Cheltenham Day 4: (COMPLETE)

Empire of ‘Dosh’ lit up the Festival for us and it was about time my pin landed on the right biggie from a shortlist. I rather roared him home and he did it oh so well. Brilliant. He received an exceptional ride also, top marks to Cooper. 

I have learnt a few things this week. When a Gordon Elliot handicapper is in a stats/HRB profile shortlist, don’t leave them alone. When a horse is shortlisted and has Davy Russell booked, then never leave him alone! Watching his mount sluice up in the 2.10, 20/1, having been on a shortlist of 5, was annoying, to say the least. Hopefully some of you had a ‘saver’ on. But, it is a positive. My approach seems to be working for these big handicaps and one of these years we will have a hat full of winners. With some better picking on my part we could have had 16/1,8/1 and 20/1 winners, to add to the two we have had. Exciting and frustrating. 

Anyway, we are 16.5 points up going into today and I have spread 8 of those on today’s bets, leaving a guaranteed profit of 8.5 points on the week. Hopefully I can add to it today…


Race 2 – 2.10 

Great Field – 1 point win – 9/1 (WH/Coral) 8/1 genral 

Modus – 1 point win – 18/1 (WH) 16/1 (general) 

This race looks a minefield and I have tried not to over-complicate it too much. The stats/profile does not help too much in narrowing it down, and in any case I think some educated guesswork is probably required. 

Great Field – Mullins has a great record in this race and this is a qualifier on a micro angle I have for him, with his unexposed hurdlers. 9/1 was fair enough for this ‘could be anything’ type. All of Mullins horses, and all those aged 5/6 should be feared, but he looks the best of them. The others have a few questions on form/ground, but given his form this week you can never write them off and I would not be shocked if one or more placed at worse. 

Modus – Nicholls also has a very good record in this race and this one qualifies on the micro system in my guide. I think we can put a line through that last run based on the going. He was never really put into the race. His bumper form, here and at Punchestown, marks him down as a very smart horse and he could be well in. I was happy to take a punt at those odds. I would be concerned if he drifted, given most of Nicholls winners go off 16/1 or shorter. 

Blue Hell’s last race is obviously working out well and he would have a shout, albeit the break tempers a bit of enthusiasm at those odds. I am hoping the same connections have the winner of the last though.

These two will do.  

I should add that Alan King’s ‘Montbazon‘ ‘qualifies’ as an EW bet on the micro i researched on the blog, and maybe he is worth some fun money change. 


Race 3 – 2.50


I was going to have a bet in this. My success in the last two years has mainly been down to the fact the ground has turned heavy, and my eye for a mud-lark has come in handy. I don’t have that luxury this year. My stats didn’t narrow it down much at all and I rather gave up trying to work out who would improve for the step up/who would stay etc. Hopefully Johnson can get on the board but I would have just been tipping his for the sake of it – if he stays he wont be far away. 

Race 4: The Gold Cup

Already previewed last week.  

Don Poli – 2 point win 11/2

Cue Card – 1 point win 11/2 


Race 6 – 4.50 

Qualando – 1/2 point win 10/1 (general) 

Mr Mix – 1/2 point win 20/1 (general) 

This looks a horrible race as well! These two qualify for my Nicholls micro angle and they will do. His other also qualifies as well but he was not in Top 4 LTO, which is s negative for this race – in the 7 renewals to date. You could make a case for plenty but for 1/2 points, in a race where it is hard to be confident, that will do. 


Race 7 – 5.30 

Lough Kent – 1 point win 14/1 (general) 

Velvet Maker – 1 point win 12/1 (general) 

The Daily Punt blog are sending out stats/write up for this one and I will post link when I have it. 

Probably my two most confident picks of the day, bar the Gold Cup, and these should run crackers I think. They tick all the stats boxes and should be kept off what looks like a ferocious pace. Chris Pea Green also caught my eye but he is near the bottom on the HRB ratings which have been a decent guide for crossing out horses in these handicaps. If he jumps, he wont be far away though I don’t think.  




Race 1 

I have a few free bets to use from SkyBet I think and the Nicholls horse is well touted. Maybe they will go on him, in a race I have no strong views on. You also have their offer as well. 

Race 5

Not a race I will be betting in. No views, betting wise. 



Micro Systems…

March Trainer

1.45 Ling – Masterpaver 


That is all for today. Good Luck. 

As always, I am interested to hear what you fancy and how your week has gone etc.


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Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

28 Responses

  1. 2.10 Some Plan. Good 4th in Ladbroke latest plus 2nd to Seedling over CD on his CV. Lightly raced, seems to have good cruising speed but doesn’t find much. Top claimer on board who’s already rode a 5th at 50/1 in Fred Winter. Can run to a place. 25/1 first 5 with a few.

