The RSA was a great result for the blog. No wagers on the day, I stuck with my 1pt ew antepost on BOSTONS ANGEL at 16/1, and he won in grand style from the other Irish challenger Jessies Dream, providing 20pts profit for the Antepost List. The English novice staying chasers were totally outclassed.
The opening race yesterday went to the top-rated horse in Chicago Grey. The early pace was pretty slow and that helped Chicago Grey who stamina wasn’t proven, but he was a course winner over 3m1f and on similar ground. Blog selection Major Malarkey fell early on, so 1pt lost.
The Neptune was a good race tho’ perhaps Oscars Well would have gone close but for a bad mistake at the final flight. I was right about the Irish horses and had them in the right order preferring First Lieutenant (who won). But the blog selection Tornado Bob was one of the first beaten and this was a very disappointing run for him. Another point lost.
The QMCC was a cracking race and, for once, had an exceptional field of runners. Anyone of them could have gone on to win at the 3rd-last fence, but it was the 2nd-last that sorted them out with mistakes by Master Minded (ended his chance) and Big Zeb left Sizing Europe clear going into the final fence, and the result was then not in doubt. Another point lost on the day for the blog on Woolcombe Folly, who was not good enough for this, and the antepost list lost 5pts on this race.
Finally, the Coral Cup was another win for the Irish and both my selctions ran poorly, both Aegean Dawn and Tiger O’Toole running unplaced and losing 2pts in the process.
Overall, the blog was 5pts down on the day, and that’s 7.875pts down on the Festival meeting. Not good and possibly a reminder that this is very competitive racing, the best there is.
THE JEWSON (GOLDEN MILLER) for Novices over 2m4f
The first running of this race and it looks a decent one. The fav is Wishful Thinking and he is worth his position at the head of the market. Won at the course LTO over 2m5f in exemplary fashion, he will take all the beating. The only other LTO winner, Radium, just isn’t in the same league. Of the others, Noble Prince loves this trip (3 wins and 2 x 2nds from 5 runs) and he also ran well here at last year’s Festival but, based on Realt Dubh’s 3rd in the Arkle on Tuesday, he has a lot to find on WISHFUL THINKING who should be 9/4 for this, maybe even shorter based on his form.
Cheltenham 1:30, WISHFUL THINKING, 1pt win @ 7/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)
PERTEMPS FINAL (Handicap Hurdle)
One of my favourite races of the Festival and I’ve been on the last couple of winners, Buena Vista and Kayf Aramis. They both run again, and while Buena Vista was aimed at this race last season (coming into it 20lbs better-off for a 2-length beating by Kayf Aramis in 2009), this year it’s the other way round with Kayf Aramis 12lb better-off for the 8-length beating. KAYF ARAMIS loves Cheltenham and is one of the best 3-mile hurdlers in the country, comes here in good form and with his riders 3lb claim he’ll be carrying just 10st 9lb. At 20/1, he looks value, and Bet365 are paying on 5 places.
Cheltenham 2:05, KAYF ARAMIS, ½pt eachway @ 20/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed, 5 places)
There has only ever been one horse for me in this race and that’s POQUELIN. I am on at 4/1 (2pts win) and I can see no reason to desert him today. In my opinion, he should be 7/4 for this, and it’s only the supporters of Kalahari King and Somersby who are preventing him going shorter in the market. Neither of those 2 have the form in the book for this race. If you can get 11/4 on POQUELIN then take it. I am not buying the Voy Por Ustedes back to best story, as the horse is being aimed for Aintree, and this weak renewal of the Ryanair means valuable place money is available to connections. No further investment on this race.
You are either like me, a BIG BUCKS man, or you are a supporter of Grand Crus. With BIG BUCKS never having to get out of a canter to win his last 10 hurdles, then Grand Crus will know he’s been in a race. I’ll not be having a wager on this race, but would not put anyone off having a wager on BIG BUCKS, or even a straight-forecast on Big Bucks to beat Grand Crus as they are well ahead of anything else in this race.
BYRNE GROUP PLATE (Handicap chase)
Having spent a lot of time on this race, it is disappointing for me that RP’s Pricewise has come to the same conclusion, that Beautiful Sound has a great chance. He’s a LTO winner, carries just 10st 6lb, he’ll easily stay the 2m5f trip and he’s won on similar going. Unfortunately, he’s Irsh, and they have not won this race since 1951. I also like Quartz De Thaix for similar reasons, but he carries 11st 2lb. However, he has been re-rated by the handicapper since his last win and should be carrying 7lb more. I am struggling to find an alternative to those 2 in this race other than Edgebriar who carries 11st 6lb. He will have the perfect conditions but has to combat the weight issue.
Cheltenham 4:00, QUARTZ DE THAIX, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed, 4 places)
KIM MUIR (Amateur Riders)
Not a race to put the mortgage on and a lot comes down to riding ability rather than the horse. Most bookies are paying 5-places eachway so it may pay to try and take advantage of that. Weight is not much of an issue with just 11lbs separating the top and bottom weights, so I’m going for a horse proven on this going, who stays 3-mile plus, in is good form this season, and has the benefit of one of the best amateur jockeys – FAR MORE SERIOUS ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen and trained by the in-form Charlie Longsdon. At 20/1, he looks cracking value for this.
Cheltenham 4:40, FAR MORE SERIOUS, ½pt eachway @ 20/1 (Boylesports, best odds guaranteed, 5 places)
Overall, 4pts staked today.
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