Just the one jumps meeting on Friday, but it is an ok one I suppose. 🙂 Nothing like Cheltenham’s first meeting of the year to get the excitement going.
Below follows the qualifiers/notes from the stats in the TTP guide as usual. Given I have plenty of time on my hands I will go through the Showcase Meeting Notes and highlight ‘qualifiers’ against the ‘positive pointers’. I will try not to miss any!
Remember this stats guide just looks at ‘normal/standard’ handicap hurdles/chases (not novice handicaps etc) and NHF races. The notes in the brackets refer to the section/stats in the guide that the horse qualifies against.
The stats in the guide for Cheltenham exclude the Festival – they will follow at a later point.
Altesse De Guye (trainer stats in all handicaps+handicap hurdles) UP
(5th, ran well enough,possibly didn’t go quick enough,started off at a quick pace but then Coleman able to dictate. Travelled very well and could be of some interest when stepped back up in trip. Shame she couldnt grab 4th)
NOTE: trainer’s horses going OK, 2/11,4 places last 30 days, 0/5,1 place last 14 days- a few of those have been unfancied, the fancied one running well enough to suggest no trainer form reason to be put off this one. Fitness…I found it of some interest that last season she made her seasonal reappearance here at the November meeting, coming a respectable 5L 4th, on soft ground. A glance at her form suggests that a sounder surface may suit more. She stays 24f well so may need then to trap along here (4/5 pace setter in here I think) and staying a bit extra is no bad thing here. She will be doing her best work late I suspect. No idea as to the odds yet but I don’t think I would want to leave her with no EW money on, price allowing. The only course winner in the field also.
Troika Steps (all hncps+hncp chases) WON 20/1 25/1 > 14/1
NOTE: trainer in very good form, 7/24,10 places last 30 days, 4/10,4 places last 14 days.
Wishful Dreaming (all hncps+hncp hurdles) UP 5/2
NOTE: fair to say Hobbs is in form, 7/30,9 places in last 14 days. Solid. Not much more to say really. Won well LTO and my starting point with these stats is ‘can i rule them out, am I comfortable not having a penny on’- you couldn’t say that with this one- albeit he won for the stats at Chepstow so he owes us nothing and I can’t think he will be much of a price here.
Well I got one wrong yesterday and didn’t have a penny on BallyBen- from the poll it looks like one of you did so well done. I got that race spectacularly wrong. Awful. I suppose he had those stats behind him, had a run under his belt,and Jefferson was in red hot form. Trusting the stats wasn’t a bad approach with him. Damn.
My starting point in this bit is to trust the stats first and foremost, and then try and work out if there are any horses I want to leave. Bar yesterday, in general I have been OK at that in the first 3 weeks or so. With that in mind I don’t think you could confidently rule out any of the above.
Wishful Dreaming- clearly expected to bolt up which he may do. He was put in at 7/2 by Bet365 last night, i was too slow to gobble that up. At 7/4 a bit too short for me and I will just watch with interest.
The other two- well ADG looks worth an EW stab at 10s/12s to me. She may need the run and I am taking fitness on trust, which didn’t work out too well for me in that chase yesterday. Based on her reappearance last year I hope she is straight enough. She stays further and will need a strong pace here I think. But, there is no stand out reason to my eyes to leave her alone completely.
Likewise with Troika Steppes- 20s/25s allows some interest I think given that he is lightly raced, is likely to be up near the front, and has had a run. he also has experience of the track which is no bad thing. There is a stamina question and he may well fade in the last couple furlongs, esp if going too hard up top also. With any luck he may hold onto a place at worst. There is also a class question- he may not be good enough- but again this is only his 8th chase start. Clearly you couldn’t be bullish but I will have a dabble to find out.
From the showcase notes- Obrien and Keighley are in the ‘could do better’ category but a couple have placed for each and at least any backers are getting a good price.
Good luck if you go with any of them.
SHOWCASE MEETING: Trainer pointers
El Bandit – WON think he ticks every single Nicholls ‘positive’ in my notes (novice hurdle/distance/career runs)
Templeross : UP- NTD- distance
Marracudja – WON 3/1 Nicholls, ticks every box again I think.
In danger of being pointed towards most of the field…
Arctic Gold NR – NTD- distance
Florrie Boy – UP NTD – distance + career runs
My Wigwam Or Yours – UP – Hendo- hncp H/class/distance move
Ballinure- Hendo – 4th 16s hncp H/class/age
Washed Ashore – Jonjo -UP drifted – distance move
Garde De Juilley – Nicholls, non-hncp/distance UP
Khezerabad – Hendo, class 2nd
Thomas Campbell- Hendo class WON 6/1> 11/4
Twirling Magnet – Jonjo- distance/hncp chase UP
Brownville – NTD age + career starts 4th 16/1>11/2
Knew I would miss one (11.34 am)
Cliffs Of Dover- Nicholls/Distance – WON 6/1>10/3
I think that may be it for pointers. Clearly we are dealing with small numbers on the whole so some caution advised, but hopefully a good starting point. I personally wouldn’t back a horse on these pointers alone, but that is just me. It will be interesting to see how they go.