Cheltenham Festival: Ante-Post Chat

The idea…

The Festival is just under 6 weeks away and excitement is building. Even I’m starting to get the buzz! It usually takes me until mid-February before I start thinking about the most exciting week of the year. During the winter jumps season I very much go from day to day and weekend to weekend. I don’t like what I call ‘premature festivalisation’ .. I find endless Festival chat, especially from November, to be boring, tiresome and pointless. It annoys me. I’m a firm believer that these great animals should be celebrated from race to race. But, that’s just my own view. Many don’t share it. But, from now on, my Festival embargo has been lifted on these pages. Talk away 🙂

The purpose of this post is to provide a space where you can chat away in the comments, discussing any ante-post fancies you have or horses you are looking forward to.

If you wish to share please state the horse, the race, and a sentence on why you fancy it. There is no point in just listing a horse (s) as that just defeats the object of the exercise. Also try and be succinct and keep comments short enough. 🙂 (a note for myself if nothing else!) That will help esp when you reply to certain comments and will allow readers to flick through with ease. This is very much a ‘horse based’ piece/comments section, NOT a general chat on Cheltenham/your approach. There will be a time for that. 

As with last year I look forward to reading your many thoughts and fancies.

I’m not a big Ante-Post player. Indeed you can count the number of AP bets i’ve had in recent years on about 3 fingers! I did throw £10 at Might Bite at 10/1 for the Gold Cup, at some point before Christmas. We shall see how that turns out. Bar it coming up testing, and bar him darting off to the right again, he should take all the beating I think. I wouldn’t touch him at his current odds.

*

The Festival 2018

As with last year there will be comprehensive coverage on this blog. Last year I put all content behind a paywall and will be doing so again. (members have full access as part of subscription)  That was a reflection of the amount of work I put in (10h+ days) and the fact we have done quite well in recent years. I tend to focus on 14 races.. the 10 handicaps and the other ‘marathon’ races… the NH Chase, Potato Race, RSA, Gold Cup.

I managed to find 4 winners from those races I tipped in (12/13 in the end): Tiger Roll (16s) , Tully East (10>8s), Presenting Percy (11s), Champagne Classic (20s>12s)

The week also includes the big handicap from Uttoxeter on the Saturday. Last year I added Chase The Spud (20s) to the haul of winners that week, giving any followers around +63 points or so to advised stakes (usually 1 point win, with a 25 point bank or so). Clearly I mite bite your hand off to repeat those results again! It is hard work but my unique approach has had some success. I’ll have a shocker one of these years but it’s great fun.

There will be more news in due course for those of you who wish to join me during that week. But that discussion is for another time. (it will be through ClickBank again so you can get a full refund ,no questions asked, if it gets to the end of the week and you didn’t enjoy it)

For now…

If you have any strong AP wagers or horses you are really looking forward to, then post away. Has anyone spotted a handicap plot job??

I look forward to reading your musings, and thanks for getting involved,

Josh

 

 

About This Author

Hi, I'm Josh and thanks for reading my blog, Racing To Profit. Hopefully you like what you find. This is a place for horse racing fans of all levels and ability, bettors and non bettors. Here I, and fellow readers, share our opinions on horses and information that may help you find your own winners. Do say hi, we are a friendly bunch... and if you could use the 'share buttons' above that would also be appreciated :)

49 Comments

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  • I only play at big prices Ante Post. I have two at present:

    Coney Island at 33/1 each way in the Gold Cup and Tiger Roll at 33/1 the stayers hurdle (non runner no bet), unlikely to run.

    There are so many good offers on the day that it is worth waiting in most cases.

    I said before on the blog that i knew a guy who had £20K on Buveir D’air at 5/2 as he thought Faugheen would go wrong. He will be watching Faugheen’s comeback with interest this week.

    martin colwell 3 weeks ago Reply


    • Hi Martin

      I too have Coney Island backed, I’m concerned he’s not running this wknd though. Have you heard any update on next run, no chance he goes to the festival without a further prep.

