Below I have repeated all content from The Cheltenham Festival Week 2017.
I thought this may give you an idea of what to expect. You may like the approach, you may not! (I will endeavour to add the odd video this year, to bring it to life a bit more)
If it’s an approach you think will add to your enjoyment of this year’s Festival, you can…
Thanks for reading,
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shorlists)
5.Any Other Thoughts
Well, time to strap ourselves in for what will hopefully be an entertaining ride. A few things of possible importance – the number one aim of this week is to enjoy yourselves. Yes that means backing some winners and with any luck coming out ahead. But it also means not losing an amount that dampens your enjoyment of the spectacle. As such do set yourself a budget, however much that will be, and however you split it. I would have both a ‘considered bet’ and a ‘last minute gut bet’ budgets – there is nothing wrong with throwing some change at something last minute for whatever reason- if you can’t do that during this week, when can you! But, that can add up if you are not careful. I will get onto my tips in a moment but do have a budget for your own picks etc, if you are also following me in. Finding your own winners is a great feeling anyway,but even more so this week, and hopefully there is plenty here to help guide the way.
On the Tipping front I will be using a 25 point budget as a max. I wont say I will bet ‘X’ on each race- some races I may just want 1 point, some 2. Occasionally 3 but it will never be more than that on one race. (it is roughly 2 points per handicap, 5 for any bonus races/flexibility) So, if you do follow my tips, that is the bank. If you don’t wish to lose more than £50 betting on them, then that is £2 per point, as an example. You should be prepared/’happy’/able to afford to blow those 25 points. I could not pick a winner all week- there has always been a few winners dotted around the three years I have done this before, so hopefully that doesn’t happen! I could pick one winner, a 33/1 winner of the Grand Annual, propelling us into profit. For those who care I will be betting £10 per point on my own tips, in addition to anything I may spray around on some micro angles, that could be another 10-15 points. That’s my own comfort level and will allow me to have some fun, while also not begging on the street if it all goes horribly wrong. Which it won’t of course, but, just in case. There is always Saturday’s TTP picks and/or the Midlands National to bring the week into profit if needed 🙂 I should add most of my tips, maybe all, will be win only. You can of course ignore that and bet EW if that is what suits you.
The systems… there promises to be a lot of possibly qualifiers. Once stripping out double qualifiers and ignoring any on price ground say, that may be too short, hopefully it is manageable. Bar the trainer angles, they are all untested as such so plenty of caution is advised. If you use them at all, I would use them as an extra layer of information. It may be some fun just throwing change at any biggies, 16/1, 20/1+ and seeing how they get on.
Resources Post is HERE>>> (all the stats packs etc)
Finally, I will try and get as much up as possibly the evening before. All posts will be complete by 10am on the day of racing. You can keep track of a post’s progress by looking at the brackets in the title. As I write you will see (Upd1) and that will progress through to (Upd2/3/4 etc) until a post is (complete), at which point you know there will be no further content.
Anyway, remember to have fun, that is the main thing. Any questions as always post a comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get to it…
Singlefarmpayment – 1 point win 15/2 (lad/coral/SJ) (7/1 general) 2nd (Short Head)
Measureofmydreams – 1 point win 25/1 (WH/PP/BetfS) 22/1 general UP
Arpege D’Alene – 1 point win 12/1 (WH/BV/PP/Boyle/BetfS/BetB) UP (4th)
Tiger Roll- 1 point win – 16/1 (WH/Boyle) 14/1 (general) WON 16/1, 27.32 BFSP
Tully East – 1 point win – 12/1 (general) WON 12/1>8/1... BFSP 9.32
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
note: on the ‘track LTO angle’ for Cheltenham, i added in Doncaster/Fairyhouse/Exeter to angle also,although Chelts the main one..) I will also not be listing the ‘handicap chase starting points’ micro, but all others are below…
-Cilaos Emery (1st Headgear/Non hncp/33/1<) UP
-Ballyandy (prev fest winners/won LTO/10/1 or shorter) UP
-Altior (prev fest winners/won LTO/10/1 or shorter) WON
-Measure of My Dreams (Irish Class Drop) UP
-Holywell (prev festival winners/hncp chase/20/1<) (Trainer 14/1<) UP
-Ibis Du Rheu (prev festival winners/hncp chase/20/1<) (+track LTO/16/1< guide) (+ Jockey micro 4 33/<) UP
-The Druids Nephew (prev festival winners/hncp chase/20/1<) UP
-Un Temps Pour Tout (prev festival winners/hncp chase/20/1<) (+track LTO/16/1< guide) (+jockey micro 1) WON 14/1>9/1
-Coologue (track LTO/16/1< guide) (+ Jockey micro 4 33/<) DNQ
-Label Des Obeaux (track LTO/16/1< guide) UP
-Singlefarmpayment (track LTO/16/1< guide) 2nd
-Noble Endeavour (+ Jockey micro 4 33/<) 3rd
-Go Conquer (trainer 14/1<) DNQ
-Limini (prev fest winners/won LTO/10/1 or shorter) 2nd/3rd
-Missed Approach (1st Headgear/Non hncp/33/1<) ‘DNQ’ 2nd 50/1
-A Genie In A bottle (+ Jockey micro 6 1st ride) UP
-Sizing Tennessee (st Headgear/hncp/Age/33/1<) UP
-PowersBomb (Track LTO/LEOP/25/1<) (+ Jockey micro 6 1st ride) 4th 25/1>20/1
-Burtons Well (track LTO/16/1< guide) Fell
-Double Ws (+ Jockey micro 4 33/<) UP
-Two Taffs (+ Jockey micro 4 33/<) 3rd
- All Davy Russel rides, 20/1<
- All Nico De Boinville rides, day 1+2
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shortlists)
Singlefarmpayment – 1 point win (lad/coral/SJ) (7/1 general) (may be pushed out in morning, not sure)
Measureofmydreams – 1 point win 25/1 (WH/PP/BetfS) 22/1 general
There will be a stats reason from my winning profile for why nothing should win this but clearly one of them will get broken,and clearly something will be winning! From the winning profile I have used the first 6 bullets as a starting point, which generally points to a lightly raced/unexposed profile. If you apply those we are left with 12…
Un Temps Pour Tout (11-9+,OR 149+,top3 weights negs) / Noble Endeavour (same as former) / Viconte Du Noyer (same as first two,+PU LTO,+FR Bred a neg) / Label Des Obeaux (6yo a question, french) / Ibis Du Rheu (age a q,no run 24f+ a q) / Measure of My Dreams (PU lto) / Coologue (1+ chase win here) / Caid Du Berlais (Fr) / Singlefarmpayment (1+ chase win here) / Pilgrims Bay (or 133-141 a neg) / Go Conquer (as before) / Vic De Touzane (as other two,also Fr)
Well something here will bust one or more of the stats and in truth this isn’t a race I have a great record in, which given my liking for 3m+ handicap chases is starting to irk me. Maybe going with two who failed to complete the last day is asking for trouble but my eyes keep staring at them and nothing else is leaping out at me.
Singlefarmpayment– well the only stat he falls down on is having won here over fences previously but to count that as a negative seems a bit harsh. He is unexposed, progressive, has course form, is a solid jumper,was just staring to creep into the race when BD LTO, and comes from a team who are in superb form, as they have been for most of the season. He qualifies on my ‘track LTO’ angle, and for my general Tom George one from the free daily posts, and you would have to think this has been the target. I can’t really fault him. He travels, he jumps, the track is fine, there is more to come. He was running the last day like a horse in form. Provided he gets luck in running he should be going close here. There is still the potential for so much more to come and he could still be well ahead of the handicapper- which you need to be in handicaps here. I think his price is fine. I am not going to get too hung up on ‘value’ in the microcosm that is The Festival, the hunt for winners over long term ‘beating the market’ takes more prominence. This is a stand alone event really- well that is one school of thought. I suppose another niggle if the hood- not sure if he is a buzzy sort but always a chance is race can be over before it starts. One of those. Guessing a bit really as you never know until they have been here. No such problems with…
Measureofmydreams – well it will be a dream world if he dots up here. It must be something about these colours but with Very Wood (50s) and Empire of Dirt (20s) they have provided me with my two biggest Festival winners of the last three seasons. Maybe it will be the hat-trick. This one ticks all the major trends and falls down on some supporting stats of being PU LTO and running 47 days ago (46-60 a slight neg) but nothing is bombproof in this. At his price I thought he was worth taking a flyer on. He is lightly raced over fences and very unexposed in handicaps. He could have plenty in hand here. I liked the fact he has Festival form, running a stormer in last years 4 miler- that race that has worked out rather well, Native River just in front-horses from that have won races 20 times subsequently, from 70 odd runs. Solid. He hit the front a few from home that day and was probably just out-classed near the end. It showed that ground and track were not a problem and he showed some tactical speed to take it up when he did, having been held up. Mr Meade is in fine form also, 3/13,6p in the last 14 days. This horse qualifiers on my Irish Class Droppers angle and I hope he is nibbled at. I won’t be overly confident if he isn’t sent off under 20s. Meade rarely makes the trip for nothing here and can be seen as an unlucky Festival trainer- all runners here are 1/24,10p, and most of those in March. He is also 0/3,2p in handicap chases at the meeting in recent years. The Irish are 0/17,5p in the race which is solid enough. So, the only question is about his well-being really! That PU is a concern although it was after a lengthy break- and I just can’t think they would bother sending him if they thought he had no chance. Why bother if he isn’t right? Given previous Festival form here they must have mapped this out. It can’t be an afterthought. We shall see. He may just have issues. But, there was enough there for me to have a go at 25s. He may be out of it early, he may dot up with any amount in hand- that is possible given his profile.
