1.30 Zubayr 7-1 ,Footpad 25-1 ,Let’s Dance 20-1 ( All Ante Post prices)
2.10 Blue Hell 10-1
2.50 Barters Hill 9-2 ,saver Long Dog 9-1
3.30 Djakadam 3-1
4.10 On The Fringe 11-4 ,Paint the Clouds 8-1 saver ( Ante Post Prices)
4.50 Squouateur 5-1
5.30 Next Sensation 16-1/14-1 ,Rock The World 12-1 (Ante Post Prices )
Lucky 15– 1.30 Zubayr 5-1 ,2.50 Barters Hill 9-2 ,3.30 Djakadam 3-1.4.10 On The Fringe 3-1
E/w Lucky 15 – 1.30 Footpad 10-1 ,2.10 Blue Hell 9-1 ,2.50 Long Dog 9-1 ,4.50 Squouateur 5-1
*Last Day of the festival and it looks tricky & competitive.No real bankers like the last 3 days but be careful as Friday normally is a bookies day. Good luck all and enjoy today’s winnings 🙂
Lucky’s and Multiples – https://boomteamhq.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/cheltenham-2016-luckys-and-multiples/
Day 4 – Friday 18th March
1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle
This is a tough race for novice hurdlers and is ran at break neck speed over 2 miles 1 furlong.It’s not an easy race to find the winner but nine of the last eleven winners could be found in top four in the betting.Favorites have a poor record in race and only 2 managed to win in last 14 years.17 of the last 21 Triumph Hurdle winners have won on their last start prior to the Triumph Hurdle.In the last 16 years the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (won by Zubayr at 9-1 for us recently) and the Spring Juvenile Hurdle (won by Footpad, our ante post horse) have provided the Triumph Hurdle winner between them on 9 occasions in the last 16 years.Nicky Henderson likes to target this race and has won it 6 times while Alan King won it twice with 4 places the last 10 yrs.
Ivanovich Gorbatov heads the betting.He won his maiden at Leopardstown beating Let’s Dance by 2 lengths.He was very impressive that day showing a blistering turn of foot when it mattered.He was then sent to the Spring Juvenile Hurdle where he disappointed on heavy ground.Let’s Dance(3rd) did turn around the form with Ivanovich Gorbatov (4th) in a race won by Footpad. He made a few jumping mistakes that day .I am not totally convinced by him and why he is favorite.Zubayr won the Adonis last week impressively last week.Despite drifting to 9-1 in the market he powered clear in the run in. He was a talking horse by the Nichols yard all season and he goes to Cheltenham with his reputation enhanced.
Sceau Royal represents the King yard and has won his last 3 races very easily.He is a very slick jumper and after his Huntingdon win Alan King mentioned he wasn’t sure of having trained one that’s quicker getting from A to B over a hurdle.That was a huge compliment to Sceau Royal considering he trained Katchit to win the Champion Hurdle few years ago.He also won the Trial race at Cheltenham on his penultimate start by beating a very good horse in Adrien Du Pont that won on his next start.Connetable represents the Nichols yard and he was 2nd on his debut at Ascot to Gibralfaro.He then went to Sandown and gave a beating to Rayvin Black and Peace N Co.Rayvin Black gave the form a big boost when he won the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton recently.I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs a big race next week.
Let’s have a look at the 2 Mullins horses in the race which happened to be our 2 Ante Post bets backed at big odds months ago.Footpad won on his debut at Gowran Park in a mickey mouse where he jumped fluently in what was an educational race for him. He was then sent to the Frank Juvenile Hurdle on Boxing Day but he was beaten by his stablemate Apples Jade.He drifted markedly before the race and he could be forgiven for that run on very heavy ground.He then ran in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle where he was brilliant throughout the race.He was fluent on ground he liked and stayed on strongly before powering clear of his stablemates Allblak Des Places and Lets Dance.This was his best performance to date and if he reproduces that kind of form he will be thereabouts.I was told he was Mullins No 1 hope at start of the season too .
Let’s Dance started his campaign over Xmas where he finished 2nd and then he was 3rd to Footpad on his last start.He is another one for Ricci/Mullins and I will give him an each way squeak if he gets his ground.Of the others Gibralfaro and Protek des Flos are worth mentioning as they could run well.
Selections – Zubayr 7-1 ,Footpad 25-1 ,Let’s Dance 20-1 ( All Ante Post prices)
2.10 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
Punters used to like this race before as you could find the winner quite easily but it has become very tricky recently.Five of the last eight winners were sent at odds of 20-1 + compared to 32 of the previous 33 winners being sent off at no bigger than 16-1+.First or 2nd season hurdlers have fantastic record in the race having won 11 times in the last 12 years.The Irish have a great record in race too having won 7 times in the last 9 years.I think they had 1st 6 last year too when Wicklow Brave won at 25-1.
We need to look for a horse aged (1) no older than 6 (2) is Irish (3) is progressive (novice preferably) , (4) we take particular note of 5 year olds with nine wins in the last 17 years from approximately 20% representation (5) Trained by Mullins and Nichols (won 6 between them in last 10 years), (6) pay attention to the Coral Hurdle at Leopardstown (won by Henry Higgins) as it has provided 4 winners recently, (6) not trained by Nicky Henderson (29 of his runners were out of the places since 1997) .Horses on my shortlist for next week – Desoto County,Wait for Me,All Yours ,Sqouateur.
Selections – Blue Hell 10-1 & Henry Higgins 22-1
2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
Stamina is a key issue in this gruelling 3 mile novice chase.If the ground is soft that day you can get some really funny results.You basically need a horse that stays all day,is a fluent jumper and travels well in his races. Experience counts which is no better illustrated by the fact that although this is a race restricted to novices, five of the 11 winners had run over hurdles the previous season. Nine of the 11 winners finished first or second last time out.
The best guide to this race is the Classic Novice Hurdle in which Yanworth (The Neptune favorite) won impressively by beating Shantou Village with 3 of the last winners going on to win the Albert Bartlett.The novice hurdle at Leopardstown ran in late January (won by A Toi Phil-engaged in Neptune ) is a good guide for the Irish as two runners up went on to win here.Barters Hill head the market and rightly so as he is still unbeaten in 7 starts.He was a top bumper horse last year that culminated in winning the Aintree bumper where he had Bellshill behind.
Previously he won at Newbury beating the likes of Buveur D’Air and Altior and looking back this wasn’t a bad race at all considering what those horses have achieved since.He won his maiden hurdle at Huntingdon by grinding out like Barters Hill normally does.He then went to the Challow Novice Hurdle at Newbury and won easily.His latest success came at Doncaster where he battled all the way till the line to repel the challenge of Ballydine.He made 1-2 mistakes that day but he was not for passing as he kept finding more under pressure when he was pressed.Might be a similar story next week as he is a lazy horse,in the same mould as Don Poli.But what they both have is a fantastic attitude,a never say die attitude and will give you a run for your money.He is the one to beat in race with his form looking very good now.
Shantou Village could be the one to chase him home if he runs in this race as he is ground dependent.He only lost his unbeaten horse to the classy Yanworth last time at Cheltenham.He won his 1st 2 races of the season in the manner of a very good horse.The 2nd one came at Cheltenham when he made mince meat of Champers on Ice (went on to win his next race) and Penglai Pavillon. His only defeat came on very heavy ground but it was nice to see him jumping well that day and pulling well clear of the field.At 6-1/13-2 he represents some decent value in my opinion.
Up For Review was 3rd to Yorkhill in the bumper at Punchestown and has won his 1st two starts over hurdles.He has shown a really good turn of foot in those races but he was very disappointing on his latest start at Doncaster.He never traveled and blundered at 2 fences which was costly.He needs to bounce back though and has place claims.Mullins did report after race that he scoped badly which could explain his bad run.At 12-1/10-1 he is a nice price for each way backers.
Gangster is another horse from the Mullins yard and there have been whispers about his chances recently.He had only 4 runs in his career winning 3 of them.The only defeat came on unsuitable ground at odds on.He has been well backed recently too. He has an eye catching pedigree being a half brother to Rite of Passage (Gold Cup winner) and travels really well in his races.
Uknowhatimeanharry could run here instead of the Pertemps and he is decent value at 20-1 too.He has been a great horse for us this season winning his 4 starts.He won on his seasonal debut in a big field at Cheltenham where he was brilliant jumping those hurdles.He followed up at Newbury and then won the Albert Bartlett Trial at Cheltenham.He was made to work by Final Nudge but he kept pulling more at the end.His latest win came in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at Exeter where he was very impressive.I reckon he is worth a few quid on the place market if he ever runs here.
