CHELTENHAM – JANUARY 28
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £194.50 (6 favourites: 2 winner--1 placed--3 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (12.00): 2 (Defi Du Seuil) & 1 (Charlie Parcs)
Leg 2 (12.35): 12 (More Buck’s), 5 (Singlefarmpayment), 8 (Theo’s Charm) & 7 (Burtons Well)
Leg 3 (1.10): 2 (Annacotty), 5 (Aso), 1 (Shantou Flyer) & 3 (Saphir Du Rheu)
Leg 4 (1.45): 6 (Un De Sceaux) & 5 (Top Gamble)
Leg 5 (2.15): 4 (Thistlecrack) & 3 (Smad Place)
Leg 6 (2.50): 3 (Cause Of Causes), 4 (Cantlow), 2 (Any Currency) & 9 (Auvergnat)
Suggested stake: 512 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.00: I was in the Gold Cup restaurant at Cheltenham at this meeting seven 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, six of the last ten renewals have been won by favourites of one description or another and with DEFI DU SEUIL and CHARLIE PARCS having been decalred, it’s well odds on that another fancied runner will oblige this time around, albeit a 25/1 winner rocked the boat again last year. The fact that DEFI DU SEUIL is a dual course winner confirms the win selection, especially as the two victories have been gained under yielding conditions. The rain has been pretty constant for the last twelve hours here in Bristol at the time of writing, though as this is the first event on the nine race card, the ground should not be too bad.
Favourite factor: Only four of the last 15 favourites have finished out of the frame, though six of the last 14 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—Defi Du Seuil (2 x good to soft)
12.35: 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. Venetia Williams has saddled three of the last 11 winners of the race and her 8/1 representative two years ago was beaten a neck when securing a Placepot position. Nine of the last twelve winners have carried a maximum weight of 11-3 which suggests that the top six runners in the handicap could against it here, though the ground has come right for seven-year-old SINGLEFARMPAYMENT. Vintage representatives have won five of the last ten contests which also brings MORE BUCK’S and THEO’S CHARM into the equation alongside Venetia's raider BURTONS WELL. The rain will certain aid and abet his chance
Favourite factor: Just one favourite has prevailed thus far, whilst 12 of the last 14 favourites have finished out of the frame!
Record of the course winner in the second race:
1/2—Ibis Du Rheu (good)
1/4—Champers On Ice (heavy)
2/2—Singlefarmpayment (good & heavy)
1.10: 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. 12 of the 13 horses that contested races at the Festival after winning this event finished out with the washing. The rain has come just in time to help ANNACOTTY in his quest to land a hat trick in the contest and Alan King’s raider makes most appeal. It’s worth noting that Alan saddled five winners on the corresponding day last year, the trainer having six chances on the Cheltenham card this time around and nine in total around the country. Seven-year-olds have won three of the last five contests whilst five of the last six winners have carried a minimum burden of 10-13. Those collective stats bring SHANTOU FLYER, ASO and SAPHIR DU RHEU into the Placepot mix at the very least.
Favourite factor: Six of the 19 favourites have won to date, offering punters a profit of £862.50 to one hundred pound level stakes. 10 of the 19 market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions.
Record of the course winner in the third contest on the card:
2/3—Shantou Flyer (good & soft)
3/10—Annacotty (good to soft – soft – heavy)
1/4—Saphir Du Rheu (soft)
2/12—Thomas Crapper (good & good to soft)
1.45: This is the ‘Clarence House’ eveny which was ‘lost’ from Ascot last week. Paul Nicholls has saddled four of the last eight winners of this Grade 1 event, three of which were returned as favourites. Paul’s raider DODGING BULLETS will be better suited to this track than would have been the case at the Berkshire venue but even then, the rain will not have increased his chance of pulling of what might be considered an unlikely victory. Defending champion UN DE SCEAUX has lost his main rival (Ar Mad) in my considered opinion which makes life easier, which means that TOP GAMBLE could emerge as the each way alternative option in the contest. Connections of UN DE SCEAUX might have preferred the race to have been run last weekend I’ll wager, but Ruby’s mount should still prevail.
