1.30 Min 25-1 (Ante Post) , Tombstone 14-1 e/w
2.10 Douvan 7-2 (Ante Post)
2.50 Kruzhlinin 10-1 & Beg To Differ 14-1 (Notebook)
3.30 Annie Power 9-4
4.10 Vroum Vroum Mag 5-4 (NRNB)
4.50 Pont Alexandre 10-1 & Measureofmydreams 12-1
5.30 Aloomomo 6-1(Notebook) & Bouvreuil 14-1
Trixie – 1.30 Min 5-2 ,3.30 Annie Power 5-2 ,4.10 Vroum Vroum Mag 11-10
E/w Lucky 15 – 1.30 Tombstone 14-1 2.50 Kruzhlinin 10-1 ,4.50 Measureofmydreams 12-1,5.30 Aloomomo 6-1
Bookies offers – (Make good use of them this week and be clever )
(1) Bet365 – Back a winner at 4-1 or more on a Live Channel 4 race and get a risk free bet on the next Channel 4 race ( Max bet £50. Use money from ur own account to bet in following race if you win.If you lose they refund your money)
(2) Paddy Power -Money back as a FREE BET if your horse finishes 2nd in any race at Cheltenham ( Max £25 )
(3) Ladbrokes – Money back( FREE BET- MAX £25) 2nd place in 2.10,2.50 ,3.30 and 4.10 everyday at Cheltenham. And if SP Favorite wins 1st race everyday they will refund losing stakes up to £25.
(4) Skybet– Money Back as a FREE BET if you lose the 1.30 everyday at Cheltenham.(Max £25 )
(5) Boylesports – Money back as a FREE BET if 2nd or 3rd to SP fave in all races at Cheltenham (Max £25 )
(6) BetBright – Money Back 2nd on all races at Cheltenham as a FREE BET (Max £25 ) on all races at Cheltenham
(7) BetVictor – £25 money back as free bet every time your horse is beaten by a Willie Mullins horse
Day 1 – Tuesday 15th March
1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle
This is the race that kick off proceedings at the Festival with the famous ‘roar’.There is no denying that this race has been a graveyard for favorite backers.14 out of 17 horses that have started 3-1 or shorter have been beaten.We all remember the likes of My Tent or Yours,Dunguib and Cue Card getting turned over at short odds.Last two years we saw two of our favrite horses in Vautour and Douvan destroying the field to win easily.The Irish have an outstanding record in race having won 14 out of last 24.Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci have won the race 3 times together and have a strong hand again in the race.
Min has been the talking horse since last August. Most of us are on at fancy odds like 25-1/20-1 and looked good in the 2 races we saw him this season.In his 1st race at Punchestown he beat very good horse in Gurteen by 14 lengths.The latter franked the form by winning his next 2 races very easily. His next start would be in the Moscow Flyer and again he won very easily.He jumped really well and was very fluent throughout.Only slight concern is he tends to pull a bit but he has a high cruising speed that will be very helpful.The 3rd in that race namely Ball D’Arc went on to win his next 2 races.Clearly the form is in the book and Min should give a good account of himself. He is very short now around the 7-4/13-8 mark and represents no value whatsoever.You might get bigger odds on the day.
The horse that may give Min most to think about will be Altior,the unbeaten horse in 4 starts over hurdles. He was 5th to Bellshill last season but has been impressive since then.He won at Cheltenham back in November by beating the ill fated Maputo.Despite the lack of pace he showed a good attitude in the latter stages to win. He then went to Kempton on Boxing Day and destroyed Open Eagle and Marracudja. He has been kept fresh for the race and his useful Cheltenham course form will be valuable.He is an each way bet to nothing or could be played on place market.
The other horse from the Henderson yard is Buveur D’Air. He has taken to jumping in good style by winning by 11 lengths on his debut at Newbury and then by 7 lengths on his following start at Huntingdon.He traveled really well ,jumped beautifully n scampered clear of his rivals in devastating fashion.The interesting stat for Henderson yard is that he hasn’t saddled a winner in this race for last 24 years yet he has been responsible for 10 places(2nd,3rd or 4th) in the last 9 years.
The Deloitte is an interesting pointer as it has thrown up 2 of the last 3 winners.Bleu Et Rouge this year’s winner beat Bellshill recently but is likely to be rerouted to the Neptune.Tombstone was highly touted at the start of the season and won his 1st 2 races easily.He was then beaten by Long Dog(Royal Bond winner) in the Future Novice Champion Hurdle race and again 2nd in the Deloitte. He responded positively to the application of a 1st time hood ,jumped beautifully till he was outstayed in latter stages on unsuitable ground.The drop back in distance and running on faster ground will suit at Cheltenham.He is another one with a very good each way chance at big odds.
Yorkhill is another one from the Mullins yard that needs to be considered if he runs.He won his maiden at Punchestown before landing the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown by proving he has stamina in abundance as well as speed.The 2nd(O O Seven) and 3rd (Agrapart)in that race have won their following races.There have been good vibes about Yorkhill recently but connections haven’t decided whether he is running here or in Neptune.
Agrapart demolished the field in the Betfair Hurdle under Lizzie Kelly and won by 11 lengths.The form of that race is working out well.My 1st AP bet in race was on Bachasson and he might be the forgotten horse in race if he ever runs.He only had one bad run in the race at Leopardstown won by Long Dog. He need to get his ideal ground to perform and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him sneaking a place. Supasundae was beating Yanworth not so far ago and we know what Yanworth has achieved since. Petit Mouchoir and Moon Racer are others in race but they have a lot to prove.Moon Racer was a lovely winner for us in the bumper last year but hasn’t been seen on the racecourse.There have been positive vibes coming from the camp recently about his well being but hard to bet a horse that hasn’t jumped a hurdle in public.
Selections – Min 25-1/20-1/16-1/12-1/8-1 (Ante Post) ,Tombstone 14-1 e/w
2.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
This is a race for novices over the 2 mile distance on the old course.It is a race designed to test horses ability to jump efficiently and go as fast as possible.Normally the formbook is a good guide for this race and we don’t have many surprises excluding Wesstern Warhorse 2 yrs ago winning at 33-1.Of the last 25 winners, 23 had started at no bigger than 11/1 with 15 of those being sent off as either the second, third or fourth favorite.
Douvan is one of my bankers of the festival.The 7-2/3-1 we took last year is looking really good and I will be disappointed if he loses.He has been one of the best horses in the yard since last year and was beating Faugheen on the gallops.That tells you how good he really is. He is a fluent jumper , attacks his fences with precision and is a relentless galloper with a high cruising speed as we saw last year when he won the Supreme.He will be really hard to beat bar falling.He had 3 runs this season and won all three in devastating fashion.He won the Racing Post Novice Chase on Boxing Day by thrashing Sizing John by 18 lengths. He then thrashed Velvet Maker by 15 lengths last January.Other thing he has is course form and that will help him a lot.
Those who missed out the prices on Douvan can look for alternatives in markets such as w/o Douvan or place market where you will get better value.Vaniteux represents the Henderson yard and he made a smooth transition from hurdles to fences. He won nicely on his seasonal debut at Kempton in a small field and he jumped really well there.He was quick in the air and very fluent. He was then stepped up in grade next time but he was narrowly beaten by a very good horse from the Moore yard in Ar Mad.Sadly the latter got injured recently or he would have been a contender for the places.He then won again on his last start in the Lightening Novice Chase at Doncaster.They were not brilliant that time but got the job done in a race where Shaneshill was the big disappointment.
L’Ami Serge was regarded as the main rival to Douvan this season but he didn’t see a racecourse till Jan due to minor injuries.He won easily in his first two races in small fields beating monkeys by many lengths.But he let connections down on his last start by getting beat at odds of 1-5 by Violet Dancer.His jumping let him down that day and he also hanged up badly in the straight.Clearly something wasn’t right that day but he will have to improve a lot to frighten Douvan. Sizing John could represent decent each way value at current odds of 14-1.
I think De Bromhead will send him again to face Douvan rather than going for the JLT. He won his first two starts of the season but then got thrashed by Douvan where he didn’t jump that well especially when he was put under pressure. Fair play to connections if they decide to have another go at their nemesis in Douvan. He isn’t a bad horse but has been made to look very ordinary whenever he has ran against Douvan.Garde La Victoire represents the Hobbs team and he has won his 3 races he has ran this season.He won on his seasonal debut at Uttoxeter by beating a useful horse in Bristol de Mai by 7 lengths. He then went to Cheltenham and recorder another nice win in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy.His latest win came at Ludlow where he jumped really well to beat Doctor Harper.The latter could be one of the horses for the handicap races during festival as he looks to be well handicapped. I can’t see the others troubling the above mentioned horses.
Selection – Douvan 7-2/3-1/5-2 (Ante Post)
2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3 )
As it’s always the case this is one of the toughest and trickiest handicap races during the festival.The winners are most of the times double digit and four of the last five winners had odds of 10-1,28-1,14-1 and 33-1.
Only 2 favorites have won this race since 1977 and 11 winners could be found in top 4 of the betting.Two of the last 4 winners were successful off bottom weight while 12 of the last 15 winners carried less than 11st. Other stats to note are that eight of the last 18 winners had finished in the first four at this meeting before.
There are plenty of connections who like to target this race such as Alan King,Nicky Henderson,David Pipe and even J P Mcmanus.I haven’t had a winner in race since 2009 when Wichita Lineman under a terrific AP McCoy rallied near the end to take the honors.If you haven’t seen that race you better do as it’s the best ever ride you will ever see in your lifetime.
I will leave this race till day before as for now I don’t really know who is running or not as a few horses have been entered in 2-3 handicap races.The one I have followed this year is Aloomomo.Doctor Harper,Caroles Destrier, Fingal Bay are others to note if they run here.
Selections-Kruzhlinin 10-1 & Beg To Differ 14-1
3.30 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1 )
This is one of the most anticipated races of the festival and most eagerly awaited.It’s one of the most prestigious in the racing calendar and one I look forward to every year.I knew exactly what I was going to write here since last May.It was prepared one year in advance as there isn’t a horse right now that could beat him over 2 miles jumping hurdles.The news that he had a suspensory injury on the 17th Feb sent shockwaves among the racing family.We invested for months in the ‘machine’ but they do break down at times.I had a similar experience with Hurricane Fly before when he got injured and missed Cheltenham. But he came back the following year and won the Champion Hurdle crown. Nothing to worry though as health of horses and jockeys are more important than anything else and he will be back soon.
At the time of writing Annie Power hasn’t been supplemented for race though it’s certain that’s the route she will be taking instead of going to the Mares. Annie Power had only one run this season as she got injured. She will be getting the useful mares allowance but every time she ran at Cheltenham she has been beaten in the last 2 years. This will be another tough test against the boys and she should be thereabouts as long as she settles during the race.Nichols Canyon lowered the colours of Faugheen in the Morgiana last November but the latter wasn’t fit.He was then sent to Leopardstown over Xmas and won by beating Identity Thief on very testing ground. He showed a really likeable attitude that day by getting back up to win.His last run was in the Irish Champion Hurdle and he was destroyed by Faugheen that day.The revenge was sweet.Being an ex flat horse Nichols Canyon has good speed and I reckon he could be even better on good ground.He is a slick jumper and attacks his hurdles at speed.He also stays and has stamina in abundance.
Arctic Fire would have had a big chance in the absence of the Champion but injury did rule him out too.Next in the betting is Identity Thief for the De Bromhead yard.He started his campaign at Down Royal where he won the WKD Hurdle and won comfortably.Next stop would be the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.He did improve a lot from hi 1st run and battled bravely on the run in to beat Top Notch by a neck.He then went down fighting in the Ryanair Hurdle but was beaten by Nichols Canyon.After a titanic battle he only went down by 2 lengths on ground that didn’t suit him that day.On better ground he would surely turn around the form I reckon and is an each way bet to nothing in race or solid bet to place.If you like his chance then you are even more likely to be encouraged given that the Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner has gone on to hit the frame in four of the last five years.Let’s now take a look at the English trained horses.The New One has come short in the last 2 Champion Hurdles and at the age of 8 I can’t really see him winning to be honest.He had injuries last year and I don’t think he has overcome them.During the Christmas Hurdle he was simply destroyed by Faugheen and didn’t jump fluently at all.
My Tent Or Yours hasn’t been seen for nearly 2 years and he has been beaten twice at Cheltenham.Some of you will remember he was my lay of the festival in 2014.Surely you wouldn’t put money on a horse that hasn’t run for 2 years.He could prove me wrong but I can’t have him at all.Peace and Co is another horse from the Henderson yard that needs to bounce back from 2 poor runs this season.He was such a classy horse in the Triumph last year.He needs to settle better in his races to start with and also needs good ground.He had a wind op recently and he could be a player at big odds if that op had the desired effect.
Top Notch was 2nd to Peace and Co in the Triumph last year and 2nd to Identity Thief in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle,form that ties him closely with Nichols Canyon.He was beaten by Irving on his seasonal debut at Haydock and was disappointing in the Relkeel Hurdle ,a race won by Camping Ground.His latest race was in a mickey mouse one at Kelso where he made mince meat of his 3 other rivals.The 3rd in last year’s Triump Hargam completes the Henderson’s contingent .He was well beaten in the Christmas Hurdle and also in the International Hurdle.He will need to improve to feature here but I will give him a small each way squeak.
