Cheltenham Gold Cup day preview, tips

UPDATED: Cheltenham Festival 2016: Day Four Preview, Trends, Tips

Cheltenham Festival 2016: Day Four Preview, Trends, Tips

Day Four, Gold Cup Day, the home straight. As with many a race this week, the complexion of wagering fortune can change rapidly in this last quarter; and, as with most of the handicaps, it is a perilous place to be 'all in'.

Tradition dictates that I'll be imbibing in the Brown Bear, Aldgate, as this story unfolds. My fate will be aligned to the bluster below - the very best of luck to you regardless of whether you follow me in or plough your own punting furrow.

Friday is historically a bookies' day, so keep that in mind.

The show commences, as ever, at 1.30pm, with the...

1.30 Triumph Hurdle

A race that has changed complexion in recent seasons, with the emergence of both the Fred Winter, a handicap for four-year-olds, and a battalion of expensively bought ex-French racers. Fourteen go to post this time, ten of them having raced at some point across La Manche, but the favourite - tentative as he is - is an Irish lad with a Russian name.

Ivanovich Gorbatov was a Russian post-impressionist painter as a human, and is now a hardy middle distance race as a horse. Such is the random nature of reincarnation. On the level, he was last seen readily winning a big field handicap off a mark of 97. Over hurdles, he was last seen finishing fourth of eight as an odds on favourite.

Despite that reverse, he retains uneasy favouritism, most probably due to the fact that his best flat form was on good to firm and his defeat the last day was on soft to heavy. The quicker turf will be right up his ulitsa. He was the best of these on the flat and, if you like that angle, he'll be of interest to you. He's short enough, however, all things considered.

Easier to like, albeit on the basis of a single run, is Zubayr. He was a very expensive - like, €380,000 - purchase from Alain de Royer-Dupre, and justified at least the buyers' commission on that fee when winning the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on his hurdling bow. That race is a key prep for this and he was expected to benefit greatly from the run there.

His galloping companion, Diego du Charmil, won the Fred Winter yesterday and that's a ready pointer to this fellow's chance. Comparisons have been made with Zarkandar, and time will tell on that, but for now this regally bred garçon (by a Derby winner out of a Dalakhani mare) still has plenty to prove. He may prove it here.

Sceau Royal is the first of three Alan King runners, the trainer having a good record in the Triumph Hurdle. He is rated 144, and perhaps lacks the scope of some to step forward from that after five UK runs. In the same barn, the highest rated is Who Dares Wins, a progressive 85-rated flat runner whose best form was on quick turf. He wasn't beaten far at Cheltenham in the Finesse (heavy) and promises to be better on the prevailing going this time. He's a player at a bit of a price.

Completing the King trident is Gibrilfaro, who vied for favouritism prior to disappointing in the Adonis behind Zubayr. Before that he'd beaten the re-opposing Connetable fair and square in an above average juvenile hurdle at Ascot. If you can overlook that Adonis blot, you can have 25/1 for your money. It's tempting...

Alan King's three runners are matched by Willie Mullins, whose trio are Footpad, and the ladies, Apple's Jade and Let's Dance. The boy's form is solid, his beating of Ivan Gorbs reading very well; but it has all been achieved in the mud so he must prove he can be as effective on faster. If he can, he has a chance in a very open renewal.

Apple's Jade actually beat Footpad by eight lengths when last seen in a Grade 2 on Boxing Day. As a filly, she gets a seven pound allowance from the boys, and she is another possible if acting on better ground.

Let's Dance is a maiden after three starts and has already finished close to, but behind, Apple's Jade and Ivano Gorbie. Collateral form gives her a fair chance then, but I just don't like backing horses that don't win/haven't won.

If Wullie and Alan are mob-handed with three apiece, then Paul Nicholls is sending the cavalry: he actually runs five!