      Joe H 3 weeks ago Reply


      • I think that he can have a run in February and still be OK for mid March. I would not worry too much as he is being trained for the race and they need to go steady in what is an open year.

        martin colwell 3 weeks ago Reply


  • I don’t look at specific horses or races until the Monday before; Monday 12th March this year; just too many imponderables, Ground; Trainer Form, are they running; etc etc. As Martin says, there is just as much if not more value to be had on the day.

    What does intrigue me this year is the “top jockey” market. It is based on number of wins and not value of wins.

    Ruby is injured and on the wane but superb round Cheltenham
    Geraghty is also on the wane in my humble opinion
    Dicky is a bit like AP I feel ; great at winning poor run of the mill races but not enough rides on right horses at Festivals.

    The topic is compromised too by PFN having split options; Elliott having split options and Henderson also sharing the rides around. Then you have riders like Sam T-D and Tommy Scud who can cherry pick from a couple of good stables.

    You then have the handicap aces like Russell and Townend and the “amateurs” like Codd and O’Connor guaranteed to get good rides in any race but also with a built in advantage of 2-3 added races where the Pro’s can’t ride.

    Finally, you know that the Bowens; and a few of the UK and Irish girls are going to get a lot of offers to ride in handicaps with Claims and ability at a premium.

    I think this is a market best explored when we know who is fit and not fit and start to see entries but a week before may be very nice little side bet that few would consider. Far more open this year than in a long time IMHO

    Ian SP2A 3 weeks ago Reply


  • Hi Josh

    My ante-post bets so far:

    Stayers Hurdle

    Bacardys – 16/1

    Willie Mullins recently confirmed that Bacardys would be heading to Cheltenham with the Stayers Hurdle now his target. He stays well and although he has yet to race beyond 2m 5f under rules he did win over 3m in a point-to-point and looks capable of improving for 3m at Cheltenham.

    Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase

    Coo Star Sivola – 25/12

    The 6-year-old has won over hurdles at Cheltenham but even more importantly he’s placed in big field handicap hurdles at the last two festivals. He was beaten just ¾ length into 3rd in the Fred Winter in 2016 and last year finished 4th in the Coral Cup. He has had three starts over fences this season and although he has yet to win his form figures being 522 and on his last start was 2nd to the useful Kalondra in a 2m 5f novice chase at Cheltenham.

    A sound jumper of a fence already he still has improvement in him over the larger obstacles. We already know he’s got previous festival form and big fields, as well as being seemingly ground versatile. Given his rating of 135 his likely target would seem to be the 2m 4f Close Brothers Handicap Chase on Day 1 of the Festival although he’s not certain to get into that race.

    Mister Whitaker – 20/1

    Had never run on going worse than good to soft but he showed he could be just as effective on soft ground on Saturday. Had more in hand than the official margin of victory 1 ¾ lengths suggest as he did idle – 20/1 is solid each way value and hoefully he can emulater Generous Ransom who finished 3rd in the Close Brother a couple of seasons back.

    Gold Cup –

    Saphir Du Rhu – 80/1

    Possibly my maddest ante-post bet off all time as I mentioned in my Monday Daily Punt column:

    Three of his best five Racing Post Ratings (RPR’s) have come at Cheltenham, two of those at the Festival. He was 5th in last years Gold Cup beaten just over 6 lengths by Sizing John. Looking back at the video of the race he travelled and jumped really well and was going as well as anything three out. All despite racing out widest and covering far more ground than those who finished in front of him. I would say he covered 9 lengths more than the winner.

    He will be making his seasonal reappearance next month probably in the Kelso race he won last year. In an open looking year I can see him reaching the frame this year.

    John Burke 3 weeks ago Reply


  • I should have added, if you can still get any 7/2 for Nicky Henderson to be Champion Trainer at the Festival I would a grab a bit of that too.

    John Burke 3 weeks ago Reply


    • Great stuff John, a fascinating read. I think I flicked through your DP article!

      Coo Star Sivola does interest me.. I fancied him LTO where he has run ok to a point… maybe the heavy ground has done for him, given his best previous form outside of novice company has had ‘good’ in the going description. That Festival form is worth noting. Maybe they will try and win a race in Feb, dot up, go up a few pounds, get in, and then improve even further for better going. His consistency will be rewarded at some point over fences, you can only think he will dot up in a handicap chase one day given his form.
      Josh

      Josh 3 weeks ago Reply


      • I like Bacardys at 16/1. Uknow…… is on a break now with Harry Fry and so will be fresh on the day and 10/1+ each way does not seem bad to me.

        martin colwell 3 weeks ago Reply


  • Unlike many of you I am a big fan of antepost betting at Cheltenham now that NRNB is here (with Bookies like Bet365). I have nearly £1k invested so far & more will follow. Too numerous to mention but take, as an example, Mercenaire in the Fred Winter. At 20/1 NRNB with Bet365 I consider this a bet to nothing. It probably won’t run – so money back. If it does run it will go off, in my opinion, at a lot less than 20/1 so I will lay it off on Betfair – and I’ve got a “no lose” bet. Most of my antepost bets follow this same principle. With antepost betting I am looking for horses at a high price now who, if they do run, will go off at a lot lower price and can therefore be layed off, as with Mercenaire. If they don’t run, then with NRNB there is nothing lost.

    Phil Coverdale 3 weeks ago Reply


  • I backed Blaklion @130 for the Gold Cup and Wholestone today for the Stayers.
    I’ve a share in Divine Spear and will back that for the Close Bros. when we know he will run.

    chrisrees 3 weeks ago Reply


  • Stayers hurdle looks good for Penhill(if he runs and is in top form)
    all the NRNB firms are going 8/1 but Ladbrokes are going 10/1
    but betfair looks the place to go if you want to back it £136 at 13/1 available

    shows the bad value of the anti post market with the bookies
    as there is a big gap 14 to back 28 to lay Penhill it suggests
    it isn’t certain he will be fit and ready to go

    peter 3 weeks ago Reply


    • Penhill has not run for ages and so I cannot see him coming back on the day and winning. Will he run beforehand?

      martin colwell 3 weeks ago Reply


      • Good point Martin but there is one thing that interests me about the horse
        it is owned by Tony Bloom the
        mega soccer punter(runs Star LIzard and owns Brighton fc)

        Tony moved into racing with Harry Findlay and basically let Harry get on with it
        but I think he is starting to go on his own and land punts

        I thought it was very telling when he won the ces with Withold
        as the horse was laid out for all to see after the event.

        Penhill absolute thrashed Wholestone in the albert Bartlett
        beating him over 8l.
        Wholestone has a great record at Cheltenham and I think in the stayers anything finishing 8l in front of him
        will go very close.
        The way Penhill won last year also deeply impressed me settled off the pace cruised through and won how he liked.

        If you get a chance to watch the video on the race from last year I would respect your opinion
        to me he won in a canter.(josh and Ian opinion would also be much appreciated)
        If Bloom is planning a mega punt again then the fact it hasn’t run could be a positive

        peter 3 weeks ago Reply


        • I was there in 2017 when Penhill won and he did win well and looked progressive. I did play poker with The Lizard years ago when I played seriously. He is extremely intelligent and very astute. I was on the Witthold gamble on the flat and so have experience of his plots. The point I was trying to make but likely did not is that at the price I cannot see the value of backing a horse that has not run for quite a while and has had an actual setback. If he was 16/1 + I would be with you.

          martin colwell 3 weeks ago Reply


          • Thanks Martin,
            Like your logic will hold off and see how things develop

            PETER 3 weeks ago Reply


  • Plumped for Presenting Percy and Glenloe for last years Pertemps. Luckily Percy collected but Glenloe did not run, Glenloe came from the rear to do just enough to qualify at Leopardstown so im thinking its been saved for the Pertemps this year. Im on at 25/33s. Currently 11/1 which normally means im done for!!

    Minella Rocco for the Gold Cup? Ifs and buts about a lot of the runners and one running to pick up any place money going over xmas in the grade one chase at Leopardstown imo . Festival winner in 2016 and second in Gold Cup last year. Given last two years im guessing will be 100% ready for the Gold Cup . 25/1 for me so far.