Of the rest…
Well, where to start. You can make a case for plenty clearly. The OR/Weight Trends do jump out at you- winning handicap chases from marks of 150+ has been impossible in recent years. Noble Endeavor stands out because of connections/jockey…and he may get £2 at BFSP, one of those Festival bets! But, Measureofmydreams has beaten him twice,and well. So, something there at least. Holywell historically is too exposed against certain stats but if he repeats his run in this last year will be bang there. Just then whether those that may have something in hand actually take advantage.
So many in here, inc the selections, have some sort of question. Henri Parry Morgan is of interest but his jumping is a real concern in this field at the pace they will go. IF he jumps to his best and doesn’t make an error he goes very close to winning this. The better ground may help his jumping- but then they will be going quicker. Not a shock winner with a clear round. I can see why some would take that chance at 12s. I wasn’t willing to do so. Go Conquer will peek interest if he is backed into 14/1< given most/all of jonjo’s handicap chase winners end up in that range. It is his first run at the track and I am not convinced he looks a stayer. And he has made the odd error. Those things combined put me off but I suppose he is 25s, the price you can roll the dice. Coologue is a massive price but I am not sure has the level of form to match these, doesn’t look to have anything in hand, and is a bit out of sorts. But 50s does feel big and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he placed, but would like to think something is better treated/has a touch more class.
There are also plenty in here with stamina concerns… I like the Nicholls pair and one may leave me crying into my tea, but I don’t think either will stay in a strong run 3m+ around here. Not convinced. They have some other negatives also. Having said that, Ibis Du Rheu hits 3 systems and If I am going to throw some change at one more, just in case, it will probably be him. Age/French Bred/Stamina concern me. I call that ‘festival discipline’ ! It would be typical for him to stay past this lot in a stoutly fashion that I couldn’t quite picture. We call know that will probably now happen.
Clarcam/Annacotty/Junction Fourteen/Buywise/Vic De Touzane all have stamina questions/conerns.
Then there are those,not already mentioned, knocked out by the main set of stats I used. This race does have a strange feel, and maybe it will go to one of the experienced ones who is long in the tooth. It doesn’t usually,but maybe this year it will.
PACE.. well it usually pays in this race/this Old Course to be more patient. These two will be mid division I hope but I won’t mind if they are more prominently ridden. There are a few who can get on with it and very few big field festival races are slowly run. You should need to stay here, no ‘getting away’ with it. We shall see who the market speaks for come the off, but hopefully the selections give any backers a run for their money.
Arpege D’Alene – 1 point win 12/1 (WH/BV/PP/Boyle/BetfS/BetB)
Tiger Roll- 1 point win – 16/1 (WH/Boyle) 14/1 (general)
If we look at a horse that ran over 21-26f LTO and had 3-5 places in chases (inc wins) I believe that leaves..
A Genie In A Bottle / Arpege D’Alene / Big Bad John / Haymount / Tiger Roll / Calett Mad
Now, the 3-5 places stat is 8/10 (8/82 runners, versus 2/86,12 p those who had 0-2) so I may well have excluded the winner but I needed some stats assistance.
2-4 previous runs at the track is a positive, as is 1+ chase run at the track. I think the only two to hit that from above are Arpege D’Alene and Tiger Roll. All of those above are 143+ also, 5/27 runners, 9 places have been OR 143+ in the last 10 years.
Trainer: Well Jonjo/King/Elliot has been the place to focus, 2 wins each, 6/10 between them last 10 years. No runner for Jonjo so that leaves Kerrow and Tiger Roll… that Tiger Roll keeps cropping up.. (flat bred, will he stay? Is there a chance this is a crawl>sprint..)
Other trainers to have won this, represented in the shortlist above are Big Bad John (Curtis) and Calett Mad (NTD)
The final one I will mention is Champers On Ice.. who is the only one in here i believe to have ran at Cheltenham or Leopardstown LTO… they are 4/15 runners, 5p as a micro angle, in this race in the last decade.
Well I haven’t over complicated this one and have very much stuck to those that the stats say have a solid chance, and who look worth a crack on paper, and who happen to be a double figure price. Easy game, hey!
If we look at those that had 3-5 places in chases, ran over 21-25 f LTO, 2-4 track runs, 1+ chase track run there are two horses that tick all those boxes, and they are the selections.
Arpege D’Alene has often looked like he has been crying out for about 10 miles. Maybe he is just a slow boat but is well worth a crack at this. It looks like he prefers going LH, usually puts his all in, and has solid track form. That form will look more solid if Singlefarmpayment runs well, not so solid if he doesn’t! He just always stays on late over 24f and ‘looks’ like he has stamina to burn. This one could bring Nicholls his first winner of the meeting. More than happy to take a stab at 12s given all of that. We should get a run for our money from him for sure, granted usual luck in running.
Tiger Roll… well ticks those stats boxes and is trained by Elliot. 16s is fine, as is 14s just, I don’t think I would want less than that, given the break. This will have been the target, Elliot can ready them, and this one has a decent enough record after a break. Given he ticks the 4 main stats I looked at, and he is trained by Elliot, I had to have a go really. Like many in here you don’t really know if they will stay until the final 5/6f or so. It may depend on how hard they go but he will like the ground and the track is no problem. Part of me doubts his stamina on paper but I will trust in the trainer and trust in his price. It’s not like he is a single figure price. And they may try and make all, which would be interesting if nothing else took him on. He will be up there. Of course the stronger pace they go the better it may be for the other selection, so with any luck all bases covered.
Of the rest… well, it’s a race full of young, mainly in form, horses who could improve massively for the step up in trip. Over analysis may be pointless. I have very much been stats driven with this one.
NOTE: my language in the winning profile for this is a bit confusing for the class stat… so… ‘ all winners had won at C3 level or above but not above G3’. (so excluding those that had yet to win above C4, and/or who had won at G2+ ) If there was any confusion.
Tully East – 1 point win – 12/1 (general)
Applying the first 4 bullet points of the ‘winning profile’ (before looking at market, Top 10, 20/1< SP) and the class point, as above leaves a shortlist of 6 I think… (and the ‘Davy Russell is on a shortlisted horse again klaxon’ is going off! – left two of his shortlisted horses last year, 12s, 25s…not a penny on) So..
Templehills / Bun Doran / Tully East / Gold Present / Two Taffs/ Burtons Well
None of them are 2nd-6th in weights so no concern there. Two Taffs would fall down on the 1 handicap chase run only stat, but that is one of those more illogical/’back fitted’ type stats in the sense that 0 is fine as is 2+. And the place stats are fine.
The market has been some guide, those 11th or lower at the off… 0/86,9p last 10 years. 22/1+ SP, 0/75,12p
Trainers: Of those with horses left on the shortlist… Henderson has won this before (Gold Present) . Venetia Williams is 0/10,1p last decade (Burtons Well)
Tully East… Well I have deliberated and deliberated, and every man, woman and their dog knows that I have probably gone for the wrong one on the shortlist (provided that includes the winner of cours) . That’s how it goes here sometimes. A few things have swayed me his direction, mainly the fact that he has Festival form, 4th in last year’s Martin Pipe.. so we know he travels over fine, the atmosphere isn’t an issue and that he has no problems with the hill. Jumping fences around here is different of course but it is still a positive, and all bar Burton’s Well on the shortlist have course experience. I also like the fact that Flemming has only sent 5 horses to Cheltenham, two have placed.. including the selection in last year’s race and also a 4th in this very race also. Indeed he sent 4 runners last year, 2 placed. Decent. That would indicate some careful targeting. He also has Denis on board which given it is the old course and there is so much pace , on paper, in this (i can count 10/half the field, who like to get on with it) he should be able to get his horse in a rhythm further back, and creep into it slowly, in a way only Denis can do (and Jamie Spencer on the level, and Moloney also). Now, that may mean he leaves too much to do, going down agonisingly as he closes to the line, but not quite getting there. But,in this race, being more patient looks advisable.
The horse.. well he really could be anything over fences off this mark, over this trip. He has only raced over 20f once, over hurdles, here last year, which I find interesting. Thoroughly unexposed over this distance and on breeding etc it should be fine. The way he stayed on over 18f at Thurles offers plenty of encouragement. I like the fact that he has big field chase form there. He has ran in some decent races the last twice, at a higher class, on ground that may have been too testing, over a trip that may be too short. They look the perfect two races to my eye of you want to protect a chase mark. He has to be very well handicapped here given how lightly raced over fences he is, this being his first handicap chase also.
I think there is a lot to like about his chance here. He will have been sent over to run his best and I suspect they expect a bold show. EW would probably be wise but at 12s I will be gun-ho.
Of the rest..
Well Burton’s Well is of some interest and is a qualifier for the Track LTO angle, (if 16/1<) so I may throw some change there. As I probably will Two Taffs, both those from my system budget, probably 1/2 point each. Burton’s Well has been kept away from decent ground but it is an unknown, he may relish it. They ran him at the track LTO which I found interesting and of the bigger priced ones he does look worthy of some small interest. He may not handle the ground and Venetia is 0/10,1p in the race, but she comes here in cracking form. Given the owner I would be looking out for him at Aintree also, if he ends up there. Two Taffs.. well the Davy factor is probably affecting his price- I am never bouncing up and down when a trainer fires 3 or more horses at a race like this, suggesting more throwing a few darts and seeing if any can hit the target, than some kind of plan. I may have that wrong. This horse gets both first time cheepieces and tongue tie- that suggests they have been disappointed with recent efforts- he does need to step up and doesn’t have any track form. That equipment move slaps of desperation to an extent. Maybe it will work. But, Davy’s hands can work wonders around here. He is on a shortlisted horse that I am not tipping but the 10s shots are slightly easier to live with than the 16s+ jobs. I don’t want more than 1 point on this race and the horse selected looks most interesting to my eyes out of those on the shortlist.
Bun Dorran- well I have backed one horse who PU LTO and that is probably enough. This one is inconsistent and was poor the last day, cutting out a bit when an error didn’t help. Market support may be worth noting but I am happy for him to beat me. At his best he would have a chance. Gold Present- again the lack of course form/Festival experience, put him behind the selection. Not a shock winner given on the shortlist and Hendo has won this race before. A big field chase and undulating tracks are questions he has to answer. That was enough for me to go with the selection, and leave him.
There are a few micro system horses to keep an eye on in here, maybe one of those bigger priced ones will pop up, although there is a danger of backing half the field if we’re not careful! And that may still no guarantee the winner.
All being well Tully East should give us a run for our money, baring a blunder/fall/BD I think he will look like playing a major role as they turn for home. Hopefully Denis delivers him to perfection, flying past tiring rivals and winning with any amount in hand. job done.
That will be all for ‘tips’
5.Any Other Thoughts
Something to read… 32Red have Bryan Cooper, Nico De Boinville and Paddy Brennan on their books writing columns etc and you may wish to flick through those, I found them of some interest… I noted how Paddy Brennan mentioned SingleFarmPayment, liked BallyAndy, and thought Colin’s Sister was a decent EW bet. Bryan Cooper was interesting… Bunk Off Early / Petit Muchoir / Tiger Roll got strong mentions from him. He thought it all may happen too quickly for Genie In A Bottle in the 4 miler, on that ground.
There is the Skybet free bet off for the first race each day I believe, money back free bet if a loser. So, you could pick something using that The two of interest to me on my stats are Bunk of Early – Townend rides and he has done well on Day 1 in recent years, and Cilaos Emery who maybe has little chance but qualifies on a first time headgear angle and at what could be a decent BFSP, you never know.
I have the tips but will have a nibble on Ibis Du Rheu given the number of micros he hits and he is very much unexposed. Like all horses in here he falls down on something, stats wise. It will be one of those races/results. My head says Nobel Endeavor can’t win from that weight/rating… but I kind of think he may still have a fair bit in hand. But he is on the Davy angle.
No thoughts really, one for me to watch… if I have a tickle it may well be on Petit Mouchour who has impressed on the clock apparently and Cooper seemed positive enough in his 32Red column. I want The New One to win, that would be some result, but won’t be backing him to do so. I can cheer him home without carrying any money. You would think his time has been and gone in this race though.
I usually have a blow out on Day 1, and Day 3, so to be sitting here on 2/5 from the tips, +25 points at advised prices generally available, somewhat means we can enjoy the rest of the week. Given we bet 5 points on Day 1, if we/I stick to the 25 point ‘tipping’ budget I think that means we are guaranteed a ‘tipping’ profit of +5 points, whatever happens from here on in. When the Pipe horse won earlier, beating us in a photo, i feared the worst. Livid. That is twice I have ignored him despite being a qualifier for various micro angles. I had the feeling the weight one may go, but in the end those stats put me off. But it is the same approach that has found us two winners so I won’t moan. I can’t complain after a day like that.
We move on, with a spring in our step…
Bellshill – 1 point win – 9/1 (WH) 17/2 (bet365) 8/1 (general) 3rd
Whisper – 1/2 point win – 7/1 (bet365) 13/2 (general) 2nd
Kalondra – 1 point win – 25/1 (bet365/BV/Boyle) 20/1 (gen) UP
Peregrine Run – 1 point win – 10/1 (general) UP
Scoir Mear – 1 point win – 20/1 (general) UP (5th?)
Dreamcatching – 1 point win – 12/1 (general) UP
Percy Street – 1 point win – 28/1 (general) UP
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
-Whisper (prev festival winner/won LTO/10/1<) 2nd
-Bravissimo (Irish class drop/Trainer lightly raced) UP
-Hawk High (jockey micro 4 33/1<) UP
-Old Guard (jockey micro 4 33/1<) UP
-Douvan (prev Festival winners)
-Amazing Comedy (1st headgear) (66s+,may be worth small change EW in the XCountry race!)
-Divin Bere (Trainer/lightly raced)
-Dolos (trainer/lightly raced) (+ jockey micro 4 33/1<)
-Dream Catching (trainer/lightly raced)
-Long Haul (jockey micro 4 33/1<)
-Project Bluebook (jockey micro 4 33/1<)
Robin The Raven (1st Headgear) (missed him, cheers Paul!,was in HRB,glanced over)
Don’t Forget.. (as a guide)
- All Davy Russel rides, 20/1< SP
- All Nico De Boinville rides Day 1+ 2
- All Sam TD rides on Wednesday (4/13,6p) Esp good 9/1< , or monster prices, 25s+
- N Schofiled/B Hughes/D Russell all have decent Wed records also (small numbers former two,but worth a glance)
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shorlists)
Bellshill – 1 point win – 9/1 (WH) 17/2 (bet365) 8/1 (general)
Whisper – 1/2 point win – 7/1 (bet365) 13/2 (general)
The ‘bonus’ stats not helping too much really at this stage. When my profile doesn’t leave a few stand outs it may be a case of leaving the race, or just attacking it normally. Whisper is a micro angle above, goes for Henderson and has Russell up… maybe it is just that simple?… Pondering… I may go through runner by runner and see what a ‘normal’ analysis throws up…
A good night’s sleep appears to clear the head, especially with races you are unsure on, initially at least. I must admit, when tired and bedraggled on Monday evening, after a very long day, I had put a line through Tully East- you get lazy when you are tired. ( a focus on his last two runs which seemed poor- on reflection they were decent races,and if that race was a plan,he wasn’t going to run much better) With fresh eyes in the morning I decided to attack the shortlist again, and that seemed to do the trick…
And I think it may have done so with this race. I have gone from picking splinters out from some excruciating fence sitting to concluding that if Bellshill has a clear round, he wins this. He may fall/UR, but his price allows that dart in what is a pumped up Grade 2 I think. Grade 1 by name maybe, this year at least.
Having looked back at the Bonus Stats, bar a Top 3 finish LTO, this one hits every single other profile point. Every one. All of the 10/10 stats etc. He also ran at Leopardstown LTO (5/25,10p last 10 years) and is trained by Mullins, 2/15,5p in the race. You can’t keep a good man down and this may well get him on the board. Now, he was laboured the last day- maybe at that trip he simply couldn’t lay up with them in a G1. He has form over 24f+ and on decent ground. Now, that fall LTO..
I did some digging, Mullins has sent 9 horses to the Festival who Fell last time out in the last 5 years, one won and two placed. And they were all last year, 5 runners, 1 won, 2 places. In single figure fields that improves to 1 win, 1 place, the win being Black Hercules in a chase and ‘Jack Adam’ who also Fell before his 2nd in the Gold Cup. I suspect this one has had some intense schooling and the better ground/longer trip/faster pace may help.
There are also a few who like to get on with it in here. I can see Ruby at his majestic best, holding him up, getting him jumping, going wide for daylight if needed, and powering up the hill late. Cue – fall at the first! 🙂
At that price, given everything above, I have decided I must have a go.
I have had a blank on Day 1 the last three Festivals (so yesterday was quite a pleasant surprise!) but usually have a superb Tuesday, with previous winners in all three races covered today during the last three Festivals. Here’s hoping he can be another.
Now, him and Whisper are the only Grade 1 winners in this race. Well, Royal Vacation is, but not really. Might Bite is in a sense, had he not fallen.
Well he falls down on a few stats but is a micro qualifier, is ridden by Russel, for the in form Henderson. He has a touch of class and this feels like a very strange race where some stat or other is going to get broken.
So, he is more straightforward maybe. I wanted something on him. I have a stamina niggle over a stiff run 3m around here over fences, and I am not overly confident. But, trust in connections may prove to be wise. 7s allows a dart.
Of the rest…
Might Bite – I have decided he is too short given the questions- the track, being taken on for the lead, his jumping, his attitude (people keep telling me to avoid ‘Scorpions’ like the plague. A rogue, apparently- you can tell how far breeding is on my radar! Good job really, as I wouldn’t have had Tiger Roll if it was) Anyway, I don’t like backing horses around 7/2 or shorter generally, why the hell would I start here – the most competitive racing you can find. I would be cheating myself. So, he can beat me. Part of me thinks he might hack up, but with 25 points banked, you can enjoy them more when they do so, not carrying a penny.
French Breds have a poor record in this in the last decade, 0/25,2p, maybe that stat gets broken – it indicated the Irish/GB more stoutly bred horses are the place to focus. There are a few french breds here, maybe one wins this year. All of the others fall down on 2 or more big stats I think. A few are handicappers really and I want to avoid them.
It does feel open, but I feel rather bullish. Maybe it is the pro plus I’ve just consumed to get me through the morning. I always struggle to sleep this week, must be the adrenaline.
So, those two will do in what feels an open renewal. If Bellshill doesn’t make errors I think he is the most likely winner, based on my approach – and in truth even ignoring it and just looking at the horses in a more ‘traditional’ way, he stands out. If he hadn’t fallen LTO I suspect he would be 2-4 points shorter here.
Kalondra – 1 point win – 25/1 (bet365/BV/Boyle) 20/1 (gen)
Peregrine Run – 1 point win – 10/1 (general)
Scoir Mear – 1 point win – 20/1 (general)
‘The winning profile’ (exc ‘positives/negatives’ leaves a shortlist of just 4:
Kolandra / Automated / Peregrine Run / Scoir Mear
Well this exact same approach worked on Day 1 and again I am simply not over thinking things here.
The three selections are unexposed and still open to any amount of improvement in handicaps, while having shown a fair bit already.
Kolandra hacked up the last day and his ratings rise wouldn’t have stopped him then. Of course this is much deeper and some in here may have plenty more in hand but given his recent form , his place on the shortlist and his price, I had to have a go. He is also the only one in the ‘winning ratings bands’ from the stats , which are only a guide, really, but interesting nonetheless.
Peregrine Run rarely runs a bad race and has the benefit of course experience. I think the soft ground found him out the last day so he should appreciate these conditions and the form of that last race could work out well- the winner is decent. He is also the right end of the market for this race, historically. 10/1 is fair and he looks a decent horse. Those that ran in a G1 or 2 LTO don’t have a great record but no horse is bombproof against my profile, bar Kolandra. He will appreciate the ground and looks sure to run a big race I think.
Scoir Mear – well this has probably been the target given connections and the trainer doesn’t mess around when sending one here, 2/5 at the Festival last 5 years, all in handicaps. Luckily he didn’t win the last day, handy that!! He didn’t go up much and again has proved a liking for decent ground. I think he looks fascinating at a price and more than happy to have a stab.
Three will do in this. I discounted Automated based on ground- all his best form is in hock deep mud and he hasn’t run that much on decent ground. Also the handicapper thumped him as well and he has had many a career run also, inc on the flat. He may leave me with egg on my face and I may throw some change at him, given his trainer.
But I didn’t want four in this and I didn’t want more than 3 points, and I don’t like betting just 1/2s really.
Of the rest..
Well clearly something else may win. This race is full of unexposed hot pots but these are the only 4 that hit my winning profile. I probably haven’t mentioned the winner but you know why I am on them. Ignoring the stats, on paper/recent form they are interesting enough anyway to my eyes.
PACE… well all three selections are usually patiently ridden and as we saw again on the Old Course, that can pay. Nothing held on from the front from memory, the patiently ridden ones doing best. There are no loads of front runners on paper here but I have long learnt that if in doubt at the Festival, in a big field, assume they will tank along. Hopefully these three swing into it turning for home and are battling out the finish!! (ha, that isn’t happening, but you can dream!)
Dreamcatching – 1 point win – 12/1 (general) (BFSP poss,price may not move..?)
Percy Street – 1 point win – 28/1 (general)
‘The Winning Profile’ leaves just 3:
Flying Tiger WON 33/1, 57 BFSP/ Dreamcatching / Percy Street
Dreamcacthing– well I have to back him here given he is on a shortlist of three in a race that the Champion Trainer has a great record in. I have to trust this stats approach, it seems to work, and giving myself a headache by looking at the ‘form’ of each runner isn’t one I plan on ever taking at the Festival.He fits the profile for this and is also a micro qualifier for Nicholls lightly raced angle. 5lb claimers have a decent record in this race also so no concerns on that front, and young Stan is decent enough. This horse also hacked up the last day and could have any amount to come. I can’t see how at a double figure price, I can’t have a go! So, I have.
I will ponder the others, given Henderson’s form I think I will have to have something on Percy Street…
Percy Street – well that was obvious wasn’t it- another where I feel I have to have a go. He is on the shortlist, trained by a trainer in cracking Festival form already and by one who has won this race. Those last two factors ensured I picked him over the Nick Williams horse, who I may have a saver on at BFSP- but I don’t want more than 2 points bet on this race and I don’t like having less than a full point on a horse if I can help it, so I had to knock one out. There is a chance that the strong pace/stiff finish brings out more from this one, given he was a decent stayer on the flat. Maybe it all happened a bit quick at the business end LTO and this is now a handicap. These horses are young, unexposed and can make rapid improvements based on the course/how races are run. That would be the reason for dramatic improvement. Nico De Boinville is a jockey to watch on Days 1 and 2 also. So, he will do, esp at that price.
I could analyse the rest but there isn’t much point and I won’t be adding much. Most are lightly raced, most are in form, 2-4 of them are likely to improve massively and suddenly appear to have any amount in hand.
There are a few micro angles in this one, but none at monster odds, bar Nicholls other one ridden by STD. Maybe some interest there.
5.Any Other Thoughts
General... the big boys came to the fore, as they usually do, and you probably won’t go much wrong sticking with the likes of Henderson and Elliot for the rest of the week. Pipe clearly hasn’t lost the knack of targeting a race either. Clearly they have their string primed to perfection for this week. Mullins, while having no winners, had a few placed horses, inc one at 33s, to suggest he will get something on the board. Greatrex and Skelton both had horses go well also. And those Irish trainers who rarely send runners over, but mean business when they do, had a good day…well, Mr Flemming. Hopefully today is the turn of T Mullins for us. A couple of the micro angles had some big placed horses at 50s and 25s, plus Un Temps winning, to suggest they may pick out a nice priced winner at some point. Being on it will be the key! It is time for Nicholls to come to the party you feel…
Members Post: Don’t forget the usual TTP Jumps Notes which you can read HERE>>>
There are two big priced horses of interest and another who may drift to 11.00 on BF and become a ‘Rp 10/1+’ qualifier. RP 10/1+ horses have been very profitable to back all year, as have bigger priced horses generally.
Back to The Festival..
And with a large pinch of salt…
Neon Wolf could be special but i won’t be taking that price. Two EW shots against the field may be Willoughby Court WON 16/1>14/1 (got my trip to the Festival preview at Aintree for that one,so that was worth it) (some impressive times/figures) and Shattered Love. UP The former has a ground niggle also, but more an unknown given kept to deep ground. They must think it will be fine if he runs. The latter- well it is that man Elliot so anything is possible. She is unexposed and seemingly in great form, with a level of ability. You suspect she may hit the frame here at least.
Well we have three here. I find it interesting that Tombstone is so short in this… it makes me think he might bolt up. They clearly think a lot of him and apparently he was being seriously considered for The Champion Hurdle. If that is the case, and he has that much potential (Supreme 4th last year) then we could all be playing for places. I feel a bit dirty backing him at 4s but as a saver of sorts it may not be unwise. We shall see. I should just let him beat me at that price I suppose. Automated lurks on my shortlist also, the only one of the four I don’t have money on, again, maybe a saver. I think the ground may be too lively, his mark too high, but you never know.
Get the popcorn, feet up, enjoy the spectacle.
No strong views in this really – I know I will end up having some change on Sausalito Sunrise here at 16s+. He has no experience around here (big negative) at all and that will probably ensure he is out with the washing. But he does have a touch of class and if taking to them could out-run his odds. In any case, they may be trying to find the new Balthazar King and if he runs well here then note him for all future races at this track, from autumn onwards. Hobbs is in fine form and he may reward an EW tickle. That’s if he doesn’t collapse into a bank or plough through a hedge. Ironically he will probably come down at a regulation fence having said all that!
Well covered but I suppose Dolos is worth a mention given he crops up on a micro or two and it is STD on a Wednesday and for Nicholls- some strong stats there. Backing the wrong Nicholls one would be annoying and I may throw some ‘system’ change at him.
Hmmm… no idea.
Stick with Mullins maybe, he could be due a winner by this point, and so could Ruby. Next Destination at a double figure price. Debuchet is interesting, as his canny trainer doesn’t send many here but they usually run well. Cue Card the only 4yo to have won in last 20 years though, but you never know. I see Joseph O’Brien and Davy Russel team up also, but no idea if he is good enough.
Right, let’s ditch my self lpity about the big priced winner that inexplicably got away. You don’t want to be reminded about it. And I certainly don’t. It was painful and I should have learnt my lesson by now. I haven’t, and must do better moving forwards. Apologies for not tipping him, but we move on. You won’t have been more annoyed than me. But, let’s keep positive – we are still +18.5 points at the half-way stage and I would have taken that on Monday afternoon I think.
The stats shortlisting is working, generally. And that makes me excited moving forwards, both for this week and the future. And the usual daily Members post had a decent priced winner also.
I have gone a bit mad below, spraying around 12 points of the 13.5 we have left (if wishing to ensure a +5 point profit on the week) but after yesterday’s debacle I would probably rather end the week evens on the tipping front than face leaving another decent priced horse on a shortlist that I had no real reason to exclude. If I’d had more of this mindset yesterday well, then… Hopefully there is some return today, but we shall see. As ever, I head into the day in bullish mood. Do shop around for best prices/places and I think some may be worth taking BFSP on but that is more art than science. And I have broken some of my staking rules but this week is as much about fun and enjoyment and we are guaranteed not to lose on the week, tipping wise, so what the hell…
That went well…
Presenting Percy – 1 point win – 9/1 (general) WON 9/1>11/1 (14.2 BFSP)
Jury Duty – 1 point win – 8/1 (general) 3rd
Sutton Manor – 1 point win – 25/1 (Bet365/SkyB) 22/1-20/1 (gen) ‘UP’ 5th
RockLander – 1 point win – 22/1 (bet365+PP) 20/1 (gen) UP
-0.5 points on the race… +7.5 points day heading into last race…
Tango De Juilley – 1 point EW – 25/1 (bet365) 22/1-20/1 (general) UP
Baron Alco – 1 point EW – 14/1 (general) 2nd +2.5 points
HenryVille – 1/2 point win BFSP UP
All Together – 1/2 point win BFSP UP
(6 places Skybet/5 places a few/4 generally)
Doctor Harper – 1 point win – 16/1 (WH) 14/1 (general) UP
Southfield Royale – 1 point win – 9/1 (Bfred) 8/1 (general) Fell
Potters Legend – 1 point win – 16/1 (Bfred/BV) 14/1 (general) (case for BFSP given yard/may not be backed?) 4th
Ah. A case of what might have been. Unsure of the standing start, but he was held up right out the back, made two crunchers when having to make up loads of ground. That’s jumps racing though, great run. What might have been. A shame Southfield Royale went, going ok in a good position, long way to go though.
