I think I will give the first day a pass next year, that being the 3rd year in a row I have had a blank. Actually, ignoring the -5.5 points on the day, there were quite a few positives to take from the day.
25f handicap chase – The Young Master ran a fine race in 3rd, unlike the other two. It looks like it’s good ground based on times, maybe with some firm in, I’m not sure. Anyway, there wasn’t any soft and maybe Doing Fine was taken out of his ground. It was left field, and they do come off every now and then. Not today.
The winner – well there are positives in that he was in the ‘profile’ list and he was a selection for the Pipe micro angle. If only I had just gone with that, nothing more needed! I don’t think I will ever try and second guess the Pipes again when they have such a runner. That angle I researched for the guide is now 5/19,11 places in handicap chases in last 6 Festivals. Bugger. The 1st and 2nd came from the 4 qualifiers for those angles. He finished his race off better than his runs this season would suggest he might,and jumped better – but, maybe we can put that down to the Pipe’s being in iffy form at the time. Ground was a question also. He is clearly smart, to win a handicap here like that, and if he transferred his hurdles form that was possible. Always easy to say after they have dotted up of course.
I see it as a positive that he was a 16/1 shot that, with my approach, could have been found. I didn’t today, but over time…
Southfield Royale ran a fine race, no real complaints, 5th. Nina did run an extra 1/2 mile round than the rest of them mind, not sure why! Hopefully some of you read the comment about Jonjo’s and may have had a saver, esp when he drifted from 6s to 9s! – the run of Holywell suggested his were bouncing, as they usually are this week. His previous form can now be safely ignored. Rizorbi was running a fine race in the last also before falling late – the less said about that race the better…
It was enjoyable to watch some of the classier performances. Great racing and well done to connections.
Anyway, previous year’s Day 1s have been worse than that – always the Coral Cup and Fred Winter to dig me out of pot-hole! 🙂 ….Onwards…
2.50 Coral Cup
Politologue – 1 point win – UP
Brother Ted – 1/2 point EW – UP (7th)
Waxies Dargle – 1/2 point EW – UP (6th,agonising, – Corals paid 6th)
4.50 Fred Winter
Diego Du Charmil – 1 point win – WON 7/1
Ardamir – 1/2 point EW – UP
Day Total: 1/5,1 place = +3 points
Festival Total: 1/10,2 places = -2.5 points
NO BET… I think one of the top two should be winning this. If Jonjo had a bad day I was going to talk myself into a bet on No More Heroes. Given his form today and how his ran, and the ground, I would be tempted to side with his. But, I won’t be advising lumping on a 2/1 shot at The Festival. That doesn’t come naturally to me.
2.50 Coral Cup
Politologue – 1 point win – 10/1 (general, use PP if can)
Brother Ted – 1/2 point EW – 25/1 (5 places…BoyleS/SkyB/BV/Lad/SJ)
Waxies Dargle – 1/2 point EW – 40/1 (5 places… SJ – 33/1 general)
My profile for this removes no.s 1,2,4,7,12,19,20,21,22,23
That obviously leaves quite a few left. Those that fell last time out are 0/16, 1 place and those that ran in a chase LTO in all handicap hurdles here at last 5 festivals are 0/44, 4 places…that removes a few, most of them for Willie Mullins. No win in last 5 runs is a negative in this race, as is having 3 or more wins this season (0/57,8places). Those running in a handicap hurdle here after 76 days or more are 0/87, 13 places at last 5 festivals. As always you can find stats to remove every runner but those ones have been my guide.
I think that lot leaves a shortlist of Blazer / Brother Ted / Diamond King / Politologue / Waxies Dargle / Rock The Kasbah
Prolitologue – ticks the profile for Nichols hurdle winners here and is also a qualifier for a couple of micro angles I have for him, as mentioned in guide. At 10s, I had to back him given that and his place on the stats shortlist. He could be anything and have plenty in hand. He may not be any good of course and I don’t know how he will handle the ground. But, this angle provided 14/1 and 25/1 winners last year so I will stick with it.