That normally means a trainer hasn't got anything outstanding, a suggestion that would lead you away from Zubayr if you were previously a fan. The other four in the race are headed by Connetable, whose defeat of the older Rayvin Black reads pretty well. He was second to Gibrilfaro before that and is another whose past is incestuously and indecisively linked to the spider web of Triumph form lines.

Clan Des Obeaux, second in the Finesse, is yet another caught in that tangle, and yet another for whom we are asked to project as to whether good ground will mean improvement, regression or stasis. It's a tough old race in that regard.

Also with track form, from a handicap hurdle this time, is Frodon. He caught the eye, as expressed in this post, when third to Solstice Star, and fulfilled some of the promise with a bubble-bursting beating of Fixe Le Kap in the heavy at Haydock. He is something of a forgotten horse, and 20/1 possibly offers a hint of value if, like me, you're keen to escape the overlapping form lines in search of something unequivocal - notwithstanding that it might end up being inferior to what is needed.

Tommy Silver, the Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial winner, completes Nicholls' entry. He was an eleven length winner there, though against what who knows?

It's a hell of a difficult race to decipher, with so many form lines contradicting each other, and most of them on muddy turf and many of them from French tracks. In the circumstances, I'll be taking a tiny punt on Frodon, who has impressed me in his two UK runs. If he can handle quicker ground, he'll outrun 20/1 odds.

Likely Pace Angles:

Leoncavallo might lead, though Tommy Silver and Let's Dance could be close up. This looks a fairly-paced race where excuses ought not to be required.

Triumph Hurdle Tips:

0.25 pts e/w Frodon 20/1 general

Best Triumph Hurdle offers:

Stan James are betting 1/4 1-2-3-4, Paddy are betting 1/5 1-2-3-4

SKYBET - Money back as a free bet if you back a loser (max £25)
BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in this race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if the Fav wins (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25).

**

2.10 County Hurdle

26 runners in a handicap hurdle. Recent history may help to manage the field down...

Five and six year olds have won ten of the last twelve County Hurdles, and I will pick only from their number. Ten down.

The winner was Irish trained in seven of the last nine years. An Irish-trained horse for me. Five left.

Arbitrary? Somewhat. But in a race like this, I make no apology for that. We're left with a shortlist of Dicosimo, Henry Higgins, Great Field, Blue Hell and Ivan Grozny, three of which are trained by Wullie - he's bagged three of the last six County's.

Great Field got an opening mark of 147 from the UK handicapper after a romp on his Irish debut. He pulled most of five lengths clear of his field over two and a quarter miles in soft ground. That ability to stay a bit further has been a feature of most County Hurdle winners, such is the stiffness of the track and the pace and the opposition.

He'd previously won a couple of 3yo hurdles in 2014 and was having his first run for fifteen months at Leopardstown the last day. He is a 'could be anything' horse and I'd want him in my corner at 9/1. Barry Geraghty rides for this handicap first time outing.

Ruby is aboard 25/1 near top weight, Dicosimo, easy winner of a Listed contest over Christmas and a faller since in the Betfair Hurdle. He went up a stone for that heavy ground win, a rise that looks harsh in the context of this race. Still, Dicosimo retains upside potential after just five UK/Irish runs, one of which was 8th in last year's Triumph Hurdle.

The Mullins trio is completed by Ivan Grozhny, who won a Grade 3 hurdle this time two years ago. He had a long break after before a couple of well beaten efforts in big handicaps on soft ground. Given that his best form is on quicker, and that he's now third start back off the layoff, he's mildly interesting at a huge price.

Charles O'Brien's Henry Higgins won one of the most competitive handicaps of the season at Leopardstown last time, a performance which has seen him go from 131 to 147 in the ratings. That was on soft, where his best efforts have come, and he may just struggle from this revised perch.

Alan Fleming's lightly raced Blue Hell completed the 'trendy' quintet, and his form looks bombproof. A three length defeat of Diamond King was given a huge boost when that one bolted up in the Coral Cup on Wednesday; but Blue Hell has incurred a 22lb impost for his cheek. That may stop him following up here, though the extended layoff could be seen as a positive given he was having his first start for six months there. He's still worth chancing at around 10/1.

