Another good day for the blog after shaky start to the day when Oscar Whisky managed to get no further than the first fence.
Third Intention scraped into 5th to get some place money back with those firms who offered the extra place.
The final race worked out perfectly though with Spring Heeled delivering the good and Roberto Goldback placed.
Thus the day ended with a profit of13.5 pts (running total for the meeting now shows us ahead by 50.25 pts)
Onto Friday, the final day of the meeting:
1.30 Triumph Hurdle
Generally ¼ odds a place 123 but 888 are offering ¼ 1234
Odds here http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing-betting/2014-03-14-cheltenham/13:30/winner
The top prize for 4yo hurdlers or ‘juveniles’ as we like to call them.
This used to throw up some funny results – I still cant fathom how horses like Shiny Copper and Ikdam won it – but since the inception of the Fred Winter Hcap it has become more reliable for getting winners at the head of the betting.
Calipto is the favourite and is unbeaten over obstacles for Paul Nicholls. His initial win was a hot looking event but his last win didn’t tell us too much more. He has the highest official rating in the field. Downsides – no form on an undulating course like Cheltenham, ground quicker than he has encountered so far? Also I am starting to get concerned that the form of his stable isn’t quite as it should be after some runners this week haven’t quite been delivering as I might have expected.He doesnt appeal to me at the odds available.
Broughton and Guitar Pete both have collateral form with Clarcam and I was very impressed with the former’s win at Musselburgh. Clarcam got a soft lead there but Broughton picked him up easily and won really well. He is my main fancy for this race and I would be stronger still if it hadn’t been for the ground watering and fog before Thursdays card which seemed to soften the ground a bit more than would have been expected. He hasn’t run at the course but on the flat seemed to thrive at Goodwood and you cant get much more of an up and down course than that!
Guitar Pete is a threat who has improved all season ( I wouldn’t read too much into Lindenhurst’s victory over him right at the beginning). He may want softer ground though and has to reverse good ground form on this course with Royal Irish Hussar ( disappointed badly since but a big contender on the rest of his form)
Tiger Roll is another I suspect needs softer (by Authorised – they usually do) and this also applies to Kentucky Hyden who would definitely have a shout at big odds if it did get soft.
Don’t underestimate the John Quinn pair either (won this with Countrywide Flame). Pearl Castle was a little disappointing to me last time and I do prefer Rutherglen out of the 2 – he looks a very gutsy type while not quite proven in this grade – yet there looks to be some improvement there and could be suited by this course.
It’s an open race but I am struggling to see Broughton out of the frame and so the recommendation is
1pt ew Broughton 13/2 (888 taking their ¼ 1234) (15/2 is available with PP but I think the extra place is massive here)
2.05 County Hurdle
50/50 split here between firms offering ¼ 1234 and 12345 here – look for the latter
Always a tough handicap but there’s only one that’s had my eye for sometime here – Cheltenian. Philip Hobbs has a good record in this and the Betfair Hurdle has been a good guide. I thought he was well handicapped in that and he travelled like a classy horse but just couldn’t sustain the effort in bad ground. He won the Bumper here in the past so we know he acts on the course.The ground has changed now and as I mentioned on Twitter earlier today I’ve had a play here.
A word about the likely fav Arctic Fire. I’m sure he has the ability to win this but seems a quirky type who can pull very hard. He needs a lot to go right but the pace of this race may suit him – the price is too low though for a horse that Ruby Walsh has been ready to pass by in novice hurdles earlier this year.
1 pt ew Cheltenian 10/1 (corals ¼ 1234 – or take 9/1 with firms offering 12345)
2.40 Albert Bartlett Hurdle
General ¼ odds 123
One of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the season for me between two high class novice hurdlers, Briar Hill and Kings Palace
Briar Hill won the Bumper here impressively last year. He is a bit of a deceiver as he doesn’t do much stunning work at home and can appear to do just enough in his races – this is no bad trait and as yet we just don’t know how far he can go. The price on him has tumbled this week as he was mooted as the ‘banker’ of Mullins’s attack on the three novice hurdle races – he has won the other two!
Opposing him is one of the quickest jumpers of a hurdle I have seen in the novice department for some time – Kings Palace – who has been fav for this for a long time previously.
