CHELTENHAM – MARCH 17
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £1,680.90 (7 favourites – 3 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced)
Friday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (1.30): 2 (Charli Parcs), 13 (Soldier In Action) & 5 (Defi Du Seuil)
Leg 2 (2.10): 8 (Mick Jazz), 12 (Winter Escape), 6 (North Hill Harvey) & 23 (Jaleo)
Leg 3 (2.50): 6 (Death Duty) & 15 (Augusta Kate)
Leg 4 (3.30): 10 (Outlander), 8 (More Of That) & 2 (Champagne West)
Leg 5 (4.10): 16 (On The Fringe) & 18 (Paint The Clouds)
Leg 6 (4.50): 4 (Tommy Silver), 22 (Battleford) & 21 (Rather Be)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Friday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.30: Nicky Henderson's raider CHARLI PARCS commands plenty of attention, notwithstanding stable companion SOLDIER IN ACTION, given that Nicky will have literally had dozens of horses that he could have considered for this event at the start of the season. The fact that Nicky has saddled more winners of this race (six in total) than any other trainer adds confidence, especially with the Seven Barrows maestro having secured three of the last eight contests. There is also the point to be made that Nicky served up a 1-2-3 in the race two years ago! Others to consider in the opening event on the last day of the Festival include DEFI DU SEUIL (terrific record at this venue) and LANDOFHOPEANDGLORY from last year’s 'successful yard', albeit the name Joseph takes centre stage now instead of Aidan .
Favourite factor: Six favourites have won during the study period which is not a bad return considering the competitive nature of this event. Eleven market leaders have finished in the frame.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'Triumph':
3/3—Defi Du Seuil (2 x good to soft & soft)
2.10: Although ‘only’ backed up by eleven placed representatives in the last eighteen renewals, five-year-olds command respect having won ten contests during the period. The fact that 45 of the last 56 winners were five or six years of age should also sway you towards younger horses! Horses carrying weights of 11-1 or less have won fourteen of the last eighteen renewals and putting the stats and facts together, my ‘short list’ consists of the four horses towards the bottom of the list (accordingly), namely MICK JAZZ, WINTER ESCAPE, JALEO and MOHAAYED. My relevant four horses against the field twelve months ago included the first named winner at 8/1 and another placed horse. If the weight trends are breached this time around, the joker in the pack could prove to be NORTH HILL HARVEY.
Favourite factor: The last ten winners have scored at 50/1--20/1--20/1--20/1--14/1-12/1--11/1--10/1--10/1—8/1, though two of the previous three contests were won by joint favourites. Only four of the last seventeen favourites have finished in the frame, statistics which include two winners.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the County Hurdle:
1/1—Ivanovich Gorbatov (good)
1/1—Diego Du Charmil (good)
2/3—North Hill Harvey (2 x soft)
2/8—Court Minstrel (good & good to soft)
2.50: Six-year-olds have won five of the last ten renewals of the 'Albert Bartlett' (33/1 runner up last year) and the trend could be extended by the likes of DEATH DUTY, AUGUSTA KATE and WHOLESTONE. Last year’s result (horses filled the frame at 11/1, 33/1 & 20/1) set up the great Placepot dividend, as only 5.3% of the live units going into the race got through to the Gold Cup leg. I would love to offer outsiders in the Placepot equation, though horses towards the head of the market look to have something of a stranglehold on the race this time around.
Favourite factor: Eight of the thirteen favourites have secured toteplacepot positions to date, statistics which include four winners.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'Albert Bartlett':
3/4—Wholestone (2 x soft & good)
3.30: Willie Mullins had a red letter day on Thursday but the thought occurs that DJAKADAM (market leader in the overnight trade press) is oh so vulnerable to others in the field. Eleven-year-old CUE CARD is also worth opposing at the odds on offer, given that he has ‘only’ won three of his eight assignments at Cheltenham. I know the Cheltenham crowd would become frenzied if Paddy Brennan’s mount won, but I feel I have to offer three ‘outsiders’ against the fancied horses on this occasion. My three speculative calls against the other eleven contenders consists of OUTLANDER, MORE OF THAT and CHAMPAGNE WEST. If you don’t think that can happen, cast your mind back to an age when 15 successive Gold Cup races slipped by (ending in 2002) when favourites failed to win. Media hype will have you believe that this is another scintillating renewal of the Gold Cup. Let’s get one thing straight whatever the result, it isn’t.
Favourite factor: Eight of the last fourteen favourites have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Twelve of the nineteen jollies have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the Gold Cup:
2/7—Champagne West (good to soft & soft)
3/8—Cue Card (2 x good & good to soft)
1/2—Empire Of Dirt (good)
1/5—Irish Cavalier (good to soft)
1/4—Minella Rocco (good to soft)
4/6—More Of That (3 x good & soft)
1/5—Saphir Du Rheu (soft)
1/9—Smad Place (heavy)
4.10: PAINT THE CLOUDS attempts to go 'two better' having snared the bronze medal in each of the last two years and his Placepot chance is there for all to see. That said, ON THE FRINGE has won both of the races in question and there seems little reason why the placings should be reversed. The official figures suggest that WONDERFUL CHARM has plenty in hand of both of the afore-mentioned horses, though I’m not so sure. ASK THE WEATHERMAN is another horse to consider over your favourite late night tipple/early morning beverage.
Favourite factor: Five favourites have won via the last eighteen contests whilst the figure increases to ten when applying the first three in the market ruling.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the Foxhunters:
1/5—Current Event (good to soft)
1/2—Let’s Get Serious (good)
1/3—Mendip Express (soft)
2/4—On The Fridge (good & soft)
2/6—Paint the Clouds (good & good to firm)
2/3—Salsify (good & soft)
4.50: Six-year-olds have won five of the eight renewals, whilst Willie Mullins comes to the gig having secured three of the last six contests. Eight vintage representatives line up this time around, two of which (BATTLEFORD and CASTELLO SFORZA) will be saddled by the Irish maestro. RATHER BE is another vintage representative to be respected though I alerted some people last weekend to the chance of TOMMY SILVER in this event, following some ‘quiet support’ for the five-year-old at the time. Paul Nicholls has had a quiet meeting thus far, but he has produced some big priced rabbits out of the hat towards the end of the week in recent seasons and TOMMY SILVER could be another of them.
Favourite factor: Two of the seven favourites to date secured toteplacepot positions (one winner).
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'Martin Pipe':
3/7—Lac Fontana (2 x good) & heavy)
1/6—Dell’ Arca (good)
1/1—Thomas Campbell (good)
1/1—Protek Des Flos (heavy)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Cheltenham card on Friday (two or more runners):
11 winners—Willie Mullins
2—J P O’Brien
2—Henry De Bromhead
2—Dr Richard Newland
+ 43 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
143 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Fakenham: £457.30 – 7 favourites – 3 winners & 4 unplaced
Lingfield (A/W): £9.50 – 6 favourites – 3 winners – 1 placed – 2 unplaced
Wolverhampton: £114.50 – 1 winner – 3 placed – 2 unplaced