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Magen's Star might be value against Cue Card

Magen's Star might be value against Cue Card

It's just one week until the Cheltenham Festival starts next Tuesday, dear reader, and - unless you've been living under a rock - you'll have started to formulate some views on who might come home in front in at least a few of the 27 races held during the meeting.

This is also the time when the bookmakers traditionally offer more value than usual. For instance, who can ever remember William Hill being best price on most horses at the top of the market?! Well, they are now. Shunning the bonus culture which most of their competitors have adopted, Hills have embraced the simple mantra of 'back your horse at the best odds here'.

Totally fair enough, and let's give credit where it's due. I do rarely give credit to Hills because they are generally tight as the proverbial when it comes to their odds.

One thing that lets them down currently, and here we probably can't have our ante-post cake and eat it, is that they are not going non-runner no bet (NRNB) yet on all races.

A few firms are offering this concession now, which as I mentioned last week, is great if you fancy one that has multiple entries. But one really good concession, which obviously worked for them last year as they've repeated the dose this time, is Paddy Power's money back if Cue Card wins offer.

PP's offer is this: back any horse you like in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and if Cue Card wins, you'll get your money back. So, if you backed Gibb River for instance, you'd have that one running for you.

If Gibb River finished nowhere, but Cue Card won, you'd get your money back on the Gibb River bet.

The 'only' way you can lose with this bet is if both your selection and Cue Card fail to win. I say 'only' because of course there's a good chance of that happening!

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But having a 2/1 chance in your corner definitely adds a lot of value to any other horse you might back.

My initial 2011 Supreme Novices Hurdle thoughts were posted here: http://www.geegeez.co.uk/supreme-novices-hurdle-2011-preview/

Since then, not too much has happened to change my mind, and I still think Gibb River offers good value at a reasonable price, because this race does tend to be won by one of the numerous improvers in the field. Cue Card has shown a very high level of form, but is more exposed than some in the field, such as Gibb River.

This is the trend from previous years.

With that in mind, and all of the other lines of consideration from the previous post, my three against the field are Gibb River, for reasons already mentioned (another facile win since the first post has proved nothing except he remains of huge potential); Magen's Star, from Tom Stack's yard (she may just want it softer so the fact that Paddy Power offer non-runner no bet insures against that - she's also in the Mares' Hurdle, but we're covered by NRNB also if she goes that route); and, Rathlin (bolted up last time in a decent race, and has huge scope for improvement).

Best odds are Gibb River 20/1 (the same price with PP); Magen's Star (40/1 totesport, NRNB; 28/1 PP); and Rathlin (66/1 VC; 50/1 PP NRNB).

Obviously, the best known form is Cue Card's. So if nothing improves past him, he will likely win. I watched his defeat by Menorah this morning and he pulled very hard early on. If he did that again, he'd find little at the end again, though he may not have to.

In any case, if he does win, you'll get your dough back on the others. At this point, I was planning to add my affiliate link here so that if you opened an account to take advantage of this Paddy Power offer, I'd get a small introductory fee.

But I can't find it, and I want you to avail yourself of this offer if you'd like to anyway!

So here is the non-affiliate link. Buy me a pint if your horse or Cue Card wins... 🙂

Stop press, I've just found my affiliate link. If you like the above offer and want to cut me in on the deal (!), click this blatant affiliate link here.

Thanks!

Matt

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10 replies
    • Matt Bisogno says:

      You definitely have the price David, which is the first battle won! I wouldn’t mind 20’s though I wouldn’t back him at 8’s or shorter… (luckily, you don’t have to!)

  1. peter brockbank says:

    In fact Paddy Power have done this for at least the last two years. I can’t remember the horse two years ago, but that lost as well. It was an Irish favourite.

    Yes, you can believe that P Pdon’t expect Cue Card won’t win, however the last two losers offered with this bet were Irish. I laid them both and will do the same wqith Cue Card.

  2. dave foster says:

    hi,just to let you know.STAN JAMES go N.R.N.B. at 1200 today.and betfred go the same,at 12.00noon on the 12th,march.so if your fancy,is big price,and you are sure it runs in a particular race,as stated on forum already.get on now for the bigger price.hope all are lucky.

  3. Francis says:

    Paddy Power also gave a similar offer on Brazil in last years World Cup. Last year Matt you tipped
    Menorah(ew) in the race. Going is one reason I think PP opposed Dunguib and it’s something to bear in mind for Cheltenham. Usually the going is faster than most horses have been racing on
    during the season and with a strong pace throughout- a lot of horses with previous good form make
    little impression. Looking at the PP prices the other day,I noted that they had Spirit Son11/2(best price
    6 other bookies),Sprinter Sacre 7(9),Recession Proof 9(10),Zaidpour 9(10),Al Ferof 14(20). Interestingly two Irish trained horses Hidden Universe& So Young are 20’s with PP and are as low as 14 &12’s with other
    bookies. Cue Card to me has the best form,but several horses are not far behind,So 9/4 is not value
    in my opinion. The Champion Hurdle has the first three from last years “Supreme” Menorah,Get me out of Here & Dunguib, John McCrirrick said Mr.O’Connell was at fault for Dunguib’s defeat,later an Irish Pro jockey stoutly defended Mr.O’Connell, let’s see how they come out this time!

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      It’s true that O’Connell is not McCoy, but then who is? And I don’t think the horse would have won with McCoy or anyone else on in any case.
      The soft ground is an issue for all Irish horses who have yet to prove their Festival merit. Of course, some will improve for it (and their trainers will know this – Domination in the Fred Winter for one). But many – Hurricane Fly perhaps? – will be over-hyped, over bet and rolled over.
      Cue Card has the track form, which makes him of interest. The problem with him for me is that he is now relatively exposed, and he does pull hard in his races, which means he might not have anything left off the bridle. [He found disappointingly little when Menorah went by him. Granted, that’s high class form already.]

      Matt

  4. Francis says:

    I agree Matt, I think Dunguib was beaten by better horses on the day. Hurricane Fly ? he has won on
    fairly good ground at Punchestown a couple of times.
    Cue Card is a great prospect for the future,but I feel lack of experience will find him out in a big field of
    young horses. I think he will settle,because the Supreme is usually run at a fast pace in the early stages-although the Champion Hurdle final time is usually a few lengths faster.

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