Brother Ted – is the first of two where you would think they have been deserted by main stable/owner jockeys. But, at the price, I didn’t want to let that put me off. He relished good ground which has to be a positive – they may be watering before Thursday. He stays this trip and I think there is still room in his mark.He is only 6lb higher than when winning easily at Kempton a few starts ago. He has one disappointing run here in a class 3 novice in Jan 2015 – that race has worked out well, a horse called Different Gravy was under 2 lengths in-front of him there and plenty of other winners around him. Hobbs is also 2/23, 4 places in this race and his continue in good form. Hopefully this one can get competitive,if getting up the hill. I think the ground could be key.
Waxies Dargle – well he ticks the profile boxes, the trainer is 0/11, 2 places in this race and he is in fine form – 3/12,7 places last 30 days. 2/7 last two weeks. He has had a few runs now but what interested me was the step up in trip. This is his first go at it, and fits into that ‘doing something different’ category. He runs as if it is about time he tried it. You don’t know until they try and his breeding is questionable. But, I couldnt leave him at 33/1. Maybe this has been a plan for sometime given connections, who knows. He did also run a decent 5th at Newbury in that hot race which is already working out well. He finished 6L behind Old Guard here in November. He was outpaced by the two in front of him there but he kept plugging on. I can’t really be sure whether he didn’t stay, or was an indication that he wants further! At the odds, happy to throw an educated dart.
I was tempted to throw an extra 1/2 on them to win, so that 1 point on each on the win side. But, I wan’t to stick to the budget and it is a rather competitive race! 3 points on this is enough.
Of the others…well you could spend all evening going through every runner and be no closer to finding the winner. Blazer – he could bounce back and all Mullins handicap hurdlers aged 5 or 6 should be feared. He has a few in here, which concerns me! He was flat last time and the selection was ahead of him. If he bounces back he could have plenty in hand, or he may not be as good as they expected. Mullins is 0/15,2 places in this race to date. Diamond King will have to be some horse to win from this mark – surely he can’t have anything in hand after Phil Smith hammered him. Rock The Kasbah – well I can’t say he looks well handicapped either – he also ran at Ascot LTO and in handicaps those runners are now 0/92, 12 places at last few festivals.
Of course I may not have mentioned the winner,and a stats/profile buster will romp home, but hopefully these three give us a good run for our money. There looks to be plenty of pace on paper and these three are normally held up off the pace – given the ground it was very much about pace – whether best to be near front or come from back – winners came from everywhere – this looks likely to be strongly run I think, so hopefully the pace collapses.
Mullins is 5/25 with his handicap hurdlers aged 5 and 6 at last 5 Festivals. He has a few in here, most of which ran over Fences LTO which is a negative. BLAZER looks the most likely on that angle, but maybe I am over thinking it again!
4.50 Fred Winter
Diego Du Charmil – 1 point win – 7/1 (BetF/BV/PP/WH)
Ardamir – 1/2 point EW – 16/1 (5 places Bet365, 4 places general)
This race is a bit of a minefield and maybe only fools play in it, but it has served me well recently,(well, last year!) surprisingly.
Diego Du Charmil – he qualifies on my Nichols micro angle from the guide and we all know what happened yesterday. He has been the talking horse of talking horses and if all vibes are to believed he will make 7/1 look a decent price. Value in this game is a tricky thing, and while I get nervous lumping on 2/1< shorties, Cheltenham is a one off event where to an extent you do want to back winners – and ‘value’ is less relevant. He does feel a tad on the short side for a race like this but maybe that is for a reason. His only ‘stats’ blip in terms of race profile is his days rest – all 11 winners so far have raced within the last 37 days – those returning after 61+ days off are 0/32, 5 places. But, we know the trainer can ready them. It looks likely to be how he handles the experience and whether he settles. If he does he is clearly expected to go well.
Hopefully after today it will be known as ‘Paul Nichols Wednesday’.