Thomas Hobson is another one with place claims if ever he runs here.The two best horses in the race are Barters Hill and Shantou Village.I will leave it as late as possible in this race due to the fact am unsure whether Shantou Village runs here or elsewhere.
Selections – Barters Hill 9-2 ,saver Long Dog 9-1
3.30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1 )
This is one of the highlights of the festival and feature race on the last day.It’s one of those races that owners,trainers and jockeys want to win once in their lifetime.Second season chasers have a very good record in race having won 50% of races since 1990. 11 of the last 15 winners had finished first or second at the Festival before while ten of the last 11 winners were running in the Gold Cup for the first time.RSA winners the previous season have a good record in race having won it 8 times since 1980.Mullins has yet to win this race but had 3 runners up in the last 3 years.
The King Georges at Kempton and The Lexus Chase are the best guides as 14 of the last 16 winners have ran in one of them.Cue Card and Don Poli won those races this season.You basically want a horse that has won a Grade 1 race as the last 16 winners won at least one at the highest level before competing in the Gold Cup.Fourteen of the last 15 winners could be found in the first three in the betting with Lord Windermere being the exception.
This year’s race could be one of the greatest races ever staged with the likes of Don Cossack,Vautour,Don Poli,Djakadam,Cue Card etc.The only absentee is Coneygree the defending champion ruled out due to injury.Cue Card has been a revelation this season and is the form horse going into the race.He has already won twice at the festival winning the Champion Bumper and the Ryanair.He was 2nd to Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle too.He started his season by winning the Charlie Hall at Wetherby where he jumped his rivals into submission.He then went to Haydock and won the Betfair Chase in impressive fashion.He jumped brilliantly that day and was a much improved horse from his 1st run.His next stop will be the King Georges where he broke my heart by nailing Vautour on the line after coming from behind.He got up in the dying strides and produced a career best that day.Both Cue Card and Vautour pulled well clear of the field with Al Ferof in 3rd.Cue Card needs to be respected with his excellent course form and unblemished record this season.But the only slight worry is whether he will get the Gold Cup trip but like I have always said good horses can overcome any obstacles to win.
Vautour would have been unbeaten if the 26th December didn’t exist in the calendar year.Since his demolition job in the JLT last year which was arguably the best jumping display I have ever seen for a long time he has only run twice this season.He made his seasonal debut at Ascot where he wasn’t that brilliant but still managed to win.After a few weeks we learnt that he was heavier than usual in this race and not fully fit.He was then prepared for the King Georges where he jumped like a stag throughout despite few jumps to his left.He comes alive at Cheltenham on spring ground and also goes well left handed.His target all season has been the Gold Cup and he has been prepared with this as his aim.The only concern I will have for Vautour will be if the ground becomes too soft as this could affect his speed but overall I think he is classy enough and will stay the trip.If you don’t try to win the lottery you will never become a millionaire.
Djakadam is another good horse that represent the Mullins-Ricci connections and he was runner up in that last year.He was 2nd to Don Cossack in the Gold Cup at Punchestown last April. He made his seasonal debut in the John Durkan and he won that race by 12 lengths.He was then sent to Cheltenham in the Betbright Trial Chase but he fell during the race and picked up an injury.Though he is fully fit he didn’t have the ideal preparations and at the time of writing I got told he is 3-4 days behind Vautour in his work at home.But he is a solid horse that attacks his fences with enthusiasm and as a result he cannot be discounted.
Mullins other horse in the race is Don Poli for Gigginstown.He has won twice at the festival(RSA in 2015 and Martin Pipe 2014).He is what I call a lazy horse.He will be off the bridle a long way from home but will keep grinding till the line.He will just do the bare minimum as when he showed winning for us last year in the RSA.He won on his seasonal debut at Aintree where he beat last year’s Grand National winner Many Cloud.He jumped well but raced lazily as usual.If you are backing him you would get a bigger price in running that’s for sure.He then went on to win the Lexus Chase over Xmas and it was another good effort on very testing ground.He goes into the race as a fresh horse but the 3 month break could be a worry.
