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deepingfox
05 Sep 17 12:06
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Date Joined: 10 Jun 01
| Topic/replies: 688 | Blogger: deepingfox's blog
As the final prep runs took place early in 2017 for the Cheltenham Festival, I became convinced that Empire of Dirt would have a great chance in the Gold Cup as evidenced by his unlucky staying on run in theIrish Gold Cup.

I was very frustrated by Gigginstowns decision to drop down in trip to their Ryanair race, probably musing that this was his Cheltenham distance, backed up by his CD win at the prior years Festival.

It was only on the evening before the Gold Cup, in my B&B digs in Cheltenham looking at Friday's racing that a lightbulb moment took place and it became apparent to me that Sizing John would be a direct replacement for my lost Empire of Dirt AP bet, and that as a second season chaser with great form at 3m he was a value bet at 8s and 9s for the Blue Riband race. And so it came to pass that I was looking st the wrong horse from The Irish Gold Cup for 6 or 7 weeks, but just got the message into my brain in time to profit. How frustrated would I have felt watching the race unfold without the previous evenings adoption of the EofD race form.

This year I have already had strong convictions that 2nd season chasers remain the way to go, in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and in particular OUR DUKE given his memorable Irish Grand National win.

I've had a single bet on him, plus several Trixie bets on the meeting including him.

A much earlier dawning moment, than this years switch to Sizing John, came over me this weekend. That if I was big on Our Duke and on 2nd season chasers, that I ought not to overlook his form in graded novice chases last winter, and on two horses in particular that duelled with him in close finishes.

They are DISKO (33/1 PP, 25's generally) and CONEY ISLAND 40/1 Sky, 33's generally), who represent much better odds than Our Duke.

I have therefore followed my Sizing John thoughts and gone in with linked with Our Duke's race form and backed Disko at 33's at the weekend. Particularly as he could be Gigginstown's main hope, and he did place behind Yorkhill in the too short JLT, which gives vital prior Festival form.

I haven't gone in on Coney Island yet until I know he has recovered from his pre-Festival setback which led to him missing the RSA in March.
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Report deepingfox September 5, 2017 7:22 PM BST
Skybet knocked Coney Island to 33's almost immediately!
Report .Fidway. September 8, 2017 3:01 PM BST
I have backed Native River although I am planning a bet on Our Duke too. Prefer the grinder type horses to the flashy ones.
Report The Dragon October 28, 2017 8:42 AM BST
going to stick with sizing john to win two on the bounce at aeround 9/1
Report misselephantstone October 31, 2017 4:40 PM GMT
the antepost market is confusing for me...
if I could afford to tie up funds for this length of time I cannot believe Thistlecrack is favourite...for me,it blatantly doesnt stay and would be a lay win and place....
Report Unforgettable Fire November 6, 2017 6:42 PM GMT
Road to Respect quietly impresses. Second race in 16 days, jumped left throughout on ground softer than ideal. Think he's the proverbial 'Cheltenham Festival horse' - ie 7 - 14 lbs better at that track on decent spring ground than elsewhere. Only rising 7 so more improvement to come over the next 12 months.

Hope they send him to the Gold Cup rather than the Ryanair (although he would have a great chance in the latter too).
Report sageform November 7, 2017 3:04 PM GMT
Still wouldn't quite write off Cue Card but it seems possible they will go Ryanair.
Report sageform November 7, 2017 3:06 PM GMT
Can't see where you make Thistlecrack a non stayer. The World hurdle is the hardest test of stamina in the entire NH calendar apart from the marathon handicaps.
Report bluebirdfan November 7, 2017 3:42 PM GMT
Our Duke is a huge price now, valid excuse the other day with a filthy scope
Report shockster November 10, 2017 11:00 AM GMT
If you like Our Duke then you should be interested in DISKO at a bigger price.  Very closely matched with Our Duke last season, good 3rd in the JLT and looks like he's crying out for further and Noel Meade has said as much.  Live outsider for me.

If all turned up fully fit though Might Bite would be my pick at present. Can't wait to see him on Sunday.
Report sageform November 10, 2017 12:01 PM GMT
I would not back Might Bite until it runs again. Much as I liked him (and backed him) in the Feltham and the RSA, he could progress but just as easily he could hate the game.
Report shockster November 10, 2017 12:20 PM GMT
Too late Sage.  Already backed Might Bite. Excited
Report sageform November 12, 2017 8:53 AM GMT
Just had a look at the result of the 2017 GC again and it is a mixture of messages. Sizing John won on merit but Minella Rocco has never run above 160 before or since, Native River is a good horse but one paced at top level, Djakadam ran about the same as usual and Saphir de Reu has never been quite top class. On the other hand, Bristol de Mai, Outlander and Smad Place were all beaten out of sight and have all won good races this season. I still think that Thistlecrack, Cue Card and possibly Might Bite could all beat any of last years field although beating Whisper is hardly top class form.
Report cyclops November 12, 2017 10:00 AM GMT
I'm always suspicious of fast finishers who don't get involved and run on late and Minella Rocco fits that bill. Coming to two out, Djakadam looked the likely winner but blundered through it. I think that took it out of him and Punchestown certainly suggested he is still right there in the top bracket, though he'll find few who think he stays up the hill strongly enough to make amends.

I think this is as open a Gold Cup as we've seen for a long time. Sizing John is overpriced. Yes, he has stats to overcome but at seven he should improve again, his record last season of winning the Irish, Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups is astonishing and I think he is underrated. I'd much rather look at him at current odds than Thistlecrack who has to return from injury, stay sound, stick to fences and improve, the combination of which is unlikely.

