There's no jump racing in the UK today, so that gives me the opportunity to make a start on forming an antepost book for the Cheltenham Festival. I placed these wagers yesterday with NRNB (non-runner, no bet) bookies at the best odds I could find. For me, the whole point of an antepost book is placing wagers which give you a distinct chance at great odds should the horse run, so I tend to look for horses that may change targets closer to the day of the race. This may produce a few odd wagers, but if the horse doesn't run, then you get your stake money back!
Over the next week or so, I'm going to be adding to this antepost portfolio, and - on the Sunday before the Festival - I will be making my selection for the Ultima Chase Handicap on Day-1.
I'm also going to post a couple of links to race videos on Sportinglife which is free to register with, and when you login you can watch lots of race videos, no limits. I use it all the time. I've not done this before on the blog, so fingers crossed that it works. But the reason for doing it is seeing the performance with your own eyes is better than I can explain in words.
Finally, in respect of the Cheltenham Festival, I enjoy trends as some of them are very strong and you just cannot ignore them. But a trend is not an immovable object, trends help you produce a shortlist and it is form that should be the basis of your final selection.
Day-1 Supreme Novices Hurdle:
The red-hot fav for this is Willie Mullins APPRECIATE IT at 7/4. On paper, his form looks strong, but he's a 7yo and the last 7yo to win the Supreme was Captain Cee Bee in 2008, and before that you have to go back to the time when I had yet to have a shave (and I'm 61yo). So, I think he's going to be beaten by an improving younger horse, as that's what this race is full of: rapidly improving young horses. There is one that jumps out of the page, unbeaten this season 4 from 4, and looked decent LTO at Punchestown, it's DREAL DEAL - watch this race
13:20 Punchestown - 17 January 2021 - Results - Horse Racing - Sporting Life
He was actually hurdling in 2019-20 but not enjoying life, then on 19Sept20 he won a hurdle race at Navan and since then he's improved out of all recognition. I rate his win on 17Jan21 at 145+ and he won so easily he could be better than 150, and that level of performance would see him pushing the front-pair in last years' Supreme won by Shishkin - DREAL DEAL is 20/1 NRNB with Skybet
Wager: DREAL DEAL £5 ew and £10 win = £20 staked @ 20/1 NRNB with Skybet
Day-1 Mares Hurdle:
This will be an interesting race if the current fav CONCERTISTA (trained by Mullins) goes for the Champion Hurdle instead; and I think she will as in my book Concertista is 5lb better than Honeysuckle and Epatante. Currently, the Mullins main entry is Sharjah who was 2nd in the Champion Hurdle last season, and he's done nothing since to suggest that he can win this year.
So if there is no Concertista in the Mares Hurdle, what do I think will win that race?
Not Benie Des Dieux who was 2nd to Honeysuckle last year, as she's not run since.
Roksana? Just not good enough. For me, there's only one mare that can win this DAME DE COMPAGNIE, and here she is winning the Coral Cup (handicap) last year.
14:50 Cheltenham - 11 March 2020 - Results - Horse Racing - Sporting Life
I realise that her last couple of runs have been over fences, but there are plenty of good mares in the Chase equivalent race and she hasn't shown she's anywhere near as good (yet) a chaser as she was (is) a hurdler. And Henderson has form reverting novice chasers back to hurdles - he did it with Buveur D'Air who won 2 novice chase's before winning the Champion Hurdle. Odds of 14/1 look fair to me NRNB with Paddy Power. And you may want to put that horse in a double with CONCERTISTA @ 10/1 in the Champion Hurdle - also NRNB with Paddy Power.
Wager: DAME DE COMPAGNIE £5 ew and £5 win = £15 staked @ 14/1 NRNB with Paddy Power
Champion Hurdle: CONCERTISTA @ 10/1 and
Mares' Hurdle: DAME DE COMPAGNIE @ 14/1 £5 ew = £10 staked with Paddy Power
Just to remind you, last year the Profit for the Festival was £104.16 on cumulative "advised" stakes of £186.00. That is equivalent to a Return on Investment of 56%. And I know a lot of my readers place wagers in multiples of my advised stakes, so they had a very good Festival indeed!
All the best from Wayward Lad.
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