Old Guard could be the dark horse in the race.He started his campaign with a nice win in the Greatwood Hurdle before winning the International Hurdle at Cheltenham beating the likes of Sempre Medici and Hargam.On his following start in the Christmas Hurdle he was simply outclassed by the machine but he is an improving horse .His course form is a massive plus and better ground will deffo help.Sempre Medici has to find something with the above mentioned horses and I can’t see him winning.It’s a wide open race this year and I will have my bet day before for better odds.
Selection -Annie Power 9-4
4.10 OLBG Mares Hurdle
Despite the probable absence of Annie Power in the race (will be supplemented for Champion Hurdle with the injury to Faugheen) ,Willie Mullins still holds the key as he goes in search of an eighth consecutive victory in the Mares’ Hurdle with Vroum Vroum Mag the likeliest winner.She won the best British guide, the Warfield Mares Hurdle at Ascot over 3m in mid-January, which has produced four Festival seconds in its last seven runnings.The Irish have a stranglehold in the race and in addition to Quevega’s 6 wins,Glen’s Melody win last year ,they have also registered one runner up,three 3rds and a 4th from their other 23 runners in the race.
Vroum Vroum Mag is head and shoulders above the rest and the vibes coming out last few days have been positive.She goes in the race unbeaten having won her 8 previous starts.This season she made mincemeat of her rivals in her 2 races at Clonmel before destroying the field at Ascot back in January.I really cannot see her beat bar accident.
Polly Peachum’s defeat of The Govaness at Sandown in January looks the best form of the British contenders this season in addition to her run in last season’s Mares’ Hurdle being the best form on offer from the previous season.She was only beaten a head in last season’s race where she was lightly unfortunate as had to swerve the stricken Annie Power.At 7-1 she could be a decent each way value play or solid place market banker as she has vital course form and experience.
Out of the others I will give a mention to Bitofapuzzle and The Govaness who could fill up the places.In summary I can’t see past Vroum Vroum Mag and she will be one of the bankers on Ruby Tuesday.
Selection – Vroum Vroum Mag 5-4(NRNB)
4.50 National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders Novice Chase )
The National Hunt Chase is ran over 4 miles and is the longest race during the festival.It is reserved for novices and amateur jockeys.Three of the last four winners had all contested a Grade 1 Novice Chase earlier in the season.We have to look at horses who have Newbury or Warwick form normally as most of them are targeted at this race.Four of the last eight winners had experienced Cheltenham’s fences earlier during the season.
Four of the last eight British-trained winners contested a novice chase at the Hennessy Gold Cup Meeting with a fifth having its final prep at the same course in February so Newbury form has been a notable factor of late.Two of those five winners contested the novice chase over an extended 3m at the Open Meeting. Two trainers to look for normally in this race are Alan King or Jonjo O’Neil. The Irish sent over 2 winners and three runners up between 2011 and 2013 . Paul Nicholls is 0-16 of which ten started in the first five in the betting.
Nina Carberry must wonder what she has to do to win this race having led over the final fence in three of the last six editions.Other trends to note are that the last 13 winners had run at least three times over fences, ten of the 14 winners either won or finished second last time out and three of the last nine winners arrived here very fresh having not run during the same calendar year.I haven’t had a bet in race yet so will keep it as late as possible when the official declarations are out.Keeping my eye on few horses though- Native River,Local Show ,Minella Rocco,Southfield Royale
Selection -Pont Alexandre 10-1 & Measureofmydreams 12-1
5.30 Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase
This appears to be another tricky handicap race but recent results in the last few years have been kind to punters and we had a nice 16-1 winner in Irish Cavalier last year. Eight of the ten winners have been in top five in the betting of which 2 started favorite. Five of the last six winners won last time out and eight of the ten winners had won at least one of their last two starts.
An interesting stats is that eight of the ten winners have failed to win on either of their first two chase starts.Six of the ten winners were having their handicap debut.This further underlines the requirement to be on a progressive horse peaking at the right time.Nicky Henderson,Jonjo O’Neill and Jp Mcmanus like to target this race.
Pay attention to horses wearing any type of new headgear.I had Irish Cavalier last year as he was fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and other horses with similar profile had finished placed at big odds in the last 5 years up to 2014.No idea yet which horse/s I will be betting yet but am keeping tabs on Bouvreuil,Out Sam,Killala Quay and Katgary
Selections -Aloomomo 6-1(Notebook) & Bouvreuil 14-1
Cheltenham 2016 – Festival Preview,Insights,Stats and Analysis – https://boomteamhq.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/cheltenham-2016/
Lucky’s and Multiples – https://boomteamhq.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/cheltenham-2016-luckys-and-multiples/
Ante Post Blog Link –