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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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Thursday 25 February 2016

Antepost potential at the Cheltenham Festival

Not the best of days on Saturday, with all 3 selections being well beaten.  It was very disappointing, especially as the novice chaser Onenightinvienna and then the “grade-1” chaser Dynaste both threw-in the towel early on. However, I was particularly disappointed with the 3-mile hurdler At Fishers Cross who looked a shadow of the horse that has finished in the frame in the last-two World Hurdles at a similar 3-mile trip.

While it looks like I gave too much credence to the early chasing performances of novice chaser Onenightinvienna, and he isn’t the horse I thought he was; the 10yo Dynaste now looks to have little future to look forward too.  He was a top-class performer on his day, and perhaps connections spent too much time chasing a win in a Grade 1, 3-mile chase when he has shown that 2m5f is the trip which he relishes. Unfortunately, the last time he ran over that shorter trip (before Saturday) was when he won the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Given he was also 2nd the previous year over 2m4f in the “Jewson” as a novice chaser, and won both his other races (as a novice) over a similar trip, yet has won only 2 of his 10 starts (as a chaser) at about 3-miles – both in his novice season – it seems now that connections missed a golden opportunity with this talented horse.  He’s now past his best at 10yo, and may be left with just a swansong performance at Aintree before an honourable retirement.

In case you are wondering, I will not producing a Cheltenham Festival bulletin this year.  I’m going to be investigating the trends with more depth and concentrating on the handicaps more.  The only horse in the Championship races that I’m looking forward to wagering on is BRISTOL DE MAI and I think connections have missed a trick in not aiming this horse at the “Arkle”.  He’s best-priced at 4/1 with Paddy Power for the JLT Novices Chase over 2m4f, with only Bet365 offering 7/2 and every other bookie going 3/1 or shorter (shame on you Ladbrokes with 11/4).  Personally, I think he’d be clear 2nd-fav for the Arkle; and if he was 4/1 for that race then for the JLT Novices Chase he should be 5/2 or shorter – so maybe the layers at Ladbrokes are doing the right thing!

The other couple of Championship races that are on my radar are the Ryanair, and the Gold Cup itself – and they are both dependent on which race VAUTOUR goes for, because I think whichever he runs in, he wins.  I wish I’d taken the early 10/1 about the Gold Cup after he was just nutted on the line in the King George by Cue Card on 26th December, but that’s long gone now and he’s best priced at 5/1.   If he does go for the Gold Cup, then the Ryanair Chase is wide open as I cannot for the life of me see Al Ferof winning the race now – he’s had plenty of opportunity and always come-up short at the very top level. In my opinion, the only reason he’s 6/1 2nd-fav for the race is that he’s possibly the only one of the 1st half-dozen in the betting who is guaranteed (barring injury) to run in the race.

Jump racing this week has been ordinary fare, and that theme continues today with few (if any) wagering opportunities about.  Putting money on veterans chases isn’t my idea of fun and, in such circumstance, I’m prepared to be patient and wait for the opportunities to come along – and they will this weekend. 

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