Of the non-trends horses, Starchitect was fourth in the Fred Winter last time and was second in the Betfair Hurdle last time. He'll handle the big field, the track and the ground, and is a young progressive sort. And, accounting for his jockey's claim, Francis Of Assisi is actually two pounds lower than his last winning mark. He's three from three on good ground and has run two solid races in defeat on softer since. 40/1 is probably too big.

Likely Pace Angles:

Sternrubin and Sizing Tennessee will be in the front, as may Zamdy Man, Starchitect and Dicosimo. The late closers could include Modus, Henry Higgins, Kayf Blanco, and All Yours in a race where the complexion is expected to change significantly in the last quarter mile.

County Hurdle Tips:

1 pt win Great Field 9/1 bet365

1 pt win Blue Hell 9/1 bet365

0.25 pt e/w Starchitect 14/1 bet365

0.25 pt e/w Dicosimo 25/1 Skybet

 

Best County Hurdle offers:

Look for a bookie paying FIVE places. Most are, but these are NOT: sportingbet, 888sport, Hills

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

**

2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle

'The potato race' as it's known, the Albert Bartlett sees a big field of twenty go to post over three miles. Barters Hill has been favourite for a while, his workmanlike visual impression possibly belying a heart of stone and a titanium gut. I say 'possibly' because he's looked increasingly difficult to galvanise and was all out to get the better of a 28/1 shot - 100/1 chance in third - when scraping home in a Grade 2 on his first try at three miles.

That was also his first run on good ground - which might be expected here - and he looks a more vulnerable jolly than many this week. I'm against him.

Neil Mulholland's Shantou Village is now as short as 9/2, a price which owes much to some fast ground small field demolition jobs. We know he goes in the conditions then, and if he can stay out of trouble in midfield, he looks sure to run a big race. His second to Yanworth in heavy was franked when that one ran a fine second - daylight back to the rest - in the Neptune on Wednesday.

Willie Mullins runs SEVEN (!), the pick of which could be Long Dog, Gangster and Bleu Et Rouge. The first named is the choice of Ruby Walsh, and this winning machine - seven victories in eight races, second in a big field the other run - has form on fast. He's a dual Grade 1 winner on soft and heavy, too. But... his G1 wins were at two miles, and the furthest he's raced is two and a half, meaning he has stamina to prove at this three mile trip.

Ruby couldn't ride Gangster - as a Giggingstown horse, Bryan Cooper retains that privilege - but he might have liked to. A three mile winner in a Grade 3 last time, he's won three of four starts to date, the defeat coming on Galway's quirky slopes. He has something to find with some of these on form but is capable of stepping forward. It might sound an odd thing to say but I always respect a Gigginstown horse on Gold Cup day, so no surprise if this lad prevails.

Bleu Et Rouge looks a horse of great promise for the luckless JP McManus. A winner over two and a quarter miles last time, he looked to need every yard of that trip to assert from Tombstone - disappointed on quick ground in the Supreme on Tuesday. He ought to stay, though it's difficult to be definitive, and he ought to act on the ground, with a similar caveat.

Harry Fry runs Unowhatimeanharry, a remarkable horse. Having won a bumper on his first start for Helen Nelmes, he then went a dozen runs without a win. A switch of stable worked the oracle, Fry eking out four straight wins, the last two of which have been at around this trip. 'harry has also won on quicker ground, and is hardy enough to have won a big field handicap hurdle. In short, he'll be fine with the conditions if he's classy enough. That is the big question mark.

Some big priced boats have won this since its inception, including two 33/1 chances. If we're to have another shock this time, it might be Balko Des Flos. Another 'Jiggy' (Gigginstown) horse, he has won both times he's led - so expect him to be out front - and he's capable of plenty more than he's demonstrated so far, with the ground expected to suit (half-brother to Festival-winning Salut Flo).

