Day Two – Cheltenham Festival


13:30 Neptune Management Novice Investment Hurdle

With all the talk of Neon Wolf and where he goes with his unbeaten record, you’d expect him to just turn up and win. However his form doesn’t justify his price. He was pushed to win his only really creditable win over Elgin and although he won by 9 lengths he was given 3lb to a horse that finished 20 lengths behind in the Supreme. 

At more attractive prices are Massire Des Obeaux and Shattered Love. Gordon Elliot’s representative has solid form, with finishing a close second to both Lets Dance and Airlie Beach. However, Alan Kings Massire Des Obeaux gets the nod, who although finishing a neck second to Keeper Hill off 8lbs higher, you can’t put a line through him after he beat Ballandy at Sandown then went on to win again when beating Cultivator again from the same race by over 20 lengths.

It’s a price thing.

Selection – Massire Des Obeaux E/W 11/1

14:10 RSA Chase

For this race we decided to look back at racing trends which can often be a dangerous way of looking into races…but we needed to fill some space before telling you that if Might Bite stands up he will more than likely win this race doing handstands unless the heavens open and give Americain and Harry Fry the conditions they’ve been rain dancing for. Back to the serious business though:

- 15/16 winners had 3 starts over fences

- The last 13 winners had all been placed at worst in a Grade 1 or 2

- 24/28 winners either won or finished second on their last run

- All 19 winners of Kauto Star Novices’ Chase to run have been beaten (Might Bite fell in this)

We can’t be having Alpha Des Obeaux after he bled last time out, hasn’t won as much as he should and spent an extra season over hurdles, even though Mouse Morris is very much known for getting horses ready for big races. If it were to rain and the ground ended up soft we would be very tempted by Harry Fry’s Americain and it’s not just us with Jamie Codd saying that he would be the horse he’d ride if he could have any in an At The Races preview night. Another whose chances will be amplified if the rain does come is Accapella Bourgeois, who stole a Grade 2 in Navan last time out.

Having been rated at 148 over hurdles, clocked up a rating of 154 thus far over fences and well capable of raising that again, it is very difficult to look past Might Bite. He won last time out, has had 4 runs over fences this year and looked so impressive before coming down at the last in a Grade 1 at Kempton, however that really was a mother, father, son and daughter of a fall. Another slight negative would be his lack of Cheltenham form, but it’s very hard to look past the fact that his run at Kempton, when he did come down, was quicker than Thistlecrack’s in the King George… that really is something special and probably reflects in his price. Though we would very much like to take this fella on, there really doesn’t seem to be anything capable of producing the same sort of figures.

Selection – Might Bite 7/2

14:50 Coral Cup

Darts at the ready, we will keep this one short. In fact very short. We don’t read to much into tombstone’s beating of Jezki and have a couple at bigger prices.

Scoir Mear should run his race and at 20/1 looks to offer some value in a crazy race.

Tin Soldier was being campaigned exclusively to Ireland but Mullins couldn’t resist with his English mark…

Selections – Scoir Mear E/W 20/1 & Tin Soldier E/W 9/1

15:30 Champion Chase

The Champion Chase has produced some stunning memories over the years, none more so than last year which probably produced the greatest ever moment in horse racing history, watching Sprinter Sacre defy death to romp up that hill and bring many a grown man to tears.

This years renewal is probably the biggest foregone conclusion there has ever been at the festival. Unless you win the Euro Millions on Tuesday and put all your winnings on Douvan then don’t have a bet and just watch majestic equine beauty in action. Safe to say Douvan has this firmly in the bag!

If you would like a cheeky one betting without the fav then we would point you in the direction of Garde La Victoire and who has good course form, which is always a major plus and has the champion jockey on board, which is good enough for TNS.

Selection – Garde La Victoire E/W 33/1

16:10 Cross Country Chase

Get yourself strapped in and ready for 15 minutes of tight turns, looking for your horse out the back of the TV and horses jumping through what looks like your garden hedge. One little bit of information that we have managed to pick up over our years of listening to Podcasts, Preview Nights and reading endless articles on Horse Racing is that weight really isn’t a massive issue in races such as this and that is because the horses aren’t able to settle into a gallop due to the nature of these races.

Yet again horses in the famous green and gold colours of Mr McManus dominate the market in the shape of Cantlow and Cause Of Causes. Mr Gordon Elliott has two horses here that have seen some money over the past few days/weeks and they are Cause Of Causes and Bless The Wings, whom have both performed well at the festival in the past (Gordon Elliott didn’t sound too keen on Bless The Wings in a Betfair Preview, but did talk up Cause Of Causes). The likely winner of this is quite evidently Cantlow but I’m afraid we aren’t going to be tipping up a horse in a race of this nature a price like 6/4. Mr Ted Walsh gave a good mention to a horse by the name of Usual Smurfer, who has been backed in from 25/1 to around 14/1 and looks a strong candidate to give Cantlow and Causes Of Causes a good race and offer at least place money here along with the legend that is Any Currency, who is another year older but is sure to be there or thereabouts.

Selections – Usual Smurfer E/W 20/1 & Any Currency E/W 16/1

16:50 Fred Winter

The Triumph handicap, full of plot horses and bombs, so tread carefully.

Six of the twelve winners of this race have been French bred and that is where I will start my hunt for the likeliest winner. Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this competition and is dual handed in this race with Dreamcatching and Dolos which are both worth a mention, however Divin Bere has had one sole British start and that was beating Master Blueyes, the joint second fav in the Triumph. It is a short price in this race at 6/1 but looks to me the likeliest winner at the front of the market.

Another which was doing the rounds at previews nights and comes into this with 3 wins from 6 runs over hurdles, also having beaten Master Blueyes back in October is Nietzsche (28/1). This 4 year old from the flat has won over 2m 3f which gives me hope he could handle the hill, he has the experience with over 20 visits to a race track but could potentially be more exposed than others here.

But we are happy to play this with a relatively unknown Frenchie and the experienced ex-flat horse.

Selections – Divin Bere 6/1 – Nietzsche 28/1

5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Fayonagh catches the eye after winning by a thumping 20 lengths last time out. Second that day finished previously just behind another promising Willie Mullins horse. Someday’s form has been boosted with his 1/2 length second to Cilaos Emery running 5th in the Supreme and looks to be the best horse in the race at a fair 9/1.

Selection – Someday 9/1