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Cheltenham Special

Each morning I will post up the details that went out the night before, just in case one or two of you did not receive the Newsletter.

Now we have a reliable website I’m happy to work with it again.

If you are subscribed to a package and did not receive your Newsletter, please e-mail me and I will look into this for you.

Best of luck on day one!

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

I’m not going to anything differently, just because it’s Cheltenham. In fact, it’s important to stay true to my methodology because it is Cheltenham!

This race has been cutting up in the last few days with horses such as Neon Wolf going elsewhere, Movewiththetimes suffering a slight injury, but at the time of writing, we have the same field size as last year and that suits me perfectly.

Age grouping comes first. No point looking to older horses if the norm is maintained as this has gone to a five or six year old in nine of the last 10 running’s so, first short list:

BALLYANDY
BUNK OFF EARLY
CAPITAL FORCE
CILAOS EMERY
CRACK MOME
ELGIN
GLARING
HIGH BRIDGE
LABAIK
MELON
RIVER WYLDE

Ewe shifted three off, including BEYOND CONCEIT, who did my OF INTEREST section a good turn when he made his hurdling debut. At eight, he’s simply too old. Only four have tried over the last 10 years and not a single one placed.

Market position is hugely relevant in this race and if you are currently sited outside the top four on the tissue, you have a job on taking this prize.

That’s my next port of call:

BALLYANDY
BUNK OFF EARLY
MELON
RIVER WYLDE

Down to four pretty quickly.

I had word recently that BUNK OFF EARLY is considered every bit as good, if not better, than MELON but, he falls down on the next important piece of criteria. You ideally need to be coming here off the back of a win and only MENORAH of the last 10 winners has not done so. He was also the joint longest priced winner of the last nine runnings of this so, as reluctant as I am to do so, BUNK OFF EARLY joins those on the sidelines.

BALLYANDY
MELON
RIVER WYLDE

Two of those are trained by the “go to” trainers when it comes to the Supreme, Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson. They have been responsible for the last four winners between them but they have also been responsible for the bulk of the placed horses in the last four seasons, too.

I’d be very confident the winner is in that trio but that’s not being clever, is it, given the prices but my reasoning for opposing MELON is that whereas a good few years ago you might look for a horse off the flat to come and win this race, in the last 10 seasons only one such type has managed it.

I cannot find a horse winning this with so little experience, either and, the only favourites to have won this in the last 10 years are DOUVAN and VAUTOUR.

No such horses in this one, I’m sure.

Ideally you want to be bringing Graded form into this race and he doesn’t do that, either. The horse he beat into second place, when he won an ordinary maiden, has since been beaten into third place @ 4/11.

No doubts at all he is priced on reputation rather than anything he has shown on the track so far.

I would have to go with the other pair when looking for my winner and I mentioned yesterday how important winning form at this meeting has always been and for me the solo play has to be BALLYANDY.

Three previous winners of the Bumper (2011, 2012, 2013), have turned up next season to win this and he turns up boasting what looks the best novice form of the season. The way he beat MOVEWITHTHETIMES in the Betfair Hurdle was as good a performance from a novice as I have seen this term and he must run a huge race here.

Recent history suggests one of the front two on the tissue is the most likely winner

POST RACING PROFILING SELECTION: BALLYANDY

THE ARKLE

The best reason I can find for ALTIOR being a certainty, despite the fact he’s the best horse in the race by a mile, is the record of horses trained by Nicky Henderson when they go off favourite in grade 1 Novice events: 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1

This is another race farmed by Mullins and Henderson in recent years, two apiece from the last five and all four long odds on favourites.

Is a 1-4 winner any use to you? Me neither.

In fact, I recently advised members took the double figure prices e.w. about CHARBEL, who has as good a chance as any of picking up the pieces, should ALTIOR not complete.

In such races as these what we can find is that horses racing to attempt to beat the likes of ALTIOR end up losing out on their best potential placing, because they go to hard early on and have nothing left at the business end. You therefore often see a longshot picking up place money they’d not get in a race run as it usually would be.

Let’s look at the Profiling criteria and see what happens.

