CHELTENHAM - NOVEMBER 19
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £440.00 (6 favourites - 1 winner – 1 placed – 4 unplaced
Sunday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (1.15): 10 (Lip Service), 2 (Melrose Boy) & 11 (Wylde Magic)
Leg 2 (1.50): 1 (North Hill Harvey), 4 (River Wylde) & 3 (Ozzie The Oscar)
Leg 3 (2.25): 1 (Fox Norton) & 4 (Vaniteux)
Leg 4 (3.00): 11 (Jenkins), 9 (London Prize) & 4 (Old Guard)
Leg 5 (3.30): 5 (Dame De Compagnie) & 4 (Slate House)
Leg 6 (4.00): 3 (Crooks Peak), 10 (Skidoosh) & 8 (Rockery Garden)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Sunday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.15: Harry Fry has saddled the last two winners of this event and the popular young trainer looks to have a decent chance of landing the hat trick with MELROSE BOY. We have to take his chance on trust to a fashion, with Harry’s five-year-old still being an unexposed type, notwithstanding his ability to handle really soft ground. The plus side is that vintage representatives have won five of the last nine renewals of the opening event and though I would not get involved from a win perspective, his Placepot chance is undeniable in a slightly disappointing contest. MELROSE BOY is the only horse in the field for which there is semi-serious money in the positive queue on the exchanges in the dead of night which will please supporters of the projected favourite. It might be a tad too quick to write off the chance of WYLDE MAGIC, though the interesting ’dark horse’ in the line up is Fergal O’Brien’s recent inmate LIP SERVICE who was only beaten half a length in a race in Ireland on what was described as soft ground. Such conditions can often be compared to bordering on heavy this side of the Irish Sea! At bigger prices, you could consider the merits of Another Frontier and Buckle Street.
Favourite factor: Four clear market leaders and a joint favourite have won during the last twelve years during which time, eleven of the fourteen jollies have secured toteplacepot positions, a truly wonderful record given the competitive nature of this contest.
1.50: Paul Nicholls has won nine of the last eighteen renewals, whereby it’s a shame that Capitaine does not take his chance this time around. That said, we are still set up for a fascinating clash between RIVER WYLDE and NORTH HILL HARVEY, not that I am dismissing the claims of OZZIE THE OSCAR by any means. We saw what could happen in three runner races yesterday (as anticipated to a fashion) and with Philip Hobbs having saddled winners of the last two renewals when represented, Philip’s soft ground winner cannot be entirely dismissed. At the prices on offer at the time of writing, I would marginally side with NORTH HILL HARVEY over RIVER WYLDE, though that conclusion is based on the conditions (and course form) rather than via the form book. Either way just as I did yesterday, I’m going to include all three runners in my mix and sit back and enjoy the race. Out of interest, yesterday’s winner of the three runner race knocked out nearly a quarter of a million Placepot units (or 82% of the entries if you prefer) which had made it through to the second leg of the wager. Consider still, that the horse in question was a Paul Nicholls 4/1 chance to fully appreciate how an outsider of three can decimate so many units!
Favourite factor: 11 favourites have won during the last 19 years, whilst the biggest priced winner was returned at 10/1. 16 of the 19 market leaders finished in the frame.
Record of the course winner in the second race:
3/5—North Hill Harvey (2 x soft & good)
2.25: FOX NORTON won this event last year when we unfortunately lost Simonsig to the paddocks in the sky. Colin Tizzard’s progressive chaser is difficult to oppose and the 6/5 quote in the trade press overnight will not be prominent on the boards this afternoon in all probability. Special Tiara and Simply Ned (preferred of the pair) are held on last year’s form which potentially brings VANITEUX into play as the ‘surprise threat’ to the favourite, not that I am dismissing the chance of CLOUDY DREAM. We self-confessed ‘elephants’ (in more ways than one) never forget and his runner up effort in the Greatwood Hurdle here three years back makes for interesting reading, as does the fact that this is David Pipe’s only runner on the card. David dominated the Sunday of the three day fixture four years ago when securing a 5,995/1 four-timer with winners returned at 40/1-12/1-7/2-6/4. That will not be the case today obviously, but I’m adding VANITEUX into the mix from a value for money perspective. Those of you interested in the card at Fontwell today might take note of David’s two runners at the track which have been similarly dismissed by the layers.
Favourite factor: Market leaders have won three of the last six renewals, whilst the biggest priced winners during the period was returned at just 4/1.
Record of the course winners in the third contest on the card:
3/6—Fox Norton (2 x good & soft)
1/7—Special Tiara (good to soft)
3.00: Five-year-olds have won ten of the last eighteen renewals with JENKINS being the fairly obvious choice from today’s vintage representatives. The ground should not hold too many connections for connections given his decisive Newbury victory and his Placepot chance is there for all to see. LONDON PRIZE has winning soft ground Sandown (Imperial Cup) form to boast quite apart from his well-documented recent success, whilst two horses at big odds to consider are soft ground course winners OLD GUARD and CHESTERFIELD. A victory for The New One would bring the house down and the old fella is not without an each way squeak, though his Placepot odds will not resemble the quote for a potential success given his popularity. With David Pipe not represented, the booking of Tom Scudamore aboard Harry Fry’s MISTERTON also catches the eye.
Favourite factor: Four clear market leaders have obliged during the last 20 years alongside one joint favourite, whilst 11 of the 24 jollies have reached the frame (exact science).
Record of the course winners in the ‘Greatwood Hurdle’:
6/12—The New One (4 x good soft – good – soft)
1/2—Ivanovich Gorbatov (good)
3/7—Old Guard (good – good to soft – soft)
1/1—Flying Tiger (good to soft)
1/2—William H Bonney (soft)
3.30: 15 of the last 17 renewals have been secured by four and five-year-olds and with vintage representatives DAME DE COMPAGNIE and SLATE HOUSE among their number today, the great trend looks set to be extended. Both horses have acted well under soft conditions before and whilst not getting embroiled in a war between the two horses, I’m simply going to nominate both runners in my permutation, having already offered you far too much to read over your ‘Sunday brunch’. That said, anyone expecting the front two in the betting to be beaten should take note of the 16/1 quote by Stan James about Bedrock before the price disappears.
Favourite factor: 11 of the last 19 favourites have finished in the frame, statistics which include six successful market leaders.
Record of the course winners in the penultimate event:
1/1—Slate House (good)
3.40: Five-year-olds lead the four-year-olds 4-3 via the last eight renewals of this event, though the ‘junior set’ look set to square the series with the likes of CROOKS PEAK and SKIDOOSH having been declared. Fergal O’Brien’s ROCKERY GARDEN makes some each way appeal as he was twenty lengths clear of the fourth placed horse at Newton Abbot on his first start. More will be expected (and required) today.
Favourite factor: A pair of joint favourites have won two of the last seven renewals.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (two or more) on the Cheltenham card on Sunday followed by their number of winners (where relevant) on the corresponding day during the last six years:
4 runners—Nigel Twiston-Davies (2)
3—Tom George (1)
3—Nick Henderson (5)
3—Paul Nicholls (6)
3—Dan Skelton (1)
3—Colin Tizzard (1)
2—Harry Fry (2)
2—Philip Hobbs (5)
2—Alan King (1)
+ 24 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
74 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Fontwell: £223.50 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced