CHELTENHAM – MARCH 16
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £62.50 (9 favourites – 4 winners – 1 placed – 4 unplaced)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (1.30): 8 (Yorkhill) & 7 (Top Notch)
Leg 2 (2.10): 16 (Impulsive Star), 23 (For Good Measure), 17 (Electric Concorde) & 22 (Alzammaar)
Leg 3 (2.50): 6 (Un De Sceaux) & 3 (Empire Of Dirt)
Leg 4 (3.30): 12 (Unowhatimeanharry) & 6 (Jezki)
Leg 5 (4.10): 13 (Starchitect), 10 (King’s Odyssey), 20 (Champagne At Tara) & 5 (Diamond King)
Leg 6 (4.50): 5 (Let’s Dance), 4 (La Bague Au Roi) & 1 (Airlie Beach)
Suggested stake: 384 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Thursday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.30: 10 of the 18 toteplacepot positions have been claimed by seven-year-olds, statistics which include three four (20/1--7/1--4/1—4/1***) winners. YORKHILL will be a popular order on behalf of the three vintage representatives though that said, some punters will be wary of the negative Mullins factor so far this week. If Douvan could be beaten, nothing can be taken for granted though on all known form, YORKHILL should secure his tenth victory via his last eleventh assignments. KILCREA VALE is the alternative each way call at around the 16/1 mark, albeit TOP NOTCH is preferred in terms of a viable danger to YORKHILL from a win perspective.
Favourite factor: A changing scenario to the terms and conditions of this event means that we have just six renewals to take into account. Five of the eight market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions to date, two of which won their relevant events at 6/4 & 4/1***.
Cheltenham record of the course winner in the 'JLT':
2.10: 11 of the last 13 winners of the 'Pertempts' have carried 11-4 or less, statistics which eliminate 11 of the 24 runners this time around, taking jockey claims into account. IMPULSIVE STAR was my call at the start of the week when perusing these races in the second half of the meeting and nothing has changed my mind. FOR GOOD MEASURE remains relatively unexposed, as are Philip Hobbs runners this week, certainly as far as the first two days at the meeting was concerned. Others of interest include big priced outsiders ELECTRIC CONCORDE and ALZAMMAAR alongside ISLEOFHOPENFDREAMS who would be a popular choice if Yorkhill managed to turn thing around for Willie and Ruby in the opening event on the card.
Favourite factor: Only two market leaders have finished in the frame during the last 13 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 20 years.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the 'Pertempts':
1/8—Caid Du Berlais (soft)
1/1—El Bandit (good)
2/3—Golden Doyen (good & soft)
2/9—Splash Of Ginge (good to soft & soft)
2/6—Fingal Bay (good & good to soft)
1/2—Clondaw Cian (soft)
2.50: The ill-fated Vautour was one of my strongest selections during the entire week last year before registering a six length even money success. UN DE SCEAUX would have been an equally confident choice before the results of the Mullins horses in the first two days had been added into the equation, a factor which dilutes interest to fashion. Gordon Elliott has been the main beneficiary this week and sure enough, EMPIRE OF DIRT lies in waiting, should Ruby’s mount be short of full fitness, one way or the other.
Favourite factor: Three of the last five favourites have won whilst seven of the last eight market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the Ryanair Chase:
1/1—Empire Of Dirt (good)
2/3—Un De Sceaux (good to soft & soft)
2/4—Uxizandre (good & soft)
3.30: Thistlecrack was the star turns on the day twelve months ago and though a notch or three behind that horse in terms of class this time around, UNOWHATIMEANHARRY will probably be the best backed horse on the day, not only in terms of single wagers but also from the point that his name will be included in millions of multiple bets/Placepot permutations on Thursday. JEZKI is the obvious alternative option to take, given that at the ex-champion hurdler is well up to the class needed on the best of his form. If you are looking for a speculative call, Ballyoptic would be the tentative choice.
Favourite factor: Fate of recent favourites: 24 market leaders—9 winners—7 placed—8 unplaced. First three in betting: 66 representatives—16 winners—22 placed—28 unplaced.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the Stayers Hurdle:
1/2—Clondaw Warrior (good to firm)
1/8—Cole Harden (good)
1/4—Jezki (good to soft)
6/12—The New One (4 x good to soft & 2 x soft)
4/4—Unowhatimeanharry (2 x soft – good- good to soft)
2/7—Un Temps Pour Tout (2 x good to soft)
2/8—Zarkandar (good & heavy)
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 18 renewals, win and place investors should consider that vintage representatives have secured 31 of the 61 available place positions during the study period. Horses carrying 11-2 or more have claimed just three victories and eleven place positions, leaving horses lower down the handicap to run riot. Putting the stats and facts together I’ll offer a short list of STARCHITECT, KING’S ODYSSEY and CHAMPAGNE AT TARA, leaving DIAMOND KING (above the superior weight barrier) as the fourth option.
Favourite factor: Only one favourite (five years ago) has obliged since 1999, whilst ‘recent’ winners having included those returned at 66/1-50/1-33/1-25/1-25/1-18/1—16/1-14/1-12/1-12/1-12/1. That said, eight of the 14 market leaders during the study period finished in the frame.
Cheltenham record of course winners in the handicap chase:
2/11—Village Vic (soft & heavy)
1/7—Art Mauresque (good)
1/2—Diamond King (good)
1/1—Voix D’Eau (good to soft)
1/2—King’s Odyssey (heavy)
2/13—Thomas Crapper (good & good to soft)
4.50: This renewal of last year’s new race is not as clear cut as it was twelve months ago, especially with the projected Mullins favourite (LET’S DANCE) having something to prove via the yard’s results on the first two days. I will remain to my positive thoughts before the week started relating to Willie’s five-year-old representative, though I’m quick to add LA BAGUE AY ROI and Paul Townend’s mount AIRLIE BEACH into the Placepot equation.
Favourite factor: Last year’s inaugural 8/11 favourite (Limini) duly obliged.
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:
10 runners—Nicky Henderson
3—Henry De Bromhead
2—Mrs John Harrington
+ 24 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
120 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Hexham: £312.70 – 7 favourites – 3 winners & 4 unplaced
Towcester: £39.20 – 7 favourites – 3 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced
Chelmsford: £133.50 – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced