Below you will find a lowdown of this week’s festival and some pointers for horses in each of the races during the festival.
What an amazing week for all involved in JPW. Between Full Time Members, 1 year festival members, and Cheltenham Festival Members we had 362 signed up. I have heard of some great stories via emails and the amounts people have won have been extraordinary.
I estimate between all 362 we have taken the bookies for £300k and that is a low end figure I wouldn’t be surprised if the figure was more around the £500k mark.
First of all I would like to ask all involved if they would kindly leave a review via www.tipstersreview.co.uk/rating-system/jpw-racing-tipster about this week and feel free to comment on the amounts you have won. If you could do this it would be very much appreciated for the efforts I have put in over the last week. Well done everyone it has been truly remarkable.
For those who have emailed me about the services I offer, below are the different type of subscriptions on offer and you can sign up at www.jpwracingtipster.com
Our next festival will be the Aintree Festival on 7th April which runs for 3 days and will also be available for £7.50.
We offer 13 festival specials throughout the year all at the same price. If you do sign up full time then all festival specials are fully included in your subscription fee along with everything sent out by JPW.
ONE WEEK £9
ONE MONTH £26
3 MONTHS £65
6 MONTHS £115
1 YEAR £200
WEEKEND SPECIAL £3.50
FESTIVAL SPECIAL £7.50
1 YEAR WEEKENDS £130 (51 weekends as 1 weekend off after Cheltenham)
1 YEAR OF FESTIVAL £75 (13 in total which works out as £5.70 per festival discounted by £1.80)
ANTE POST CHELTENHAM SERVICE £7.50 (STARTS DECEMBER 26TH – MARCH 10TH)
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL REVIEW
UN DE SCEAUX – ARKLE
FAUGHEEN – CHAMPION HURDLE
ANNIE POWER – MARES HURDLE
We could not do any more for this bet. UN DE SCEAUX and FAUGHEEN won as they liked and ANNIE POWER was also 100% the winner before the fall at the last hurdle. That is horse racing and good job we dusted ourselves down and carried on. UN DE SCEAUX is favourite for next years Queen Mother Favourite and he will be very hard to beat as further improvement is imminent. FAUGHEEN is also going to be very hard to beat. This is my favourite horse in training and I see nothing that can beat him. He hit the 2nd last hurdle yet still powered on and won. The only horse I can see coming from the novice ranks is Peace And Co who I think will be a better horse next year and will prefer the old course over the new course he won on yesterday.
1:30 SUPREME NOVICES HURDLE
The red hot favourite for this is Douvan who for me is way too short at 7/4. He has looked good on both starts this season but I don’t think he has beat anything special. He also has a high knee action which I have my doubts about on ground which I think will be quicker than ideal for him. With this in mind I am willing to take him on with 3 horses, 1 too win and 2 E/W shots.
LAMI SERGE has impressed me in all 3 wins this season which were all in soft ground. Being by Kings Theatre you would have to think he will improve for better ground. He was most impressive when winning the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown and has since been rested with this race in mind. Nicky Henderson was over the moon that day and showed a glint in his eye which is rare as Nicky Henderson never gives anything away. What I like most about this horse is the experience he with 9 runs under his belt. I have never known any other novice going into Cheltenham with so many runs. This will be a big advantage in my eyes. If compare this too the likes of Faugheen, without comparing ability but on runs then LAMI SERGE is the more experienced as Faugheen has only had 8 runs. LAMI SERGE has everything for me. He travels, jumps, has a turn of foot and looks the type of horse who will love the cheltenham. I make him near favourite so I am very happy with the 7/2 available with the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet 365. WIN.
ALVISIO VILLE is horse held in high regard and Willie Mullins was disappointed with how Tony McCoy rode him last out at Leopardstown. Even the great one gets it wrong sometimes. The trip was over 2mile 2f that day and I have always believed he is a proper 2 miler who can go further if needed. His style of running will be suited to Cheltenham as he is a big horse at 17 2 hands. Before his defeat to Nichols Canyon last time out Ruby Walsh made a statement of how he would love to ride ALVISIO VILLE which you can only imagine comes from the Mullins camp after being told how good he is. This race is tough but one thing for sure is that he is overpriced at a whopping 16/1 which is widely available. E/W.
