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Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.
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Friday, 23 October 2015
We're having a vintage year
Onto today's racing and we return to Cheltenham for the first time this season. It's great to be back at the Prestbury track, but the racing doesn't seem particularly inspiring. The "good" (possibly good-to-firm in places) ground has seen the fields cut-up a lot, as trainers want to protect their horses from a possible injury at this stage of the season on ground firmer than ideal.
In the opener, John Ferguson sends his unbeaten hurdler Penglai Pavilion for the novice hurdle, but I'm not sure he's shown enough to be as good as his RPR rating. Not only that, but this 2m5f trip will certainly test his stamina as he's only raced over 2-mile so far. No such worries for Irish trained Exarro who won a competitive race over this trip in Ireland LTO. And the same for Casual Approach, who beat a useful field in Ireland last month including Snow Falcon who ran 5th in the Neptune novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Trained by Gordon Elliot, Casual Approach is the most likely winner in my opinion, but you cannot ignore many in this field including Sandymount Duke who is the ride of Barry Geraghty. Overall, the form in the race gives the punter little to go on.
The 2-mile novice chase at 2:45pm has a disappointing turnout of just 4-runners. However, Dormello Mo is a good yardstick having the most chasing experience despite being, at 5yo, the youngest. Heavy ground probably didn't suit Rock The World LTO, but today's ground will suit and he could return to front-running tactics that worked well when winning at Galway on 8th September. Sizing Codelco is possibly the weakest on form of thise with chasing experience, and today is the chase debut for Qewy. Trainer John Ferguson is better known for his hurdlers, so this could prove tough for Qewy. As such, if having a wager, I'm tempted by Rock The World who is ridden by the capable Barry Geraghty, and odds of 5/2 look fair value as he probably will start the fav at 7/4 unless there is significant support for Qewy on his chase debut.
I'm going to bypass the 3-mile handicap hurdle, and move on to the other novice chase at 3:55pm which is run over 3-miles, and looks a cracker. There are two in this off my alert list - Ballykan and Vintage Vinnie. The 5yo Ballykan looks a tremendous prospect having won both his novice chases over 3-mile, jumping soundly in the process. Today, he concedes 3lb to the 6yo Vintage Vinnie, who was born to be a chaser. He absolutely walloped subsequent winner Upswing on his debut, and if confirming that ability today he will prove hard to beat. Paul Nicholls' Vicente will certainly need to have improved a fair bit over the summer to win this, and a stronger challenge could come from A Good Skin who raced to a good level in the Spring of this year, winning at Cheltenham in April. As we've seen this season (with Cocktails At Dawn on 10th October) experience counts for a lot in novice chase races at this stage of the season, and you cannot ignore A Good Skin. With the others looking outclassed, it remains to consider whether there is any value in the betting. The presence of Vicente has skewed the top of the market, and the odds of 11/4 about VINTAGE VINNIE look fair to me, as I'd have expected him to be 9/4 or less for this race, especially as he's receiving 3lb from his main rivals.
The remaining 3 races on the card look tough to fathom, and I want to try and get into the remainder of the weekend on a winner and I reckon VINTAGE VINNIE gives me the best chance of that. Rebecca Curtis is a very capable trainer, and she won this race last season (with The Romford Pele) and her stable is in excellent form, with this horse being her only runner today.
Cheltenham 3:55 VINTAGE VINNIE, £10 win @ 11/4 (available generally Bet365, Stan James, Bet Victor, Coral)