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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, 27 October 2017
First day of the Cheltenham "Open" meeting
We had a good meeting at Carlisle yesterday and we saw an exemplary ride by Danny Cook when making-all on NEVER UP in the 2m4f Class 4 handicap chase. Trainer Sue Smiths' horses had looked in need of a run so far this autumn, and so as Never Up was technically having his seasonal debut (he last ran in May which is technically this season) and he'd not shown a liking for heavy ground before I overlooked him. However, Danny Cook made great use of the horse and saw off a sustained challenge from the runner-up Calivigny who had slipped from OR122 to OR113 despite not running poorly and would certainly appreciate this testing ground. Never Up looks the sort of chaser who could run-up a sequence of wins this season.
It looks a tricky card at Cheltenham this afternoon, and if you are having a wager then I would advise sticking to small stakes (unless you have better knowledge than me). I will be very interested in watching the 2-mile novice chase run at 2:35pm as we could well see the next "Arkle" winner here in the Alan King trained Sceau Royal who has already won a novice chase. He faces two decent rivals who will be having their chase debut in Movewiththetimes and North Hill Harvey, and of that pair I think that North Hill Harvey - who won the Greatwood handicap hurdle last November here at Cheltenham - looks the most interesting.
The other novice chase on the card over an extended 3-mile at 3:45pm also is an intriguing contest despite having only 5 runners. However, unless something shows significant improvement, the race looks between the fav Fagan, trained by Gordon Elliot, and Black Corton trained by Paul Nicholls. On form there looks little to split them so, at the odds, I'd be inclined to take the 4/1 about Black Corton than the 7/4 about Fagan.
The 3m1f amateur riders handicap chase at 4:20pm can be an interesting betting race as you can usually rule out most of the horses down to the quality of the riders. Last night, Indian Castle was 10/1 with Bet365 but with vitrually every man and his dog tipping the horse due to the booking of Gold Cup winning rider Sam Waley-Cohen for this horse who has been off the track for 541 days, his current odds are 6/1. That looks a bit short to me, as while I'm sure he will be fit for this race, his stamina always failed him when racing beyond 3-mile before his injury and enforced break, and he will need tender handling to last the trip today. I also think the fav Presenting Julio is far too short at 4/1 considering that he may have won a 3-mile hurdle race, but he's not won a chase beyond 2m5f.
There will be a good pace on in this race from the likes of Azure Fly, What Happens Now, Bugsie Malone and Sporting Boy, and it is the latter who looks the most interesting. Sporting Boy is a tenacious horse who holds his form well and comes here on the back of an emphatic win over 3-mile. Despite his 6lb penalty for that win, the handicapper has put him up (for future races) 13lb - so he's 7lb well-in today and has the benefit of the capable Mr W Biddick in the saddle. Odds of 7/1 look fair (as I'd have him the fav on the formbook) and due to the gamble on Indian Castle, we could see slightly longer odds at the time of the race.