TELL US MORE is a horse owned by Gigginstown after being purchased in the summer for a huge £290k. Gigginstown breed horses and if they buy one you simply take note. At the start of the season TELL US MORE was the word on everyones lips from the Mullins camp yet with 1 defeat seems to be the forgotten horse. This horse stays further which is what is normally needed to win a supreme. Before this defeat he could not of been more impressive so if you put a line through his last run then the 16/1 is massive. Bryan Cooper on board is a big plus and if this race is a test then he will be a horse finishing off his race when other have had enough. E/W.
We had 3 horses in this and you have to think LAMI SERGE was the big dissapointment. Would not of beaten the winner Douvan as he was very good but if Seedling did not fall in front of him he would of been a lot closer. Not sure Henderson will go next year but believe he will go chasing.
Our other 2 selections ALVISIO VILLE and TELL US MORE ran sound races in particular TELL US MORE but he did not have speed to go with them and plodded on. Both are huge horses who will both make cracking chasers. I will be keeping a close eye on them when they embark on a chasing career.
2:05 ARKLE CHASE
This should be formality for Un De Sceaux but if I was knit picking he would have 2 negatives for me . It will be a standing start and this horse like to go off 60 mph which could catch him out at the first fence and he jumps really low so coming down hill to the 2nd last at speed may also catch him out. Like I said it is knit picking but some decent prices about other horses in the field and I like the look of 2 of them E/W.
JOSSES HILL will need to brush up on his jumping as he has been novicey all season but I think the fast pace will do him all the good. The faster they go the better he will jump I think. This is a horse with plenty of scope but is just learning how to use it and I think today will be the day with Nicky Henderson doing plenty of Schooling. JOSSES HILL was good enough to finish runner up to Vautour in last years Supreme so obviously likes Cheltenham and its undulation and if his jumping is sorted he is huge at 14/1. E/W
It is interesting that COURT MINSTREL goes for this rather than the Grand Annual as I thought he was a certainty to go for that a few weeks ago. In hindsight this is a perfect race for him with Un De Sceaux front running style. He needs a fast pace to come off and he will have one hell of a pace in this race. He is a proper good ground horse who needs it big time and he certainly will have perfect ground tomorrow. He is probably just short of top class but he has been good enough to win a Scottish Champion Hurdle so has that touch of class. Everything is set up for a massive run as he has now negatives tomorrow and is a nice bet at 25/1 E/W.
Great performance from the favourite UN DE SCEAUX but I thought both our E/W selections done well. JOSSES HILL finished 3rd for a small return E/W and I thought he jumped better a the faster pace. He will only improve and is a horse I think will run well at Aintree after winning there last year. COURT MINSTREL ran well in 5th and maybe he was outclassed but still gave us a run for our money. He also won at Aintree last year so I imagine he will be returning and will possibly take on JOSSES HILL. If the going is genuine good ground he will play his part I am sure.
2:40 ULTIMA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
We have 3 horses in this race all E/W.
NED STARK is part owned by Ultima business solutions who happen to sponsor this race. This is a big give away. He has done nothing but improve this season with some 2 wins in competitive handicaps and run well behind Ptit Zig and Champagne West here in January. He is trained by Alan King who normally does well in this race and is also an improving type who run well. I think he could be well handicapped on 143 as he is a proper chaser who should appreciate the hustle and bustle of this race. E/W
WHAT A WARRIOR is a proper good ground horse who done well to win 2 on the bounce at Ludlow and Ascot.The win at Ascot was very good indeed as he finished in front of some very good horses including Black Thunder who also runs in this. He is on the same terms with Black Thunder so should hold that form but is double the price. We can forgive his last run at Newbury as that was in terrible ground he was never going to go on. Harry Skelton has improved this horse no end and I think at 33/1 he could be well overpriced as he should get a soft lead. E/W
GEVREY CHAMBERTAIN is a horse who was good enough to beat gold cup 2nd fav Many Clouds over hurdles so has that touch of class but has been below par this season. Another horse who I think is ground dependant and will like the drying ground here. He was back too his old self on his final start when winning at Newbury with ease. It is interesting that he has been kept away since and I think he could a touch better than his handicap mark of 138. 16/1 is a big price.E/W
A race to forget as this was probably our worst performance race of the festival.
3:20 CHAMPION HURDLE
I absolutely love FAUGHEEN and cannot get it beat anyway I turn. I really think this is the next istabraq and will turn out to be one of the greats. He has everything you would want from a horse and although it has been mentioned about his jumping I think he was really fast over them at Kempton. Willie Mullins has only needed to run him once this season which tell you all you need to know as he don’t think he needs to do anymore learning. I think we are going to see a performance of pure brilliance and he will get a huge round of applause. 11/10 is available.WIN
FAUGHEEN the machine and what can you say he was terrific. To hit the 2nd last hurdle and land on all fours and still win as he did, is an amazing performance. Will take some beating and I will be looking for prices for him to remain unbeaten next season.
4:40 NATIONAL HUNT CHASE
THE JOB IS RIGHT has been campaigned for this race all season and for me is the perfect type. He stays all day, he battles and has a big heart. When others have had enough he just keeps finding. He has finished 4th in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and was then a clear 2nd behind Djakadam when falling at the final fence in the Thyeystes Chase at Gowran Park. He was then giving a go over hurdles at Navan in a grade 2. He actually ran really well against some proper top class horses. For me he has to be involved today. 10/1 is available. E/W
THE JOB IS RIGHT ran into 3rd place to give us some E/W money and at one stage I thought he was the winner. Given a great ride and stayed every inch of the 4 miles.
5:15 NOVICES HANDICAP CHASE
I have been eyeing up KILLALA QUAY for this for quite some time. He is a big scopey horse who has a touch of class. He showed this when 4th behind Faugheen in last years Neptune Novice Hurdle. Has been beaten on all 3 starts this season but each run was on soft ground which was never going to be in his favour. He did run well last time out at Huntingdon and showed plenty of scope at some of his fences. He can only improve now returning to good ground and I think he could be a touch better than his handicap mark of 140. I know personally Charlie Longsdon is very happy with KILLALA QUAY and I expect him to go very close. 16/1 is a lovely price.E/W
I am very surprised Barry Gerraghty chose Cocktails Of Dawn over GOLDEN HOOF. GOLDEN HOOF is way overpriced at 33/1. GOLDEN HOOF is a horse who massively needs Good ground so we can forgive any runs on Soft ground. In all fairness even though he has been beat on his last 2 starts he has still run with credit. Back in October he comfortably beat Horizontal Speed on Good Ground at Aintree. Horizontal Speed is as low as 14/1 yet our selection beat him fair and square yet is 33/1 which makes no sense. E/W
Again not the best race. GOLDEN HOOF fell early on and KILLALA QUAY never threatened.
DAY 1 SUMMARY
We finished the day with 3 winners and 2 E/W bets landed. Shame about ANNIE POWER but the main thing is she got up ok and she will be back next year.
UN DE SCEAUX WON 4/6
FAUGHEEN WON 4/5
THE JOB IS RIGHT 3RD 10/1
JOSSES HILL 3RD 12/1
1:30 Neptune Novices Hurdle
WINDSOR PARK is a horse I like a lot in this race. He needs to brush up his jumping but the way he has stayed on at the end of races has shown me that he will love Cheltenham. He finished behind Nichols Canyon last time but I am sure he will run that horse a lot closer over further and basically make it a race between those two horses. 11/2 is available.
NICHOLS CANYON is a horse who finished in front of Windsor Park last time and I can’t split much between them. With the form Willie Mullins has been in today you would have to think NICHOLS CANYON will also runs big race. He has done nothing in hindsight and it is only the last few days where I have been trying to get him beat that I realised this. At the end of the day they could of run Supreme runner up Shaneshill in this for the same owners but they have chosen NICHOLS CANYON which tells me what I need to know. He has been drifting the last couple of days but at 5/1 he is very backable compared to the 3/1 last week.
WINDSOR PARK was brilliant and for a horse who has had some stick over his jumping didn’t he jump great. Change of tactics from the front worked a treat and he was given a great ride by Davy Russell. Another horse who is sure to improve next season.
NICHOLS CANYON run a decent race back in 3rd and think he may be dropped back in distance on his next start.
I am not going to go into too much detail apart from DON POLI is my nap of the week. I love this horse and with Coneygree now out I can’t look past him. For me DON POLI has it all. He loves the ground, Cheltenham, The hill and stays forever. Personally I think he is the next Gold Cup winner. 2/1 is available but I can’t see past him. Also available at 33/1 this race and Gold Cup next year which I have taken this afternoon.
My nap of the week was landed and didn’t DON POLI run well. He really has it all and I just loved the way he pricked his ears after the last. The 33/1 double advised looks very nice now and hopefully a few of you were abel to get on. I would not be surprised if DON POLI runs in the Punchestown Gold Cup in May.
UN ATOUT is thrown back over hurdles here which is a big giveaway after trying to make a chasing career. This is a horse good enough to finish 4th in the 2013 Supreme Novice Hurdle but has always been bred to get further. UN ATOUNT runs off a mark of 145 here which is tiny compared to what he has achieved over hurdles. I think he will relish the good ground and personally think he is thrown in. Bryan Cooper is board which is a massive bonus and the 14/1 on offer is huge.
VOLNAY DE THAIX is top weight here and obviously has it hard. Nicky Henderson has put Peter Carberry on board to try and take weight and bring his mark down to 155 and ride off 11st 9lb. As hard as it will be you have got to respect his form when 2 lengths off Rock On Ruby and ask what price Rock On Ruby would be off for this as they clashed in exactly the same terms. One thing for sure is I know he would be as big as 20/1 which is what is on offer for VOLNAY DE THAIX and he should also improve for the better ground.
VOLNAY DE THAIX managed to get 5th place and with a lot of bookies paying 5 places it was a small return.
QUEEN MOTHER CHASE
Everyone can say what they want about Sprinter Sacre but the fact remains he only needs too be 90% to win this. The fact people are judging him on his last race is stupid as the ground was soft that day and no way was Nicky Henderson going to have him spot on. He would have left plenty of improvement I believe. I got told his work rider Nico Boinville sai to Nicky Henderson last week ” boss I think he is back”. Nico is a gentleman and not a bullshitter so you have to take in what he says as he knows the horse best. If I got told I would get 100/30 about the beast at the start of the season I would laugh but it really is true no one wants him so thank you very much win or lose I am happy about the price of a horse who is a true legend and has been written of quite easily.
SPRINTER SACRE was disappointing and it was a shame to see as we all remember what a remarkable horse he once was. I think the right decision would be to retire him and let him have the rest he so badly needs. He will always remain one of the greats and I think Nicky Henderson should us all remember him for that as if he continues and keeps running bad races his name would not be mentioned in the same terms.
I have had this race lined up for DUKE OF LUCCA all season and Hobbs knows how to win this race just look at Balthazar King Record. He will relish the decent ground and 6/1 is available.
He was bang there 2 out and did give us a run for our money but it was not to be. He won at Aintree last year so I imagine a return to the track is in order.
Not like me to go for top weight in a race like this but the difference between top and bottom is not as much as usual. This makes GOLDEN DOYEN
a good bet at 20/1 considering he has chosen this over an E/W chance in the triumph hurdle. He has finished not far off top notch and hargam and those 2 are well fancied for the Triumph which basically says it all. 20/1 is lovely in my eyes.
GOLDEN DOYEN fell early on so not a race I can make a comment.
I have been waiting for this race for what seems years and MOON RACER. He was impressively good on his last outing at Cheltenham and has been wrapped in cotton wool ever since. From a very good source I have been told this is PIPES tip of the week and he will not be out of the frame. That is good enough for me and I am loving the 9/1 available.
A good day turned into an amazing day when this went in. MOON RACER was giving a great ride by Tom Scudamore and I thought he was brilliant. He ran the race in a position he did not want to be in and what could of went wrong did go wrong. It goes to show what a great horse they have on their hands as all great horses will win whatever position you put them in. He will be all the rage next season. He stays further so I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to the Neptune Novice Hurdle rather than the Supreme. A horse I will be following big time.
DAY 2 SUMMARY
WINDSOR PARK, DON POLI and MOON RACER would magnificent and they will all play parts next season in whatever race they are entered.
WINDSOR PARK WON 9/2
DON POLI WON 13/8
MOON RACER WON 9/2
VOLNAY DE THAIX 5TH E/W 20/1
1:30 JLT NOVICE CHASE
I personally think this is a 2 horse race between Vautour and PTIT ZIG and really can’t split them. One thing which do split them is the price. I think PTIT ZIG is overpriced at 9/2 with William Hill as the prices should not be that far apart. PTIT ZIG has done nothing wrong all season part from falling last time out. That was just a novice mistake he is unlikely to make again and if anything learn from it big time. His performance at this track in January when beating Champagne West was the probably the most impressive I have seen all season. All he does is stay and jump and for me a JLT winner needs to stay as it can turn into a gruelling race. At home Paul Nicholls has said he is jumping really well and was surprised when he fell as he doesn’t touch a twig at home. 9/2 is just too big as this horse may well turn out to be the Gold Cup type next year. WIN.
VAUTOUR was special in this race and before the races I thought it was a 2 horse but the prices took me away from him. I would say this was probably the most impressive performance of the week and he has to go for the gold cup next year.
2:05 PERTEMPS HURDLE
We have 3 selections in this race.
I have always loved REGAL ENCORE but for 2 seasons he has been below what he is capable of. He finished runner up in the Champion Bumper and he was talked up as the next best thing. Things didn’t materialise until he was stepped up to 3miles at Exeter last month. He travelled super and won as he liked. For me the only problem is the fact he wanted 3 miles. REGAL ENCORE went up 10lb for that win but I think he still may a bit better than his mark of 139. He is out of Kings Theatre so will like the ground and if he steps forward again 10/1 looks half decent. E/W
PINEAU DE RE is obviously known as the Grand National winner but before that win he finished 3rd in this very race last year behind Fingal Bay. He is only 3lb higher in the handicap this year with identical conditions. You would have to think the field is a lot weaker this year with Fingal Bay and Southfield Theatre filling the first 2 last year. He finished 8th to Regal Encore on his last start but I think he run a lot better than the finishing position suggests. With 24 runners PINEAU DE RE will definitely get a strong pace and this horse obviously stays all day being a national winner and will relish the hill when others are stopping. The ground is perfect for him and one thing for sure win or lose, 28/1 PINEAU DE RE is way overpriced. E/W
Another horse out of Kings Theatre is JUNCTION FOURTEEN and trained by Emma Lavelle. I honestly believe he has a big race in him especially on a mark of 136 carrying just 10st 10lb. Breeding suggests the good ground will be ideal and we can forgive his last run at Sandown as it was on Soft. Mind you JUNCTION FOURTEEN was still right there at the last hurdle before fading on the run in. He will need to improve to be involved here but believe me I have seen a lot worse 40/1 in my time.
A race to forget about as no race really ran a race in this.
HIDDEN CYCLONE finished 2nd in this race last year and you have to think this years Ryanair is a lot weaker than last years. What I can’t get my head around is the fact that he finished 2nd at 10/1 last year yet in a weaker renewal he is still available at 10/1. Bear in mind this is on the back of an impressive win at Punchestown in ground which was not ideal. John Hanlon left it late to choose this race over the Queen mother and he is a very shrewd judge so you have to respect his choice. He will improve on his last run as the quicker ground will bring the best out of him. 10/1 is a great E/W bet.
UXIZANDRE has been below par on his last 2 starts but would of hated the Soft ground so you can put a line through that. On good ground I think his jumping will put a lot of these to the test. He seems to come alive at Cheltenham with a 2nd in the JLT last year and a win here in November. Lets not forget he beat todays Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets in November so obviously has a touch of class about him. Another horse who win or lose must surely be value at 20/1. E/W.
Great win for UXIZANDRE and didn’t he jump super. I like it when you get a race spot on and I thought McCoy gave him a great ride. If he gets good ground you have to take note of this horse especially around Cheltenham. He will now go to Aintree where he won a race last season.
The big race of the day.
As a lot of my full time members know I love SAPHIR DE RHEU and have been harping on about him all jumps season. He started his season over fences but after he fell twice he was reverted back to hurdles. This was Paul Nicholls doing what he does best as this horse showed real character to win the Cleeve Hurdle here in January. SAPHIR DE RHEU is owned by Andy Stewart who is also owner of Big Bucks. This is a real dream team who know what it takes to win the World Hurdle. Apparently Paul Nicholls reckons he has improved this horse by a stone from the Cleeve Hurdle so you have to respect what he is saying. Even if he is exagerating an improvement of 1/2 stone would still be good enough to win this. I am very happy with the 6/1 available. WIN.
UN TEMPS POUR TOUT was having his 1st start of the season when 3rd to Saphir De Rheu in the Cleeve Hurdle. You would have to think he has plenty more improvement from his first run of the season. David Pipe really likes this horse and has often bigged him up. UN TEMPS POUR TOUT is the most expensive National Hunt purchase at a whopping £450k so you have to respect him. He is only 6 so must have much more to come and is a decent bet at 10/1. E/W.
Unlucky in this race as after the last I thought SAPHIR DE RHEU was going to pick the winner off but Cole Harden kept finding. Great run for SAPHIR DE RHEU who is only a 6 year so take nothing away from him. Zarkander was the unlucky horse of the race and both may clash at Aintree.
KIM MUIR HANDICAP CHASE
What a way to finish the day on a horse named after me CHAMPAGNE JAMES. All jokes aside this pick has nothing to do with the name but for me looks the perfect type to win this race. I have been impressed by this horse all season as although he has not won so far, he has not put in a bad run. For me CHAMPAGNE JAMES has been running over distances short of his best and this step up in trip to 3 miles will bring out the very best in him. His trainer Ted Walsh is a shrewd man(the walshes often are) and I believe he has had this race in mind for a long time. His daughter Katie Walsh also takes this ride which is a big giveaway as you have to believe this is a plot if ever I have seen one. If this comes in after a few winners on the day I can honestly say I will be one happy Champagne James Walsh.
It was not a CHAMPAGNE JAMES WALSH in the last lets just leave it at that. Don’t be surprised to this horse in the Grand National next season.
DAY 3 SUMMARY
Another profitable day yet only 1 winner but when you pick them at 20/1 that is all you need.
UXIZANDRE WON 16/1
SAPHIR DE RHEU 2ND 5/1
1:30 Triumph Hurdle
I have been waiting all year for HARGAM to run in this ever since he run at Cheltenham at the Paddy Power meeting. I know the favourite Peace And Co is supposed to be really smart but I really believe Hargam will turn out to better as he is more of a finished article as a novice. HARGAM made his debut at Cheltenham in November. He ran a really nice race to finish runner up as he looked really green that day. He still travelled with ooze and it was his lack of experience which got him beat. He then turned up at the course in December and won a Triumph Trial. He impressed me further that day as he showed me he handled the hill when he was tested, he battled to the line. His next start was at Doncaster in January and this was his most impressive performance. For those who don’t know Doncaster, it is a real speed track which again ticked another box for me in terms of speed. When you combine HARGAM’S form of a win at a speed track and a win at Cheltenham which is undulating, it confirmed to me he has what it takes to win a Triumph. Combining stamina and speed are the attributes needed to win a Triumph and believe me this horse has got it. I am very happy with his price and HARGAM has to be my tip of the day. 7/1 is huge. E/W
HARGAM finished 3rd at 8/1 to give us E/W money and get the ball rolling. PEACE AND CO travelled well and was worthy winner. HARGAM will be a better horse on better ground and if it is genuine good ground at Aintree he will go close.
2:05 Vincent O’brien County Hurdle
I have 2 selections in this race both at lovely prices and both of which will appreciate the better ground. For me they are both Spring Ground horses. Rain is forecast overnight but I can’t see it changing the ground too soft it will be probably change from Good, to Good To Soft (Soft in places).
