UPDATE: A poor day tipping wise – clearly I should have taken it off! Awful. No kind of run for any of them. I will just move on from that. One of those days. Poor old Golden Chieftan – the moral winner – I would never have picked him for that given the race profile, his exposed nature and his hard run LTO. FireBird Flyer – a solid EW bet for the race but I expected an unexposed one to take this, but it was a day for historical trends/stats to be busted. Thankfully Nicky Henderson rescued my day and the micros came to the rescue.
I believe that leaves March on +2 points to date.
A brilliant week of racing at Cheltenham has flown by and I will be trying to repeat last year’s feat of finding the Midlands National winner. Punting wise it was also OK, nothing more than that – as a benchmark I would take +8.5 points every year, as a minimum. I will reflect a bit more on The Festival in next week’s ‘weekly diary’, but I have learnt plenty. My methods found/highlighted plenty of winners and there were three that genuinely got away – Pipes at 16/1, the Pertemps winner 20/1 and Ibis D-R for Nicholls yesterday – 20/1 (he had three micro qualifiers in that race,as alerted to on blog,and I ‘tipped’ his other two!! – plonker!) So, it could have been spectacular, but in year’s ahead we will have a +50 point Festival, and I find that exciting. And of course, in a way the week isn’t about betting at all – as long as you come out alive and around break-even at worse!
The stats/race profiles/trainer micros work – as simple as that.(need a bit more focus on jockeys) Just then my judgement! 🙂 Anyway, it was a thoroughly enjoyable week – the only downer was the fact Cue Card couldn’t complete – that would have been some race after the last, But, he had that in his locker, and that is the fastest he had probably gone all season. He profited when DC fell at Kempton. That is racing. If you ever get to see THE ‘Don’ at a track it is a sight to behold. I saw him at Aintree last year and he is the best horse I have ever seen, on looks alone he would never lose a race. A worthy winner. Victoria Pendleton also lit up the day. Superb achievement. I didn’t bet on any of the outcomes but was quite adamant that she would complete – she is one of our most decorated Olympians, let alone the most successful female Olympian – she was always going to be ready, and she rode better than a lot in that race. She will be back, year after year I suspect, and good on her. She loves the animals and loves the sport and tens/hundres of thousands were thinking/aware of Cheltenham, when they otherwise wouldn’t have been. That is a positive.
We have to take a moment to remember those horses that lost their lives – there were a few too many for my own comfort.(was it 7?) Not sure why that was – I suspect the sudden change to good ground, plus ‘festival pace’ meant many were going/jumping at a pace that they were not used to. Those conditions will also find out any frailties in the bones etc. But, they live and are treated like kings when they are with us. Still, it isn’t very nice. (watch the JP features through the week on RUK if you can,at his barn with all his old warriors, if you want to lift your mood)
Moving onto today…
BIG RACE PREVIEW
Sizing Coal – 1/2 point win – 6/1 (PP) 5/1 general – PU
Count Guido Deiro – 1 point win – 20/1 (general) – PU
Cultram Abbey – 1 point win – 28/1 (BV/Coral/WH) 25/1 (general) – PU
I will try and keep these shorter, as my brain is a bit frazzled after an intense week.
As you can see in my trends post, there are some strong pointers for this race. On the stats I used it narrowed it down to these three, plus Red Devils Lads. Bowens would have qualified also if lining up.
Sizing Coal – he is unexposed and connections won this race last year. I think he is short enough, especially as the ground here is not going to be hock-deep. So, I have put him in a saver material. I think he has a great chance mind and looks sure to stay- well based on that Irish National run in any case. He could have plenty to come over this trip. He will pay for the other bets if he does win, but I wasn’t tempted to ‘unload’. Maybe another at the top of the market I have got wrong, we shall see. My mind has gone from going 2 point win, 1 point win, and now this.
Count Guido Deiro – well I don’t know what the ground is here but the fact Venetia has pulled her two out would suggest it isnt heavy. He looks like he needs it soft, so hopefully there is plenty of that about. I backed him at Sandown a couple of starts ago and I don’t know what happened there, seemingly travelling well for one circuit. Anyway, I tipped him LTO where he won well from the front, over hurdles. He is unexposed in this sphere and NTD has won this race, and has a great record at the track, esp with his handicap chasers. He is the right end of the weights. It may be he doesn’t quite like chasing but that run, albeit for one circuit, showed me plenty of promise as a chaser. Anyway, he is 20/1 and that allows plenty of chances to be taken. He should race prominently enough and can hopefully get into a decent rhythm.
Cultram Abbey – well he is on the shortlist and is a monster price. He looks like he needs it soft and looks like a through stayer. The fact they ran him in the Eider LTO suggests connections think so too. He fell early there but that may have taught him a thing or two and he is still entitled to be learning. And he is 28/1! At Wetherby he jumped really well, and just kept galloping. If he completes he looks like one who could just keep grinding away past tired rivals. Richards doesn’t send many here, but he has a very good record when he does – 2/3,3 places with handicappers here in last 730 days.
Of the rest…well Cogry is interesting and could go well, he only falls down on the runs at track stat, as does Subtle Grey – he has been winning small field chases and this will be a new test. The former has had a few goes at this kind of trip without ever really seeing it out – albeit this is maybe a weaker race than he has been used to. He can make errors also. There are solid stats reasons to oppose the rest and having gone through them ‘without stats eyes’ there isn’t anything else jumping out at me. Firebird Flyer is in form and is entitled to go well but has an exposed profile for this race.
Firm Order – 1.5 points win – 9/1 (BV/WH) 8/1 (general) PU
This one is more simple – we backed him the last day and I was always going to back him when coming out next.(if conditions were fine) He unseated that day when I thought he looked ready to do business…the way he ran over the first couple suggested to me he was up for it. I am delighted he returns here to a course where he has won, he is better going RH, and is ridden by a jockey who knows him well – he is a young lad but I suspect he probably rides this one out at home a lot – although guessing there. He has won on him and while inexperienced, 9s was fair. This is also a rather weak race, with many unproven over fences. A few unexposed ones but he is so well handicapped now, esp with his claim. If he can run anything like some of his more recent better runs, then he won’t be far away, even at his grand age. If he doesn’t win this I doubt I will ever back him again.
That will all be for ‘tipping’ today.
1.50 Uttox – Pougne Bobbi – (12/1 or shorter ‘<‘) 2nd
2.05 Kemp – Brain Power (12/1<) WON 4/9
3.15 Kemp – Champagne Express DNQ/Gold Present DNQ/Might Bite WON 10/1>8/1
4.20 Font – Maestro Royal (12/1<) 2nd 7/1
2.35 Font – Lost Arca (14/1<) UP
4.55 Font – Red Devils Star (20/1<) UP
5.10 Newc – Redkalani (12/1<) UP
Saturday Trainer/Jock Combo: 3.50 Kemp – Atirelarigo (14/1<) UP (Johnson didn’t ride in the end)
That is all for today. Good Luck.