It’s that time again; the 1st weekend in October when we have the culmination of the flat season with the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp – but what that means for me is that horseracing can now start to concentrate on the jumps season that lies ahead of us.
Regular readers will know that for the last few seasons I’ve been using the blog to build-up a portfolio of selections and wagers for the Cheltenham Festival in March, and I’ve met with plenty of success. In 2020, profits were £104.16 on total stakes of £186.00; in 2021, profits were £183.50 on total stakes of £237.00. In 2022, profits were £394.50 on stakes of £222.00 – it was one helluva week! So, I’ve set myself a tremendously difficult task if I’m to match (or better) that performance.
On Sunday 27th March, I posted a recap of this years Festival, and nominated a fantasy “yankee” wager for 2023, involving Constitution Hill (Champion Hurdle), Energumene (QMCC), Flooring Porter (Stayers hurdle), and A Plus Tard (Gold Cup). Right now, I wouldn’t put off anyone from taking current odds about those 4. There are a few others mentioned in that blog that need watching carefully over the coming weeks. They are: Galopin Des Champs – I’m not sure if this one will be aimed at the Ryanair Chase or the Gold Cup, but whichever race he goes for he will need serious consideration. Farouk D’Alene – fell 2-out when going easily in the RSA Chase, and while I cannot say he’d have beaten L’Homme Presse, he would have gone close. He could be interesting in one of the major handicap chases.
Essentially, you have to focus on the major championship races but – if you keep stakes small – then you can also include a couple of speculative wagers. For instance, I think if Shishkin returns to racing as good as he was (and that is by no means guaranteed), then he could be aimed at the Ryanair Chase (and not the QMCC). Why do I think that? His trainer, Nicky Henderson does not have a chaser capable of going close in the Gold Cup and I think he will aim Shiskin at the “King George” chase at Kempton on Boxing Day over 3-miles. If he wins that race, then Henderson has his Gold Cup horse, but if he goes close then he could be dropped in trip and attempt to win the Ryanair instead. So, odds of 8/1 (Skybet) for the Ryanair Chase, 33/1 (Paddy Power) for the Gold Cup, or 14/1 (Bet365) for the King George V1 Chase all look worth taking.