CHELTENHAM – MARCH 17
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2015: £239.70 (6 favourites: 1 winner - 3 placed - 2 unplaced)
Average Placepot dividend (all codes) in 2016 (calendar year): £637.78
Average NH Placepot dividend in 2016: £889.57
Average Cheltenham Placepot dividend in 2016: £280.28 (4 meetings)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (1.30): 3 (Bristol De Mai) & 4 (Garde La Victoire)
Leg 2 (2.10): 17 (Leave At Dawn), 20 (Saddlers Encore) & 16 (Broxbourne)
Leg 3 (2.50): 13 (Vautour), 1 (Al Ferof) & 9 (Road To Riches)
Leg 4 (3.30): 11 (Thistlecrack) & 6 (Kilcooley)
Leg 5 (4.10): 8 (Johns Spirit), 11 (Art Mauresque), 12 (Darna) & 4 (KIngs Palace)
Leg 6 (4.50): 2 (Limini), 3 (Smart Talk) & 1 (Bloody Mary)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
1.30: Nine of the fifteen toteplacepot positions have been claimed by seven-year-olds, statistics which include three (20/1--7/1--4/1) winners. GARDE LA VICTOIRE is preferred to BLACK HERCULES via four vintage representatives this time around, though with the Twiston-Davies team at the top of their game, BRISTOL DE MAI appears to be the horse to beat on Thursday. The track record of GARDE LA VICTOIRE will ensure that BRISTOL DE MAI does not have things all his own way I'll wager, whilst KINGS ODYSSEY might outrun his price of you want to consider an each way option at potentially rewarding odds.
Favourite factor: A changing scenario to the terms and conditions of this event means that we have just five renewals to take into account. Three of the five market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions to date, one of which won its reelvant last year at odds of 6/4.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'JLT':
3/5--Garde La Victoire
2.10: Ten of the last twelve winners of the 'Pertempts' have carried 11-4 or less, with last year's selection Call The Cops breezing home at odds of 8/1. LEAVE AT DAWN has long since been my idea of the winner of this event and his mark of 137 look particularly lenient from my viewpoint, resulting in a weight of just 10-9. A good winner here earlier in the season, his Leopardstown effort at the big Christmas meeting was a perfectly reasonable prep race for this contest, bearing in mind that connections will have wanted to safeguard his offical rating. Others of interest include MISSED APPROACH, BROXBOURNE and SADDLERS ENCORE.
Favourite factor: Only two market leaders have finished in the frame during the last 12 years (one winner), which from an each way perspective in a fiercely competitive hurdle event, is particularly important for the layers. Going back further in time, it's worth noting that just two market leaders has prevailed during the last 19 years.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'Pertempts':
1/1--Leave At Dawn
2.50: Aside from reports about a slightly worrying workout recently, it's time for VAUTOUR to prove his worth now, especially after all the whys and wherefores of his will he/won't he run in the Gold Cup. Connections need to have made the right decision here I fancy, because many punters will be more than irate if he is beaten, only to be running on up the hill as if the Gold Cup distance would not have been a problem. What Willie Mullins always defended when people doubted his ability to stay was this was a 'spring horse', not an inmate who would plough through the mud in the dead of winter, whereby previous form this year could be ignored to a fashion. We shall see. This is certainly no 'gimme' with proven horses at the distance such as AL FEROF, ROAD TO RICHES and the each way option VILLAGE VIC having been declared.
Favourite factor: Two of the last four favourites have won whilst the third gold medaliist during the recent period scored at 7/2. Six of the last seven market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the Ryanair Chase:
2/5--Taquin Du Soleil
3.30: THISTLECRACK is one of the star turns on the day and there is every indication that Colin Tizzard will greet another winner to a rousing reception from his legion of fans following this event. It's impossible not to warm to this man and his team from my viewpoint, with that twang of a voice constantly spouting out common sense when answering questions my media representatives. I fancy him to take care of his supposed main rivals with an air of disdain, though KILCOOLEY is also fancied to run a big race, with AUX PTITS SOINS (a winner at the Festival last year) completing my trio against the other ten contenders who might be led home by another long shot in WHISPER.
Favourite factor: Fate of recent favourites: 23 market leaders—8 winners—7 placed—8 unplaced. First three in betting: 63 representatives—15 winners—21 placed—27 unplaced.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the World Hurdle:
3/6--At Fishers Cross
1/1--Aux Ptits Soins
1/3--Saphir Du Rheu
1/5--Un Temps Por Tout
4.10: Known for many years as the 'Mildmay of Flete', this event takes on a ‘new’ name these days though whatever titles are prefixed to contests at the meeting, trainers still target their horses for the respective events the same way. Although eight-year-olds have 'only' won five of the last 17 renewals, win and place investors should consider that vintage representatives have secured 29 of the 57 available place positions during the study period. Horses carrying 11-2 or more have claimed just three victories and ten place positions, leaving horses lower down the handicap to run riot. Putting the stats and facts together I’ll offer a short list of JOHNS SPIRIT, Last year's winner DARNA and ART MAURESQUE, leaving eight-year-old KINGS PALACE as the fourth option, despite David Pipe's raider sitting above the 'superior' weight barrier.
Favourite factor: Only one favourite (four years ago) has obliged since 1999, whilst winners during the last 11 have included those returned at 66/1-50/1-33/1-25/1-25/1-18/1-14/1-12/1-12/1-12/1. That said, eight of the 12 market leaders during the study period finished in the frame.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the handicap chase:
1/13--Sew On Target
4.50: LIMINI has been a 'talking horse' for some time now and Thursday is D-Day for the mare in this new event. There was certainly room for another contest for mares at the Festival, though it is something of a shame that the inaugural event is not a little more competitive. SMART TALK and BLODDY MARY are fairly obvious dangers, if there are to be any threats turning for home.
Favourite factor: The toteplacepot finale is a new race on the card.
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 Thursday:
2--Henry De Bromhead
2--Ms Sandra Hughes
+ 34 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
127 declared runners