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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 March 2020

Cheltenham Festival - Day 4 (Friday)

We went into the 3rd day of the Festival holding a £15 profit on £94 staked over 5 races.
Day 3 is probably the trickiest as it holds 3 handicaps, alongside 3 championship races and a mares hurdle. Unfortunately, the selection in the 1st race, Itchy Feet, fell. However we were back in the game with the 2nd race when my narrative suggested that TOUT ES PERMIS would give you a good run for your money, and he ran 3rd after looking a like a winner 2-out. The Ryanair Chase saw the blog in profit pn the day as I advised a £10 win wager on eventual winner MIN at 5/2 (£25 profit).
The Stayers Hurdle threw-up a shock winner, but again the narrative suggested a long-odds placed horse in BACARDYS at 33/1.
In the handicap chase, we just missed a payday when selection Spiritofthegames came 6th, just a nose behind the 5th horse. Keep an eye on this one next time he runs, as he was left at the start and rattled home in the final mile and should have in the 1st 4.
There was no mistake over what won the Mares Hurdle: selection CONCERTISTA romped home (£5 win advised) at 9/2; that's £22.50 profit.
Finally, the Kim Muir, and I thought I'd found a handicap blot with Bob Mahler. Had he kicked-on after jumping the 3rd-last and opened up a lead, he would not have been caught. He stayed-on strong from the final fence to take 3rd (£5 ew advised at 18/1 = £13 profit).
Into the final day with £75.50 profit on £141 staked.

To be honest, I thought earlier this week that we would be watching these races being run behind closed doors, but the course will be open for business.

1:30 Triumph Hurdle over 2-mile and 179 yards
The whisper in the industry is that Goshen is the best horse trainer Gary Moore has ever had, and when you see how he's won his 3 hurdle races to date, you can see why. Which all makes you wonder what the handicapper was smoking when he rewarded Solo with a rating of OR157 for his debut (and only UK) win in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton? That is 6lb higher than GOSHEN. Of the others, Allmankind was impressive when winning LTO on 27Dec, but that 77-day break is too long to come here off for me (ave 34 days, Zaynar in 2009 was 55 days). Aspire Tower fell LTO and the record of fallers LTO winning at Cheltenham is dire, can anyone name one? He's a talented horse, but maybe on another day. Paul Nicholls (who trains Solo) also has Sir Psycho in the race, and this horse has improved for every run and was also impressive LTO when winning on 15Feb. While Solo may be the stable star, it would not surprise me to see this one trouble Goshen most.
Suggested Wager:
GOSHEN: £5 win @ 11/4
and £5 Exacta (Forecast) 5 (Goshen) to beat 9 (Sir Psycho)

2:10 County (handicap) Hurdle over 2-mile and 179 yards
Of the last 12 winner, 8 went off at odds longer than 20/1.
Stick to horses which have NOT won over trips longer than 2m1f, and 5yo and 6yo horses have a good record. The LTO winner CHRISTOPHER WOOD trained by Paul Nicholls looks interesting. He wasn't far behind Pentland Hills in a G1 at Aintree last April and he had a wind-op since then. He could be a lot better than his OR145 rating, and he looks a bit of a dark horse in this, he's 33/1 with Ladbrokes, and I only put him up as a "fun" wager if you want to get involved.

2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle over 3-mile
You would think that a championship hurdle race over 3-mile would be a decent betting race, but in the past 6 years the shortest SP for the winner has been 11/1 - last years winner Minella Indo went off at 50/1 and there was silence from the crowd! To be honest, I have not a clue about this race, and with 19 going to post, it would seem that the majority of trainers don't know either and that's why they are chancing their arm with an entry. The current 28/1 chance REDFORD ROAD has won over C&D which is (perhaps) useful information, and he seems to need a stamina test as he was one-paced when dropped to 2m4f NTO, but again I only put him up as a "fun" wager if you want to get involved.

