The festival I most look forward too every year is only one more night away. Hopefully we can start it well and continue the good form from Cheltenham. I would take making 45 pts profit again right now. This is typically a very tricky festival, and weighing up weather a horse left its race at Cheltenham is always tricky. As usual I have used stats/trends to narrow the field down, and some form analysis.
Calipto – 2pts WIN 4/1 Ladbrookes
Dispour 0.5 pts EW 100/1! (you may think I am going mad, which i probably am. It is the first time blinkers and his front running tactics which make me think he could possibly sneak 3rd place. On all known form he has no chance of winning, but 3rd would be like a 15/1 winner, or 7/1 at half a point) Feel free to ignore!
I have deliberated over this race, but went for Calipto in the end. Paul Nichols has won the race before, and although his record with 4yo in general at the meeting isnt great, that is at least a positive. He was very unlucky last time at Cheltenham when his stirrup broke and the jockey rode without irons. He would have been top 3 were for that. I was considering Actival but Calipto beat him earlier in the season and I cant see him reversing the form. Only slight doubt is the form of the Nichols yard – I have heard they have a bug in the yard, but you would hop they have done the tests and they wouldnt be running this horse if he wasnt 100%. Last time out winners, and those that last ran in a handicap have quite a poor record in this race. That knocks most of them out. Commissioned is interesting but I dont know why he would finish ahead of Actival based in their last run.
No Bet Race…unless you are going to the track, which I am, and then 0.5pts EW Menora, 12/1. This is simply for interest, but I think he has a chance of grabbing second. I like Dynaste, but not enough to take 2/1.
Another No Bet Race. The New One should win bar a fall. Time for a beer at this point!
Gosh, really not my type of race at all. The ‘talk’ all week has been about the Irish challenge. They have sent 44 horses to this race in the last 10 yrs and have yet to have a winner. However, the fav here is widely regarded as being a class above this lot, as his ratings suggest. If he takes to the fences, and runs up to form, he should win. I may throw some shrapnel at Richard Sundance.
Claret Cloak 2pts win 4/1
Not normally like me to back a short price horse in a race like this but having gone through it in some depth, providing he jumps (normally very sound jumper) I cannot see him losing. He ‘certainly’ wont be out of the top 4, so for the more cautious among you, it is a free EW bet to nothing in my opinion. I really cant justify backing anything else in this race. if he is over chelts he will go close, if he runs flat then we know he left his race at Cheltenham. But that is chance we have to take at this meeting.
Uxizandre 2pts win 4/1
Cant wait to watch this horse run. Bar an obvious form chance in my opinion, he is also a selections for a mini system at the festival. Simply backing all Alan King runners who finished top 3 at Cheltenham, and who have won 1 of their last 3 starts. 11 winners from 33 such runners and good profit. This is an angle in, and I am happy to follow it on this horse. Watch out for the McCoy masterclass as he drives him home!!
Doctor Harper 1pt Win (or EW) 12/1
Caroles Destrier 1pt Win (or EW) 10/1
Crowning Jewel 0.5 EW 40/1
I have gone for two promising types who will appreciate the distance and the better ground. In this race you want a horse that finished top 4 last time out. You also do not want to back any Hobbs, Henderson or Nigel Twiston Davis horse. Between them they have sent 33 runners to race (11 each as it happens) and ALL 33 have finished unplaced!! now, one of them will win it one day, but for now I will ignore their runners. Those two stats alone narrow race down to a few runners. Josses Orders is interesting, for a trainer who has great record in race. His last run is off putting but I may not be able to resist throwing 1/2 a point in his direction at the track. However, on reflection the ground may not be soft enough for him.
I saw 40/1 on Crowning Jewel this morning and couldnt resist. You have to forgive this horse his last run at Cheltenham, but this is a previous course winner. The trainer has said that this horse wants 3 miles on good ground. Maybe he prefers a flat track, maybe he is too high in the handicap. We shall see, but he is up with the pace, and could out run his odds and finish top 4.
Hopefully we back a winner or two,