A decent day for the blog today with Ante Post selection Windsor Park winning (advised at 12/1) and Southfield Theatre running a good second (advised 20/1) after making a bad mistake 4 out. If team Mullins had had their way and sent Don Poli to the 4 miler things could have been even better!
Day 2’s day of the race bets had no draws so there was a 6.5 pt loss there but the Ante Post picks returned 23 pts from 6 pts staked
Onto Day 3:
1.30 JLT Novices Chase 2ml 4fur
Generally ¼ odds 123 available http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-03-12-cheltenham/13:30/winner
Only 4 runnings of the race doesn’t give us much data for stats.
Ptit Zig has been my long term fancy but it’s never ideal to come into a race such as this with a fall on the last start. That could have been a blessing in disguise as it saved him a hard race against some very useful types. He still remains the selection but is a bit too short a price to bet given that last blip
I certainly prefer him to Vautour whose priced is based on his hurdling form and the Mullins factor than what he has actually done over fences this season.
Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido are closely matched this season and should be involved at the business end but the lack of course experience for the former is a slight negative.
Splash of Ginge proved he doesn’t operate on right handed tracks last time and will be much more at home again back here now. Nigel Twiston Davies has had big priced placed horses in this before and could well hit the frame again here at big odds
Selections; Ptit Zig (but No Bet), Splash of Ginge ew
The Tullow Tank’s defection leaves an eight runner field – hopefully no more come out or that 1/4 123 will revert to first two. Ptit Zig has gotten too big now at 5/1 with Paddy Power and rates a bet at that price (especuilly after reading in P Nicholls column on Betfair how many fences he has jumped at home since his last fall). Splash of Ginge also a bit big for me at 22/1
1.5pts ew Ptit Zig @5/1 (Paddy Power)
0.5pts ew Splash of Ginge 22/1 (Stan James)
2.05 Pertemps Final 3ml
Look for firms offering 1/4 12345 for sure in this very competitive handicap http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-03-12-cheltenham/14:05/winner
Edeymi’s eyecatching run at Musselburgh has fooled no one and firms chalk him up at too low a price based on what they think was being hidden.
Last years close fourth Trustan Times gets similar condition again and could be involved again with ground conditions back in his favour
My eye is mainly drawn to a horse I have followed for some time and is totally unexposed at this trip – Brother Brian.
Stamina is unproven but he’s always looked like he needs further and his 3 runs over the course have all been ones for the notebook. Hughie Morrison has kept him off the track since a good run against much higher rated pair Rock on Ruby and Volnay De Thaix in December to preserve his mark. Softer ground in the interim probably wouldn’t have suited either
This is still a race where 5yos have a distinct disadvantage – a big negative for Dawalan especially as he has such a big weight.
Big Easy is consistent in this grade and should again run well – although he continues to have his mark raised without winning. A strong pace will suit and can see him having place claims.
Unique De Cotte won well at Ascot last time despite hardly hitting one hurdle right. I can’t help but think that flaw will be exposed more in the stronger pace and better ground he will encounter here.
1pt ew Brother Brian @12/1 (365, Stan James , Betfair Sportsbook all paying 5 places)
Brother Brian a victim of Pricewise so all 12/1 sadly now departed. 11/1 still available with 5 places on offer
2.40 Ryanair Chase 2ml 5fur
1/4 odds 123 should be widely available http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-03-12-cheltenham/14:40/winner
Not a beloved race of mine for picking winners in but that has to break one year.
A common theme amongst winners is that they were proven over 3 miles.
The Irish seem very bullish about Don Cossack’s chances this year and he has form over further. I’m not sure if he would have beaten Champgane Fever or not last time when that rival fell. It’s more of a worry that on his sole venture to the course he himself fell.
Johns Spirit was going as well as anything 3 out before stamina kicked in in the King George at Kempton over Christmas. He has some very good course form here to make him a contender but all of that form is on Cheltenham’s Old Course which is used earlier in the season – his New Course form (as he races over here is less impressive as stamina does become more of an issue.
It does appear strange that Balder Succes is a bigger price than Ma Filleule after he beat her last time but the latter is the selection.
Balder Succes does seem to thrive in smaller fields and his record of non completions at Cheltenham is a problem. He is also unproven over further
Ma Filleule on the other hand is proven at 3 miles and she really came to hand at this time last year. It was expected that she would improve a lot for last run and connections have talked her up very confidently since.
She is one of the best jumpers of a fence around (witness her win over Aintree’s National fences last season) and I am struggling to see her out of the frame
1.5 pts ew Ma Filleule @5/1 (general)
6/1 is available currently on Ma Filleule with Hills and Boyles but as she is trading less on Betfair don’t expect that price to hold for long
3.20 World Hurdle 3ml
1/4 odds 123 generally available but a few firms offering a very decent 1/4 1234 http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-03-12-cheltenham/15:20/winner
The blog is already covered for this with our Ante Post pick Saphir Du Rheu taken at 8/1 and now disputing favouritism around 5/1.
I still make him the one to beat (he does have marginally the highest official rating in the field) with stablemate Zarkandar the principal threat.
Cole Harden is interesting at bigger prices now that he is back on decent ground and has had a win op since his last run
2pts ew Saphir Du Rheu @8/1
Ladbrokes offering 1/4 1234 and 7/1 on both Saphir Du Rheu and Zarkandar as I speak – thats a full point bigger than Betfair and for anyone who can bet with them I’d advise to back both each way if you can get on with those terms
4.00 2ml 5fur Hcap
Another competitive handicap- afew firms now offering an extra 5th place – hopefully more will follow http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2015-03-12-cheltenham/16:00/winner
The two at the top of the weights, Hunt Ball and Rajdhani Express have performed well in higher grades and have been waiting for this better ground. Hunt Ball hasn’t been given much help by the handicapper though and actually meets Rajdhani Express on 6lb worse terms (including riders claim) for 2.5 lengths beating in Dynaste’s Ryanair Chase last year.
Rajdhani Express is a previous Festival winner and his mark has dropped a little since an eyecatching run at Kempton last time. 3 miles on soft ground was too much for him but nothing was going as well up to the home straight and as long as that effort hasn’t taken it’s toll I see him as a big player here.
Attaglance is another with good festival form and must be considered – he has a 4lb higher mark than when narrowly touched off in the novices handicap last year. That rise in weights is just enough for me to hold back on him – he’s getting a bit too old to be progressing now.
The other for my shortlist is Irish novice Rawnaq who isn’t harshly treated off 141. He ran a great race in the Greatwood Hurdle here in 2013 and appears to need decent ground. Experience could be an issue but novices have a reasonable record in this race so it isn’t such a negative.
Buywise is perfectly capable of winning a contest like this but invariably makes a bad error in his races – it could prove costly again
Bookies are probably running a bit scared of offering a high price on David Pipe’s Monetaire given how easily the trainer won this race last year with Ballynagour
1pt ew Rajdhani Express @12/1 (Paddy Power/Betfair Sportsbook both paying 5 places)
0.5pts ew Rawnaq @25/1 (365, Paddy Power)
12/1 still vavailable for Rajdhani Express although he is slightly less right now on the Exchanges
4.40 Kim Muir Hcap 3ml 2fur
Again a few offering an extra place and maybe more will follow
Amateur riders take charge here and experience in the saddle counts for a lot. I would be against any rider who is claiming weight.
I got a little excited at the 5 day entries when seeing Vintage Star had Nina Carberry jocked up. He’s one who really needs decent ground and was hinting at a form revival last time out now his mark is dropping.
Alas today I see that Nina has been required elsewhere and so my interest has waned a bit.
Champagne James has only had 3 chase starts and no experience at this distance. He is unexposed and looks a possible plot for this race from the Walsh family. Gold Bullet has a similar looking profile and a top amateur jockey on board
Masters Hill once had Gold Cup aspirations from Colin Tizzard but has started to rediscover his potential this season. He’s high enough in the weights but there’s still enough scope in his mark there to see him be a player.
The selection is another novice chaser who has crept in at the bottom of the weights.
The Ould Lad was considered good enough to contest todays RSA Chase but was presumably pulled out as he got in this race. He just needed the run last time but had an upward profile previously and ran well on this course in December.
0.75 pts ew The Ould Lad @16/1 (ladbrokes, Hills, BetVictor)
This price already under attack on Betfair so not sure it will hold out for long!
The price has held out on the selection despite dipping under 16/1 on Betfair last night – probably because Pricewise went elsewhere. He styas firm at that price on Betfair for now
Thanks for reading once more and good luck!
Initial Bank 50 pts
Current Balance 35.31 pts
Ante Post Bets still to run 11pts
Day 3 Cheltenham Bets staked 13.5 pts