I spent a good bit of yesterday preparing my draft blogs for Cheltenham this week and most of my wagers are either already in place or planned and awaiting the final declarations and knowledge of the odds. There have been some developments over the past couple of days, most notably DYNASTE being confirmed for the "Jewson" chase over 2m4f on Thursday rather than the 3-mile & 110 yard RSA on Wednesday. This has really stirred-up that betting market and Dynaste has been installed as the 7/4 fav for the Jewson. Next in the market for the Jewson is the Mullins trained Aupcharlie at 5/1 along with Captain Conan at similar odds. This looks like a race that will provide some decent eachway value.
The covers have been on the course at Cheltenham since Sunday afternoon, and there is the possibility of some wintry showers before the start of the Festival on Tuesday. I did think there was an outside chance that the 1st day could be lost to snow (a centimetre of snow on the covers would be almost too much to shift and guarantee racing) and on approaching some high street bookmakers for odds (I wanted £10 @ 50/1) the best odds "suggested" was just 5/1. Whatever the weather, it's almost certain that the ground will be soft on Tuesday, maybe even turning heavy during the day if there is some moisture in the air be it rain or snow or sleet. As such, it may be worth taking a "watching brief" on the initial races (Supreme Novices Hurdle, and the Arkle) and looking for some proven mud-loving stayers in the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase.
Onto today, and racing goes ahead at Plumpton and Taunton altho' the planned meeting at Stratford has been lost to the weather. On this day 2 years ago, I posted up a winning double that meant followers went into the Festival with wallets full. My luck hasn't been "in" these past couple of weeks and the one horse I thought had a decent chance on Saturday, Super Ally, was the subject of a fair old gamble from 7/1 into 7/2 but managed to fall early-on at just the 6th fence. It was a race of shocks as 11yo Do It For Dalkey collapsed and died after winning the race. "Dalkey" had been on my alert list for a couple of years and had won me some money as a chaser; he always seemed to run to his best, and my commiserations go to his owner.
At Taunton, there are a couple of runners who should go well. In the 2:50, David Pipe's QALINAS looks capable of winning again in what could be a fairly weak handicap hurdle over an extended 3-mile on soft ground. At least we know the horse should stay this sort of trip on soft ground, whereas that is a question-mark over the rest of his rivals. As such, odds of 9/2 (William Hill & BetVictor) look fair. Later in the afternoon, I'll be really surprised if THE KNOXS cannot take the 4-runner "Veterans" chase over 3m5f. Yes, this trip will be further than he's run before but he's a decent horse at his best and I think he should be a lot shorter than 9/4 (available generally) for this race. I'm not recommending individual wagers on these horses today, as the races they are competing in are not the sort I like to wager in being either too weak (and so unpredictable) or having too few runners (and greater likelihood of false pace and tactical misjudgement), but I am having a personal small win "double" on these at what look attractive odds about horses from top trainers.
The "draft" blog for tomorrow and the first day of the Festival will be sent out around 9pm tonight (maybe a little later) to those in receipt of the bulletin. If you want to receive my draft blogs the night before racing this week and get a copy of my Cheltenham Bulletin plus all my handicap updates; then just hit the "donate" button and donate at least £8.
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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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Monday, 11 March 2013
Dynaste goes for the Jewson Chase
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