CHELTENHAM - JANUARY 1
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2017: £176.20 (6 favourites – No winners – 5 placed – 1 unplaced)
Monday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (12.15): 2 (Aye Aye Charlie), 7 (Tikkenbar) & 8 (Whatmore)
Leg 2 (12.50): 2 (Vytu Du Roc) & 4 (Russe Blanc)
Leg 3 (1.25): 4 (Ballyandy) & 1 (Willoughby Court)
Leg 4 (2.00): 7 (Burtons Well), 6 (Theinval) & 8 (Splash Of Ginge)
Leg 5 (2.35): 8 (Supreme Steel), 2 (Lovenormoney) & 3 (Arthur’s Gift)
Leg 6 (3.10): 4 (Wholestone), 8 (Colin’s Sister) & 1 (Agrapart)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Monday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.15: Six-year-olds have claimed 14 of the 17 available toteplacepot positions to date, statistics which include four of the six winners at 3/1 - 7/2** - 9/2 - 5/1. Fergal O’Brien saddled the beaten (six-year-old) favourite last year but could go ‘two better’ this time around with fellow vintage raider AYE AYE CHARLIE in this grade/company. I have long since banged Fergal’s drum for races here at Cheltenham (see today’s list of trainers below which offers seasonal and career stats at Prestbury Park) and his soft ground winner makes some appeal here at around the 7/1 mark. Others might feel that more logical winners include TIKKENBAR and maybe even WHATMORE in a tight opening event.
Favourite factor: Four of the seven favourites (including two winners at 3/1 & 7/2**) have secured toteplacepot positions thus far via six renewals.
12.50: Nine-year-olds have secured four of the last six renewals, statistics which led me to include the 2015 winner at 25/1 in my short list for the contest, following up twelve months later with a 4/1 chance. The wheels came off last year but the only relevant entry this time around is VYTA DU ROC who was pulled up in the contest twelve months ago when the jockey lost his irons. Probably beaten at the time, Nicky Henderson’s raider can benefit from first time blinds in a less competitive renewal. A 4/1 chance with 15 rivals to beat last year, 2/1 (if attainable) would be a fair enough offer in this five runner ‘short field’ event. Whatever the media tell you about horses loving this type of ground, that comment is far from the truth as it is like running on sand as opposed to concrete for us which let’s be honest, is damn hard work. Some horses are simply braver/tougher which helps their cause, with one such thoroughbred being RUSSE BLANC who will be labouring up the hill when others have cried enough. BALLYMALIN was ‘entitled’ to refuse to jump four out in desperate conditions at Haydock the last day but once again, conditions might be a tad softer than idea for the Twiston-Davies representative. New readers might like to know that the term ‘short field’ relates to 5/6/7 runner races in which only the first two horses home qualify from each way & Placepot perspectives.
Favourite factor: Nine of the fifteen winners to date have started at odds of 8/1 or less. 11 of the 17 favourites have finished in the frame, though the statistics include just two winners, whilst pointing out that two of the last three gold medallists were sent off at 50/1 & 25/1.
Record of the course winners in the second race:
1/9—Southfield Theatre (good to soft)
1/4—Vyta Du Roc (soft)
2/12—Lamb Or Cod (2 x good)
1.25: I have run out of excuses for Yanworth for all the ability the horse retains, especially as BALLYANDY and WILLOUGHBY COURT might prove to be more durable types as the years go by. This pair should cope with the conditions well enough, whilst there will be worse outsiders at Cheltenham today than Ami Desbois whose 12/1 quote catches the eye, though not quite enough to include in my Placepot permutation. I appreciate that Yanworth is better off with Willoughby Court (compared to the last day) but as an eight-year-old now, Alan King’s talented horse is getting beaten too often for the potential rewards (odds) on offer.
Favourite factor: Six favourites have prevailed via fourteen renewals, whilst the biggest starting price returned about the winner thus far was the 2011 winner at odds of 16/1. Six of the eight beaten favourites finished out of the frame though in all fairness, two of those events were of the ‘win only’ variety.
