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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 13 November 2015

Cheltenham "Paddy Power" meeting - Day 1 (Friday)

The "Open" meeting looks like being a top-class 3-day meeting. What a weekend we have ahead of us, with glorious weather forecast. There will not be a finer place to be than Cheltenham!

Before that - we went oh so close on Wednesday when blog selection Algernon Pazham led for most of the race, running the field ragged - apart from one, What A Good Night. The eventual winner was brought stealthily into the race (by the underrated Harry Skelton, brother of trainer Dan Skelton), and stayed-on strong to lead just strides before the line denying our selection a hard-fought victory.
What A Good Night could improve dramatically over this season when tried over 3-mile-plus, as his dam (Southern Skies) is a half-sister to Hennessy Gold Cup winner Strong Flow. His jumping has let him down in the past, and he's either won or fallen in his last 8 starts (he broke a blood vessel and was virtually pulled-up on 28Mar15). Both of these are going onto the alert list.
My only alert list runner in the race Cloudy Too, who carried top-weight of 11:12, ran well and was staying-on when he dropped-out after 4-out and was reported to have lost a fore-shoe. He stays on the alert list.
The day's poor luck was compounded by 2 (of my other 3) alert list runners on the day, winning at odds of 6/1 (Foxcub) and 15/8 (Final Assault).  When Foxcub won, in 2nd was my only other alert list runner of the day, After Eight Sivola, and the Exacta on that forecast was £29.80 for a £1 stake. I thought Foxcub was going chasing as his rating of OR134 looked a bit high, but maybe he will stay hurdling for his next run.

There are 4 alert list runners on Friday, all at Cheltenham.  For those who are interested, the record of alert list runners recently has been nothing short of phenomenal, and I'm tempted to wager on them blindly - so I won't put you off doing that if you have been following the blog recently.
The alert list runners (with my profile comments) are:-
1:05pm - Silver Roque: always best fresh and on 1st run of the season, 2m4f on soft perfect for him.
1:40pm - More Of That: won 2014 World Hurdle as a 6yo, Looks long-term prospect, injured since November 2014.
2:50pm - Loose Chips: Jumps well, best on soft/heavy, OR130 looks very lenient as with good jockey runs to 140.
4:00pm - Knock House: very game, just btn at 3-mile LTO; was 5th at Cheltfest15 over 2m5f and could be 150 at that trip.

Silver Roque was exceptionally unlucky to bump into Cloud Creeper on OR125 on 12th Feb (his jumping was out-of-sorts on his previous run in October) as that horse won his next two races and is now rated OR150. That the winning margin was only a neck, and he was conceding Cloud Creeper 12lb shows just how good Silver Roque can be when he's fresh. The last time he ran over 2-miles was when he won on 1st March 2013, beating a useful field with top-weight. The ground was too quick for him LTO (his only run since 2nd to Cloud Creeper) in May, and it is hoped the ground at Cheltenham is more soft than good. It will probably be the last chance to wager on Silver Roque before age starts to take it's toll, and the 25/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place) is too generous given his record, and a small eachway wager is required. The only time to wager on this horse is when fresh from a long break.

The novice chase at 1:40pm over 2m4f has to be watched, even though alert list runner More Of That is contesting, with Barry Geraghty in the saddle.  It will take a good horse to beat As De Mee (currently 7/2 generally in this race in my opinion, based on his chase debut performance.

The Cross-Country chases at Cheltenham are not a great idea in my opinion, but they are useful as a betting medium, especially the handicaps.  Horses either take to the Cross-Country fences or they don't and there can be huge swings in form accordingly. Not a betting medium to put the mortgage on, but if you can find a horse that loves these races then you are on to a winner.  I think Loose Chips could be one of these horses, and he is doubly-blessed because I consider his OR130 rating is very lenient. If the going description had the word "soft" in it, I'd say Loose Chips would be much shorter odds than 16/1 but, with the ground is likely to be "quick" (that is good-to-firm in places), they are about right.  Even so, a repeat of his performance on 'good' ground at Cheltenham over 3m4f (regulation fences) could well be good enough to win as this confirmed front-runner will prove tough to pass and, as the Cross-Country race is run at a slower pace due to the twists and turns, his stamina is less likely to fail him.

The last race on the card is for amateur riders, and much depends on jockeyship as the horse.  The best amateurs win this race; and they are Nina Carberry, Derek O'Connor, JJ Codd, Sam Waley-Cohen, Katie Walsh, and W Biddick.  Alert list horse KNOCK HOUSE has perhaps the best rider in Nina Carberry, and although this horse hasn't won at 3-mile he is certainly bred to stay the trip. From his run LTO (blog readers were on the winner, Open Hearted), will know just how much potential this 6yo has, and I have him 5lb ahead of the handicapper on that run, and he should improve another 5lb for that run. Yes, he has top-weight, but there is plenty of dead-wood in this race, and current odds of 11/2 (Bet365) look too good.  He is 5/1 generally, so I will base the wager on those odds.

Cheltenham 1:05pm - SILVER ROQUE; £2.50 eachway @ 25/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Cheltenham 2:50pm - LOOSE CHIPS; £2.50 eachway @ 16/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Cheltenham 4:00pm - KNOCK HOUSE: £5 eachway @ 5/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Total Staked = £20

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