Favourite factor: 14 of the 16 winners since the turn of the Millennium have been returned at 5/1 or less, stats which include eight successful favourites.
Record of the course winners in the ‘Clarence House’:
4/9—Dodging Bullets (2 x good & 2 x good to soft)
2/10—Eastlake (good & good to soft)
1/2—Un De Sceaux (good to soft)
2/3—Uxizandre (good & soft)
2.15: 12 winners of this race have gone on to contest the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same year. Looks Like Trouble won the ‘Blue Riband’ whilst Exotic Dancer finished second in the big race nine years ago. 10 of the other 11 representatives finished out of the frame, statistics which include last year’s heavy ground winner SMAD PLACE who looked like a potential champion that day when handing out a twelve length beating to MANY CLOUDS. That proved not to be the case for Alan King and his connections unfortunately, though it will be interesting to see how much rain has got into the ground by the time that flag fall arrives. Either way, THISTLECRACK does not seem to be inconvenienced by any conditions from what we have witnessed thus far and if Colin Tizzard’s nine-year-old arrives at Prestbury Park in the same form as has been the case on his last nine assignments, the others will be fighting out the place money in all probability. That said, you might like to look at the poor record of favourites in this race before wading in to take the skinny odds on offer.
Favourite factor: The last 18 favourites have all been beaten, whilst nine of the last 17 market leaders have failed to claim toteplacepot positions.
Record of the course winners in the Cotswold Chase:
1/5—Many Couds (soft)
1/8—Smad Place (heavy)
3/4—Thistlecrack (good to soft – soft – heavy)
2/9—Perfect Candidate (good & heavy)
2.50: Regular readers will know that these cross country events fail to ignite the blue touch paper as far as I am concerned, though I bow to the masses who love the ‘uncertainty’ relating to such events. I thought I was going to get away with it on a nine race card but it was not to be. I have opted for four horses with which to land the Placepot dividend, hoping to still be in the running when this ‘lottery’ is contested, namely CAUSE OF CAUSES, CANTLOW, ANY CURRENCY and AUVERGNAT. The ground might have gone against the Willie Mullins runner (Alechi Inois) at the top of the weights though that said, only my last named selection would be suited by soft/heavy ground, with rain due to fall again by this hour according to the ‘experts’.
Favourite factor: Four of the last seven favourites have prevailed, the other three gold medallists during the study period having been sent off at 9/2.
Record of the course winners in the Cross Country Placepot finale:
2/18—Any Currency (2 x good to soft)
2/5—Cause Of Causes (good & good to soft)
1/7—Cantlow (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 on the Cheltenham card on Saturday – followed by their ratios at the track this season + profits/losses accrued:
9 runners—Paul Nicholls (6/36 – loss of 4 points)
6—Alan King (2/17 – loss of 4 points)
5—Nicky Henderson (4/32 – loss of 14 points)
4—Philip Hobbs (3/26 – loss of 10 points)
4—David Pipe (2/14 – loss of 1 point)
4—Nigel Twiston-Davies (5/29 – loss of 10 points)
4—Evan Williams (1/10 – Profit of 7 points)
4—Nick Williams (2/5 – Profit of 17 points)
3—Harry Fry (1/11 – loss of 5 points)
3—Martin Keighley (0/15)
3—Fergal O’Brien (3/16 – Profit of 7 points)
3—Colin Tizzard (5/38 – Profit of 11 points)
3—Venetia Williams (0/6)
2—Ed Bolger (1/1 – Profit of 1 point)
2—Emmanuel Clayeux (No runners)
2—Rebecca Curtis (1/11 – Profit of 10 points)
2—Robin Dickin (1/4 – Profit of 13 points)
2—Warren Greatrex (0/7)
2—Kerry Lee (0/3)
2—Willie Mullins (No runners)
2—Jonjo O’Neill (3/22 – Profit of 27 points)
+ 39 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
99 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Doncaster: £504.10 – 6 favourites – 1 winner – 1 placed – 4 unplaced
Uttoxeter: £5,524.10 – 8 favourites – 3 winners & 5 unplaced
Lingfield: £22.70 – 6 favourites – 3 winners – 2 placed – 1 unplaced
There is no history to the meeting at Kempton