    Good luck

    Dave T 3 weeks ago Reply


  • OK 90% of these have been on the list since at least early November…and 1 or 2 well before that. So for a few the fancier prices that really made them worthwhile are long gone, but even those are still looking attractive enough in some cases……

    Championship Races/Proven Contenders – EW trebles

    Supreme – Claimantakinforgan
    Needs no words really, claim is obvious. Still a bit of 9-1 available with BF sportsbook, but actually it’s possible there might be 10-12/1 available on the day. Hot bumper form against number of horses that read like a who’s who of ‘potential big names of the next 4-5 years’ + 1 no longer with us that might have been top tree…and Claiman has done nothing wrong in 2 novices so far. One you can see running in Champion’s from 2019 onwards.

    Arkle – Sceaux Royal took what looked to be a reasonable field beforehand apart in the Henry 8th at Sandown in Dec. Was 25-1 about a week before that and that was obviously the time to be on. Generally 5s now which still looks only just about OK as a leg of an EW treble. There will of course be 1 or 2 Irish runners that could easily ruin the party.

    Stayers Hurdle – Supasundae Coral Cup winner last year, and close enough in that very hot Supreme of 2016 to be marked out as potentially top class. Subsequently has proved up to 3m Grade 1 level at Aintree, run two very nice races this season, and has had the Stayers as a target since start of the season. Highest I’ve seen Oct-Nov last year was around 16-1, now generally 6 or 7. Not seeing more than 2 or 3 that are going to give Supa much trouble if he arrives in top form, so another that could pay to place in EW treble. Entered in the Irish Champion on Sat…all evidence points to this being a ‘gentle’ prep.

    Slightly more speculative/debatably unproven….

    Albert Bartlett Dortmund Park the €230,000 price tag on DP would have been an early indicator of something potentially special, although had a stuttering start in first novice. Have to put that down to inexperience having won 2 novices since, the latest of which looked like a machine against a good field on possibly unsuitable heavy ground. Still bits of 16 available which after Cheltenham may be looked on as somewhat of an insult. Gigginstown/Elliott (need I say more!)…with Elliott saying after the last race that he looked like a graded performer. Another that looks good for EW trebles and likely worth a straight win if that price holds up.

    The ‘stick your neck out’ selection…..

    Champion Ch’tibello Gutted when withdrawn on the morning of the race last year. Think this horse is underrated and will show it this year. The field could cut up and this has been a definite target for a long time (as it has for many of course). Still bits of 33 available, was 50s at highest, and best (I’ve seen) on BF has been just under 3 figures last Oct/Nov. Yes logically he can’t beat BDA..but 33 definitely allows a play still. Will most likely run in the Kingwell mid Feb and victory there should see those odds shaved.
    Having said all this, I thought Ch’t would show The New One his hind quarters at Haydock (I mean at the line, not just for 10-20 strides after the last!)…but there are interpretations you could place on that (and the previous run) which still put Ch’t in the Champion first three. Has to win the Kingwell first or run the winner to no more than half a length.

    Some others…..

    Bit of second guessing here…given both of these have been mentioned for the Sun Alliance and the 4 miler at different times….Black Corton and Elegant Escape…very much tied together in form.

    There’s a chance that BC could develop into a Gold Cup contender next year…and the Sun Alliance does look to be the target now. Highest I can see is 16s still widely on offer…..and that looks big! Looks set to run a big race if lining up.

    Elegant Escape did BC from the front at Newbury, which prompted 4 miler talk afterwards. Subsequently seen Tizzard quotes saying that the Sun Alliance may still be a possibility. Instinct says the NH chase is the most obvious, highest 16s, can’t see EE beating BC on good ground at Cheltenham…..although could still line up for the Sun Alliance at 33s currently. Maybe Tizzard will wait to see what the weather does.

    Handicappers

    Dell Arca – Pertemps 33 with Hills, was generally 25s last Nov. Surely will have been laid out for this since proving that around 3m was preferred distance nowadays in a few races, not least the impressive class 2 Pertemps qualifier win at Newbury last Nov following on from previous 4th in qualifier at Cheltenham. Ignore subsequent 3m 1f at Cheltenham ( ran on the worst ground all the way) and 2m Grade 2 (can’t cut it at this level at this short a distance).
    Looks like he may run in a 3m race at Sandown this coming weekend (3Feb). If he does, this might be interesting. What betting pulled up!…and then goes on to run a cracker in March.

    Ozzie The Oscar – Grand Annual Ran a stormer in last year’s very hot County, only beaten half a length. Has proven he can jump fences, although not winning impressively the one he one was only a 5 runner and beaten in two 3-runner races since. It may be that a 20 runner goodish ground fast pace Cheltenham handicap is what he really needs. 40s currently and you could see Hobbs laying him out for this since last March. Best waiting until nearer the time for this one though.

    Mick Jazz – County at the start of the season I think this was going to be the target. But when Faugheen didn’t turn up at Christmas MJ won what was arguably a weak Grade 1…and immediately they were talking Champion. We’ll find out more in the Irish Champion this weekend…but the hope is for a good run although far enough off the winner to prompt a rethink and go back to the original plan. Quoted at 20s still in County betting, so clearly some think he’ll still end up in the handicap where Max Dynamite looks sure to be well fancied and will run with obvious claims.

    Steve C 3 weeks ago Reply


    • Dortmund Park goes today in the opening Grade 1 at Leopardstown. It’s a hot looking race and a handsome win will most likely see odds tumble. Today should give a better indicator on whether DP is really Grade 1 yet.

      Still 16s now for the Albert Bartlett and some 25s for the Ballymore. Post race comments will possibly give a clue to which one’s the one.

      Steve C 2 weeks ago Reply


      • Well that is a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions!

        DP blots his copybook…and astonishingly Supa wins the Irish Champion (without a penny on it) and possibly destroys the Stayers plan. I just hope they think ‘ we can’t beat BDA, but we’ll walk the Stayers’ and still go for it.

        Steve C 2 weeks ago Reply


        • Hold the bus! Supa can’t run in the Champion right? Early closer means early closer means early closer?

          The game might still be on!

          Steve C 2 weeks ago Reply


  • This thread has encouraged me to find a Top Race with an odds on favourite with enough doubts about the favourite and other market leaders to have an educated stab.

    The Champion Hurdle looks nailed on for Buveur DAir; but behind that…..well Melon + Faugheen -: just hearing the names year after year in the lead up leaves me worn out, I’m shocked we haven’t got 24×7 webcams in their respective stables to view ad nauseam….

    Then the likes of My Tent or Yours and The New One, both great gallant warriors who deserve another go (not sure TNO won’t be aimed elsewhere).

    At 66/1 and with NRNB in place in some Bookies already; I have had a small poke on John Constable. It needs Good ground, it also needs Evan Williams yard to regain some form, but 6 weeks out there is a 50/50 chance of the former, and given his Spring profile a better than 50/50 chance of the latter.

    It finished within 4 lengths on TNO, MTOY and Melon last week in Going it would not be happy on and with the yard out of form, has got plenty of Cheltenham experience and if Good to Soft or better and if yard regain some form, a mark of 155/156 can be improved on, it would still be best part of a stone off BD’A at levels which it has to run off but I can see it running a big race on optimum ground given its background and on that ground it does travel very well and jumps well.

    Trainer is one of those not afraid to have a tilt at a big price.

    Ian SP2A 3 weeks ago Reply


    • I backed ChTi’Bello at a three figure price before Xmas, on the basis that the CH was it’s sole target this season so I’ve added JC as a second EW bet as it seems to have a similar aim in the trainer’s mind.

      chrisrees 3 weeks ago Reply


      • You did well to get in the 100s, Chris. We may well be the idiots on TV doing a robot dance at the winning post after the race!

        Can’t see JC winning a Champion myself…although I’d definitely not want to be mixing it with Ian in a ‘Champion winner selection’ contest!

        Interestingly JC is still quoted for the County and a strong run could be anticipated in that (if there’s been a reasonable amount of sunshine)..or maybe the Swinton and a couple of those listed summer races.

        Steve C 3 weeks ago Reply


        • Very promising from John Constable there. The margin flattered him a little but the ground would have done him no favours and altgough he will be 2lbs worse off with Buveur ib Champion Hurdle on today, if he finishes within 3-4 lengths of B D’A in Champion Hurdle he will beat the rest in my humble opinion, happy to be on at 66/1 NRNB and I think they will wait and wait, if its a Good to Soft Cheltenham (will never be Good as clamour for water will be deafening) and been dry, I think they will go for the big one.

          Ian@SP2A 2 weeks ago Reply


          • Yep JC was close enough there to make the 66-1 EW look inspired. Think some actual sunshine will help the cause too.

            Steve C 2 weeks ago Reply


  • I watched Kalishnikov this last weekend and if the ground has give in it I cannot see him being beat in the Supreme novices chase, he won like a champion, at the moment 7-1 with Ladbrokes better elsewhere I think.
    Good Luck

    William Parsons 1 week ago Reply


    • Hi William,
      Assume you mean Supreme novices hurdle 🙂 (although he has all the makings of a fine chaser in time!) … he will be a much better on on better ground! He has been winning despite conditions really… Sandown was sticky heavy where he struggled to get his feet out, Newbury he has got through it…but Jack was pushing along from miles out, just keeping him going, due to him hating the ground again. He is an aeroplane and I can’t wait to see what he does on better ground- well, Amy thinks he should be much better on a decent surface. class and a very lenient handicap mark has seen him through on Saturday. He is exciting and he knows he’s good.
      GL
      Josh

      Josh 7 days ago Reply


    • Surely if you like him you must love Summerville Boy who beat him off level weights at Sandown despite Fehily saying he hated the ground particularly at twice the price. Just a question of whether he transfers that form to Cheltenham but that goes for a lot of the field.

      Nick Mazur 7 days ago Reply


      • Good point. It is all about value (price) at the Festival as it is so competitive and something comes from nowhere every now and again. Lots of value on the morning of the race online whereas on course they squeeze it all up and the value goes at the front of the fields. However the internet usually works at the Festival and so you should be looking to bet the fancied horses online.

        martin colwell 7 days ago Reply


      • Kalashnikov would be a massive stats buster. The last 62 horses that ran in a non novice hurdle last time out got beat.

        Roddo 7 days ago Reply


  • Couldn’t help but be impressed with Harry Whittington’s new star Saint Calvados at Warwick on Saturday. If he jumps that well at Cheltenham he will ensure a good test for Footpad and is surely worth a stab for the Arkle.

    Jack P 7 days ago Reply


    • I dont see any value in Footpad at present. I would have a go at 2/1+ and Saint Calvados 6/1+. I do like course form although the stats tell us that it is not necessary at the festival in most races. It is so up and down that you do need a horse that can cope with the undulations.

      martin colwell 7 days ago Reply


  • Kalishnikov would be a massive stats buster. Last 62 runners that ran in a non novice hurdle last time out got beaten.

    Roddo 7 days ago Reply


    • I have him for the 2019 Champion hurdle and so will treat this year as a practice run.

      martin colwell 7 days ago Reply


    • The Arkle looks a more open contest now that Saint Calvados has thrown his hat in the ring
      but the one that really interests me is Petit Mouchoir who looked as if he was a
      shade underdone when tiring in the home straight against Footpad

      I think he will be a lot straighter come Cheltenham and I have a feeling St Calvados
      and Footpad may take each other on early doors at Cheltenham
      and scupper each others chances.

      Petit Mouchoir had the beating of Footpad over hurdles and although he got well beat
      by him last time I thought he jumped well

      At Cheltenham he will be able to tack in behind the two front runners
      and should get a nice view of the fences
      while Footpad and St Calvados may be rushed into jumping errors

      peter 7 days ago Reply


      • I would say that Petit Mouchoir would need to improve its jumping to be in with a chance of winning it? What price would I get involved at present 6/1+.

        martin colwell 7 days ago Reply


  • Cyrname in the Arkle (25/1 nrnb Bet365) is another example of my antepost approach. Again, he might not run (money back) but if he does then I am pretty sure that he will be much less than 25/1 on the day, so I can lay him off on Betfair.

    Phil Coverdale 7 days ago Reply


    • Hi Phil,
      Would penhill come into that bracket for the stayers
      10/1 nrnb( Ladbrokes paddy p Corals) Willie reckons they are touch and go for Cheltenham
      would he be shorter than 10/1 if he makes it

      peter 7 days ago Reply


  • Phil – you’ll have to excuse me but every time I see your name I start humming Whitesnake songs (sorry)

    Anyhow, a few NRNB markets beginning to form now and some big Irish meetings in next 2 weeks, plots should become clearer. Plenty of Cheltenham (and Aintree) entries are being “pulled up” at the moment, they must think we and the handicapper are daft!

    Waiting for a huge explosion of hot air from County Meath later as the GN weights are announced…the barometer is sure to be affected in those parts LOL…

    probably best to watch Irish meeting until around 25th of this month and then picture should be much clearer! (even though it may seem foggy!)

    Ian SP2A 7 days ago Reply


  • Lookout for where Project Bluebook and Divin Bere turn up for at The Festival. Both of them were never given any kind of a race in the Betfair Hurdle and they are decent horses. They both look a bit “plotty” to me, especially the McManus one.

    Steve Mullington (@mulldog) 7 days ago Reply


  • I’m not a big ante post player but I have had 3 bets so far

    Firstly, I have Might Bite 8/1 ante post for the Gold Cup. Bet struck around 15th November. I have a pdf explaining that and will share if anyone wants / if Josh allows me to post the link. Covers a lot of stats & dosage info

    Second I bet Getabird 12/1 nrnb for the Supreme right before he won the Moscow Flyer. I’d done the trends for the SNH at that point and reasoned he would be 3/1 fav if he won that trial. DEcent bet too so fingers crossed.

    Third bet was Mr Whipped 33/1 NRNB for the Ballymore Hurdle before he won the Leamington Novices hurdle. Again expected him to win that day and then shorten which he did.

    Rick 7 days ago Reply


  • Ian – David Coverdale is no relation I’m afraid to say, but you keep on humming those Whitesnake songs!!

    Another antepost bet I’ve got is on Doing Fine (16/1 NRNB bet365) in the Kim Muir. Same principle as the others.

    Phil Coverdale 7 days ago Reply


  • my two suggestions

    Ordinary World e/w 50/1 NRNB or without Altior around 20/1 e/w

    With all the hype over Min i think it’s got lost that Ordinary World was only a length down at the last, and closing, when he tried to take the last fence with him, having made up loads of ground over the previous quarter mile. Not saying he would have beaten Min, but would definitely have been second. Despite that, given a RP of 153, which was a career best over fences. Simply Ned, who i’m convinced he would have beaten, got 159. Had he jumped the last, then the progress from Christmas to then, behind the same two horses, would have been more apparent. He seems to run best races in the Spring, has got Festival experience when finishing third behind Altior in last year’s Arkle, and is versatile in regards to ground. Altior and Min aside (and first they both have to get there and then they have to jump the fences), i can’t see much else to lose any sleep over.

    Douvan: can’t see it turning up. I think they will save for Punchestown if it does ever run again (Mullins has previous for this kind of thing). I can’t believe he will risk going up against Altior and potentially get the horse beaten out of sight. If i was Mullins, i think Altior’s performance on Saturday would have sealed the deal in regards to harbouring any CC hopes. Beating Altior is nigh impossible, trying to do it with a year’s break and a broken pelvis isn’t showing the horse the respect and consideration it deserves. 4/1 is a ridiculous price, i’d want at least that just for turning up!

    Politologue: Has had his limitations exposed, and whilst still has the beating of OW, i can’t say i was overly impressed with his jumping on Saturday, and i’m not sure it will hold up at the pace this will be run at.

    Fox Norton: Think it much more likely he will go Ryanair. If he couldn’t win a weak affair last year, he hasn’t got a prayer this year. Dropping a mile in trip from previous run won’t help in this kind of company, nor will the absence.

    Un de Sceaux: Ryanair the likely target for him

    Great Field: The potential fly in the ointment. However, no entries in the near future, so either he will try and win it first time up, a huge ask after a setback, or run in the next couple of weeks and be a candidate for the “bounce”. Mullins has indicated on ATR stable tour if he makes it he will go straight to Cheltenham. At 14/1 best price, absolutely no value in that.

    Special Tiara: Given the quality of this year’s field, against last year, it will need to set off tomorrow to win this.! Had it’s day in the sun last year.

    Yorkhill: After last week, No way will it run in this, if it runs in anything.

