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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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Wednesday 13 March 2024

Cheltenham Festival 2024 - Day 2 (Wed 13th March)

Yesterday wasn't the best of days - we came close, but (in horseracing) 2nd isn't good enough.
We started the day fairly well, it was right to oppose the fav Tullyhill in the Supreme Hurdle, but we went for the wrong opposition. I think the testing ground did for Firefox, as he was cruising before 2-out but found nothing from there, staying-on to be 3rd (£5 ew advised @ 13/2, so nothing lost).  The soft/heavy ground requires stamina, and we should see a different Firefox on "good" ground.  Onto the "Arkle" and, as it happened, Gaelic Warrior is the best two-mile chaser we've seen in a few years, he ripped the "Arkle" field apart; my selection Found A Fifty was a gallant 2nd (£5 ew advised @ 15/2, again no money lost). After 2 races we had 2 selections placed at eachway, and we were still in the game. 
I had high hopes for the Ultima Handicap Chase, but my main selection Stumptown didn't appreciate the ground, and made errors. However, I did suggest placing eachway wagers on Twig and Monbeg Genius; and Twig ran a cracker to be 2nd at 28/1. For a moment  as the leaders approached 2-out, I thought he may go on to win, but no. Again, it was stamina that won out on the testing ground. 
That was the end of my luck, as I didn't have any meaningful wagers in the next 3 hurdle races, and in the NH Chase that closed the day, my selection Salvatore Ziggy ran a stinker.   

The 2nd day of the Festival starts with:
1:30pm Gallagher Novices' Hurdle (2m5f)
After Slade Steel won the Supreme Hurdle yesterday, you cannot look anywhere else but at Ballyburn as he easily beat Slade Steel last month. What will come 2nd? Possibly the 6yo Ile Atlantique.

2:10pm Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (3-mile)
Just 6 runners go to post, and yet another odds-on Mullins horse Fact To File is the fav. At the odds, I don't think he's value and I'm going to oppose with Stay Away Fay who we know will stay the trip and handle the track and ground; and I think this one has the stronger form going into this race.  It's particularly pleasing that trainer Paul Nicholls has not entered the horse in any other race; this has always been the target.  I thought this race may cut-up, but not this much, and now I'm wishing I'd had more on Giovinco ew last week at 33/1 (see blog dated 07Mar) as antepost offered 3-places. The 7/2 available for Stay Away Fay looks decent value, and I'm taking that: £10 win.

2:35pm Coral Cup H'cp Hurdle (2m5f)
This will be won by a horse with a lot of stamina, and a touch of class. It's a longshot but I like Benson; a 9yo who will handle the ground, can race up with the pace, or from off the pace, and was 11/1 to win this race last year (pulled-up, never travelling), and is 100/1 with Bet365 (6-places ew, 5th odds), and there's a lot of 66/1 about. Good luck 

3:30pm Champion Chase (2 mile)
There's only one winner of this race, and that's El Fabiolo; the only way he won't win is if he doesn't finish. It could be anything that comes in 2nd, apart from Boothill who only races right-handed. 

4:10pm Cross Country Chase (3m5f)
It's no secret that I'm no fan of this race; I'm not against the type of race, I just don't think it has a place at the Cheltenham Festival. Since becoming level weights, the winner has comes from the top of the betting, so most judges will say there's no point in considering anything at odds longer that 8/1. However, I think Foxy Jacks who won over C&D last November looks poised to run well. Of the market leaders; Coko Beach has been in top form recently.  This is not a betting race for me.

4:50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase H'cp (2-mile)
This is a very competitive race, but the horse that I wanted to run in the race last year IS running in the race this year, and that Saint Roi. He ran 3rd in the Arkle instead, and then ran 2nd at Aintree when just beaten by Banbridge (now the fav for the Ryanair Chase tomorrow).  I think he's been laid-out for this race, and odds of 7/1 (generally available) look fair considering that he's a Festival winner (County Hurdle in 2020). 
£10 win on Saint Roi @ 7/1

5:30 Champion Bumper (2-miles) Flat race
To be honest, I haven't a clue in this race, but if push came to shove I think Jalon D'oudaries looks to have a decent chance and odds of 5/1 look fair.

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