3:30 Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase over 3-miles 2-furlongs & 70 yards
This is the big one of the day, and it looks an intriguing race.
Last year, I wrote that I was surprised Ruby Walsh wasn't riding AL BOUM PHOTO in what turned-out to be his final Cheltenham Gold Cup. There was a doubt back then over the stamina of Al Boum Photo, but the way he won the race last year he blew those doubts away. Personally, on my own ratings, nothing since has bettered that run, and Al Boum Photo could be one of the better Gold Cup winners of recent years.  I'm expecting him to win again, and put himself in the record books.
So what can beat him? Delta Work has improved immeasurably this season and they will get a better run out of him in this than they did in the RSA Chase last year, but there is also (in my opinion) a doubt over the jockey Mark Walsh, who rides the horse for the 1st time. I don't doubt his ability, but this will be a tough race to ride a horse for the 1st-time in.
I was at Cheltenham in January when Santini beat Bristol De Mai, and that day I didn't think we'd seen a Gold Cup winner. Bristol De Mai made a bad error 3-out and though he got back into the race, the effort told on the run-in. For me, Santini has to improve at least 7lb on that run to win this race.
Last year I was on Clan Des Obeaux, and he held every chance 2-out but he didn't stay the final 2-furlongs. He has since repeated his win in the King George at Kempton over 3-miles and that looks to be his best trip, and I would be looking for more than 12/1 to tempt me to placing an eachway wager on him to be placed as I just cannot see him winning.
Lostintranslation is interesting, when you look at his form in the autumn, but that he pulled-up LTO at Kempton and hasn't run since, plus his trainer Tizzard is having a terrible Festival (just 1 placed from 12 runners) you have to question his chance in this race.
Kemboy was a 1st-fence faller last year, then went on to win 2 x G1 chases including beating his stablemate Al Boum Photo at Punchestown. unfortunately, he's not looked the same horse so far this year, and will need to improve to win.  I'm also not happy that the amateur PW Mullins is riding as he's much better in hurdle races than as a jockey in chases.
Nothing else really has a chance in this, unless there are multiple fallers, and so I think this is between AL BOUM PHOTO @ 100/30, and Delta Work @ 5/1.
The odds are not great, I'm already on Al Boum Photo at 9/2 and Delta Work at 7/1 (see earlier blogs from this year).
Suggested Wager:
AL BOUM PHOTO: £20 WIN @ 100/30 (available generally)
DELTA WORK (saver bet): £5 WIN @ 5/1 (available generally)

4:10 Foxhunters Hunter Chase over 3-miles 2-furlongs & 70 yards
Last years 1st Hazel Hill and 2nd Shantou Flyer return, and this race is between that pair, the race fav Minella Rocco who was 2nd in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017, and has looked a decent hunter-chaser this season, and the Irish challenger Billaway.
Minella Rocco has the beating of Hazel Hill from when they met on 1st Feb, and the Irish trained Billaway does not look good enough to me being only 8yo and rated only OR135.
So, can SHANTOU FLYER beat Minella Rocco? Absolutely!
He loves Cheltenham, he is still relatively young at 10yo (the same as Minella Rocco) but he's a much more professional horse, with no issues. Since being 2nd in this last year, he has switched stabled to Mrs Rose Loxton and lookes back to his best form - remember in March 2018, he was 2nd in the Ultima Handicap Chase on the opening day of the Festival running off OR152. Odds of 11/2 look good to me, and I'm rounding off my Festival with a win wager on him before heading off home to Brighton.
Suggested Wager:
SHANTOU FLYER: £10 win @ 11/2 (available generally)

Many thanks for reading the blog, it has been (again) a successful Festival for me. Whatever happens today I will be in profit for the week, and you cannot ask for more than that.  If you have enjoyed it, please send your thanks via twitter on @wayward_lad.
I've had to close the comments section on this blog to followers only due to repeated abuse, otherwise I would appreciate your response.
Aintree next!

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