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Cheltenham Special

I doubt many will have been on the winner of the Supreme Novices’ but if you were one of them, I doff my cap to you.

When the day started with BALLYANDY getting beaten up after the second hurdle by one coming in either side of him, and him then jumping poorly as a result, followed by CHARBEL going base over apex when looking very likely to give ALTIOR a real race, I had a feeling I’d be under pressure for the rest of the day.

I had a massive….and I mean massive….e.w. play on SINGLEFARMPAYMENT and was as confident as I had ever been about a horse nominated as being “the one”.

He ran an absolute blinder, taking it up going to the last but just getting nutted close home. I hope you were all on at double figures prices, e.w.

The ratings for that Handicap were absolutely spot on, too:

T – NOBLE ENDEAVOR….+8 – 3RD 15/2
* – UN TEMPS POUR TOUT….+8 – WON 9/1

* – HOLYWELL….+6
* – THE YOUNG MASTER….±0
* – THE DRUIDS NEPHEW….-5
* – COOLOGUE….-17

Thanks for e-mailing me, Bill, very pleased to read you were on all three e.w.!

I’d convinced myself of two things in the last week or so. the first was that YANWORTH could never win a Champion Hurdle and he was my biggest lay for a year. I had also convinced myself that Nicky Henderson was absolutely spot on in putting BUVEUR D’AIR back over hurdles and that was punted accordingly.

I finished off playing two, GOLD PRESENT and TWO TAFFS, plus had a reverse exotic….2nd and 3rd….and it was great to see the first three home in my penultimate short list of four.

ITS’AFREEBEE
TULLY EAST – WON 8/1
GOLD PRESENT – 2ND 14/1
TWO TAFFS – 3RD 7/1

Anybody intrepid enough to work that quartet? If so they potted a tricast that paid £856….

I had a feeling the Gods were going to be against Mullins and Walsh this season, something over there doesn’t feel right….I cannot put it any differently.

One day has never made a Festival and with live chances in DOUVAN and DJAKADAM but those that took the long odds on Ruby being leading jockey will be hoping the tide turns tomorrow.

I feel it was well worth introducing you to those that were wearing first time headgear this morning, too:

CILAOS EMERY (Supreme Novices) – 5TH 12/1
CH’TIBELLO (Champion Hurdle) – NR
APPLE’S JADE (Mares Hurdle) – WON 7/2
CHAMPERS ON ICE (JT Mcnamara National Hunt Chase) – PU
MARTELLO TOWER (JT Mcnamara National Hunt Chase) – PU
MISSED APPROACH (JT Mcnamara National Hunt Chase) – 2ND 50/1
ITS’AFREEBEE (Close brothers Novices’ Chase) – PU
TWO TAFFS (Close brothers Novices’ Chase) – 3RD

Neptune Novices’ Hurdle

This has been a very lucky race for me and it is also is very much a race for five and six year olds.

Only three 4-y-o’s have given this a shot in the last 10 years and not one managed a place. Of the 20 seven year olds that have turned up in the same period of time, only two have placed.

Thing is, that rules out just one, LIVELOVELAUGH.

However, I’m going to suggest we concentrate on the six year olds because they are currently winning 7-3 after the last 10 Neptunes.

BACARDYS
BON PAPA
DE DOLLAR MAN
KEEPER HILL
NEON WOLF
POETIC RHYTHM
SKIPTHECUDDLES
WILLOUGHBY COURT
SHATTERED LOVE

The number seven is pertinent from another angle, too. Seven of the last 10 winners came here off the back of a win, so we’ll prune those that didn’t do so last time out.

BACARDYS
BON PAPA
KEEPER HILL
NEON WOLF
SKIPTHECUDDLES
WILLOUGHBY COURT
SHATTERED LOVE

Strangely enough, down to seven!

The market is our best port of call next and the last nine winners could be located in the top four on the tissue:

BACARDYS
NEON WOLF

One of that pair wins the race.

Having started their careers in Irish points of Bumpers, they mirror nine of the last 10 previous winners of this race but where NEON WOLF scores and BACARDY’s doesn’t is the stat that tells us that seven (that number again!), of gthe last 10 winners had finished in the first two in all races they have finished and BACARDY’s was only third on seasonal debut.

Call me pedantic but….

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: NEON WOLF

RSA Novices’ Chase

A lucky race for us last season and a lovely winner punted in BLAKLION.

I’ll do nothing different at all and hopefully we get the same kind of result.

It’s yet again the number seven. I pointed out just how dominant that age group was last season and it yet again proved to be the case.

First shortlist:

ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS
ALPHA DES OBEAUX
BELLSHILL
O O SEVEN
AURILLAC
ROYAL VACATION

As with last year, that rules out the current favourite, MIGHT BITE. Only four of the 21 runners from that age group have managed to place, let alone win this race.

Four favourites have won in the last 10 years but only one in the last “seven”.

The winner though will not go off a silly price and I’m looking at the front four on the tissue because that’s where eight of the last 10 winners were to be found.

ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS
ALPHA DES OBEAUX
BELLSHILL

In recent times this has alternated between GB and Ireland and if that continues, then it’s Ireland’s turn this season and lo and behold, all three left standing have been bussed in from Ireland!

You need to be coming here having won or placed and preferably having won because….”seven” of the last 10 have done so.