And the combination of faster ground and a solid pace is expected to show Fagan in a far better light. Gordon Elliott's Fair Mix gelding is unexposed and could pick a pocket or two without necessarily being good enough to win.

Likely Pace Angles:

This will be hard work for many. Lots of pace: Barters Hill, Atlantic Gold, Long Dog, Solstice Star, Champers On Ice, Jonniesofa, Balko Des Flos and Hit The Highway are all trail blazers as a rule. Something has to give.

Albert Bartlett Hurdle Tips:

A race that could descend into carnage with so many front runners, so many unproven on the ground, and so many unproven at the trip. As such, it might be worth a small 'guess' on a big price, as well as a solid option from the top of the market.

1 pt win Shantou Village 4/1 general

0.25 pts e/w Fagan 33/1 general

 

Best Albert Bartlett Hurdle offers:

totesport, betfred 1/4 1-2-3-4, Paddy 1/5 1-2-3-4

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

Your first 30 days for just £1

**

3.30 Cheltenham Gold Cup

As fascinating a Gold Cup as I can remember, even without the re-routed Vautour. I previewed this on 4th February, and nominated Smad Place each way and Don Poli to win. Although the ground may be quick enough for Don Poli, I retain the view that it is a very tricky heat and could go the way of at least five horses.

My full Gold Cup preview is here.

Likely Pace Angles:

Smad Place will probably try to lead, though Road To Riches - if he runs - is a danger there. On His Own can also trail blaze, as can O'Faolains Boy. This should be run at a strong but not suicidal gallop.

Already Advised:

0.5 pt win Don Poli 6/1 (now 9/2)

0.25 pts e/w Smad Place 12/1 (now 10/1)

 

Gold Cup Tips:

On fast ground, Don Cossack might be the one...

Best Gold Cup offers:

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

**

 4.10 Foxhunters' Chase

I cannot really explain to you why I love the Foxhunters' Chase. But I do. The same stamina-sapping track and trip of the Gold Cup, but for amateur riders on amateur horses. It's a pretty good trends race, and those historical patterns - as well as the form - can be found in my Foxhunters' Chase preview.

Despite his age, I'd like to add Paint The Clouds to my portfolio on this fast ground. It's what he wanted last year, and he didn't get it. He looks sure to go well, granted a clear passage (far from a given!)

Likely Pace Angles:

Cave Hunter, Alskamatic and Camden have all led in most of their recent races and should again be near the head of affairs, as might Current Exchange. I would imagine Victoria Pendleton will want to be out of trouble too, so expect her to try to get a prominent position. Marito and On The Fringe may be taking the brave route from further back...

Already Advised:

0.5 pt e/w It Came To Pass 14/1 (still 14/1)

0.25 pt e/w Current Event 33/1 (now 25/1)

 

On the day play:

1 pt win Paint The Clouds 6/1 general

 

Best Foxhunters' Chase offers:

bet365, Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral, betfair sports, Racebets all 1/4 1-2-3-4

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

**

 4.50 Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

"The boys' race" as it's known, this is a 2m5f handicap hurdle, and it takes some winning. Seven renewals to date, but some strong trends emerging. Firstly, all seven winners were aged five (two) or six (five), and all were second season hurdlers. In fact, all bar two of the win and placed horses were either first or second season hurdlers. In other words, they were lightly raced and progressive.

Secondly, all carried more than eleven stone. This is less of a trend than it appears, however, due to the clustering of the weights in a 'compressed handicap'. Put another way, lots of similarly rated - and therefore, weighted - horses have competed against each other.

Interestingly, perhaps, four of the last five winners won their previous starts, though Killultagh Vic broke that sequence last season. However, the placed horses don't back this factoid up, so it's one to be wary of, I think. Of more interest, I think, is that five of the seven winners were trained by Messrs. Henderson, Mullins or Nicholls, THE main men in handicap hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival.