Ardamir is a perfect profile fit from what I can see – 10/11 winners rated OR124-33 is a good indication and in fact all winners to date rated OR133 or below (0/45,10 places above this) Although, the fact there are 12 horses above this suggests the race may be getting classier (given an average of 4 or so in all previous years…)
He also ticks the boxes for the Alan King micro that I looked at on the blog – 1/10,8 places in handicap hurdles. King is also 0/17,5 places in the race – so he deserves a win. This horse will relish the ground and may well improve a bucket load for a race run at a good pace. I would like to think there is plenty more to come and he could get involved here. Kings horses that completed LTO and were 3rd or worse are 0/71 in recent years which, along with lack of career win, puts me off Fehily’s mount. Paddy’s Runner ran on AW LTO which is a negative and he looks ‘exposed’.
Off the rest…well a strong mention for Henderson’s horse at the top. He qualifies on a micro I have for his – not in the guide but it looks at his unexposed ones with 1-3 career runs, 1-2 career wins (in UK). 3/6, +50 points in last (a slight extension to rules of the first system in guide). So, that makes his interesting. He has the rating stat to overcome and Topweights/joint are now 0/12,4 places. He could just be classier than these and still have more in hand. Maybe worth a ‘just in case’ saver,based on trainer alone.
Of the rest, well I am sure you could make a case for plenty. I looked at the Easterby horse but those that are bottom/joint bottom weight are now 0/19, 1 place in this race, and that put me off a tad. It is hard to weight up a lot of the form here, and how much improvement these have to come. We should have two onside who will run their race, with any luck. We shall see if the rating trend is maintained…
No real thoughts on this, I would like to see Yanworth win but couldn’t take his, or Yorkhill’s price in singles, without an ‘offer’….
We have Skybet’s offer again and maybe I will just put it on the King horse, or A Toi Phil at a bigger price – ground an unknown for him.
I couldn’t decide between the top 2 so have left it. On chase form alone you would back the two times G1 winner No More Heroes. On hurdles form and that of Jonjo’s runners yesterday, and his liking for this ground, you would go with his. He does fall down on a few stats though. Tricky.
Henderson is 2/13,5 places in the race and those that ran at Ascot LTO have a good record in this race. For a ‘working man’s price’ his one may be worth some fun money – that’s where my £5 will probably go. (and obviously kick myself for not lumping on NMH when he romps home!) If he touched 3/1 that may tempt me.
Again no strong views. The fav should win if standing up and it will be interesting how he reacts if taken on up front.
Gods Own at 12/1 EW , 1/4 3 places with Bet365 without the fav looks interesting. If UDS wins I believe that means paying down to 4th place – given his liking for this ground,the run of Tom’s yesterday (in form), and the fact that he chased home UDS in the Arkle, there are worse ‘interest’ bets I think. I should think he will be ridden for a place and could get 4th or 3rd.
It would be great if Sprinter could roll back the years and I will be cheering him on.
This is a conditions race now which add some more intrigue – Josies Orders does look the obvious one, and maybe 11/4 is a decent price. I know some who think that is massive and have ‘lumped on’. I backed Quantitativeeasing in this last year when he looked to be going really well when taken out. He would have played a role in the finish there and I can’t see why he wont again this year. A 1-2 with his stable-mate maybe!
Experience over these fences is usually key. I would like Balthazar King to win but that would be some performance to take this after his absence.
A bit of a minefield. You want one who won by more than 1l LTO and who was 6/1 or shorter. My poke is on Battleford at 25/1, who was discussed at the Liverpool Preview evening – Jockey bookings suggest that is a wasted fun bet! I have no real idea and haven’t looked in much depth.
DAILY MEMBERS REPORT
4.25 Bang – Bell Weir 3rd 8/1>6/1
I should add – I welcome all your comments, and encourage them, you know that. It all adds to the content and I enjoy speaking to you. However, especially this week, if you do fancy a horse etc, please say so before they race. 🙂