    Top Notch: Should be going to the Ryanair. No reason to think it has the pace for this, and 20/1 for this versus 4/1 for Ryanair says everything.

    Charbel: Having backed this in last year’s Arkle for a fair few quid at big prices with or without Altior, David Bass wasn’t the only person throwing his whip on the floor in disgust after the second last! Has been brought along quietly this year, a career best last time, but needs an easy lead as in 2017 Arkle to perform at best and likely won’t get that here.

    And then you are into the 33/1+ list, and there is nothing there to be frightened of at all. Bottom line is I’m not convinced there are 4 horses, who are likely runners, to kick OW out of the First 4, and the 20/1 without Altior looks very fair as he will likely be picking up the bits late on as they won’t be hanging around in this to say the least. Similarly had a bit of the 50s outright as well, as like i said above, Altior and Min have to hold up their side of the bargain which isn’t guaranteed.

    My only concern is OW reported finishing lame so hopefully he has recovered, but as it’s NRNB not unduly concerned.

    My other poke is Merie Devie at around 25/1 for the Coral Cup (my preference) or the County Hurdle.

    Whilst everyone was watching Alletrix bolt up at Leopardstown last week, my eye was drawn to the horse that finished fifth, given a very, ahem, “considerate, sympathetic and understanding” ride by young Master Mullins. Despite that, it equalled a career best, the handicap mark has been left unchanged, (so hopefully not too much tinkering from the English handicapper), and i’ve no doubt this horse is significantly better than what it has shown so far. Got bogged down in the mud when last of four the previous run having ran a never nearer second first time up. All the signs are it will be better over further, and this was 2m 2f, so the Coral Cup would likely be my choice over the County. The Dublin festival run looked the proverbial “prep race” and this one is very near the top of my Cheltenham list, especially if it goes for the Coral Cup in preference to the County.

    Best of Luck to All

    Pete

    Pete 7 days ago Reply


  • AP betting pointless now. Trials all but over. Only way in is seeing what marks the irish get when hcap listing revealed end of the month. And then be quick. Only bet ive had since Christmas is Debuchet/Supreme after its running at Leop. Ridiculous over reaction and will be 1/3 price if ground no worse than g/s. Cant beleive Kalashnikov talk after saturday, people fall for recency bias all the time. Seem to forgotten the horse that beat it at sandown which also hated the ground that day.

    Sixseige08 7 days ago Reply


  • Pete
    Cannot see Merie Devie for OLG Mares Hurdle 2M 4F (entered) though a poor race last year, quality is up.
    Nor is she is quick enough for the County, but her run over 2M 2F at Leopardstown leads me to the same conclusion as you, that the Coral Cup will be the target.
    Accepting the 3F further she is on par with last year’s winner Supasundae.

    OLG Mares Hurdle, run on Tuesday, first day, the ground will have some S, looks to me that Harry Fry has laid out DESERT QUEEN, distance, speed and price!

    Edmund Brooke 7 days ago Reply


    • Desert Queen
      Now going for
      Thursday, 22 February 2018 – 4:05
      (Four day) at Huntingdon Smarkets Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase (Listed Race) (2m4f)
      No longer registered for the early closer at Cheltenham.

      Edmund Brooke 3 days ago Reply


  • Mini Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Guide available – FREE

    http://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=cb14f8c0-7f64-4670-9d17-85abbfc13ae2

    Edmund Brooke 6 days ago Reply


  • Champion Bumper 14/3
    I’ve learnt from a fellow punter that the stable of N Gifford, regard Didtheyleaveooutto as unbeatable! My friend has a relative who works in the yard. Owned by JP and has won two bumpers easily so far (last time a listed event at Ascot) and remains unbeaten. 8/1
    Obviously, one should not take that opinion literally, but does offer a reliable bet for an EW multiple over the Festival.

    chrisrees 5 days ago Reply


  • I’ve decided to have 0.5pt e/w on Black Corton for the RSA NRNB. Looks to be between him Monalee and Presenting Percy and whilst the other two have festival form (although both on the new course) he is the only one with experience of the Cheltenham fences and I expect him to go off closer to the other two on the day and cant see him being an e/w price.

    Nick Mazur 12 hours ago Reply


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