Cheltenham – It’s a family affair

family affairI do hope you had a successful week at Cheltenham. Although there are 51 weeks before next year’s Festival comes along, there is no shortage of advice around for ante-post bets already. I won’t be tying any money up for that length of time, and in any case, I have an almost unerring ability to put my early money on horses that don’t actually make it to the races. This year, Darlan, Last Instalment and Dynaste in the RSA Chase all resulted in dead money, but, of course, that’s one of the perils of ante-post betting.

One of the stories of the Festival was the way you just couldn’t turn round for family connections. The meeting closes with two of those, the races named after former trainers Martin Pipe and Johnny Henderson. David Pipe had Gevry Chambertin in his father’s race, but the favourite, like all others in the handicaps, could not win. Nicky Henderson supplied more than a quarter of the field for the JH Grand Annual Chase, but the best he could do was second place with Kid Cassidy.

Sam Waley-Cohen had three efforts for his dad, and came home first on Rajdhani Express in the Rewards4Racing Chase, before a fall from Frisco Depot and third place on Long Run in the Gold Cup.

There were more success for trainer/jockey combinations with the Tizzards (Colin and Joe with Cue Card), Twiston-Davies (Nigel and Sam with The New One) and Mullins (Willie and Patrick with Back In Focus) families all pairing up with winners. All in all, then, a good week for family ties, and those victories providing good cause for celebration.

Now we all know that the bookies are always on the look out for novelty bets to tie in with big sporting events. Next year, perhaps, they’ll be offering prices for how many parent/offspring combinations win at Cheltenham. Put that market up now and I might just have a go.

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