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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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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Saturday 15th December

A top day of jump racing with the feature being the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (handicap) Chase over 2m4½f at Cheltenham at 1:55pm.
But first, yesterday and what can you say about SINGLEFARMPAYMENT: what a horse, but how frustrating! Honest, in all my years watching jump racing (and we are talking 50 years), I don’t think I’ve seen a 3-mile chaser than can jump a fence as well as this horse. Clean, efficient, he just skips over the fences like they were hurdles.  Top 2-mile chasers brush through the tops of fences but they occasionally drop-a-leg: not Singlefarmpayment.   He should have won yesterday, and I’m not sure what connections do now; perhaps a drop in trip to 2m5f to take advantage of his jumping ability. What I can take from the race is that I read it near perfectly; The 7/2 fav Theatre Territory didn't stay the trip as I expected; this trip is too short for Rock The Kasbah; and race-winner COGRY had to run a career-best to win. The surprise of the race was Rolling Dylan who showed that he's able to repeat his good 3-mile hurdling form over fences, and he won't meet opponents as tough as this next time. 
For the feature race at Cheltenham run at 1:55pm, I’m going to go against the top 3 in the handicap –that is FrodonBaron Alco, and Rather Be – as I think for one of them to win they will have to run to a career-best and I’m not sure any of them are capable of that off their current ratings. Of the trio, I’d say Rather Be is the likeliest to finish closest to the winner, but his current odds do not represent value.  Baron Alco will need the race run perfect for him as it was last time, and that is unlikely to happen. Frodon is a top-class chaser and he can finish in the 1st-3. 
War Sound just isn’t good enough and, at 9yo is too old, together with the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained pair of 9yo Foxtail Hill and 10yo Splash Of Ginge.
Cobra De Mai is interesting – he just about gets this trip so I can forgive him his poor run over 3-mile at Chepstow in October and his win at Stratford on 1st November puts him bang there with a chance in this. Okay, LTO his jumping was “iffy” at Ascot, but he recovered his form and was running on at the end, so at odds of 20/1 he looks one to consider. The winner of that Ascot race was Mr Medic and he may be a bit of an Ascot specialist and he’s been raised 9lb by the handicapper for that win; he’s not run at Cheltenham before, and he avoids soft ground like the plague – but if he gets his ground and adapts to the course he could go well.
However, Cobra De Mai was easily beaten by Cepage last March at Kempton over this trip, and although Cepage is having his seasonal debut, he’s gone well fresh before so that should be no hindrance. I really like the look of CEPAGE, he’s young at 6yo, he has a touch of quality about him and he comes here under the radar – remember when Frodon won this race in 2016 he beat the 6yo Aso also trained by Venetia Williams, and this horse is her only runner at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The mare Casablanca Mix is also a 6yo but it’s tricky to establish her best trip, and I am not sure if she is as good as her OR143 rating. Another tricky to fathom is the Alan King trained Full Glass, as he unseated LTO and may not be at his best at this trip, as he seemed not to stay when racing over 2m4f at Ayr on his only completed UK start.
This race looks a big step-up for Catamaran Du Seuil, and I just do not think this horse will be quick enough in this company and that’s why he’s been racing mainly over 3-miles, but he will be staying on at the end. As for Casse Tete, he’s managed to win a couple of weak races and has been hammered by the handicapper, as I think he’s nowhere near as good as his OR138 rating; I have him about 15lb below that.
Romain De Senam is another 6yo, but he has lots of experience, and if he could get anywhere ner his best form then he is in with a chance off this rating of OR137, but wind surgery hasn’t helped him and he looks destined for the hunting field.  Finally, Guitar Pete was a lucky winner of this race last season, and you have to take into account his trainers abysmal record at Cheltenham, that win last year was Nicky Richards only winner at Cheltenham in the past 5 years and I think it was his only win here in the past 10 years!
My idea of the 1st-3: 1st Cepage; 2nd Rather Be; 3rd Frodon
Selection: CEPAGE, £5 eachway @ 12/1 
Bet365 & Ladbrokes are quarter-odds 1,2,3 however, PaddyPower go 5th odds 1,2,3,4,5,6

Later on the card at Cheltenham we have the International Hurdle at 3:05pm run over 2m1f, and this Grade 2 event could be the final race for three-time winner The New One.  If Summerville Boy can recapture his best novice season form then he will be tough to beat in this, but his seasonal debut was so poor, that there cannot be much confidence in that happening. One that may be worth having a wager on is BRAIN POWER as although he was one of the best of last seasons novice chasers, he was a top-class hurdler before that rated OR162 when he contested the 2017 Champion Hurdle. He may not be up to that level, but he won't be far off and odds of 7/1 represent eachway value to me.

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