Indeed, last year, that trio of trainers saddled the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th from the 21 runner field!

This year, they collectively saddle Laurium, Bivouac (Henderson), Buiseness Sivola, Childrens List, Whiteout, Urano (Mullins), Qualando, Mr Mix and Ibis Du Rheu. Nine of the 24. Hmm.

Qualando is well suited to conditions as he showed when winning the Fred Winter last season so, while a little more 'known' to the handicapper, his mark of 139 may not be insurmountable under the very promising Harry Cobden. Although he's far from the only one in the field, he's been laid out for this.

Of Wullie's mob, Childrens List is worth a second look. Consistent in defeat with cut in the ground, he has form on firmer footing and is still feasibly weighted after a nine pound hike for a good second last time.

But they might all have to go to beat one of the Irish handicap bankers of the week, the Gordon Elliott-trained Squouateur. A winner of three of his last four, he's gone up to a mark of 141 as a consequence. Clearly, that will make life tougher but any improvement on account of the better ground (won on yielding only try on quicker) and he will be involved. If any in this field is a potential Grade 1 horse - as recent winners have been - it is this guy.

From the same yard, Jetstream Jack makes his handicap debut having scored for the first time at Musselburgh last time. He couldn't go with the field in last season's Champion Bumper but this is a couple of rungs below Grade 1, and a couple of furlongs beyond that flat test. He's an interesting runner at an attractive price.

As always, loads of others with chance...

Likely Pace Angles:

There's actually not a huge amount of pace on here, so it may be a good plan to remain handy in what might be a packing field. Jetstream Jack and Qualando are a pair who race forwardly as a rule.

Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle Tips:

1 pt win Qualando 8/1 general

0.5 pt e/w Jetstream Jack 16/1 bet365 (1/4 1-2-3-4-5)

 

Best Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle offers:

bet365, totesport, betfred, winner, and racebets are all 1/4 1-2-3-4-5

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

**

 5.30 Grand Annual Handicap Chase

And so to the lucky last. You'll have been lucky if you manage to find the winner in this race, that much is for sure. I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting I know how this will play out, except that it will be very fast (see pace below).

I want a horse who can travel off a fast pace, and that might be one of Croco Bay, Pearls Legend and Savello.

The last named actually won this in 2014 off a three pound lower mark. With Bridget Andrews' five pound claim, he's two pounds below that rating, and is obviously proven in conditions. Ignore his pulled up effort in a Grade 1 over 2m5f on soft last time - that's not his setup - and instead look at his two mile good ground form. In that context, he's run consistently well, and Bridget will be playing her hand late if avoiding mishap.

Croco Bay was third last year on soft going off a two pound higher mark. Arguably better on top of the ground, this year's good turf may improve him a couple of places. He's well equipped to run a bold race.

A bit more left field is Pearls Legend. This chap has plenty of placed form at the trip and on good ground, and he might be perfectly suited by the speedier tempo of the Grand Annual. At 33/1, he's worth a tiny tickle, win and place.

A word too for The Saint James, who was given a very quiet ride in third in last year's Fred Winter. He could just be chucked in here off 142, and I have to have a little bit on, win only.

Likely Pace Angles:

Pace-o-rama led by Next Sensation, the speed of the speed. He'll be challenged by Arthurs Oak, Germany Calling, Red Spinner, Dunraven Storm and perhaps Pearls Legend. The Saint James and Croco Bay should be midfield with Savello waited with. This race can have a fair number of fallers due to the mad gallop they go, so you'll need to be both lucky and good!