Only one of that trio has that flag flying and that’s ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS so whilst I fear the quicker ground may not suit I have to post this one up as the Profile selection.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS

Coral Cup

A whiff of the impossible hangs over this one but I’ll do my best!

I mentioned a few days ago that in my opinion one of the best handicapped horses racing here all week runs in this, TOMBSTONE but, now I’ll cast the runes and give you plenty of reasons why it cannot win!

Favourites have a shocking record in this and only two have placed in the last 10 years.

Only one “seven” year old from the 59 that have taken part in this, in the last 10 years, has managed to win. Only four others have placed.

His trainer though, won this last season with an eight year old so at 3-00pm plenty of you might be telling me, “stats my backside!”

Ok, enough waffle.

Ten of the last 16 running’s of this have been won by horses aged five or six so I’m going to draw up my first shortlist:

OLD GUARD
KALONDRA
WHO DARES WINS
RIVER FROST
AUTOMATED
ALLBLAK DES PLACES
TIN SOLDIER
HARGAM
LEONCAVALLO
ROBINSHILL
BRAVISSIMO
CARRIG CATHAL

You want to be with a horse that has had at least a month off getting ready for this as nine of the last 10 winners had not seen a racecourse for at least that long so, anything that has run within the last 30 days is binned:

OLD GUARD
KALONDRA
WHO DARES WINS
AUTOMATED
ALLBLAK DES PLACES
HARGAM
LEONCAVALLO
ROBINSHILL
BRAVISSIMO

Down to nine.

The way a horse has been campaigned for this is significant and if you have had more than four runs, you have most likely left this somewhere else.

ALLBLAK DES PLACES
LEONCAVALLO
BRAVISSIMO

All three fit from the weight range I’m interested in, that being less than 11st 2lb on their backs.

All three are currently around the 33/1 mark and so a dutch is going to be played out. However, looking for just one to play 20/80 I am going to rely on the one stat that could be applied to several I have cut loose, that being they must have won earlier in the season.

Only one of that trio has done that.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: BRAVISSIMO

Queen Mother Champion Chase

A complete non-event. DOUVAN wins and the rest will be nowhere. Absiolutely no point in my profiling this because as Ruby said about DOUVAN recently, “deadly, isn’t he!”

I have already posted on the Facebook wall that you should be punting DOUVAN to beat ALTIOR next season. He’s good but not in the same league.

Cross Country Chase

I make a cuppa when this is being run. I have never profiled it and never will. Whoever it was decided such a race has a place at the Festival wants putting up against a wall.

Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle

This is what I wrote last year, and it worked:

“Cheeks now well and truly puffed out.

The last four winners went in at 25/1, 33/1, 25/1 and 40/1….I’ve just burst out laughing.

You want the winner of this? You need a de Lorean to take you just 48 hours into the future, grab a copy of Thursday’s paper and look up the result.

Trust me, that’s probably easier.

Ok, let’s give it a shot.

22 four year olds giving it large around Prestbury Park…but they ain’t the best of that age group, which is why they are here.

The better ones take in the Triumph on Friday.

Don’t touch the favourite….only two have won this and the last to do so was SANCTUAIRE in 2010

A definite way in is to look at what Paul Nicholls is saddling up. He has won two of these in the past but in the last three seasons he has accounted for 50% of the win and placed horses.

Tomorrow he saddles two:

ROMAIN DE SENAM
DIEGO DU CHARMIL

Seven winners of this had only seen a racecourse three times before they arrived at Cheltenham

DIEGO DU CHARMIL fits on that score.

I can tell you absolutely nothing about this horse. All three runs to date have come in France and the last of those was in November last year.

That he trades only 6/1 tells a story and with nothing else to go on apart from casting runes or getting a Ouija board out and asking for help from long departed friends or relatives, I’ll go with the Nicholls runner who might – or might not – be a blot on the handicap.

SELECTION: DIEGO DU CHARMIL – 20/80″

I found us the 13/2 winner plus, the Exacta which paid £141 and coppers.

But you can see what I was up against and I got lucky.

I’m going to do exactly the same thing again and look only for horses trained by Paul Nicholls.

DOLOS
DREAM CATCHNG

The first named is ridden by the stable jockey and has undergone a wind-op and that is my Profile horse here.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: DOLOS

The Bumper

I cannot recall ever finding the winner of this.

You need to be coming here aged five or six and having won last time out.

BAKMAJ
BETTER GETALONG
CARTER MCKAY
CAUSE TOUJOURS
COPERNICUS
FISHERMAN FRANK
NEXT DESTINATION
PERFECT HARMONY
ROBIN THE RAVEN
SOMEDAY
FAYONAGH
IRISH ROE

I’m now going to remove those that have only won races consisting of Bumpers having 13 or more runners. Those that have not have only managed to win three of the last 10 of these:

CAUSE TOUJOURS
PERFECT HARMONY
FAYONAGH
IRISH ROE

The last named stays in as he dead-heated in a big field Cheltenham Bumper that had 19 runners but it’s academic really as my next step is to remove horses not trained in Ireland.

They have produced 17 winners of the 24 runnings of this race and it’s quite simply bonkers to ignore that.

The only one of that quartet that stands it’s ground is…

POST RACING PROFILING SELECTION: FAYONAGH

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