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
-Yorkhill (prev fest winners/won LTO)
Track LTO (16/1< guide)
-Presenting Percy (+micro jockey 5)
-Mr Mix (Nicholls 16/1<)
-Presenting Percy (Jock micro 5)
-West Approach (micro jockey 5)
-Un Ace (1st time HG 33/1<)
-Bouvreuil (track LTO, 16/1< guide)
-Sizing Cadelco (track LTO 16/1< guide)
-Starchitect (micro jockey 1+5)
-Diamond King (micro jockey 5)
-Asthuria (1st time HG, 33/1<)
-Tahira (1st time HG 33/1<)
-Away In The West (jockey micro 5)
-Balbir Du Mthan (Irish class dropper)
-Doctor Harper (1st time HG, 33/1<) (1st Headgear PU/Fell LTO)
-Pendra (1st time HG, 33/1<)
-Mall Dini (prev festival winner/hncps chase/201/<)
-Potters Legend (track LTO 16/1<)
-Premier Bond (track LTO 161/<)
-Southfield Royal (track LTO 16/1<)
-Squouateur (micro 5+6)
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shorlists)
Presenting Percy – 1 point win – 9/1 (general)
Jury Duty – 1 point win – 8/1 (general)
Sutton Manor – 1 point win – 25/1 (Bet365/SkyB) 22/1-20/1 (gen)
RockLander – 1 point win – 22/1 (bet365+PP) 20/1 (gen)
I have a working list of 7. The winning profile left 13. Removing French Breds, those that had yet to run over 24f+, bottom weight (0/33,3p) leaves:
Presenting Percy / Jury Duty / Barney Dwan / El Bandit / Suttons Minor / Splash of Ginge / Rocklander / Isleofhopendreams
There were 4 horses above I was happy to rule out and maybe one of them will leave me cursing but I really can’t back more than 4, I really can’t leave an Elliot shortlisted horse given his form, or one ridden by Russell, or any that are 20/1+!! That thinking ensured these four picked themselves really… (I can’t see Splash of Ginge winning this) Isleofhopendreams has been whacked by the handicapper, is 10, although lightly raced, and handicaps are often an afterthought for Mullins,but he will take anything right now. Barney Dwan is interesting but held by a couple of these on that exeter run and I am not sure he looks well handicapped and may want it softer.
The other four pick themselves really. The two shorties could be anything still and could still have any amount in hand. Russell is due a winner and these two won the race last year with a 25/1 shot- oh yea, he was on the shortlist and left also- what a quick learner I am!! He is thoroughly unexposed over this trip and with these Irish ones it is hard to know if the handicapper has them. I thought they had Diamond King last year in a handicap hurdle but alas they didn’t. He looks interesting for a trainer who I suspect has the Festival bug, this one could make it a perfect 2/2. Jury Duty has a similar profile – well they all do really, fairly lightly raced. This one qualified the last day and ensured his mark didn’t go up again too much. The top of the market has generally done well in this race.
Then the two biggies. Well they are on the shortlist and both trainer’s horses are clearly going well. Sutton Manor is a poke but given connections and the stats you have to back him at 25s. He may not be good enough, he may still have a tonne in hand. One way to find out.
Rocklander is probably a cracking EW bet but 4 points really should be the limit. When he runs his best he is prominently ridden so it is of some interest that he has been held up on recent runs, and then made steady progress through the field. He will appreciate this ground and around this New Course I hope they are more handy. He looks sure to run a massive race here to my eyes and get Tom George a first Festival win since 2002 I believe. He has been very unlucky here and most of his this week have run crackers. They are in form.
It is very strange to sound bullish in a race like this but I will be very surprised if we don’t have something to cheer over the last here. 1-2 or all of these must be in the mix come the end. I will be a bit broken if one of them doesn’t win in truth, but we shall see. Maybe a stats-buster is lurking somewhere.
Tango De Juilley – 1 point EW – 25/1 (bet365) 22/1-20/1 (general)
Baron Alco – 1 point EW – 14/1 (general)
HenryVille – 1/2 point win BFSP
All Together – 1/2 point win BFSP
The Winning Profile leaves: Tango De Juilley / Cold March / Diamond King / Baron Alco / Germany Calling / HenryVille / Mad Jack Mytton / All Together.
A general point – I have ignored OR stats to an extent. Actual weight- 1/75,10p have carried 10-13 to 11-9. I am not sure if it will play a major roll here really, and in any case I do have two in the best OR range historically for this. It must be rare for the two two in the weights, certainly top weight, to be such highly rated and for there to be quite a gap between 2nd and 3rd weight. I think it may pay not to get too hung up on that and in any case we saw what Un Temps did from his lofty rating.
This race also throws up some big priced winners and those near the top of the market have generally underperformed…
Tango De Juilley – ran a stormer in this race last year of the same kind of break. He isn’t much higher in the handicap or the weights and was beaten by winning 20/1 tip ‘Empire of Dosh’ (as one of you labelled him post race) , who seems to have progressed well and Elliot thought of as a live Gold Cup contender. This race has clearly been the target, he ticks my winning profile, this is the one race Venetia does really well in (3/19,5p last 10 years) and barring an accident/him not being fit for some reason, I can’t see why he won’t run as he did last year. That should be enough for him to be in the mix. All race conditions are fine etc. 25s seems massive to me for one with Festival from. Venetia is in fine form also. Horses going well.
Baron Alco- Moore has had a placed horse in this before and this bold jumping front runner looks sure to be up there the whole way. He won’t want to take on Village Vic too early but should be in the right place around here, assuming they don’t go too fast. All conditions look fine, he has run well here on all chase runs, and has some decent novice form in the book. I am worried a tad by the last of big chase field experience but given his prominent running style he should stay out of trouble. More a concern if a hold up type. He could have any amount in hand. Interesting EW contender.
I really am expecting these two to be in the mix if they stand up and hopefully one of them places to limit any damage in a worst case scenario.
The other two are pokes but may be a big price on the machine and were on the stats shortlist and having looked at them more closely were hard to completely rule out. I am not sure Henryville likes it around here, I don’t like his running style and think he could jump better. I don’t like his chase form either. But, his price is huge, Fry is in form, so is his jockey and a patient ride may be what’s called for, depending on how this plays out. I wouldn’t be able to face tomorrow if either he or the other biggie went in un-tipped/backed. Again All-Together ticks my main stats and he has ran in some ok races for a trainer who is in cracking form. This would be his biggest win of his career to date I imagine. Some biggies have won this before and he may out-run these odds. Worth dabbling to find out. He could be a big big BFSP.
Diamond King could clearly win this but falls down on the odd one of my stats and in any case is far too short for me in a race like this. Were he 10s+ probably an automatic bet. He may hose up. At least we have a couple EW in that scenario. Mad Jack Mytton is rock bottom of HRB ratings which isn’t where you want to be and I don’t think the level of his form stacks up, also no course chase experience. Again the market can tell with jonjo’s chasers, 14/1< best, but he hasn’t got the best record in this race.
Pace- the two EW shots should be in the van most of the way round I think, which is hopefully where you want to be. A few front runners but it can be hard to come from behind here if the leaders can go their own pace and keep going, especially on decent ground. We shall see how it pans out.
Doctor Harper – 1 point win – 16/1 (WH) 14/1 (general)
Southfield Royale – 1 point win – 9/1 (Bfred) 8/1 (general)
Potters Legend – 1 point win – 16/1 (Bfred/BV) 14/1 (general)
The Winning Profile leaves: Pendra / La Vaticane / Doctor Harper / Local Show / Southfield Royale / Hadrian’s Approach / Potters Legend / Another Hero / Alvarado
Notes: The market guides with this race, all winners 16/1< in the period. I think we can remove La Vaticane and Local Show. Alvarado is 12 and I can’t see him being sprightly enough here.
I don’t think Southfield Royale stayed in this last year,(lack of sleep,different race!!) although he did go wide for most of the way round. Anyway, a more manageable shortlist of 6 or so. And the winning profile looks solid to my eyes.
A few in here cross over with some micro angles and given jockey bookings also, it is hard not to be drawn to both Pendra and Doctor Harper. Potters Legend looks of interest for a smaller yard and Jonjo has one in here. My eye is drawn to those four at the moment.
Doctor Harper – well he is trained by Pipe who has a decent record in this, and he hits two of the 1st time headgear angles. He is ridden by a jockey that Elliot knows well and given his connection with the Pipes (what a tutor Martin Pipe is!- not only happy with revolutionising the jumping game, but also guiding/teaching two fine trainers) I found that of some interest. She will have come recommended which is interesting. He obviously hits the winning profile and given all of the above is a no brainer. IF on a going day, you can’t see him too far away. He may smack a few and be pulled up of course.
Southfield Royale- I backed in the 4 miler last year where given he went wide he probably nearly ran 5 miles! That race has worked out well and he was bang there a few from home. This will have been a target no doubt and he hits the track LTO micro angle and is the right end of the market for this race. His jockey is very good also. He just looks solid.
Potters Legend – again ticks my main boxes and is thoroughly unexposed at this trip. Jockey is 3/10,5 places in handicap chases at Cheltenham and clearly rides the place well. Interesting they have booked him then. He would be a big win for a small yard and if he were trained by Pipe say, with his profile, he would probably be half this price or fav. Decent ground looks ideal and he ran well here the last day, another qualifier for one of the Track LTO angles. His BFSP may be decent but I am guessing a bit there.
Those three look very solid to my eye and should give me a good spin.
Hadirian’s Approach always needs softer I think and is getting on now. He can also hit a fence if he wants to. Pendra is interesting in the first time headgear and may get a small interest. He has gone well after a break and has a decent jockey on. But Longsdon isn’t in the best of form and it will be some ask from top weight. I can’t think he has anything in hand here, which you need in a Festival handicap. The three selections could have a fair bit in hand in these conditions.