Grand Annual Challenge Chase Tips:

0.5 pt win Savello 25/1 totesport, betfred

0.5 pt win Croco Bay 20/1 general

0.5 pt win The Saint James 16/1 general

0.25 pt e/w Pearls Legend 33/1 general

 

Best Grand Annual Challenge Chase offers:

bet365 are 1/4 1-2-3-4-5

BET365 - Back 4/1+ winner on live C4 race, get a risk-free bet on next C4 race (max £25)
PADDY - Money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd (max £25)
HILLS - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)
CORAL - Money back as a free bet if your horse falls  (max £25)
BETFAIR SPORTS - Back a winner at 3/1+, get a free bet to same stake (max £25)
BETVICTOR - Money back as a free bet if 2nd to Mullins horse (max £25)
LADBROKES - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any C4 race (max £25)
BOYLE - Money back as a free bet if 2nd or 3rd to SP Fav (max £25)
BETBRIGHT - Money back as a free bet if 2nd in any Cheltenham race (max £25)

**

Right, that's my lot. As tradition dictates, I shall be imbibing in the Brown Bear, Aldgate, tomorrow afternoon, and will look forward to re-connecting with the world after a rest and a recovery from a certain hangover!

Do leave a comment to let us know where your cash is going for the last day, and how you've been getting on this week. Winning? Hard luck stories? Share your joy/grief!

Your first 30 days for just £1
7 replies
  1. marron says:

    This will likely become one of my more successful punting festivals: Altior on day one supported by ew returns from Morning Assembly, Measureofmydreams and Bouvreuil. Forecast in the opener on day 2 followed by Sprinter Sacre and ews on Bless The Wings and Coo Star Sivola. Day 3 saw Cause of Causes supplemented by ews on Al Ferof and Bloody Mary. Can now look forward to Friday in the knowledge that I will be ahead on the week no matter what.
    Onwards and upwards!

  2. bigvern63 says:

    Great previews as always Matt, don’t religiously follow every selection, but when I am struggling, I normally look to you for inspiration!!

    Had a good 3 days so far, bigger bets have all come in (various Mullins hotpots, Thistlecrack), some good results in the handicaps (Cause of Causes, Diego Du Charmil, Ballyalton) and made the most of the generous bookie offers (Paddy Power, Coral, Skybet, Betfair & Bet 365 my personal favourites) – have £75 of free bets to play with tomorrow before I even have to think about denting the betting bank.

    The anticipation before the Festival seems to grow each year, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint – Sprinter Sacre coming back to his imperious best was magnificent and courtesy of the Shortlist, had a cheeky few quid on good old Bobs Worth who grabbed a place in the World Hurdle.

    As always, thanks for the excellent site – has enhanced my enjoyment of racing no end as well as adding a few quid to the coffers.

    Cheers, Chris

  3. Edmund Brooke says:

    Reference the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) 5.30 Cheltenham Friday.
    Surf and Turf is to be ridden by Brian Hughes, this horse has 2X FTO form and has had his long holiday.
    S&T won Betfred Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 9th Apr 2015, Brian Hughes £45K.
    Owner Carl Hinchy; solicitor; has 5 horses with trainer Kevin Frost (currently 21% Chasers) and 11 more horses with Rebecca Curtis and 2 with John Quinn, so no bit player.
    I have actually done a 50p Tricast; not a Trifecta due to expected better returns; on what I believe to be the quickest,
    Savello 25/1
    Dresden 33/1
    Workbench 33/1
    Surf and Turf 66/1

    Nearly all my antepost wagers did not run in the race expected, I will probably avoid Cheltenham in the future as I have been disappointed with the whole complexion of the new Cheltenham scenario.

  4. RomJim says:

    Enjoy the Brown Bear – poor planning on my part to miss it.
    Having a good Cheltenham including Mall Dini today……
    Big bets on Friday go on Don Poli; Let’s Dance; Childrens List and Gibralfaro.
    Best wishes

  5. Josh Wright says:

    Great stuff Matt,as always.
    Empire of Dirt has made my week betting wise so playing with bookies money, profit assured on the week.
    Quite bullish on Lough Kent and Velvet Maker in the lucky last with a few others, some of which you also fancy so maybe I will go in again 🙂 Good Luck.

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