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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, 6 March 2021

Countdown to the Cheltenham Festival - Saturday 6th March (10 days to go)

What a week!
Thankfully, we've seen the horseracing bodies acting quickly, and fairly, and making a decision. Now we can move forward and start planning and working on the recuperation process.  The decision to suspend the trainer's license of Gordon Elliott for 6 months (with a further 6 months currently pending), will not please everyone, but for those who have sensibly considered the circumstances and the options available to the horseracing boards, it was the most likely outcome.
I have no doubt that Gordon Elliott will come out of this a much stronger person, a better horseracing professional, and will continue to have a bright future.
For punters like me (and readers of this blog) what we need to know is what will be happening to the horses entered for Cheltenham which have not been transferred in the past week to other trainers.  The number of entries by Elliott into the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival is vast, apparently Elliott horses constitute over 20% of all the entries.  Will they run? Will a temporary license for the Elliott stables be granted to a 3rd-Party while Elliott stays at home?  
My opinion is that a temporary trainer will take the reins at Cullentra, who that will be I've no idea, but perhaps recently retired trainer John Oxx can be persuaded to take control for 6-months.

Onto the Cheltenham Festival Portfolio, and the first loss is recorded with news that LATEST EXHIBITION is unlikely to travel to Cheltenham. Trainer Paul Nolan has stated that the horse will remain in Ireland and be aimed at the Punchestown Festival.  Latest Exhibition was the only wager that I recommended that was not on NRNB terms.

With only 10 days to go till Tuesday 16th March, it is time to start focusing on those in the portfolio that we can increase the stakes on. But before that, I've had another look at the Ultima Handicap Chase on Day-1 (over 3m1f of the "old course") and one to keep an eye on is TOUT EST PERMIS.  The horse holds multiple entries at the Festival, so I'm sure he will be coming over from Ireland for Noel Meade. He ran a gallant 3rd in the Pertemps Hurdle over 3-mile last year, behind Sire Du Berlais and The Storyteller, and if you read my blog that day you will see that I thought he'd give you a good run for your money. The horse hates soft/heavy ground, so ignore his recent runs in Ireland, but on 31Oct he ran a good 3rd in the G1 Ladbroke Champion Chase over 3-mile.  He has OR153 in the Ultima, goes well for a claimer: Betred are 33/1 (5th odds 5-places) and Bet365 are 40/1 (qtr-odds 4-places), both are NRNB, and if TOUT EST PERMIS starts this race he will be under 16/1.

Advised wager: Ultima Handicap Chase

TOUT EST PERMIS - £5 eachway = £10 staked @ 33/1 (5th odds a place 1,2,3,4,5 with Betfred)

It will be interesting to see how well PISTOL WHIPPED runs today at Newbury, as he also holds an entry for the Ultima Handicap Chase.  I'm expecting him to run very well today.

I've watched the performances of HONEYSUCKLE again, and what really impresses me about the mare is her turn-of-foot;  I know a lot of people thought that she was "lucky" to win the Mares' Hurdle over 2m4f last year, but I don't think Benie Des Dieux would have been able to beat her whatever route the horses had taken around that final bend - Honeysuckle was the best mare in the race that day. What is more, she's improved this season, and she has the perfect game to counter the young pretender Goshen.  Are the current odds of 5/1 going to shorten, or get longer? My thoughts are she will go off at 2/1, with Goshen at 100/30 with Epatante drifting out to 4/1 or longer. And so, I'm having a wager on HONEYSUCKLE to win at the current odds of 5/2.

Advised wager: Champion Hurdle

HONEYSUCKLE - £20 win @ 5/2 (NRNB with Betfred)

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