  2. Belated congrats re Empire of Dosh, excellent effort.

    I have not looked at todays card yet as we had a celebration last night but are going to remain off the beer today and then go home after racing.

    I saw my Mulholland contact again yesterday and they think that Shantou Village is a beast and I will back it but the price is short in a competitive race.

    I do like Starchitect as an improver and I cant see the Fav not winning the foxhunters.

    I will take a look at your tips and thank you for your efforts. Back later.

  3. Hi Josh,
    Well done yesterday; I had a Ten Pound double on Vantour and Thistlecrack yesterday in the end, they just looked too good to leave alone. Will be backing your seelctions again today and bet on 15.55 Beat About The Bush at Fake. What do you think about the farce with yellow flag brigade when lining up to start, not impressed with the officials. Good luck to everyone again to-day.

    1. oh it is ridiculous. Why oh why they don’t allow them two goes at a walk in start is beyond me. It is much better than it used to be and I don’t mind standing start if they get it wrong, but after only one go is stupid. You change can be blown right there and then with those standing starts.

  4. Worst day of six attempts I think yesterday – I have had a saver on Apple’s Jade in the first:

    Your Pick 6 Game Selections18/03/16
    1:30 Cheltenham Zubayr 4/1
    2:10 Cheltenham Montbazon 25/1
    2:50 Cheltenham Unowhatimeanharry 12/1
    3:30 Cheltenham Cue Card 4/1
    3:55 Fakenham Gin And Tonic 10/1
    4:10 Cheltenham Current Event 18/1
    Odds: 1,766,049/1

    Good Luck all & enjoy the rest of what has been another classic festival….

  5. I think Amigo summed up my day yesterday perfectly after I decided to take the 50/1 4 places instead of 40/1 5 places and watching him getting chinned more or less on the line. (Be interesting if this was the target or if they’re aiming him for something else this Spring since it was still an eye-catching performance). On to today:

    2:10 Wait For Me 0.5pt e/w, Modus 0.5pt e/w, Hawk High 0.25pt e/w
    2:50 Barters Hill 1pt win 0.25pt RFC with Shantou Village
    4:10 Paint The Clouds 0.75pt e/w
    4:50 Mr Mix 0.5pt e/w, Jetstream Jack 0.5pt e/w
    5:30 Dandridge 0.5pt e/w, Pearls Legend 0.5pt e/w

  6. A great week Josh irrespective of what happens today and another monthly donation on the way…

    I am praying for a Cue Card win today, the David of the small Tizzard stable v the Goliath of Mullins who has too many horses and to throw 7 at one race elsewhere on the card is insulting to the sport in my opinion.

    I am also developing a maybe cynical view to the Irish handicapper…(1) he does not like Gordon Elliott (2) he over handicaps some but leaves others on a ridiculously low mark and those marks are then exploited over here…I will cheer an Elliott horse on over Mullins every day of the week.

    Actually think a few other Irish trainers could do well today…

  7. did empire josh thanks for that but a little bit gutted because i was also on venetias julliette at twice the odds. good e/w treble up with tagiatelle silver grove and road to riches then cause of causes really put the icing on the cake. defo for the national altho ive already done another of elliots that he reckons is a perfect national type.all winnings reinvested on your selections, stararchitect, and matorico on the jonjo change of head gear stat also put up by ben linfoot. also had another little e/w punt on surf and turf at 80s with betfred the beast owes me nowt after aintree last year. rest are small bets on venetia elliot ntd and pipe outsiders. heres hoping . couple of hours studying the midland national now then relax with tele then off to newcastle tomorrow for sundays show down with the mackems

  8. 1:30 Cheltenham
    Sceau Royal
    Bleu Et Rouge nap
    Champers On Ice
    Pacha Du Polder

    Flying Angel
    Westend Star
    Pearls Legend

  9. I am on the King two in the 1.30 and have left Gibralfaro out. Dont like the Fav.

    I am on Josh’s two in the 2.10.

    Cant think further on yet.

  10. A worthy winner, no complaints but is it me or did Russell give Don poli a shocking ride. It was never going to compete never mind win.

    1. Great race, shame Cue Card couldn’t get over that fence and make a proper race of it,was still full of beans. But,he has that in his locker and he profited in King George when DC fell. Pleased for Cooper,he is only young still also.
      Yep, you know he stays,and you know he responds for pressure, should have been asking him much more with a circuit to go! Jumped so well also. With both him and Cc left with a slight feeling of what if. Maybe he just couldn’t go any quicker. That’s racing. If I looked at this race this morning,based on prices, bets would have still been the same.

