaf and a bully ! However, my point above that Brian O'Connell should not have been on Dunguib stands though as I stated not his fault he is no McCoy, Walsh etc yet !!

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