BALTIMORE ROCK is a strong travelling horse who will be suited by the return too better ground. His last start was at Cheltenham in the Greatwood Hurdle back in November. He travelled well throughout but got stuck in the ground over the last 2 hurdles. He is a better horse than that and I reckon David Pipe has kept him away all winter waiting for this and protecting his handicap mark. He won last years Imperial Cup convincingly and then went to Aintree to contest a Grade 2 and run well in defeat behind Josses Hill. This shows that they hold him in high regard by running him in a Grade 2. BALTIMORE ROCK has been dropped 2lb by the handicapper since his Greatwood Hurdle and I think he could be well treated on a mark of 138. 20/1 is widely available. E/W
COMMISSIONED is another horse who will prefer the ground. Yes it may rain quite a bit overnight but it will never make it proper soft ground with the dry spell we have had all week. We can forget his last run as that was in sticky soft ground on Paddy Power day at Cheltenham in November. In all fairness it was also a very good Grade 2 Supreme Trial. He won 2 previous races at Cheltenham in October and Kempton in November. Both were in ground similar to what we will get tomorrow. His form last season is of the top draw with a 2nd in the Adonis and then a great 4th at Aintree behind Guitar Pete. I think he could be well handicapped on 140 especially at this time of year as he is likely to come alive being an ex flat horse. He is way overpriced at 25/1. E/W
COMMISSIONED was a non runner which only left BALTIMORE ROCK who did travel ok for a long way but Wicklow Brave was the worthy winner.
2:40 Albert bartlett Novice Hurdle
I think MARTELLO TOWER is the forgotten horse here and is certainly overpriced a great odds of 10/1. I believe his style of running will be suited to Cheltenham and all he does is stay all day long. I am surprised he is as big as 10/1 as you can’t really knock his form. He beat Outlander over 3 miles and then was runner up to the same horse over 2mile 5f which is a trip too short for him. He also managed to beat todays 2nd favourite that day and even if that horse was having an off day it is form in the bag for me. MARTELLO TOWER will stay longer than the mother in law, Jumps, will love the undulations and is battle hardened. What more could you want for an Albert Bartlett horse. E/W
I have had my eye on BLACK HERCULES for this all year and although 4/1 is not the biggest price I can’t leave him out. Another horse who will be better the further he goes. If he gets a fast pace it will be right up his street. He has already showed that he likes it around Cheltenham with a decent 4th in last years Champion Bumper. Don’t forget the bumper is over 2 miles so he was running over a trip way short of his best. I think he has a similar temperament to Don Poli where he gets lazy and will only do what he needs to do. I like that type of horse as I always feel they have plenty more in the tank. If BLACK HERCULES is there at the finish he will be very hard to pass up that hill over 3 miles. WIN.
To think MARTELLO TOWER drifted out to 14/1 was unbelievable. He won really well and is a tough horse to go past. He stays all day long and being such a big horse you have to think he will go chasing next season. RSA should be the aim and he does remind me of Don Poli in the way he races. Always seems to loads left but only does enough. This horse could go right to the top.
3:20 Gold Cup
The highlight of the week and I must say this race has given me a real headache for weeks and have not got my head around it until today really. In reality I can make a case for 6 or 7 but I have been over the race in my head about 10 times with a couple of possibilities which can be won from the front and the back. No doubt Coneygree will make the running so it is visualising what will happen during the race so here are my 3 selections with a different angle for each.
