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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 9 March 2020

Cheltenham Festival - Day 1 (Tuesday)

This is it, the big one, what we've been waiting for.
First-up a bit of advice - you cannot hope to find the winner of every race, so don't even try. Pick your targets, and if you must have a wager in a race you haven't studied, make it a small one, and maybe just have a fiver in the place-only market on the exchanges or with the Tote.
Remember, over 50% of all the Festival races are won by a last-time-out winner (LTO), finding the winners can be that simple!

I've posted several blogs over the past week with my thoughts on the Festival, and some more detailed analysis, so I'm not going to repeat it, but take a look at the earlier blogs by scrolling down the page.

1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle (2-miles & 87 yards)
Stick with LTO winners, and the market leaders. You do not get surprises in this race.  I have really liked the Mullins runner ASTERION FORLONGE for a few weeks since he won well on 2nd Feb. He could well be the best of these, but do not ignore the Gordon Elliott runner Abacadabras who is likely to improve a lot on his last run. Of the English horses, Fiddlerontheroof is likely to be best. All these 3 horses have already won a G1 hurdle, and graded form is the best line to follow. It may be worth combining the 3 in 6 x £2 straight forecasts.

2:10 Arkle (novice chase) over 2-miles
For me, there are only two horses in the race: Notebook and CASH BACK.
Brewin'upastorm has been off the track too long (117 days) and the mare Fakir D'oudairies meets the colts without a mares allowance for the first time. My preference is for CASH BACK as I think this 8yo could be something special, he will lead from the off and this track does suit a front-runner. Both these horses know how to jump at speed, and fingers crossed we are going to be in for a classic.
I'm on CASH BACK already, and I cannot believe that odds of 7/1 are available, even Notebook is available for 100/30. I'd have this pair 2/1 joint-favs.
Suggested Wager: CASH BACK £10 win @ 7/1 (available generally)

2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase over 3-miles & 1 furlong
I reviewed this race on Sunday (posted the blog early Monday morning) and my selections are:
Take a look at yesterday's blog for how the stakes are split, £24 wagered.

3:30 The Champion Hurdle over 2-miles & 87 yards
This race looks absolutely wide open. I would not even bother having a punt on any of those under 10/1, and this could well go to a long odds winner.  There are a couple that look a bit too long in the market: BALLYANDY @ 18/1 (available generally) and CORNERSTONE LAD @ 28/1 (available generally).
Both these horses held the current 2nd-fav Pentlands Hills when they met at Haydock on 18th Jan. On that form they should both be trading at under 10/1. Ballyandy "loves" Cheltenham: was 3rd in the County Hurdle last year, 4th in the Supreme Hurdle in 2017, and won the Champion Bumper in 2016.  Cornerstone Lad has never been out of the 1st-3 since going hurdling, that's 14 races!
Suggested Wager:
BALLYANDY £5 eachway @ 18/1 and
CORNERSTONE LAD £5 eachway @ 28/1
5th odds a place 1,2,3,4

4:10 the Mares' Hurdle over 2-mile 4-furlongs
This should be dominated by the front-3 in the market and as likely winner BENIE DES DIEUX is at odd-on there is no point in having a wager.

4:50 Novices handicap chase over 2-mile 4-furlongs
A very tricky race to fathom, and one that I have not studied.

5:30 National Hunt Chase over 3-mile 6-furlongs
One of my favourite races of the Festival, remember this is for amateur riders. Only the best riders win this: JJ Codd, Sam Waley-Cohen, Derek O'Connor.
This race invariably goes to the highest-rated horse in the race, it is as simple as that. This year that is LORD DU MESNIL on OR153, the race fav is Carefully Selected on OR152 but he's not as experienced as Lord Du Mesnil, and this is a race in which the younger horse can go well.
As soon as I saw Sam Waley-Cohen had been booked for Lord Dun Mesnil, he was included in my multiple wagers.
Suggested Wager: LORD DU MESNIL £10 win @ 6/1 (Bet365, PaddyPower, Betfred)

All the best.

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