Aged between five and seven:

ALTIOR
CHARBEL
CLOUDY DREAM
FOREST BIHAN
ORDINARY WORLD
THREE STARS

If you are looking at anything priced bigger than 8/1 then you are hoping for another WESTERN WARHORSE and you are unlikely to get one unless about six fail to run to form tomorrow.

It’s 10/1 bar ALTIOR so profiling suggests he wins.

I’m happy with my 20/80 CHARBEL and as long as they do not ride him to win it, the place portion will provide a profit. If ALTIOR fails to get round, then I have as good a chance as any of collecting the win.

POST RACING PROFILING SELECTION: ALTIOR

ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE

I will also have Ratings for this tomorrow morning but without a doubt, Profiling is my preferred way of finding winners of any race at the Festival.

A 24 runner handicap. This should be a breeze!

In the last 10 years we have seen a couple of 10 year old winners and a nine year old but, in the main, the age grouping we want on side are seven and eight year olds. They account for seven of the last 10 running’s and five of the last six.

My first shortlist starts there:

UN TEMPS POUR TOUT
NOBLE ENDEAVOR
CLARCAM
VICONTE DE NOYER
THE YOUNG MASTER
JUNCTION FOURTEEN
COOLOGUE
CAID DU BERLAIS
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT
PILGRIMS BAY
GO CONQUER
ANTONY
A GOOD SKIN
VINTAGE CLOUDS
VIC DE TOUZAINE

As is usual with handicaps trainers, after age comes weight.

Last year’s winner, UN TEMPS POUR TOUT, won this off 11st 7lb but the norm would be to select from horses carrying 11st 3lb or less.

From that list above we are left with:

COOLOGUE
CAID DU BERLAIS
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT
PILGRIMS BAY
GO CONQUER
ANTONY
A GOOD SKIN
VINTAGE CLOUDS
VIC DE TOUZAINE

Arriving in form of some kind is pretty much a requirement although you don’t necessarily want one having shown its hand, either.

If you have finished in the first three on rather of your last couple of runs prior to this event, it’s a positive:

COOLOGUE
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT
PILGRIMS BAY
GO CONQUER
VINTAGE CLOUDS
VIC DE TOUZAINE

Down to six.

You need to have won over three miles or further as I’ve accepted that stat, eight of the last 10 winners having done so:
COOLOGUE
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT
PILGRIMS BAY

Down to three:

They are certainly priced to dutch.

The market is a decent enough guide to this race because whilst we’ve seen three go in at 50/1, 33/1 and 28/1, it’s generally safe to look at those priced 14/1 and shorter:

SINGLEFARMPAYMENT

I promise you, this has not been in any way engineered to produce a favourable shout for the horse sent out as “the one”.

He simply fits.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: SINGLEFARMPAYMENT

CHAMPION HURDLE

No race has done my head in more in recent weeks.

It is a shell of a race compared to what we can usually expect and I can find reasons for five or six winning it, and those same five or six not winning it.

I’ll profile it and we’ll see what happens.

I’m not interested in anything younger than six or older than eight. Only HURRICANE FLY (9), has managed to beat the younger horses and KATCHIT won this as a five year old back in 2008.

Ok, first shortlist:

BRAIN POWER
BUVEUR D’AIR
CH’TIBELLO
CYRIUS DARUIS
MOON RACER
PETIT MOUCHOIR
WICKLOW BRAVE
YANWORTH

You need to be a proven Grade 1 performer over hurdles…usually!

Of that list above the following are in that illustrious group:

BUVEUR D’AIR
PETIT MOUCHOIR
YANWORTH

All three fit the bill regarding a winner of this arriving on the back of a win.

All three fit the bill regarding coming here having been seen within the last seven weeks.

I have given my reasons for opposing YANWORTH but for sure, in such a weak renewal of this race, he could pick it up but I’m favouring the other pair, as was mentioned in my piece on the website.

Nicky Henderson, who has trained two winners and had seven place from just 21 runners in this over the last 10 years, has walked the track and confirmed he’s happy with the ground, and with PETITE MOUCHOIR having nine lengths to make up on his runner, BUVEUR D’AIR, from last season’s Supreme Novices, I’ll be making the Henderson horse the Profile selection.

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: BUVEUR D’AIR

MARES HURDLE

We have 18 going to post but I do not think it’s going to take long to get a very short first shortlist!

Because of the domination of QUEVEGA age grouping is irrelevant.

In truth, it makes Profiling a race like this next to impossible but I’ll tell you what I have and we’ll see if it works.

The winner of nine of the last 10 running’s has been first or second favourite and Willie Mullins has trained nine of the last 10 winners….including the last nine!

So, a Willie Mullins trained horse trading in the first two on the tissue.

LIMINI
VROUM VROUM MAG

I do not know what influenced the decision to take the second named out of the Champion Hurdle but whatever it was, it was not enough to turn Ruby’s head and he sticks with LIMINI.

I’m not going to argue with the great man and I am happy to simply post up LIMINI as my Profile horse

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: LIMINI

JT MACNAMARA NATIONAL HUNT CHASE

I’m again going to opt for seven and eight year olds as they’ve won seven of the last 10 of these:

ARBE DE VIE
ARPEGE D’ALENE
BELLS ‘N’ BANJOS
BEWARE THE BEAR
BIGBADJOHN
CHAMPERS ON ICE
DANCING SHADOW
EDWULF
FLINTHAM
HAYMOUNT
KERROW
MISSED APPROACH
TIGER ROLL
WHAT A MOMENT

We have only lost four but, it’s a start.

I’m not having anything that has not yet won over at least three miles under either code

ARPEGE D’ALENE
BEWARE THE BEAR
BIGBADJOHN
CHAMPERS ON ICE
DANCING SHADOW
FLINTHAM
KERROW
MISSED APPROACH
TIGER ROLL
WHAT A MOMENT

Down to 10.

The market has been a very accurate guide to winner finding here and with eight of the last five winners in the front five on the tissue, that’s where we go next:

ARPEGE D’ALENE
BEWARE THE BEAR
CHAMPERS ON ICE

Three and the selection for the e.w. accumulator is in there. I’m a happy man!

We ideally want just one to work with but hopefully working that trio to make a profit will bear fruit.

As I have said a few times in the run up to the Festival, never be afraid to bet more than one per race, if you can make a profit doing so.

The record of Paul Nicholls runners in this, considering the runners he has had, is poor. Just one of the seven he has run in it over the last 10 years has placed.

That means I’m now looking at one of CHAMPERS ON ICE and BEWARE THE BEAR for my Profiling selection.

Nicky Henderson has only run three in this and placed with one. David Pipe has saddled seven and had two placed in it.

There is nothing more than that to split this pair so winning form on good to soft, over fences, will be the tie-breaker.

I do not expect it to inconvenience either but BEWARE THE BEAR has a win in the book on it.

POST RACING PROFILING SELECTION: BEWARE THE BEAR

CLOSE BROTHERS NOVICES’ HANDICAP

Loving this one. Finishing off with a 20 runner Novice Handicap…easy, eh!

Actually, it the runes speak true, it shouldn’t be overly difficult.

We want six and seven year olds onside….they’ve won seven of the last 10:

LAST GOODBYE
DOUBLE W’S
MIXBOY
TEMPLEHILLS
BUN DORAN
ITS’AFREEBEE
POWERSBOMB
TULLY EAST
GOLD PRESENT
TWO TAFFS

It’s another race you want to see a horse arriving in some kind of form. Nine of the last 10 winners had finished in the first three on their last completed start and all of the above did exactly that….canny people, these trainers!

I’m going straight to the market next.

Eight of the last 10 winners were in the front six on the tissue but, the one horse you do not want onside is the favourite. That has won once and placed once in the last decade:

ITS’AFREEBEE
TULLY EAST
GOLD PRESENT
TWO TAFFS

Down to four and two of them are trained by Dan Skelton.

I opted to leave the weight range until further down the flow chart on this occasion but with only two horses having carried more than 11st 7lb to victory in this over the last 10 years, I’m now going to select those carting more and lob them out:

GOLD PRESENT
TWO TAFFS

Yesterday I pointed out the record of horses wearing first time headgear at the Festival last season and one of those named won this race.

TWO TAFFS has first time headgear, has the right weight, he’s ridden by a bloke, Davy Russell, who is an absolute master around Cheltenham, he’s priced right, he’s been trained right and he’s the Profile selection

POST RACING PROFILE SELECTION: TWO TAFFS

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