There will certainly be something coming our of last year's novice pack, but hard to identify who at present, other than Might Bite, who will probably continue to divide opinion.
Report sageform November 12, 2017 3:04 PM GMT
Might Bite did all that could be expected of him today but still needs to take on top class horses to find out what he will do under pressure.
Report shockster November 12, 2017 6:24 PM GMT
Thing is Sage, I don't think Might Bite was really under pressure in the RSA.  He was just dossing IMO, but it certainly was alarming.  However, it was amazing that when he got passed on the run in he realised his job and unbelievably got back up to win.

Certainly not put off after today, but as you say 4/9 says he should have won as he did.
Report sageform November 14, 2017 7:32 PM GMT
I agree, apart from having to recover from his swerve, he has never been under pressure over fences. Time will tell what happens when something better than Whisper tackles him from 3 out.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 10, 2018 11:31 PM GMT
2018 ENTRIES are in the red book 38 all in (so far)
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 10, 2018 11:34 PM GMT
And the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) of £625,000.00 goes to MIGHTY BITE
Report impossible123 January 11, 2018 11:13 AM GMT
Or Sizing John?
Report Desmond Orchard January 11, 2018 1:55 PM GMT
The lessons I've learned from virtually every Gold Cup I've watched are to only back horses having their first run in the race.
Beaten horses haven't returned to win it for about 25 years (See More was carried out out and so didn't get to run his race), the only ones that do return to win it are previous winners. But those tend to be bombproof horses, constitutionaly, and recent events suggest that Sizing John ain't, therefore I'm happy to overlook him.
Nothing original, but Mite Bite is the likeliest winner and still value at the price, I'd expect Whisper to run into a place.
Report HaylingBilly January 11, 2018 3:31 PM GMT
I am with DesmondO on this. This race has proven to be a good race for stats. Add to below the fact no 10 year old has won for 20 years and only one very special 6 year old (Long Run) in last 55 years and you are looking for a first time runner who is 7/8/9 year old or Sizing John. Net net that leaves Might Bite or Sizing John. Take your pick. Simple game aint it.
Report dunlaying January 11, 2018 4:51 PM GMT
Do many 6 year olds run in it?
Report buddeliea January 11, 2018 5:05 PM GMT
Dont know,but would not have thought so.
What i do know is......its no 2 horse race, and it aint simple!!
Report DontBeSakhee January 11, 2018 5:10 PM GMT
Not many 6yos run and usually they are put in their place.

As already advised on the Might Bite thread, I  am also with Desmond.

I suspect for the reasons above, I won't be next year with him, but I'll worry about 2019 when I get there.
Report HaylingBilly January 11, 2018 5:18 PM GMT
O budd don't over complicate life. I thought I had it all sussed out.
Report buddeliea January 11, 2018 5:30 PM GMT
Laugh

Well you may have my friend,but i have a feeling theres a tad more to this race.
Report impossible123 January 11, 2018 6:10 PM GMT
Don Cossack not only had had a hard race in the King George, he also fell two out when challenging; his price then drifted to 8/1 but started and won at 9/4, I believe. And I can see Sizing John replicating that unless Might Bite truly steps up to the plate. The rest could be the Don Poli(s),...as simple as that, I think.
Report buddeliea January 11, 2018 6:14 PM GMT
Domn Cossack imo would have won the KG had he not fallen, and i think a lot agreed with that.
Thats a lot different to the performance SJ put in the other day.
Report impossible123 January 11, 2018 6:27 PM GMT
SJ ran like a tired horse. If this race is over 3m and not 3.28m I'd side with Might Bite, but luckily I have both antepost at 8/1 in singles/multiples. Here's hoping both show on the day,. Also Our Duke at 20/1 and Empire Of Dirt at 200 (here).
Report buddeliea January 11, 2018 6:49 PM GMT
Its certainly wise to have more than those two on side imo.

For those who are adamant one of them will win,this is what you have on your side......one who has never gone beyond 3m,and one who was well beaten in his last run and will not run again till the race.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 11, 2018 10:42 PM GMT
Has WPM any hope in the big one...5 entries

Acapella Bourgeois
Bachasson
Djakadam
Killultagh Vic
Total Recall
Report DontBeSakhee January 12, 2018 7:34 AM GMT
To be honest, personally I couldn't back any of them.
Report buddeliea January 12, 2018 7:38 AM GMT
I might have a look at Bachasson's odds nrnb.

But to be honest, looks like he aint winning it this year.
Report DontBeSakhee January 12, 2018 7:43 AM GMT
KV would've been the only one of interest given previous form, but after such a long lay off and injury I couldn't actually back it.
Report HaylingBilly January 12, 2018 9:49 AM GMT
How many Gold Cups has Mr Mullins won with all the great horses he's had..................and theres your answer. He aint winning it this year either.
Report Desmond Orchard January 12, 2018 10:18 AM GMT
If it came up a bog, which is highly unlikely admittedly, you could make a case for AB of Mullins'.
But I prefer my fancies to have festival form in the book too, which is why I think Whisper might be best of the rest, although I hadn't realised he was 10yo now!
Report buddeliea January 14, 2018 9:18 AM GMT
Just had punt on Bachasson at 50nrnb.
Looks an improving type who may just enjoy a step up in trip.
At that price worth a go i reckon.
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