      1. Trainer said he didn’t like the ground & probably more of a National horse – he was more than a stone shy of the best on my figures & he’s actually gained a few spots today in what was nearly a course record time.

        It was Zubayr that annoyed me the most, grrrrr

  11. Well, hope some of you may have backed the Nicholls winner there, his micro angle strikes again, should have advised 1/2s on them all, it would appear! Bugger. Again. 🙂 Still, at least that angle works!

    1. I stopped betting after Unowhatimeanharry got me out of trouble and ahead but talking of angles, have you heard of Clive Holt & his Fineform Formula maximum rated? [That is a horse who has won last 2 & has CD to name]. One of the first books on racing I bought millions of years ago but noted before that they (the maximum rated) do very well at certain courses & Cheltenham is most definitely one of them – had a very good festival this year.

      1. I’ve got that booklet you refer to lying around somewhere. Jeez, Clive Holt and Fineform. Makes me feel old.

      2. I’ll need to look it out. It’s probably in the same box as C. Van der Wheils Systematic Betting.

  12. Fair play to Victoria Pendleton, taken a lot of stick; rode a sensible race, nothing flash and so nearly grabbed a place, put many amateurs with a life time of experience to shame, lets hope she continues and comes back next year….a good 4th day (as always seems to happen for me) with Superb Story at 8/1; Ibis Du Rheu at 14/1 and Savello placed at 25/1 ensured a small profit on the week and a lot of fun, will try now to speculate some winnings on the Midlands National, cant remember last time that was on good ground!

    1. Yep indeed she rode a cracker, and the horse was great. She will be back for years to come and will be riding out tomorrow. The story has been brilliant for the sport.

      Well done punting wise, I usually do ok on Day 4 but not today, still a decent enough week all round. 3/4 winners that got away, including IBIS – I put his other two up, should have just put all three!! Well done with Superb Story – days rest becoming increasingly irrelevant, esp with Skelton it would appear – some training performance to get him in top shape for that – not fitness wise, but to come settled and able to race as they want, not be fresh/buzzy. Impressive, pleased for them and Harry Fry. The sport is in good hands, and young Joseph – a great new dimension to the sport.

      Yep, just about to crack open the Midlands National trends..

  13. Davy Russell had another big day today with 2 2nds and a 3rd so I thought I would look at his past Cheltenham Festival stats. Before today looking at the last 3 festivals, if you exclude the Bumper and concentrate of runs on Good ground gives you a record of 7/17, 8 places +82.5. This improves to 4/5, 4 places +57 in handicaps. That’s quite incredible.

    1. That is. And, well, I will be trying not to leave many of his next year – every year he does it. Brilliant hands but it must be his clock/judgement of pace that does it – and he also may get a pick of those that don’t have stable/retained riders, esp from Ireland. Trainers/jockeys need to even more prominent in thinking, clearly.
      Solar Impulse was in the race profile ‘shortlist’ of 12 – if I had just taken that, looked at Nicholls record in race (2/22,6 places before today) and looked at first time blinkers, that could have been another biggie! Next year. Was put off by fact he was 6 (neg last 5 years handicap chases) and dropping in trip by 1f or more – those were 0/91,5 places in handicap chases last five festivals) and also he was bottom in the HRB ratings.

      Most frustrated with Pipes and Davys handicap hurdle winner yesterday, and IBIS today – the three that got away!

      1. Yeah I got Nicholls wrong today. Thought he would have a good day but just picked the wrong horses. Most annoying one I left out this week personally was Empire of Dirt which was the last one I left out in that race (closely followed by backing Amigo with a bookie which paid 4 places). Obviously had it on your account as advised but should have had an extra 0.5pt e/w on it on mine so was personally kicking myself particularly after my 2nd pick was a NR.

        Digging deeper on Russell if we look at Irish or French Bred horses, those that have had 0 or 1 run at the track, Aged no older than 10, SP 20/1 or less and away from Novice races (He won on Windsor Park but his other 3 rides drew blanks) we are left with 6 of his winners from 6 rides. 2 each of Elliott and Martin and one each for Culloty and Patrick.

        1. We will have to remember this for next year – and I will make sure I add jockey research into the stats. It is such a good approach though, all these angles – exciting for future years, every now and then we will have a +50 point festival, which will be fun!

          1. Codd is another one who is fairly automatic in handicaps although far less rides obviously

          2. Mr J J Codd has now won the Kim Muir Amateur rider race 4 times in last 10 years I think. Watch out for Mr S Walker in same type on flat….

  14. I totally agree with the comments about Victoria Pendleton, a memorable festival was made even more so when she showed her knockers!!!

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