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Record of the blog selections

Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38

from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)

Total Staked = £280.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cheltenham - the jumps are back!

Perhaps I should have been a bit more aggressive yesterday, as the 2 horses that I thought had distinct winning opportunities - VICENTE and THE ROMFORD PELE - both won at useful odds, and my opinion that THE YOUNG MASTER had been under-appreciated by the handicapper was absolutely spot-on as he won at 9/1.

While Vicente was a bit fortunate, there was never a moments doubt about THE ROMFORD PELE. I expected the early-morning odds (he was best-priced at 15/8) to shorten, and I fully expected him to start at 6/4 or maybe shorter; as such, there's no way I could recommend him as a wager. My policy has always been not to recommend a wager at odds less than 9/4, and that policy remains in place this sesaon. Still, altho' I didn't recommend a winning wager, the blog narrative was strong enough to point those who read it (and wanted to have a wager) onto winners at odds of 7/2, 9/4 and 9/1.
On to today, and while there is the “Champions Day” meeting at Ascot, I’m more interested in the jumps meeting at Cheltenham. We had spectacular success on this day last year when I posted just the one selection, Johns Spirit, which was advised at 14/1 early on the morning of the race. It was probably one of the easiest winners I found all season, almost doing cartwheels up the hill to the finish line. This is where an alert list comes into its own.

After yesterday’s confidence boosting success, I'm more than hopeful of a good result today.

Cheltenham opens with a novice hurdle and VIVALDI COLLONGES is a horse I've had on my alert list for some time. He future lies over fences, so I'm not tempted to take a short-price about him today. 

That is followed by what looks to be a very competitive 2m4f handicap chase - the one won by Johns Spirit last year, and Johns Spirit comes back to try and win it again. His performance when 4th at the Cheltenham Festival in the Byrne Group Plate showed he's capable of winning off OR147 over todays C&D. Whether he'll be fit enough today is debateable, but he was certainly was last year. In 2013, Astracad gave him 13lb, but today he gets 9lb - that's a 22lb turnaround. As such he has to be on the shortlist as he's so consistent at this trip. Ackertsc is another who's had trouble finding the winners enclosure yet is very consistent and well handicapped today off OR137. Another I think is well handicapped is Persian Snow who also ran well at the Festival. The winner should come from those 4 in my opinion. Johns Spirit will need a career-best to win today, but being only a 7yo (he seems to have been around for ages) he should still have some improvement to come. Personally, I think he'll prove better at 3-mile this season (that's where he was aimed as a novice chaser). So, at today's weights I'm going for ASTRACAD who should be in the mix. He's best-priced at 8/1 with Ladbrokes who go a 5th the odds a place.

The days feature race is a 3m1f handicap chase and the top-weight Le Bec is on my shortlist as a potential 155+ chaser. So, if he's up to that level then he'll prove hard to beat today. My old friend Midnight Appeal remains on my shortlist, but he's likes soft/heavy ground and Cheltenham hasn't been his favourite track in the past. Personally, I don't think Dursey Sound has run well enough to be rated OR141, but Standing Ovation has certainly shown himself to be better than OR129. He ran a cracker at the Festival in the race won by Holywell, and runs off a 2lb lower mark today. There are some poorly handicapped horses in this race (eg Mart Lane, and Duke Of Lucca) so those that are well-in should do well as they should break-away in the final mile. MON PARRAIN is one such horse and he is still lightly raced for an 8yo. The trip and ground will suit him today and at 16/1 he looks a real eachway steal. He won over C&D in April when he last ran, and his OR144 rating looks lenient on what he's done in the past. He's had his issues but, on his day, he's a very talented horse.

Finally, another from my alert list - FOXCUB. I really like this horse as he's very consistent and always gives his best.  He ran a great race at this meeting last season (he ran 3rd over 2-mile) but improved on that when sent over this sort of trip. He had a good pipe-opener at Fontwell recently when 2nd, so comes here race fit, with ground, trip and track in his favour. Unfortunately, he has a big weight to carry 11st 8lb, and no horse has carried more than 11st 2lb to win this in recent years. I can see him being placed but it may prove tough for him to win, so I'll be on him place-only.

Selections:
Cheltenham 2:35 ASTRACAD, £5 eachway @ 8/1 (Ladbrokes, 5th odds a place BOG)
Cheltenham 3:45 MON PARRAIN, £5 eachway @ 16/1 (Bet Victor and Stan James, quarter-odds a place BOG)

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