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A million words, a thousand different opinions

Another piece of the jigsaw that I’ll start to put together tomorrow.

For the last few weeks people up and down the country, and over in Ireland, have been attending Cheltenham Preview nights and if any have attended several different ones, they’ve probably come away totally confused.

I was watching RUK yesterday and, because they were light on televised racing, they had a bIt of a preview going on there. I do not recall those on the panel agreeing totally on a single horse in a single race.

Some seem to have a fervent desire to be “anti the better horses”, in search of what they perceive as better value.

If you’ve purchased all the papers, read all the books, do you feel you have anything solved or, do you feel as if you actually know less now, or are less confident about one now, than you did before?

So how will we set about making a profit from next week?

I pay no attention to what we’ve seen so far this season. I’ll have a blank canvas in front of me and for each race I’ll put a series of dots down, then attempt to connect them to produce something coherent.

Most of the racing through the winter takes place on ground we’ll not see next week. Races run elsewhere will have been run at nothing like the pace they’ll go in these Championship races, they’ll be in amongst other horses and jockeys trying just as hard to get home first and some will curl up like leaves.

How then, can you apply that form we have, to what will happen next week?

You cannot.

What you can do is put trust and faith in what has gone before, at previous Festivals. Hope the runes speak true and that they deliver in spades.

We will though, enjoy every day of next week like we’ve never enjoyed a days racing before.

Those who were around this time last year and were provided with the Cheltenham Special will recall this on day one:

REWARDS4RACING NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE CHELTENHAM 2014

Getting a novice handicapped for races such as these is an art form. Getting a horse the required level of fencing experience whilst not showing your hand must be quite a job, as defined by the fact that it seems to be the case you do not want to have won more than once over fences. Seven of the nine winners have that in their CV’s.

Being seated in the first five on the tissue looks a positive, too. Only two winners have started bigger than 12/1.

I’ll start with those in the first five on the tissue at the time I composing this, and work from there.

PENDRA
MANYRIVERSTOCROSS
PRESENT VIEW
ERICHT
CAUSE OF CAUSES
INDIAN CASTLE
FESTIVE AFFAIR
THE ROMFORD PELE
ART OF LOGISTICS

Several sitting around the same price so, we’ll include all qualifiers. At this point I’ll tell you I’ve heard a strong word for Pendra.

Eight of the nine previous winners had finished in the first two home on their last outing so we’ll cull those non-qualifiers:

MANYRIVERSTOCROSS
PRESENT VIEW
ERICHT
CAUSE OF CAUSES
INDIAN CASTLE
FESTIVE AFFAIR
THE ROMFORD PELE

Pendra has gone….shame. It appears his last run was to “protect” his handicap mark before this step up in trip, which they believe will be right up his street. I know Charlie Longsden believes that this horse is his best chance of a winner all week.

Academic, if the runes are speaking true.

MANYRIVERSTOCROSS – 138
PRESENT VIEW – 137
ERICHT – 140
CAUSE OF CAUSES – 140
INDIAN CASTLE – 140
FESTIVE AFFAIR – 134
THE ROMFORD PELE – 129

I have placed the current official mark each horse carries next to their names because what I said about getting one handicapped to win this type of race is said “art form”.

Eight of the last 10 winners were officially rated in the banding 132-142 and we lose one

MANYRIVERSTOCROSS – 138
PRESENT VIEW – 137
ERICHT – 140
CAUSE OF CAUSES – 140
INDIAN CASTLE – 140
FESTIVE AFFAIR – 134

Pendra would be dropped on account of the next stat, too. Eight of the nine winners of this had won over at least 18 furlongs coming into it. He has only ever won over two miles to date, over hurdles and fences.

MANYRIVERSTOCROSS – 138
PRESENT VIEW – 137
ERICHT – 140
CAUSE OF CAUSES – 140
INDIAN CASTLE – 140

We are down to five.

Seven of the nine winners had finished in the first four on all completed starts over fences….we’ll use it because we need this looking slimmer.

PRESENT VIEW – 137
INDIAN CASTLE – 140

A six year old won this for the first time last season and here we have two of them looking to have it between them.

I think the sensible option is to dutch the pair if both turn up but as Indian Castle currently trades 6/1 market leader for the Kim Muir on the 13th, it looks like the Post Racing profile horse will be

PRESENT VIEW – WON 10/1 > 8/1

This horse has won and placed twice on all four steeplechase starts to date and he’s competitively priced around 10/1 right now”

That is what I’ll be doing for every race I can for the entire meeting. You only need a few like that and it’s all covered.

What you do not need to be doing is looking to play every race. Set your bank appropriately and bet those races in which the profile seems strongest. Some will look weaker for reasons that will be discussed as I profile those races.

The Gold Cup, for instance, is rock solid in terms of trends and I’ll be confident when it comes to having that one boxed off.

The Handicaps are the tricky (impossible?), ones but, they are also the most profitable because get a couple right, that’s everything paid for.

Grade one races are much simpler….usually.

Novice events too are usually quite simply to get to a shortlist because unless something improves a bundle on the day, we’ve already seen the packing order established as the season has gone on. Working out which will be most suited to the “better” underfoot conditions, that’s the trick.

And that’s the job I give myself every year.

From tomorrow I will be adding some text to the races you will find in the Cheltenham Festival 2015 section on the website. I have moved the Cheltenham Files to that section too, as everything now needs to be easy for you to locate in the one place.

I’m now working on the Cheltenham Quiz, too and you will be able to send in your answers over the next few days and all correct entries will go into a hat. The prizes on offer will also be included in that Newsletter.

Tomorrow I will also name the one horse I am hoping pays for my own Cheltenham. It runs on the first day of the meeting and looks as good a 20/80 as I have seen all season.

About Ron Robinson

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