CHELTENHAM - NOVEMBER 18
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £1,898.00 (8 favourites - 2 winners - 2 placed - 4 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (12.40): 4 (Gumball) & 6 (Apple’s Shakira)
Leg 2 (1.15): 1 (Ballyoptic), 3 (West Approach) & 2 (Black Corton)
Leg 3 (1.50): 6 (Premier Bond), 5 (Three Faces West) & 7 (Doing Fine)
Leg 4 (2.25): 10 (Starchitect), 1 (Kylemore Lough), 7 (Foxtail Hill) & 12 (Aqua Dude)
Leg 5 (3.00): 3 (Rocky’s Treasure) & 6 (Kk Lexion)
Leg 6 (3.30): 8 (Poker Play), 5 (Red Indian) & 14 (Coup De Princeau)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.40: Philip Hobbs has won this event on the last two occasions when represented and with five winners to his name at the corresponding Saturday Cheltenham meeting during the last six years, Philip appears to have found a great opportunity for GUMBALL to continue a fine start to his career. Philip’s winner last year went on to win the ‘Triumph’ at the festival and this is the official trial for that race at this stage of the season. APPLE’S SHAKIRA rates as a definite threat in receipt of seven pounds, a concession that might ask a serious question of GUMBALL.
Favourite factor: 14 of the last 19 favourites have finished in the frame, statistics which include eight winners.
1.15: This is more of a competitive feature (despite only three runners having been declared) than was the case last year when Thistlecrack frightened off any serious challengers. The old adage of backing the ‘outsider of three’ has some attraction here with Paul Nicholls having dominated the Saturday fixture down the years, notwithstanding the fact that BLACK CORTON is the only course winner in the line up. WEST APPROACH receives three pounds from BALLYOPTIC which should bring the pair close together and one way another my friends, tens of thousands of Placepot units will be blown out of the water here, irrespective of the result. One of the media ‘experts’ recently said that if you backed the outsider of three in every relevant race, that you would go skint very quickly in his own inimitable style. In my recent video, I suggested that ‘media’ types were too lazy to back up what they said with actual facts and this is a case in point. Off the cuff remarks like this are ‘throwaway lines’ that have no place in the sport from my viewpoint. The comment might (I repeat might) be accurate, but that’s not the point. I will offer the real stats regarding the ‘outsider of three’ issue such as soon as I get some time. Another casual remark this week was that Tim Easterby had his team in “great form”. Out of interest, Tim’s latest ratio stands at 8/129 under both codes, offering a level stake loss of 75 points. I rest my case.
Favourite factor: Nine favourites have won during the last twenty years, though just five of the other eleven market leaders additionally claimed toteplacepot positions.
Record of the course winner in the second race:
1/1—Black Corton (good)
1.50: 17 of the last 18 winners have carried weights of 11-6 or less, whilst 13 of those gold medallists were burdened with a maximum of 10-13. Seven year-olds lead the eight-year-olds 5-2 via the last seven renewals and putting the stats and facts together, only PREMIER BOND possesses ticks in both of the trend boxes. THREE FACES WEST and DOING FINE stand out from the crowd via lowly weighted horses and are added into the Placepot mix accordingly. The reserve nomination is awarded to PERFECT CANDIDATE. Minella Rocco was the beaten (11/2) favourite in the race last year and for all that his runner up effort in the Gold Cup stands him in good stead, he is not one to rely on I’ll wager, especially with plenty of moisture underfoot. Trainers and jockeys were suggesting that yesterday’s official ground of good to soft was ‘generous’ to say the least, quotes which were proven by the recorded times of the races.
Favourite factor: Three clear market leaders have snared gold of late alongside one co favourite, whilst 13 of the 24 favourites have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.
Record of the course winners in the third event on the card:
1/5—Minella Rocco (good to soft)
2/11—Perfect Candidate (good & heavy)
2/5—Vicente (good & good to soft)
1/4—Doing Fine (good)
2.25: Six and seven-year-olds have claimed 11 of the last 14 renewals of this BetVictor Gold Cup (seven-year-olds lead 8-3 during the relevant period), whilst vintage representatives have secured an additional 18 toteplacepot positions in the process. 11 of the last 15 gold medallists carried a maximum weight of 11-2, whilst the Pond House (David and Martin Pipe) team has claimed eight of the last 18 contests. Putting the facts and stats together suggests that the likes of STARCHITECT and AQUA DUDE are the each way plays in the contest. That said, KYLEMORE LOUGH has been laid out for this event for some considerable time, whilst FOXTAIL HILL could lead this field a merry dance from the front and they will have to get to him on the turn for home as I doubt that Colin Tizzard’s raider will be coming back to them! Tully East will attract plenty of support I guess, though Irish trained runners have secured just one renewal (2009) since they previously scored 37 years ago. For the record, there will be worse 40/1 chance on the card than Splash Of Ginge I’ll wager.
Favourite factor: Six favourites have won during the last 18 years, whilst 10 market leaders finished in the frame during the study period.
Record of the course winners in the feature race:
1/3—Le Prezien (soft)
1/1—Double Treasure (good)
1/3—Viconte Du Noyer (good to soft)
1/2—Tully East (good to soft)
2/5—Foxtail Hill (good & soft)
2/5—Ballyalton (good & good to soft)
1/1—Plaisir D’Amour (good)
2/10—Splash Of Ginge (good to soft & soft)
3.00: Six-year-olds have won seven of the last fifteen renewals of this event, whilst claiming an additional nine toteplacepot positions in the process. The last eighteen winners have carried weights of 11-2 or less and putting the stats and facts together four years ago led to your truly making a case out for the 20/1 winner Return Spring. The following 9/2 winner Katkeau was also short listed and this year's main focus centres on ROCKY’S TREASURE and KK LEXION. Last year’s 20/1 soft ground winner Anteros has been nibbled at on the exchanges overnight which makes for interesting reading, possibly on account of the ground which will have offered connections hope on Friday.
Favourite factor: Four clear market leaders (all within the last thirteen years) have won this event alongside two joint favourites. 15 of the last 25 favourites have claimed Placepot positions.
Record of the course winners in the fifth event:
1/8—Dell’ Arca (good)
2/3—Thomas Campbell (2 x good)
1/9—Rolling Maul (soft)
3.35: Five and six-year-olds have (equally) shared 18 of the 19 renewals to date, with RED INDIAN and COUP DE PRICEAU expected to figure prominently in a highly competitive Placepot finale. Four-year-old POKER PLAY catches the eye as well however, especially with the Pipe team having landed some great gambles in this event down the years. If you see a Poker Play bus (Number 8) coming up the high street failing to stop where it should, jump aboard as best you can!
Favourite factor: Five favourites have obliged to date, whilst eleven of the twenty two market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions. Eleven of the last seventeen winners were returned at 40/1-16/1-16/1-16/1-14/1-12/1-12/1-12/1-12/1-10/1-8/1.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (two or more) on the Cheltenham card on Saturday followed by their number of winners (where relevant) at the corresponding (Saturday) meeting during the last six years:
7 runners—Paul Nicholls (8)
6—Nicky Henderson (1)
4—Colin Tizzard (2)
3—Philip Hobbs (5)
3—Fergal O’Brien (2)
3—David Pipe (5)
2—Harry Fry (1)
2—J P O’Brien
2—Jonjo O’Neill (3)
+ 23 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
74 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Uttoxeter: £728.10 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced
Wetherby: £229.40 – 6 favourites – 1 winner – 1 placed – 4 unplaced
Lingfield: £99.90 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced
Wolverhampton: £106.00 – 8 favourites – 4 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced