CHELTENHAM – JANUARY 27
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2017: £33.60 (7 favourites: 2 winners – 2 placed – 3 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (12.40): 6 (Apple’s Shakira) & 3 (Erick Le Rouge)
Leg 2 (1.15): 2 (Ballyandy), 3 (Full Irish) & 1 (Sizing Tennessee)
Leg 3 (1.50): 3 (O O Seven), 9 (Coo Star Siviola) & 1 (Frodon)
Leg 4 (2.25): 6 (American), 1 (Bristol De Mai) & 8 (The Last Samurai)
Leg 5 (3.00): 8 (Pacific De Baune) & 9 (Santini)
Leg 6 (3.35): 6 (Finian’s Oscar), 3 (Wholestone) & 2 (Beer Goggles)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.40: I was in the Gold Cup restaurant at Cheltenham at this meeting eight years ago and you could have heard the proverbial pin drop when the 100/1 winner Baccalaureate scooted clear up the run-in. That said, seven of the last eleven renewals have been won by favourites of one description or another and with APPLE’S SHIKARI having been declared (from two options) by Nicky Henderson, the recent trend looks set to continue. ERICK LE ROUGE offers an alternative forecast/each way play if you are betting with the bookmaker’s money after a successful day on Friday.
Favourite factor: Only four of the last 16 favourites have finished out of the frame, though six of the last 15 winners have scored at 100/1--50/1--25/1—25/1--11/1--11/2.
Record of the course winner in the opening event:
2/2—Apple’s Shikari (2 x soft)
1.15: Two of the last 13 winners of this event went on to win the discarded Cathcart Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, whilst the 2005 winner (Lacdoudal) finished second in the inaugural running of the ‘Jewson’. The winner eight years ago was Ping Pong Sivola who went on to finish second best to stable companion Something Wells in the ‘Freddie Williams’ whilst the 2009 winner (Hey Big Spender) was still going really well in the ‘Jewson‘ when exiting the contest. The 2012 winner Bless The Wings ran tenth in Hunt Ball’s contest, before the 2013 gold medallist Vino Griego ran second in the Byrne Group Plate at the Festival at odds of 11/1. The 2014 winner was made 7/2 favourite for the 'Kim Muir' but finished down the field. The next winner (Generous Ransom) was placed at 8/1 in the Listed Novice Handicap Chase at the Festival. Last year’s gold medallist was pulled up in the ‘RSA’. Upwards and onwards in positive mode by informing that seven-year-olds have won five of the last eight contests, with vintage representatives coming to the gig on a four-timer on this occasion. BALLYANDY and FULL IRISH are the relevant raiders this time around, whilst SIZING TENNESSEE demands respect, given that Colin Tizzard held two options at the top of the weight in midweek when looking to land his third win in the race in the last nine years.
Favourite factor: Just one favourite has prevailed thus far, whilst 14 of the last 16 favourites have finished out of the frame!
Record of the course winner in the second race:
1/8—Sizing Tennessee (soft)
2/5—Ballyandy (good & good to soft)
2/7—Solstice Star (soft & heavy)
1.50: Four recent winners of this race went on to contest what was then the ‘Mildmay Of Flete’ (now the Racing Post Plate) without any of the scorers finishing in the frame at the Festival. 13 of the 14 horses that contested races at the Festival after winning this event finished out with the washing. I cannot remember the last time that Paul Nicholls would have saddled just one runner at one of the main Cheltenham meetings but that is the scenario today, whereby the chance of FRODON has to be respected. Anyone who doubted Paul’s word earlier in the season that he was going to ‘downsize’ his number of runners this season have been proved wrong. O O SEVEN has been the subject of some support overnight, whilst the Placepot chance for COO STAR SIVOLA is there for all to see, especially with Nicky Williams having saddled four of his last ten runners to winning effect.
Favourite factor: Six of the 20 favourites have won to date, offering punters a profit of £762.50 to one hundred pound level stakes. 10 of the 20 market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions.
Record of the course winner in the third contest on the card:
2/5—Shantou Flyer (good & soft)
1/4—O O Seven (good)
1/4—King’s Odyssey (heavy)
1/7—Coo Star Sivola (good to soft)
2.25: No matter which way this event pans out, we have to suggest that this is a poor renewal given that it is meant to be a realistic Gold Cup trial which in all honesty, the race has rarely proved to be. BRISTOL DE MAI still has plenty of doubters but surely if there is to be a subsequent ‘Blue Riband’ winner in the field, it is the Nigel Twiston-Davies representative. AMERICAN could yet be anything I guess, whilst ground conditions have worked out well for supporters of THE LAST SAMURAI. If I had to opt for an outsider to outrun his odds, the nomination would be Singlefarmpayment.
Favourite factor: The last 19 favourites have all been beaten, whilst nine of the last 18 market leaders have failed to claim toteplacepot positions.
Record of the course winners in the Cotswold Chase:
1/4—Definitely Red (soft)
3/12—Perfect Candidate (good – soft – heavy)
1/8—Theatre Guide (good)
2/5—Singlefarmpayment (good & heavy)
3.00: With Alan King not represented this year (Alan has secured three of the last six renewals), the race looks best left to Nicky Henderson’s pair, namely PACIFIC DE BAUNE and SANTINI, not that I would be interested in having a bet in the race aside form or favourite wager. It’s difficult to tell how much BLACK OP will have improved for his facile success the other week but if there is a ‘dark horse’ lurking in the wings, it’s the Tom George raider I’ll wager.
Favourite factor: Four favourites have won during the last decade with market leaders coming to the gig on a hat trick this time around. Although 16/1 and 12/1 winners have emerged during the last six years, the other gold medallists have scored at a top price of 13/2 via the last ten renewals. The last six favourites have finished in the frame.
Record of the course winners in the fifth event:
2/2—Slate House (good & soft)
3.35: This meeting was ruined by the passing of Many Clouds after last year’s brave victory in the ‘Cotswold’ and now there will tears shed before this race is even run I’ll wager, when BEER GOGGLES is ‘stripped off’ in the paddock by connections for reasons I won’t dwell on just now. To say that a victory for the seven-year-old would be ‘emotional’ is the biggest understatement of this year (or arguably any season – save for Aldaniti in 1981) but that scenario is a distinct possibility if Richard Johnson’s mount can build on his success last time out Newbury. Emotions aside, FINIAN’S OSCAR (winner of six of his nine races to date) and WHOLESTONE (rarely runs a bad race) are marginally preferred to THE WORLDS END if Beer Goggles fails to score, at least leaving some packets of tissues for sale in the kiosks for the next meeting at Prestbury Park.
Favourite factor: Six favourites have won during the last decade, though three of the other four market leaders finished out with the washing when missing out on Placepot positions.
Record of the course winners in the Placepot finale:
4/6—Wholestone (2 x soft – good – heavy)
2/9—Court Minstrel (good & good to soft)
3/4—Thomas Campbell (2 x good & soft)
1/1—Finan’s Oscar (good to 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 Saturday – followed by their seasonal (in brackets) and five year ratios at the track + profits/losses accrued on both counts:
6 runners—Tom George (1/13 – loss of 6) – 6/97 – loss of 55
6—Colin Tizzard (7/32 +28) – 19/187 – loss of 80
5—Nicky Henderson (7/23 – marginal profit) – 36/332 – loss of 143
5—Nigel Twiston-Davies (7/36 +28) – 28/242 – loss of 64
4—Nick Williams (0/7) – 5/50 +19
3—Fergal O’Brien (3/20 – marginal loss) – 14/109 +33
2—Brian Ellison (0/2) – 0/20
2—Harry Fry (1/10 – loss of 6) – 13/76 – loss of 8
2—Warren Greatrex (1/9 – loss of 5) – 4/64 – loss of 34
2—Philip Hobbs (1/14 – loss of 9) – 34/242 – loss of 17
2—Martin Keighley (2/13 +23) – 11/95 +18
2—Emma Lavelle (0/1) – 1/41 – loss of 37
2—Sophie Leech (0/12) – 1/31 – loss of 10 points
2—Evan Williams (0/5) – 7/87 – loss of 3
+ 21 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
60 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Doncaster: £591.50 – 6 favourites – 1 winner & 5 unplaced
Uttoxeter: £163.30 – 6 favourites – 4 winners & 2 unplaced
Lingfield: £82.20 – 8 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 4 unplaced
Kempton: £31.40 – 7 favourites – 3 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced