Cheltenham ante-post selections
I wrote a preview with the intention of highlighting a bit of value, once firms were going non-runner, no bet. There are usually some opportunities to be had from several angles:
- each-way on races that look like cutting-up with fewer declarations;
- favourites that potentially will shorten even further on the day;
- runners I have identified with strong form that have multiple entries but likely to shorten once their target is confirmed.
I do appreciate that not all members can tie-up their cash backing runners for more than one race, even though stakes will be returned on non-runners.
We got off to a good start on Tuesday after Appreciate It had won the supreme, with the Arkle:
“It is far from ideal coming into the Festival off the back off a fall, but for me the value lies with Captain Guinness. The six-year-old was still upsides Shiskin when unluckily brought down in the Supreme last year, and he looks every inch a chaser. Twice beaten by Enurgumene as a chaser he looked to be coming off second best when falling at Leopardstown. It may turn out that any each-way play is effectively betting on third place, but a lot can happen in the run-up to the Festival –Captain Guinness – 16/1 each-way [3 places]” 3rd 10/1 (5 ran)
That was followed by a couple of body blows as advising Goshen was probably my worst decision of the week, letting my hear rule my head. Then backing the Nicholls pair in the Boodles, Houx Gris came to win the race going as well as anything but his earlier exertions caught up with him and he faded into fourth. We ended the day on a high in the National Hunt Chase:
“Galvin has been put away for this after winning over 3m at the October meeting. His form when runner-up to Imperial Aura in the novices’ handicap chase last year puts him right in the frame for a big run – Galvin win @ 9/2” WON 7/2
Day two was not good, selecting Bravemansgame against the Irish novices in the Ballymore backfired badly. The bodycam pictures of Bob Olinger pulling alongside him, on the bridle is one of the lasting memories of the week. That was followed by an almighty cock-up when selecting Put The Kettle On as the each-way alternative to Chacun Pour Soir but not advising a bet at 12/1, as she went on to win at 15/2! The day ended with a move from bad decisions to bad luck. I advised Zanza for a win at 11/1 as well as an each-way play on Them And Us. Zanza was my handicap nap of the week based on the form earlier in the season with Sky Pirate and Ibleo. Unfortunately, he was virtually brought down by faller embittered and hampered so badly that he had to pull-up. To rub salt in my wounds, Sky Pirate going on to win with Ibleo finishing third, convinced me that Zanza would have been right in the mix.
There were no hard-luck stories on day three, but we hit the bar thrice with: The Bosses Oscar (2nd 100/30 adv 6/1), Fakir D’oudaries (2nd 11/2 adv 8/1) and Sire Du Berlais (2nd 5/1 adv 8/1). I can only hope that members more risk-averse than me, ignored the “win only” advice!
The closing day advice was much better and should have been a winning one. Adagio (2nd 10/1) – tipped at 8/1 when I thought there might be less than eight runners – ran a cracker having been available at bigger prices throughout the day. That was followed by two setbacks: Champagne Gold had been tipped each-way @ 16/1 went off at 6/1 (probably due to bookies hedging liabilities on Rachael Blackmore multiples) but ran no sort of race. Stattler went off 7/2 fav for the Albert Bartlett having been highlighted at 5/1, he ran well but appeared not to stay the 3m. Then we struck gold in the big one, despite the inexplicable run of Champ, as Minella Indo saw off the challenge from A Plus Tard and Al Boum Photo to claim the staying chaser crown:
“I still wouldn’t rule out horse to follow, Minella Indo who fell early in the Savills Chase. He has been out of form so far this season but ran a great race in the RSA last season, where he appeared to get involved in a scrap with Allaho a long way out and set the race up for Champ – Champ win @ 9/2; Minella Indo each-way @ 10/1” WON 9/1 [Champ Pulled-up 13/2]
Of the only other picks to run, both Magic Of Light (Mares Chase) and Fire Attack (Conditionals) were both disappointing.