I should mention Another Hero who was on the shortlist and may well go close.. I thought they may have gone for a more experienced rider if he were more fancied, and 5lb claimers are 0/24,1p in the last 10 years. He also has no chase form at the track and I suppose that tipped the balance for the other two. Maybe this has been a plot job and Jonjo has won this before. But, i decided to leave him. Around 14s,so painful if he goes in but not as painful as some!
Pace.. I hope they are agressive on Southfield Royale given he looks a decent stayer. He could lead these, or at least be up there most of the way. The other two are usually more patiently ridden but in 1st time headgear I wonder if they will be more prominent with Dr Harper. I would be, that tactical change may do him some good. An interesting race.
5.Any Other Thoughts
Other brief thoughts…
1.30 – Disco ?? I like the pace angle and he could make all here and jump them silly. Remember the SkyBet offer for this race if you can. I haven’t looked at the race in any depth mind.
2.50 – Uxizandre? again mainly the pace caught my eye and we know what he did in this last year. The headgear returns and surely they will try the same forcing tactics. If he travels and jumps like he did then, he could have a lot of these in trouble. It would be nice to see Empire of Dirt run a fine race. He is short though How many will Elliot end up with – frightening to think that before the meeting he said he best chances were in the latter half of the week!!
3.30 – I wish I had listened to Jamie Codd on some of his preview panels. What a fine judge. He tipped the supreme winner 50s (goes very close if jumping off, best work horse I have ever seen- something like that) plus a couple of others inc Tiger Roll and the bumper winner I think. At least we have one of those. He was very keen on Jezki in this and could be of interest as an EW nibble maybe. Cole Harden must be worth an EW shout also. His trainer has been very bullish and his have been running well enough here.
4.50- some big priced micros to play with, which I may do if I am desperate at this stage! some £2 BFSP nibbles maybe, you never know. I believe Let’s Dance is very solid on the time/clock – well that’s what Andy Holding said at a preview I went to- ‘unbelievable numbers’ so maybe she bolts up. I know Douvan ran poorly- clearly something up- but many of Willies have probably ran to form and have done ok. I wouldn’t be put off one of his really, not just on ‘yard form’ , but it is a question.
Probably take all of those with a pinch of salt. I spent longer looking at Mad Jack Mytton than I did with those races so we shall see! That will be the ‘system/fun bet’ budget blown no doubt, although the winner of race 1 yesterday boosted those funds.
This feels like a big day in truth. I think it may make or break the week, profit wise. Bring it on.
That was a bloody great day’s racing. I hope you enjoyed it.
I will try and get more done this evening as was the case yesterday. I am not out which will help.
We take +23 points into Day 4, maybe 5/6 more points at BFSP. I won’t spray around more than 8 points I don’t think, to ensure we are left with at least +15 points in a worst case scenario.
Potters Legend was unlucky I think, or received a poor ride. That’s racing. He made two howlers and were it not for those I think he would have won. I am unsure of the standing start was the problem, as he was right out the back of the field. The leaders didn’t really come back. Having to make up so much ground may have been the cause of the errors. Or his jumping just wasn’t good enough. One that got away maybe the Festival is full of such examples so I won’t complain. He is one to watch.
Mr Ryanair took the same handicap chase as he did last year, those colours are clearly ones to watch in chases. He had just been running in decent novice chasers and was able to come into the race with a bucket load in hand. Something to keep in mind.
Supasaunde or however it is spelt had a similar profile also- decent novice form, in good races, returning to decent ground. He had a solid Supreme effort last year also. A few things there to think about/work on, outside of any stats approach.
Hopefully some of you may have backed Bescott Springs in the daily Members Posts, the bread and butter of the Members content. A nice 19.00 on BFSP. That strategy must be over +80 points BFSP in 2017 I think, but need to update results. It is around that, from an average of 1 bet per day.
No doubt who stole the show, Mullins/Walsh silencing any doubters. As I touched on it wasn’t as if their horses had been running badly on the whole. Well done to them. The Festival has had a more balanced feel this year, not just one trainer dominating. All we need now is for Cue Card to win, somehow! (that is heart, not head)
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the week. Only one blip, quite a big one. But it may help over time. Before the Festival I had looked at 3 handicap hurdles on the blog using my stats approach. They found the 1-2 in the Betfair hurdle from a shortlist of 4, a 50/1 placed horse in the Coral hurdle in Ireland, and the 10/1 winner of the Imperial Cup. This week they have done well in the Pertemps and the 33/1 winner of the Fred Winter. Maybe I need to ensure I look at any Saturday big field handicap hurdles more often! I will get those 33 points back.
Right, moving on…
Well I have gone a bit crazy again but have ensured we are guaranteed at least +10 points profit on the tips this week, which I can live with. It has been good fun. You always want more but hopefully you have been entertained. I had a look at my tipping ‘form line’ last night… 2,UP,4,1,1,3,2,UP,UP,5,UP,UP,1,3,5,UP,UP,2,UP,UP,UP,UP,4
3/23, 12 places… winners at 16s,12s,11s, all placed horses 7/1+.. just over 50% have placed with most bookies paying out for those two 5th places, 20s, 25s. I won’t count up what 1 point EW would have been- nearly 50 points maybe – I didn’t want the prospect of blowing a 50 point bank, but the stats shortlists/final picking has worked generally. Maybe we will have more EW confidence next year.
Anyway, I thought we would have some fun on the final day, what’s the point in ‘protecting’ 5 points at the Festival. Of course you can 1/2 stakes if you wish to end up on more profit. On we march, to glory, or a bloody nose…
Crievehill – 1 point EW – 33/1 – UP
Wait For Me – 1 point win – 20/1 – UP
De Name Escapes Me – 1/2 point win – 25/1 – UP
Jaleo – 1/2 point win – 40/1-50/1 – UP
The World’s End – 1/2 point EW – 10/1 (bet365) 9s/8s (general) UP (would have placed at worst, took a fall) 🙂
Rather Be – 1 point EW – 14/1 (general) BD/UP
Champagne Classic – 1 point EW – 25/1 (general, as above) WON!! 25/1>12/1 (28s/33s available after posting for a while)
Pair of Brown Eyes – 1 point EW – 25/1 (general) UP
Solita – 1 point EW – 33/1 (general) UP/PU
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
System Selections Can Be Read Via Online PDF HERE>>>>
(not sure why I didn’t think of that before, much quicker than typing them all up!)
+ Twister and Nicholls have done well in the past on the Friday.
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shorlists)
Crievehill – 1 point EW – 33/1 (genera) (check place terms, 1/4 odds 5 places around, 1/5th odds 6 places SB/PP- choice is yours)
Wait For Me – 1 point win – 20/1 (WH) 18/1 (general) (BFSP may be the place,but who knows)
De Name Escapes Me – 1/2 point win – 25/1 (general) (again BFSP may be the place)
Jaleo – 1/2 point win – 40/1-50/1 (general) (BFSP for this one for me I think)
A strict interpretation of the winning profile, including weight/OR leaves just 5:
Crievehill / De Name Escapes Me / Wait For Me / Jaleo / Mohaayed
NOTE: Correction.. for those of you using the ‘winning profile’ guide, there is an error. Being Aged 5+6 is down as a negative, when in fact it should be a positive.
Ratings… well in the last 10 years those OR 140+ are 0/104, 10 places. 0/32,2 places the last 2 years. Top 8 in the weights are 0/85, 7 places.
I think I have to follow those. I will apply the winning profile ignoring the OR/weight and see if there is a shortlist that way.
Of note also, of the UK runners, those that ran outside of C1+2 LTO are 0/45,5p. That would do for the last two in that list above.
Crievehill is interesting given he was behind Neon Wolf LTO and is thoroughly unexposed. Ground an unknown but many have said it has been riding dead, so that may help. De Name Escapes Me- well the Irish have a great record in this and but for injuries who knows if BG or Mark Walsh would have been on this one. He is in the could be anything bracket and Meade’s have gone well here this week. IF this has been a plan, then that last run may mean sod all. Wait For Me was fourth in this last year of a higher mark and 3rd in the Festival bumper the year before that. Hobbs is 0/16,6p in the race. That Festival form by itself is interesting.
On a strict interpretation of my stats I don’t know how I can avoid those three, given they are priced 33/1, 33/1 and 18/1
I have looked at those above the OR cut off/high weights which leaves numbers 2,3,4,8,9,13,14… the final one is Air Horse One who can’t have the amount you need in hand now, to win this. The others all ran in a non handicap LTO, they are 1/81,8p last 10 years. The only one of mild interest to my eyes is Ivanovich G, who ran at Leoparstown LTO, quals on a couple of system angles, and has Festival form. But, I will stick with what looks a solid stats profile… if a classy one breaks the OR/weight then so be it. North Hill Harvey falls down on the ‘runs this season’ stat also.
Crievehill- aptly named really if he storms up this hill, in the shadows of Cleeve Hill, for Twister, who could do with a winner. His have been running ok this week. Ballyandy probably ran up to his best but had a poor trip/arguably poor ride, The New One ran as good as he is, Ballymalin ran well in 7th yesterday having done all the donkey work – his two stable mates taking him on also. Not a bad run. The rest, much like Tizzards, have been a massive price and unfancied. Twister had a 2nd place with Flying Angle in the Martin Pipe on this day last year. Anyway, this one ticks all the stats boxes and is the perfect age bracket also. The hood appears to have helped and he ran well behind Neon Wolf the last day, and Elgin, quite a bit ahead of Skelton’s bottom weight here. He could have a load in hand here and there is a chance this strong pace/big field will really help. The ground is an unknown, he hasn’t tried it and his sire has plenty of decent ground winners. At 33s I won’t let that unknown put me off, and the ground has been dead, rather than really quick. As an EW bet I think he looks very interesting and hopefully he can be Top 5 at worse.