Another lively contender for the Gigginstown-Mullin combo is Don Cossack. He won 6 of his seven starts last season and was the highest rated chaser too.He won very easily at Aintree and Punchestown last year but once again he lost at Cheltenham.That’s twice he lost there as he fell the year before too.His jumping can be erratic at times as we saw when he fell in the King Georges last December when coming right in contention at the 3rd last.If he can get his act together he will be a serious rival to the above mentioned horses.
Smad Place had a great season but he isn’t Grade 1 horse in my opinion.He won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury jumping like a stag throughout and he won by 12 lengths.That was breathtaking considering it was a competitive field. He proved no match to the likes of Cue Card or Vautour at Kempton but still finished 4th.He then went to Cheltenham and won for us in the Betbright Trial Chase.He gave aanother exhibition that day and galloped his rivals into submission.He has a small chance of getting.Road To Riches might be rerouted elsewhere while I would love to see oneof my fave horse in training in Sir Des Champs running well.
Selections – Djakadam 3-1
4.10 St James Palace Foxhunter Chase Challenge
This is a race reserved for amateur riders and is ran over the distance of 3 miles 2 furlongs.The Irish have a great record in the race having this race the last 5 years.Last time out winners have won 20 of the last 30 runnings.On the Fringe comes back to defend his title this year and he was very impressive when he won.
The Champion Hunters Chase at previous Punchestown festival(won by On The Fringe) is a useful guide as it has featured five of the last eight winners.The hunter chase at Down Royal(won by Marito) is also a nice guide as horses that have finished in top 2 have won this race for last 3 years.The best British guide is the Stratford Foxhunters Champion Hunters Chase with 3 of the last 6 winners having contested this race.
The Willoughby De Broke Hunters Chase at Warwick has also featured 3 winners (Mendip Express won this season).The only negative against On The Fringe will be the fact he is 11 now and they have won only twice in last 25 runnings.This year’s race has an extra dimension to it as Victoria Pendleton, the olympic cycling champion rides Pacha Du Polder.Let’s hope both jockey and horse comes home safe & sound like all the others.The ones on my shortlist are Paint The Clouds, Marito,On The Fringe and It Came To Pass.Will decide nearer time.
Selections-On The Fringe 11-4 ,Paint the Clouds 8-1 saver
4.50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
This is the handicap hurdle that is run over the distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.There have only been 6 renewals of the race and we have been lucky enough to win 3 of those in the last 5 years namely with Sir Des Champs,Attaglance and Don Poli.David Pipe likes to target ‘Dad’s race’ but has been unsuccessful so far in last 7 runnings. Willie Mullins has won it 3 times in the last 5 years.Nichols won it with Salubrious at big price in 2013.We need to look for a progressive horse in their 1st or 2nd season novice hurdling.I normally like to look at a classy horse in the race rather than trying to identify a handicap plot.Lots of horses have multiple entries at time of writing so will bet nearer time.Horses on my shortlist – Blazer,Box Office,Ibis Du Rheu and Childrens List.
Selections- Squouateur 5-1 ,Westend Star 18-1
5.30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase
This is the final race that bring down the curtain on the 4 days of the spectacular Festival.By this time we could either be drunk while trying to fill the wheelbarrows or we could be waiting for a big priced winner as it’s the #Luckylast.
Bookies love this race as they have won 5 of the 6 runnings at big odds of 16-1 ,16-1,20-1,40-1 and 16-1.It’s one of the most competitive races during the festival and not one you can play your get out of jail card.Novices have won 13 of the last 34 runnings ( 4 in last 7 years). We need to look out for a lightly raced horse that travels well during races.
JP Mcmanus has won the race twice in last 4 years and had 2 2nds. Also look out for Henderson or Nichols trained horses as they do like to target this race.I did hear a few months ago that Next Sensation had a breathing op and that race was his aim.I took some 16’s and 14’s and it has been very well backed now.Can still get 10’s in places.He did win the race last year and we have always backed him at Cheltenham too.Other horses that interest me are Rock The World,Blood Cotil & The Game Changer if he runs here.
Selections – Next Sensation 16-1/14-1 (Ante post),Rock The World 12-1
Lucky’s and Multiples – https://boomteamhq.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/cheltenham-2016-luckys-and-multiples/
Ante Post Blog Link –