You have to enjoy the build up to Cheltenham because its the only way of keeping this meeting going longer. It’s the best horse racing meeting anywhere in the world and even though it is four days it simply goes to quickly for those of us who love our horse racing. So lets start today with our strategy and get some ground rules laid down for the week. Lets at least have a well thought through plan and see if we cant make it pay. As General Montgomery said, “all good battle plans last right up until the first engagement with the enemy – then you have to react”
So here we go – some basic assumptions we are going to take on board that may not be out there in the market place just yet.
- More favourites have won, proportionately at Cheltenham in the last 10 years than should. So don’t try to be too clever too often. Why? Because the best horses run in the best races on the best ground – when was the last time we had heavy ground for a Festival? Why try to find some hidden handicap snip when the best bets are staring at you.
- Irish Horses and in particular Willie Mullins horses look a cut above British horses and appear to have greater depth this year. Don’t fight it with misplaced patriotism.
- This is the first festival I can remember where the great trainers names of Nichols, Henderson, Pipe and King have not one festival “banker”between them – extraordinary.
- Up and coming UK trainers have some very nice horses but possibly not for the Championship races. They are good at what they do in an ever competitive world, don’t be put off by names like Skelton, Pauling and Longsdon
How doe we use this knowledge and these rules to try to make money – I think like this :
We have a Willie Mullins each way Yankee to include the following horses:
Vroum Vroum Mag
I think all four will win on day 1 and we can just cheer them on to the rafters. Bookies will be reeling. Irish will be very drunk. So will I.
Back Sprinter Sacre to win the Champion Chase – now @ 9/2 with Sportingbet. Only back him to win. He will win it or finish tailed off. He is the best jumper ever and I don’t believe the same applies to Un De Sceaux, who is talented but has never had to do a parade before racing and I think will boil over because of it and should be laid. If Willie Mullins gets his horse out of that parade – he is a wizard. Sprinter Sacre may only be 90% of the horse he used to be but that will be enough to beat this field.
Back Kilcooley to win the World Hurdle – massively undervalued in the market. Currently available at 20/1 with Sportingbet and will go even better than we he destroyed them at Wetherby on this better ground. He gets the trip strongly, will love the track and ground and his trainer Charlie Longsdon says he will be hard to keep out of the frame.
Back Zubyr to win the Triumph hurdle at 5/1 – has pace and stamina – just the ticket and maybe lacks a little experience but his performance at Kempton was very encouraging. They went a right gallop and he finished strongly at the end.
Back Barters Hill @ 3/1 to win the Albert Bartlett – this is my festival nap. He isn’t quick, he just goes a bit faster than all the others and that will do in this race. Ben Pauling has been a revelation this year and this horse has helped him show just how talented he is as a trainer. This victory will crown a stellar year for him
Back Don Cossack at 4/1 to win the Gold Cup. The ground is drying nicely for him now. This is a grinders race and he would have beaten Cue Card in the King George but for a poor 2nd last jump on a track that simply didn’t suit him at all. Two extra furlongs and a hill is perfect for this horse.
And finally. Take all these horses mentioned. Put them all in a series of multiples and sit back and enjoy an outstanding meeting without the pain of going through daily papers, TV programmes and your mate down the pub who hasnt tipped a winner for 2 years and make a HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY – watching the best horse racing anywhere, now nothing is better than that.
We will be putting up our daily race by race guide with two horses in each race on the morning of each day. Look out for those emails.
Good luck and enjoy.