Wit For Me – well part of me thinks he is just out of form and they reach for the tongue tie in desperation. Hence why I went against EW I suppose, if he is out of sorts then he won’t be placing- if he runs well enough to place, he runs well enough to win, if good enough. His Festival form is decent and at that price, I had to have a go. He will probably place and Twister’s will be out with the washing, but the decision is made now.
De Name Escapes Me– another who looks out of form but is on the shortlist, is lightly raced, open to improvement, and the trainer is in form- his runners here this week have gone well, so well he even had his first ever handicap/chase winner here. His BFSP could be tasty, I will hold fire and see what the market does, and take a price if some signs he may collapse. Him not being in great form, and lightly raced in recent years, big gaps between racing, have dented the confidence, hence the stake.
Jaleo– I can’t really see it, but he is on the shortlist and will be the biggest price of these and were he to somehow win with no tip, that would certainly ruin what has been a decent week. He is lightly raced and has Festival form. You never know.
I should mention Mohaayed – the only one on the shortlist not tipped- ah, well. I may be raiding my spare change drawer/side of sofa etc to throw £2 at him BFSP, just in case. Crievehill beat him well enough in that Haydock race, to demonstrate he has more class, but you never know on the day. And the Skelton’s clearly fancy their other one.
North Hill Harvey has been highly touted, as was their bumper runner in truth, but he falls down on plenty of stats and can be the stats buster at 8s, he may demolish them if having so much in hand. In that scenario a place from Twisters will do nicely.
Rather Be – 1 point EW – 14/1 (general) (5 places Bet365/BFred/BetB) (5p SkyBet,12/1) (4 generally)
Champagne Classic – 1 point EW – 25/1 (general, as above)
My Winning Profile Leaves: Run for Dave / Castello Storza / Champagne Classic WON / Ballyhill / Rather Be / Battleford / Catamaran Du Seuil
Those with 1 or 2 handicap runs have a poor record which removes NTDs, who looks out of sorts anyway. Dr Richard Newland’s ran in a C4 novice LTO and wears blinkers. Given the connections of the 5 who remain I am happy to leave him also.
I feel a bit like the Pertemps here, bullish that one of those 5 may win this. The one drawing me in is Henderson’s – Rather Be – who ran in the champion bumper last year and had some decent form, before his 16f heavy ground run LTO. That wouldn’t have suited this strong traveller and it is to his credit he ran as well as he did. He looks the most interesting to me on this ground. I can’t see how i won’t be backing him EW, esp given the form of his trainer, who has also won this race before.
Run For Dave has the perfect profile, inc the weight bands I think and Elliot will be desperate to win this race given it’s names after his great mentor, Martin Pipe.
Mullins has a great record in this also, and his Castello Storza was 4th in the Champion bumper last year. He looks a tricky horse who may not like being in front that long, but maybe these conditions will suit and he has a top jock on. Those three are of most interest.
Battleford is a single figure price and a negative is having 11-00 or less on back, or has been… 0/36,6p. Small numbers, but it’s maybe a reason to leave at that price. But he ran well in the Champion Bumper also.
Champagne classic may be more of a grinding chaser. He has ran over further and in the mud. This ground is an unknown but he is a big price and like most in here is unexposed. If handling the ground/not getting outpaced, extra stamina is no bad thing.
Rather Be – If I did ‘Naps’ he would be my EW nap of the day, from all my selections I think. I am hoping/expecting a big run here. I can’t work out jockey bookings but Deutch is a step up from Ned Curtis in my opinion, plenty of big race experience. This horse has run as if he has class, and could have come into this with plenty in hand. He ran well in the Champion Bumper last year at 50s, and hasn’t done much wrong over hurdles. He jumps well, and travels powerfully to my eye. He also responds well to the whip/pressure from what I have watched this morning. The last day he was giving the winner 5lbs, when you include his claim, and I can’t think 16f in heavy was ideal. The front two were miles clear and he was closing to the line, and to my eye wasn’t given a hard time. The big filed/strong pace here may suit him to the ground. Henderson is 1/20,5p in the race last 10 years, and I think this could make it is second winner. Granted usual luck in running, I am going to be rather despondent if he isn’t in the top 5 at worst here. Bullish. Or as bullish as you can be in a race like this. My confidence hasn’t been mis placed as yet this week, so I am due a shocker on that front.
Champagne Classic – Well of the 5 who remained on my shortlist, I have ended up backing the two biggest priced ones. He ticks the boxes and he stays well, which could be no bad thing in this, climbing up the hill to place at worst. The ground is an unknown- i can’t say whether he will relish it or everything will happen too quickly. In that scenario you want a price, we have that. Gigginstown are 1/6,3 places in this race to date. And he is trained by that man Elliot. So, who knows. Worth a stab.
Clearly the three others on the shortlist might win. I am not sure what I have taken this morning, but I think that shortlist of 5 includes the winner of this. I am confident again, much like with the Pertemps yesterday. I fear the Mullins horses because of his record in this. Battleford falls down on a couple of supporting stats and is ‘only’ 8s. Handicaps, maybe not this one, seem to me to be an afterthought for Mullins, when his horses do not make it at graded level. I am not sure this has been a plan but his champion bumper form clearly marks him out. I can see why he is 8s. I didn’t want to take that.
His other one is a decent price as 12s I suppose, he may be worth some support. At least I won’t be leaving a 33s job behind in this race. Castello Storza has been a short price beaten fav on his last three starts – he has clearly been expected to win and the fact he hasn’t suggests he is tricky, he has hit the front/been out in front on most of them I think, after the last. He will need all of Moore’s skill, but he may look like the winner at one stage.
Runfordave again could be short enough at single figures in a race like this. He seems to have a solid enough chance and is trained by Elliot of course. If we have done ok at this point, some savers on this one and Castello may be no bad play.
Pair of Brown Eyes – 1 point EW – 25/1 (general)
Solita – 1 point EW – 33/1 (general)
Winning Profile.. well, previous G3 winner or higher (0/32,4p were not, not biggest of stats pools but one of the better ones in a tricky stats race for my approach it seems…if wanting to look at stats that cover all winners,and remove plenty of losers etc) and 7 or fewer career runs… (ignoring running at same distance as LTO, which is 16.5 furlongs)… that leaves just 6…
Rock The World WON 10/1 / Le Prezien / Thienval 3rd / Pairofbrowneyes / Solita / Solar Impulse.
Le Prezien is in at 6s at the moment which I can’t see myself taking in a race like this. He also has fewer than 12 career runs which is a negative,although includes a prev winner in there. Seems short.
Those that ran at C3 or lower LTO are 1/68,6p, which could be used as a filter, Thienval and Solar Impulse fall down on that, the latter also falling down as having run over 25f+ before, but those are small numbers, esp given his price. I will ignore. Thienval is trained by Henderson though. Solar Impulse won this last year.. but does his new trainer know how to train under rules?? 2/280 in career, 0/31,0p chasers. Who the hell sends them horses. Odd. Cue, hacking up. Hughes booked. May be worth something BFSP just in case!
Rock The World looks interesting given his run in this last year, also after a break. PairofBrowneyes and Solita are massive prices and Townend has been booked on the latter which is interesting enough maybe. Hmmm.
Well, again I seem to have a confidence from somewhere, in a race it must be said I don’t have a great record in. Maybe that is because the stats profile isn’t as solid as some, we shall see. I am hoping/part expecting, one of these two to place at worst. Madness. Fetch me the meds.
Pairofbrowneyes – he is top rated HRB and is a consistent horse, rarely out the frame. It looks like he had a sighter around here before Christmas and has some solid chase form in the book, esp that Fairyhouse race- he was beaten by an Elliot horse there who has since hacked up in some graded races. I think this is the best horse the yard own and any one of a number of placed efforts should be good enough to be in the mix here. I don’t think this looks that strong a race with many in here having major questions based on recent form. He races handily and with an error free round I can’t see him being far away. I just can’t. He has done nothing wrong and while he may not have much in hand, he may not need to be. I don’t think there are many plot jobs in here/horses with bucket loads up their sleeve. Solid handicap chase form may win the day. And he is as solid as they come in this I think. His jockey is 1/1 in festival handicaps on the Thursday/Friday at the last 3 meetings…talking of jockeys…
Solita – is interesting at a big big price. It is of great interest that Paul Townend is on here, having last ridden her around this time last year, and winning a chase on her. So, the fact they have called him up, must be some indication. Maybe. She seems versatile as to ground and has a very good record on decent ground. She also arrives here in form after that run LTO. Oh, and she is Top Rated Geegeez Speed. So, we have both top rated on the two ratings I use- what could possibly go wrong??!! She is also lightly races/unexposed over fences. That may catch her out of course but there are not many in here who could be ahead of the handicapper over fences, she could be one. I would be surprised if she wasn’t nibbled at.
Clearly these two are punts, but there is method to my madness at least. And bigger priced horses often win this. Also, the Irish are 3/33,9 places in this, which is a decent record against the number of runners. And those winners were from less heralded Festival names in T Mullins, Tony Martin, A L T Moore…
And talking of him… Dandridge is solid and gets Russell again. His placed effort in this last year may be good enough to win- I may have backed him that day and if memory serves me he may have been really unlucky in the run, I can’t remember. Anyway, Russell is up, and if you want a shorter priced one for comfort, I probably wouldn’t look past him. This must have been the plan.