I really struggle to see anything else troubling these two – they both look distinctly above average
The weight of money for Briar Hill has made Kings Palace close to an each way price though and if he reaches 4/1 or higher (not there yet) he may become a recommendation
There are other decent horses in the race but I will be looking for some value in them in markets without the two favs tomorrow
So for now at least – no bet – but check back in the morning for an update here
3.20 Gold Cup
¼ odds 123 generally
The ‘Blue Riband’ event of the Festival and one where the blog already has a view from the ‘January update’ and ‘5 days to go’ postings.
I have longed for First Lieutenant to run in this race on decent ground and while it looked like he might be rerouted for a time he has made it.
The value of the bet is more in the place side for me and I see him as the main threat to Bobs Worth who has a fairly irresistible 5 out of 5 record at the course and is a wonderfully tough animal to beat. If the bookies try to lay Bobs Worth at over 2/1 I may well be having an interest as well
Silviniaco Conti’s lack of course form concerns me – as does the trainer’s form at the Festival so far. Last Instalment was undeniably impressive last time but also has no track form and it was touch and go him running because of the ground no longer being soft.
Triolo D’Alene is only the price he is because his trainer made some loud noises about him and AP Mc Coy was booked – I can’t see him as a 12/1 shot at all and why he should be shorter than The Giant Bolster (who has been here and done it) baffles me. There could be an angle here tomorrow for match betting if anyone offers that pair together
2pts ew First Lieutenant 12/1
1pt ew First Lieutenant 16/1
4.00 Foxhunters Chase
Generally ¼ odds 123 but some offer 1234
Hunter chases and amateur riders – you have to have some knowledge about the Point to Point scene here and I just don’t follow it enough to have a strong view.
Like the Kim Muir on Thursday having a good rider on board is a massive positive and 2 I will be looking at that fit that bill and are nice odds are Pearlysteps and Certain Flight. I just can’t recommend a bet on the blog though with my lesser expertise in this field here
4.40 Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Generally ¼ odds 12134 but look for that 5th place again!
Less experienced jockeys here (the bigger the claim they make the less winners they have ridden)
The race is named after David Pipe’s father and the fact he only has one runner here Vieux Lion Rouge is notable – he has also said it was his best handicapped novice of the week. Wouldn’t dissuade anyone from backing him but the odd aren’t anything special and I llok for a couplof value outsiders here instead.
Thomas Crapper won a competitive event on the course in good fashion in November. On his next start the trip proved his undoing and then heavy ground was his downfall at Ascot. Back to optimum conditions here and worth a small nibble
Une Artiste represent a stable who have done well in this and she is a previous Festival winner. She may be a bit quirky but back over hurdles and on a reasonable mark of 140 she is interesting at big odds
0.5 pts ew Thomas Crapper 25/1 (365, Stan James both offering ¼ 12345)
0.5 pts ew Une Artiste 25/1 (365, Stan James)
5.15 Grand Annual Chase
Generally ¼ odds 12134 but look for that 5th place once more!
The traditional ‘getting out’ race is always a minefield that I won’t get bogged down in too much
Claret Cloak would be a strong fancy on this ground if it wasn’t for me having some concern if he will act on the course – think a flat track may suit him better. Novices do have a good record in this race though and this horse has plenty of class – best seen if his effort can be left late. He is verging on a bet but is just slightly too short right now and I’ll play only if I can get more than 10/1
We know that His Excellency can perform here. He is a bit of a monkey and can run two ways but the handicapper has given him a chance here off a mark of 142 (fell last year when still having every chance off 151). This is the sort of strong paced race that could see him in his best light
(I’ll also add that Mr Mole is badly handicapped– has a mind of his own and is an atrocious price – so lets see him bolt in now! )
1pt ew His Excellency 22/1 (Coral , Bet Victor – both currently pay on 1st 4)
Hoping everyone’s had a great meeting
Thanks for reading once more and any comments welcome
I will be waiting patiently for any prices to drift on Bobs Worth or Claret Cloak and will poist on Twitter during day (@Senor_Moodoir)if I see something I like
Two additional bets added though
2.05 0.5 pts ew Runswick Royal @50/1 (VC 1/4 12345)
Improving young horse and 4lb rise not harsh for his latest win – just think he’s been overpriced a bit because of his non fashionable trainer
2.40 Betting without Briar Hill and Kings Palace here;
0.5 pts ew Masters Hill 22/1 (365 1/5 123).
He’s been the only one to try and make a race of it with Kings Palace this season and back over a trip and decent ground I don’t think he should be this high in comparison to others in the race