Record of the course winners in the ‘Dipper Chase’:
1/1—Willoughby Court (good to soft)
1/7—Sizing Tennessee (soft)
2/4—Ballyandy (good to soft & soft)
2.00: 13 of the 16 winners have carried weights of 11-4 or less, whilst eight-year-olds have won three of the last seven renewals. Putting the stats and facts together produces a short list of BURTONS WELL, THEINVAL and SPLASH OF GINGE who has offered followers of this service so much fun/reward in recent seasons. I doubt that Twisty’s grand servant will be able to score again under the terms and conditions of the contest but there is no way I am leaving him out of the Placepot equation with plenty of moisture in the ground. BURTONS WELL is the logical winner of the contest, especially with THEINVAL having to prove his worth on this going. Please don’t believe that ‘Ginge’ is included in the mix purely because of his exploits on our behalf because those of you with decent memories (despite another year having ticked by) will recall that I wrote off his chance the last day. For the record, it’s worth recalling that ‘Splash’ won on this card on soft ground two years ago.
Favourite factor: Ten of the eighteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions (five winners).
Record of the course winners in the fourth contest:
2/4—Shantou Flyer (good & soft)
1/4—Viconte Du Noyer (good to soft)
3/12—Splash Of Ginge (2 x soft & good to soft)
2.35: Seven-year-olds have won six of the last twelve contests, with the first named runner in my list in 2015 (Rolling Maul) scoring at 10/1, who was the only vintage representative in the field! Eight of the last ten winners have carried a maximum weight of 10-13, statistics which brings feather-weighted SUPREME STEEL into the equation at a big price, albeit he looks held by the rapidly improve LOVENORMONEY on recent form. That said, the relevant Chepstow race was his first assignment for several months and at the odds on offer, SUPREME STEEL could outrun his price given the weight trend in place. LOVENOTMONEY cannot be left out of the mix however, a comment which similarly applies to soft ground course winner ARTHUR’S GIFT. The going might prove a tad too slow for Buckle Street who would otherwise have been considered off his low mark.
Favourite factor: Only six market leaders have finished in the frame via fifteen contests (two winners) though that said, 32/42 available toteplacepot positions were filled by horses returned at 12/1 or less.
Record of the course winners in the fifth event:
1/1—Arthur’s Gift (soft)
3.10: COLIN’S SISTER was still travelling well at this distance when disappointing supporters the last day and deserves another chance, especially given the Wetherby form line over WHOLESTONE who looks sure to run his race, as ever seems to be the case. Last year’s winner AGRAPART cannot be left out of the mix with Nick Williams having won with five of his last ten runners, one of the ‘losers’ being his bronze medallist Tea For Two in the ‘King George’. Bryony Frost will be ‘put up for Prime Minister’ if she can steer Old Guard to victory on this ground. Happy New Year!
Favourite factor: Four favourites have obliged via twelve renewals during the last thirrteen years. Nine of the twelve winners scored at a top price of 7/1.
Record of the course winners in the Placepot finale:
3/9—Old Guard (good – good to soft - soft)
3/5—Wholestone (2 x soft & good)
1/4—Royal Vacation (soft)
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 (two or more) on the Cheltenham card on Monday – followed by this season’s ratio at the track (in brackets) and their career totals + profits/losses accrued on both counts:
7 runners—Nigel Twiston-Davies (5/29 +22) – 139/1409 – loss of 371 points
6—Colin Tizzard (7/26 – loss of 6 points) – 39/360 +29
3—Harry Fry (1/7 – loss of 3 points) – 13/79 – loss of 11 points
3—Graeme McPherson (First runners this season) – 0/22
3—Paul Nicholls (3/24 – of 12 points) – 211/1517 – loss of 251 points
3—Fergal O’Brien (3/17 +2) – 19/145 +51
2—Philip Hobbs (1/12 – loss of 7 points) – 148/1220 – loss of 291 points
2—Nicky Henderson (6/21 – slight loss) – 174/1342 – loss of 253 points
2—Kerry Lee (2/3 +5) – 2/11 – loss of 3 points
2—Nick Williams (0/5) – 13/147 – loss of 35 points
+ 23 trainers who have declared just runner
56 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Catterick: £185.60 – 6 favourites – 5 winners & 1 unplaced
Exeter: £333.00 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced
Fakenham: £68.90 – 7 favourites – 1 winner – 3 placed – 3 unplaced
Musselburgh: £359.00 – 6 favourites – 1 winner – 1 placed unplaced
Southwell (A/W): £102.30 – 6 favourites – 3 winners & 3 unplaced