Rock The World probably has a chance also, again ran well in this last year after a similar break. That is still a concern though and his price isn’t overly generous in that context. Le Prezien is too short and didn’t jump well the last day in a 5 runner race. God help fav backers here in this race- that is a ridiculous price for me, for all that he should be ahead of the handicapper. I can’t touch 6s. Solar Impulse looks gone a tad and his trainer looks awful, but if you have any change left come this point, a small BFSP nibble- head says no. Thienval- not convinced, but on the shortlist.
5.Any Other Thoughts
2.50 – Albert Bartlett- I wont be tipping in this …
The World’s End – 1/2 point EW
Well I have slept on it and I have changed my mind. I spent the time putting the stats together so I may as well use them. My hunch was an EW bet on the George horse. Nick’s comments below regarding Phil Smith and top 2 rated, which I noted pre Festival but didn’t act on, may be pertinent here. We know he stays I think, which is the unknown for Death Duty. The ground is a slight unknown but all being well he could be thereabouts. He is in cracking form and progressive. The Irish can’t be winning ‘every’ race now. We shall see if this one can improve my recent 3 year record.. 50/1 winner, 14/1 winner, no bet, XXX. They were both when it was very soft though, which seems to help with my approach to staying races.
The main stats point to a shortlist of: Constantine Bay / Death Duty / Monalee / The Worlds End / Wholestone
Mega Fortune ?
Andy Holding, who is a top judge by all accounts, said at the Festival preview near Aintree that I went to that this one has the best form. I haven’t looked at the race at all, other than to glance at this one- Elliot and Russell. They will do for my ‘interest’ EW bet.
The Gold Cup
I have no strong views on this. It feels a very strange race. I wouldn’t worry about Tizzard’s form at all here- his runners this week have mainly been monster prices and have run as expected. Fox Norton went well. Native River is the obvious one and he could be sent off at a silly price. He could make all here, or take it up early enough and really put the rest under pressure. 9/2+ could look big, 5/1 EW, surely he will place?? Hmm.
Part of me thinks there will be a decent priced winner here/a slight upset. The two Jonjo horses could go well at a price, and I suppose OUTLANDER looks solid also, based on his last run which is a decent level of form in this line up. As good as what anything else has done I think?
So, those four would be my focus. I really hope Cue Card wins this but my head says he can’t. There will be a tear in the eye for sure if he does.
Update: I can’t quite believe Native River is 11/2 in places, seems a big price to me… I have had a little go EW- bar a fall or him being sick/ill, I can’t see how he is out the top 3? He will be up there all the way and at some point 1 or 2 are going to have to come and chase him
Foxhunters... we have Darran’s Preview HERE>>>
I will stick with that. Paint The Clouds and Asktheweatherman for interest. It would appear the Fav looks strong, again.
Right, that’s me done I think. It’s been a long week, but we have the Midlands National to look forward to tomorrow! I will get trends/stats up for those at some point.
Good luck with any bets today. Fingers crossed a couple of the big EW pokes can go close. Happy days if so! And if not, at least we have had a solid, if unspectacular festival.
BONUS: MIDLANDS NATIONAL DAY
Blimey. That was fun..
That is my best Festival ever I think, good timing 🙂 My confidence in that approach has grown over time and I am happy with how it is working, especially the shortlisting and the stats that I focus on- which to be blunt I don’t think many others do. ‘Stats are Stats’. Well. No, they are not. Anyway, many ways to skin a cat in this great game of ours but I will stick to what has worked so far. As always not leaving winners behind on a shortlist is something to work on. I think whenever the stats point to 4 or fewer horses, price allowing, it is probably best to trust the stats and back them all, well esp when 16s+, or even 33s!
I hope you had a great week, whether following the tips and/or picking winners on shortlists etc. The final tally, at advised prices…
32 bets / 4 wins / 13 places (inc wins) / +43 points
Winners priced 16/1, 12/1, 11/1, 25/1
With a slightly clearer mind that could have been +76 points, but we can’t be greedy. (and just over +100 BFSP maybe)
I hope you have had a great week and I helped make it an enjoyable one.
And of course you may have backed two tasty winners in the regular, bread and butter, Members Posts at 16/1>11//4 and 19.00 BFSP. A good week all round.
3.35 Uttoxeter: Midlands National
SPOOKY DOOKY –1 point EW – 12/1 UP (travelled well,a race for true grinders,tacky/holding ground,not sure handled/stayed)
COGRY – 1 point win – 16/1 UP
CHASE THE SPUD – 1 point win – 25/1 (PP) 20/1 (gen) WON 22/1>11/1 (declared 22s given 25s only 1 bookie,hope you nabbed it mind!)
(4 points bet)
+19 points on race… +62 point week…
I just had a look at the top level profile which has certain pointers, for last 18 renewals…
- 18/18 Age 6-9 (0/91,16 places older than this)
- 18/18 carried 11-6 or less (0/30,4p carried more)
Those two stats alone leave us with 8: Blakemount / Out Sam / Mysteree / Warrantor / Cogry / Spookydooky / Court Frontier / Chase The Spud
I do like this race.. not so much last year, but in 2015 it saved the Festival.. well, i only lost 7 points on the week (my approach is much improved since then,as is my general ability, I think..well, at times…) but good old Goonyella romped to victory at 12s, or 9s, I forget which. Let’s see if we can find the winner again…
Spooky Dooky… I don’t know how I cannot back him at a double figure price with 4 places to play with. He picks himself I think. He was 4th in this last year, off 141 and with 11-8 on his back. With the jockey claim he now carries 10-10 and is rated 131. That is a massive difference over this trip and this year, as below, he qualifies on the two main stats from first run through. He stays well and also comes here in form on the back of that Exeter run LTO, which was decent. I had to have a go didn’t I? Yes.
Cogry… Oh god. I must have had a good week, on the happy pills no doubt. Yep, I have gone there. My ultimate chasing cliff horse. I am lying impaled, at the bottom, of said cliff… now just for the sea to carry me away! I can’t leave him at 16s here given he was ahead of Spooky Dooky in this last year and although there is a large ratings swing, he at least has more chase experience now. I found it fascinating that they remove the Cheekpieces here- having been on for quite a few runs now. That may freshen him up, or make him worse! I was surprised he completed at Sandown LTO and he ran well over a trip probably too short. He did try to take one fence with him I think, with the usual scrappy errors. But he ran on well into third. He ran well in this last year and Twister has a decent record in the race. I don’t know if his yard is out of form or not but I won’t overthink at this price. They should go a pace he is more comfortable with here and IF, it is a massive if, he has a clear round, I can’t see him being far away. This could be his race. And given he comes here in form, there is a headgear change (removed), conditions look ideal, he has previous form in the race- well then it really should be last chance. At least I am getting a price on him this time and not taking 8s<. We shall see. He fits the main stats pointers and will do.
Chase The Spud.. His price seems a bit big here, way too big actually. The rain has arrived for him- last night it was good to soft and I wondered if it may happen too quickly for him, even over this far. His run at Haydock behind Mysteree was decent and on that alone his price should be closer to his here. He relishes the mud and has just looked like a plodder- which in the latter stages is what you want here. I just want to see how he goes over this sort of distance. He was a PU in the Welsh National but it is safe to say this is no Welsh National field and he should appreciate this pace more. He is tricky, and a bit in and out, which is why you want a price. But, he rarely gives up and throws in the towel and will keep going. He doesn’t give up, usually. So, unless he doesn’t jump/falls/BD, he should get the heart racing in the closing stages/as they turn for home. I think there is a lot to like about his chances in the context of his price and I am more than comfortable having a stab. He ran ok at Carlisle but was a bit keen early and never going that well- maybe it happened too quickly or he had a poor trip up. But he does have 11lb actual weight less on his back here, which will help in conditions. A lively outsider for me.
PACE.. This race isn’t blessed with front runners on paper and I am rather hoping they try and make all on Cogry- probably the best chance of him completing – i remember when I tipped him at Cheltenham this season when it went soft- he was BD as they were about to head out for the final circuit. That day he was travelling well on the front end and jumping well. They should be aggressive, give him daylight, and a chance. Chase The Spud can be up there also. Hopefully both are front rank. Spooky will probably be further back and they will all need some luck in running.
Of the rest… well I hope nothing else on the shortlist wins! Blakemount – I think is a doubtful stayer over this far, not convinced. I could be wrong- questioning a Sue Smith chaser’s stamina can get you into trouble, as it has done with me and this one before. But, the market can guide with hers, not too much wins over 12s/14s I don’t think. We shall see. Out Sam – i want to see him run better in a big field chase really. He may relish this test but I wanted those onside I was sure would see out the trip- no idea with him but the field size is the main concern. Connections have always liked him and if he ran up to their expectations of him as a chaser, he would go close- if staying. And jumping. And not shitting himself when surrounded by horses 🙂 Warrantor- not convinced. The form of that Cheltenham second hasn’t worked out really and again these conditions/stamina is an unknown. Two runners from the trainer suggests that maybe he is just throwing darts. But they are on the shortlist. Court Frontier- he has won a few on the bounce now and maybe he will progress again, but was a single figure price and that last race was really poor. Happy to take on. Mysteree can take this but had a hard race LTO, and two of his last three have been slogs- i will applaud if he takes this as it would show some bravery/toughness. At a single figure price I can take him on and sleep tonight.
Clearly something not on the shortlist may win. Having looked through I don’t really fancy much else anyway, and I don’t want to be on an older horse, or one with a big weight. A few seem to want better ground also.. I suppose Gevrey Chambertain is worth mentioning given Pipe’s record in the race…but he is in and out and stamina an unknown.. french breds are 0/24,3p in the race also- small numbers but gives me some comfort! He may run well, he does have class, somewhere.
That’t the lot on that front I think. My positive, bullish mindset appears to make them run well- and with that in mind- I think we have the winner!! (that doesn’t mean you bet more than advised!) Good luck.