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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, 9 March 2019
Cheltenham 2019 - 3 days to go
The handicaps are still a story in the making as we won't know the make-up until the final declarations but there are a few horses that we might be able to take a view on.
I'm looking at placing a few multiple wagers today and the first place to start is with the "Arkle" on Tuesday as this looks like being one of the weakest I can remember (well, not quite as weak as last year when Footpad won a virtual "walk-over"). If Defi Du Seuil goes for the JLT Chase on Thursday (which seems very likely) then we could be in for a surprise winner, but which horse will it be?
My opinion is currently split between HARDLINE and KNOCKNANUSS.
The next race to consider is the Champion Hurdle, but this race has little in the way of value as current champion Buveur D'Air is too short in the market given his dubious recent form, and Apple's Jade (who ran well below form in the Mares' Hurdle last year after which she was found to be "in season) who gets the mares 7lb allowance but may need every ounce of it. I've already struck and antepost wager on SHARJAH and that's enough investment for me in this race.
The opening day's race that catches my eye is the 4-mile NH Chase, as this race the form invariably works out. Those who regularly read this blog know that I do not rate the form of the fav OK CORRAL very highly (not as high as the official handicapper, nor Racing Post Ratings) and so there could be an opportunity. I have already placed a wager on MORTAL, and I feel he has a cracking chance at this trip but, having watched his latest race, BALLYWARD looks the most likely winner.
Having run 4th in the Albert Bartlett last March (just 3-lengths behind OK Corral in 2nd) he very nearly won his chase debut, before winning - in convincing manner - his next race over 3-mile on soft ground at Naas. DISCORAMA fell at the final fence in that race, when upsides Ballyward, but Discorama had been under a hard-drive from a long way out while Ballyward was always looking comfortable. One for the shortlist.
On Wednesday the day starts with the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, but I've no handle on novice hurdle form this season. So it is on to the RSA Novices Chase over an extended 3-mile, but the more I look at this form, the more I think DELTA WORK the current 7/4 fav, is the most likely winner. I'm not impressed by SANTINI as a novice chaser as Rocky's Treasure (RT), who Santini beat on his debut, is only rated OR147 now (and I doubt that RT ran to that level when beaten). And whatever way you look at it, Santini struggled at Kempton when 3rd behind La Bague Au Roi and TOPOFTHEGAME. We will have a better handle on Santini after watching how OK Corral gets on in the NH Chase on Tuesday. Of those at longer odds, MISTER MALARKY who has won his last two 3-mile chase races, looks more than capable of being in the mix at the business end. What is interesting is that of the 13 runners declared, only two are from Ireland and there's nothing entered by Willie Mullins.
Thursday opens with the JLT Novices Chase over 2m4f and I'm not looking anywhere else other than DEFI DU SEUIL. I reckon "Defi" has too much speed for Lostintranslation, and the Irish-trained REAL STEEL needs to find about 12lb of improvement; the same goes for KILDISART.
Later in the day, we have the Ryanair Chase and this looks a good race for a wager, or is it? The betting is headed by the Mullins-trained pair of FOOTPAD and MIN, and which to prefer depends on who Ruby Walsh rides. My opinion is that Walsh will ride neither, and he will ride UN DE SCEAUX. I'm expecting Footpad not to go to Cheltenham (and wait for Aintree and Punshestown instead) and for MIN to challenge Altior in the Champion Chase over 2-miles. With ROAD TO RESPECT taking the Gold Cup route, and TOP NOTCH running in the Stayers' Hurdle, this race will be essentially between MONALEE and FRODON.
Of that pair, I favour MONALEE as he's a model of consistency and this trip seems to be his best. Frodon was beaten out of sight in the Ryanair Chase last year and I would say he's only improved about 5lb since then but he never runs well in the Spring - 5 career runs in March/April without a win. Monalee is also (on my ratings) a slightly better horse on average.
My shortlist for multiple wagers is:-
Tues "Arkle" - HARDLINE @ 7/1 and KNOCKNANUSS @ 14/1
Tues NH Chase - BALLYWARD @ 7/2 and MORTAL @ 14/1
Wed RSA Chase - MISTER MALARKY @ 16/1
Thurs JLT Chase - DEFI DU SEUIL @ 7/2
Thurs Ryanair Chase - MONALEE @ 9/2
HARDLINE / BALLYWARD / DEFI DU SEUIL / MONALEE
Possible long-odds "patent"
KNOCKNANUSS / MORTAL / MISTER MALARKEY