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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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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Day 2 of the Cheltenham Open meeting

If you read the blog yesterday and followed my suggestions then you would have done well.
First up was the 2-mile novice chase which looked an absolute cracker on paper beforehand and fulfilled it's promise. I suggested a wager on the chase debutante North Hill Harvey who had won last seasons Greatwood handicap hurdle run at Cheltenham. Connections kept him hurdling last season as they knew he wasn't in the same league as Altior, who won the "Arkle" (the 2-mile novice chase championship race) at the Cheltenham Festival last March; so this suggested they thought he was special. Sure enough, he jumped well throughout and when challenged by the race-fav Sceau Royal (who had the benefit of a winning run) he held him off under pressure. The SP was 100/30 but at the time of posting the blog there was plenty of 4/1 available. He will need to find a lot of improvement to win the Arkle next March.

Next up was the novice chase over 3-mile, and this had a hot fav in the Irish-trained Fagan, but I thought the Paul Nicholls trained Black Corton had decent form in the book and suggested taking the 4/1 that was on offer. Well ridden by his jockey Bryony Frost, he looked beaten before the 2nd last fence where the leader Sizing Tennessee fell (crumpled on landing). 
Would he have won anyway? Possibly.
I reckon (in most situations) when a horse falls late in a race it is due to exhaustion; certainly Black Corton kept going well up the hill despite struggling over the final fence.
I then thought I was on for a winning treble when my selection in the 3rd race I looked at, Sporting Boy, went clear on the run to the 3rd-last fence (was trading at under 2/1 on the exchanges), but unfortunately he ran out of stamina at that fence and had no more to give.  The gamble of the race Indian Castle was given a tender ride - as I expected - but still didn't have enough in the tank to peg back the winner What Happens Now who won with a lot to spare.

Today at Cheltenham the card opens with a Class 2 handicap chase over 3m1f, and I found the winner of this race last season in Coologue. He's running again today off the same handicap rating and with Richard Johnson in the saddle - he will go close. However, this looks an easier race for Singlefarmpayment than the one he ran in at the Cheltenham Festival LTO. He was 5/1 fav for that and was beaten only on the nod in a pulsating finish.  If he's in that form he should win today even off a 4lb higher rating,

The horse that most interests me today runs in the 3rd race on the card at 3:10pm, the 2-mile Class 2 handicap chase, and that is top-weight VANITEUX.  He was sold out of Henderson's yard for £125,000 and has his first run for David Pipe.  Clearly, to be sold out of a top yard suggests that there is limited scope for improvement, but his win at Ayr in April suggests that on his day over two-mile he can perform to near top-level.  He does not stay beyond two-mile well as his form deteriorates and he's vulnerable, but two-miles is his trip. Pipe has Vaniteux wearing a tongue-tie today and that may make a difference as he was in 1st-time cheekpieces for that Ayr win. If he wins today, then he will go up 5lb at least (he runs off OR158 today) and that elevated rating could mean the end of handicaps for him this season.  I think he will come into the race fit to win and the Pipe stable love a winner at Cheltenham.  There are some well-handicapped horses in this race, but nothing as classy as VANITEUX over this trip who is 14/1 with William Hill and Bet Victor (12/1 elsewhere).   I'm on at 14's eachway.

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