CONEYGREE has done nothing wrong all season and has shown a real warrior attitude for a novice. He will go from the front and basically put the lot of these to the test. He is a brilliant jumper and by his style of running half of this field are going to get caught out big time and basically hate how the race is going to be run. So too start I have got half the field beat. His trainer made a brave choice by taking him out of the RSA but looking back it was the right decision with how impressive Don Poli was. His win at Newbury in the Denman Chase was a great effort and I like the way whatever question Nico asks of him he answers. Although people question him around Cheltenham he has won 2 races at the track so I don’t think that will be the problem. With his style of running he is going to get tired but I am of the opinion he may of done enough before they get back to him. 10/1 is available. E/W
HOLYWELL is a 2 time Cheltenham Festival so loves it around here and always turns up at this time of year. HOLYWELL will track the leaders in around 5th-6th place on the inside rail. He will make his move 2 fences to go and if he has enough left will make his charge up the hill. I think he has been tuned for this by Jonjo Oneil all season and steadied along. He was much improved at Kelso on his last start and was ridden as if it was a Gold Cup test. He jumped super and showed that when the ground is not too soft he has a big spring in his step. I was impressed with his win at Aintree last season in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices Chase. He destroyed a good field and showed he has a real touch of class. We will see a very fit horse tomorrow and a horse who will be trained to the minute. 11/1 is available. E/W
BOSTON BOB will sit out the back and make his run late. Whether he can get by is another question but he will be the best turned out he has been all season for a race. I have backed him on all starts this season so I have been watching him closely in all runs. I am of the feeling he has been given easy races as each time Ruby Walsh and Paul Townsend have not been hard on him if he has not been there at the last basically coasted home. If I am right with my prediction of the ground I think this will also improve him no end and I am sorry the 25/1 is a big price. The race will be run perfectly for him with a fast pace. Something which has been missing in his races this season. E/W
This was a great race and didnt CONEYGREE do well. He was magnificent. For a race I couldn’t get my head around this was the race I actually got spot in my write up. Nico De Boinville was great in the saddle and he jumped stayed pricked his ear and just kept finding. What a Gold Cup we have on our hands next season with DON POLI, VAUTOUR, CONEYGREE and even the 2nd and 3rd DJAKADAM and ROAD TO RICHES.
4:00 Foxhunters Chase
ON THE FRINGE has run in this race twice and placed on both occasions. He is a proper hunter chaser trained by Edna Bolger. ON THE FRINGE has never finished out of the frame bar a fall in this division. I was impressed with his final start at Leopardstown when just 1/4 length of Prince De Beauchene. That is top form as if that horse was in this field he would be a lot shorter than 8/1 available for our selection. E/W
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better ON THE FRINGE wins easily. The form was int he bag and he truly obliged.
4:40 Martin Pipes Handicap Hurdle
I am not betting in this race but I do think the favourite ROI DES FRANCS will win with ease. I tipped him up 12/1 a few weeks ago ante post so I am already sitting on a nice ticket. He has a similar profile to 2 previous winners of this race Don Poli and Sir Des Champs and could be thrown in. I wouldn’t bet the horse at 4/1 now but letting you know I am on this horse in case I mention it on Facebook or Twitter and members were wondering why. I will leave this decision totally in your hands about backing him.
ROI DES FRANCS could only manage 3rd but I think this horse will make a smashing chaser so keep your eyes peeled.
5:15 Grand Annual Chase
A race I have always done well in at big prices. Oiseau De Nuit 40/1 and Bellvano 25/1 are horses that come to mind. A quick tip about this race is to place your bets with the Tote tomorrow as everyone will back the boards off McCoy in his final start at Cheltenham leaving some monster prices on the tote. It happened 2 years ago for me when I had Oiseau De Nuit at 69/1. Great finish and feeling.
I have 2 selections in this both at big prices.
GRUMETI is chasing a £60k bonus for winning this race after winning a race at plumpton which meant he would get a bonus if winning at the festival. A horse who could be well handicapped on a mark of 141 as he was as high as 151 over hurdles. He has finished 3rd in a Triumph Hurdle so has a touch of class and I think this is the type of race set up for him. GRUMETI won on his debut over fences before finishing 3rd just 3 lengths off the classy Vilbrato Valtat. He then showed good character to beat Chris Pea Green at Plumpton. I will forgive his run at Sandown in a grade 1 as he was out of his depth. With all this in mind the 25/1 available is real value.
KARINGA DANCER is a horse I like and a horse who gets further than the 2 miles here. He will be staying on in this fast run race especially with Next Sensation in the field.The sun should be out by the time of this race which will be ideal as he comes alive this time of year. He is a big scopey horse who when he gets his act together is a terrific jumper. Harry Fry holds this horse in high regard and must have a big chance in a race which will be set up for him. 33/1 is absolutely huge in my eyes.
Didn’t quite happen in this race but after the day we had we didn’t need it. Great festival and an amazing week. Roll on next years Cheltenham Festival.
Day 4 Summary
What a great day for everyone involved.
Three winners and an E/W.
HARGAM 3RD 8/1
MARTELLO TOWER WON 14/1
CONEYGREE WON 7/1
ON THE FRINGE WON 6/1