UPDATE: Ah, a poor end to what has been a poor week, loaning back 8.5 points to those bookies (excluding systems). Anyone that read my Daily Punt piece yesterday will have see that I had a trends/stats shortlist of 5, which became 4 with a non runner. That list included Village Vic. Annoying, but the stats/trends that I use for these big races are doing the job in terms of highlighting the right horses. Another day. Little Jon jumped well, the best he has at that track for me – bar one fence, and what an error it was – race ending really, and he did well to keep going. He was in a great position tracking the leader and who knows what would have happened, but fences are there to be jumped. VV had to step up and improve again, which he did. Hobbs continues in great form. I doubt there will be anything tomorrow, bar any system bets. Art Mauresque is probably best left to the spring now and while that ground was better than PP Gold Cup, I dont think he enjoyed it. Less said about Doncaster the better.
I wont dwell on yesterday for too long. I was really disappointed with Russe Blanc as it did turn into a slog and I expected him to be much closer. If I am not careful he could become a cliff horse and I will wait until he is stepped up in trip as I think he could be very interesting over a marathon distance. The Mick Halford micro-system in my AW guide fired in a 14/1 winner, having doubled in price I think from the morning and I know some of you used the stats to find another one at 12/1 as well.
Little Jon – 1 point win – 8/1 (general) UP
Art Mauresque – 1 point win – 14/1 (general) UP
I have looked at this race for the Daily Punt blog and it is the only interest I will have at Cheltenham. I thought 10s was fair about Art Mauresque but even with withdrawal of Irish Cavalier he is taking a walk in the market, which is a concern.
Night In Milan – 1 point win – 9/1 (BetF,ToteS) 8/1 (general) UP
Forgotten Gold – 1 point win – 16/1 (coral) 14/1 (SkyB, SJ, Lad) UP
These prices felt a bit big for these two. Night In Milan likes the track and this race, having won it before and coming a head second last season. If he wants it I think James will be able to lead and dictate – and I am not sure if there is a better jockey than him at doing that. If he gets into a rythm here he could be hard to peg back, having come down to a mark he can get more competitive from. He is a much better chaser than hurdler so I will ignore recent form assuming that this has been the plan. If it hasnt and he just out of form then so be it, but 9s is a decent price.
Forgotten Gold – is more of a punt but I cant get his win two starts ago out of my mind where he bolted up. I don’t think he beat much but he couldnt have been any more impressive. Whether that race came too soon next time and/or it was a bit too soft I don’t know. Last season was a bit of a right off but he has decent placed for at C2 level, esp a race he nearly won at Cheltenham, to suggest this level is no problem. I hope the rain stays away as the better the ground the better his chance – albeit he does have some placed form on soft. 14s allows that chance to be taken. He just looked a different horse two starts ago and I want to pay to see whether it was a one off or something he could build on. The stable could be getting a bit cold also, but I cant resist that price.
The two at the top of the market have chances but are short enough for me. Sego needs to sharpen up his jumping and Straidnahanna needs to get a win on the board. He keeps running well and may well have been winning LTO but for falling. That was a gruelling race so we shall see if it has left its mark. He has a touch of class but does need to start showing it now this season and fulfilling his potential. Indian Castle is interesting and may run well but is hard to predict and has become disappointing. I want to see more from him. But, he does have time on his side.
That is all for today. Good Luck. Signing off 10.23
12.05 Chelt – Sky Lino (12/1<) UP
1.15 Chelt – Desert Cry (14/1<) DNQ
9.15 Wolv – Mrs Bubbles (7/1<) WON 6/1
11.50 Donc – Harveys Hope (12/1<) UP
3.35 Chelt – Lily Waugh (12/1<) WON 8/1>6/1