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Extreme Conviction
27 Feb 12 22:18
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Date Joined: 30 Mar 08
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1. Official Rating

All festival handicaps are fiercely competitive and to go close you would expect to have at least 10lbs in hand over the handicapper. For that reason it is not surprising that those rated 150+ have a shocking record, not recording a win for 29 years. In the last 10 years they have also only filled 3 of the 40 places available. If you would prefer to narrow it down even more, the last 12 winners have been all rated 142 or below. However, there have been numerous horses that have gone close off slightly higher marks, so I am happy to discount anything over 150 and not lower.

This spells trouble for one of the market leaders, Quantitativeeasing who is going to have to run off an official mark of 155. To win he is likely to have to be a 165+ horse (borderline Gold Cup class) and I can't envisage this at all. Everything points to his single figure price being a horrible one. Others at the top of the market who are rated above 150 are The Giant Bolster, Time For Rupert, Walkon and it is also likely Seabass will be once reassessed.

2. Class

I'm a big supporter of class being an important factor when deciding the chance of a horse in a race. In the past 10 years, 37 of the 40 places have been filled by horses who have placed in a Class 1 before.

If they haven't been able to place in a Class 1 by now then why should they be able to place in an ultra competitive one? And if they haven't run in one, if the trainer did not feel comfortable running them in a Class A before now (most had been in training 2/3/4 seasons) then why should they be capable of taking an especially fierce one first time out?

Zarrafakt is towards to the top of the market between 14/1 and 16/1 at the moment. Although he looks progressive, he has been in training for 4 years and his trainer, Emma Lavelle, has never chosen to run him above Class 3 company. Last time out he won off 133 (with a 10lb claimer) in a Class 3, which is a million miles away from a festival race off 145. For me he represents horrific value.

Other notable horses to have never placed in a Class A are current favourite Hold On Julio (also couldn't touch ante post as he seems very injury prone) and Mostly Bob who is a top price of 16/1

3. Age

Another point worth considering is Age with horses aged older than 10, placeless from 37 runners since 1997. This is down to the fact that they are too exposed and hold no secrets from the handicapper. At the other end of the scale 6 year olds have a poor record in the race and only have one success to their name since 1973. This is probably down to the fact that they usually find it too much of a stamina test and this stage of their career.

This year the most fancied 6 year olds are Penny Max and Our Mick who both trade around the 20/1 mark. However, Penny Max doesn't quite like streetwise enough for this yet and Our Mick is yet to tackle the trip, so that being the case and 6 year olds record in the race, I am happy to pass them over.

4. Distance

Horses stepping up in trip don't have a great record in the race as such a strong run 3 mile race at the festival isn't the ideal contest to try a horse in at the trip for the first time. All of the last 15 winners had either won at the trip or produced their best RPR at it.

5. Number of runs at the trip

Although all recent winners had proven their worth at the trip, they were all still pretty unexposed at it. All of the last 10 winners, bar Joe's Edge had completed a maximum of 4 chase starts around 3 miles and a maximum of 3 handicap chase starts at the trip.

A good example was last year, when the top four between them had never completed a 3 mile handicap chase. Only Bensalem has competed in one and he fell. Also Bensalem, Carole's Legacy and Fair Along had only completed one 3 mile chase each, with Reve De Sivola never having taken part in one.

Conclusion

1. Rated 150 or below
2. Placed in Class 1
3. Age 7-10
4. Won at trip or produced best RPR at it
5. 4 or less three mile chase completions, with maximum of three in handicaps


Having gone through the field, there are 14 who have ORs already that reach the full criteria:

Master of the Hall, Cappa Bleu, Hector's Choice, Sarando, Tullamore Dew, Pearlysteps, Fruity O'Rooney, Wymott, Lieforrit, On Borrowed Wings, Mic's Delight, Baile Anrai and Alfie Sherrin

There are also another 5 horses who don't have an OR yet that meet the other four criteria:

Fisher Bridge, Becauseicouldn'tsee, Aimigayle, Tullintain and Magnanimity

Master of the Hall - Worried about big field form
Cappa Bleu, Becauseicouldn'tsee - National the main aim
Hector's Choice, Aimigayle - Not sure the thorough test of stamina will suit
Sarando, Wymott - Very disappointing this season
Tullamore Dew, Pearlysteps, Fruity O'Rooney, Magnanimity, On Borrowed Wings - Solid, but likely to be better handicapped horses
Alfie Sherrin, Fisher Bridge - Haven't shown enough for a while


At this point in time, with multiple entries etc. I only want to be taking NRNB and although Tullintain makes a fair bit of appeal the 16/1 available NRNB seems a bit skinny (top price 33/1).

1pt E/W - Lieforrit 20/1 NRNB BOG Bet365

Firstly, there are a few more positives from a stats point of view for him.

He is a novice, who have had a cracking record recently, taking 3 of the the last 8 renewals. This would have arguably been four if Bensalem had stood up two years ago. There have also been other novices go close in recent seasons in the shape of Reve De Sivola and Ogee.

Also what makes him of interest is he has been given a chase mark 10lbs below his hurdle mark. The last three winners (Bensalem, Chief Dan George and Wichita Lineman) were 10, 8 and 14lbs lower than their hurdle marks, showing that they already had potential to be much better than their marks.

Lieforrit has a fantastic record with 7 wins and 4 seconds to his name from just 15 starts (13 completed). After taking two bumpers, he took off over hurdles and rattled off four wins in 2009. Included in these was a listed handicap hurdle at Cheltenham (showing he can handle the track) and a facile win in a Class 2 at Newbury off the mark he runs off here, 138 (showing he can be capable off this mark). After this second win he was raised to 155 and sent off favourite for a Cleeve Hurdle (ahead of horses such as Time For Rupert and Tidal Bay). He was not himself that day and pulled up before an equally disappointing performance in the World Hurdle.

He was subsequently found to be injured and there is a good chance, considering he was very progressive before hand, that he wasn't 100% in either of those runs. Given time, he made his debut over fences in December after 21 months off.

Back with a bang he won a good race defeating the now 138 rated Blenheim brook. Since then he has had to be second best twice, but both those runs (as for his win) were in a small field with a slow pace. This is ANYTHING but what Lieforrit wants and he is much better in a big field with a strong pace, which is exactly what he should get at the festival.

He is unexposed with only 3 chase starts and has been handicapped on three races that wouldn't have suited him before. He has won in big fields before as well as at the course, and before injury intervened he looked to be heading right to the top over hurdles (rated 18lbs higher than he runs off here!).

He is a top price of 25/1 and although this is his only festival entry I would much rather get stuck in at 20/1 NRNB. Other horses I would mention are Hold on Julio and The Package. Hold on Julio has an obvious chance but his price seems a bit skinny at 6/1 and the only stat he fails on is the Class A one, but the race he won last time was as competitive as most Class As are. The Package has unfinished business having come second in this two years back. I was tempted to get involved but you can only get 10/1 NRNB which seems skinny. Also, he seems to get a bit behind and take a lot of rousting and I fear he could be one horse to struggle with the new whip rules. However, he is on a good mark and if he turns up the Pipes are likely to have him 100%.

May be some typos in there that I have to correct at a later date, but thought I'd burn the midnight oil and get it out tonight.

GL EC

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Replies: 138
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 27 Feb 12 22:35
Meant to be 1.5pt E/W not 1pt E/w
By:
Mystic Wind
When: 28 Feb 12 07:45
Well done EC, an interesting read. A 'no bet' race for me, but good luck with Lie Forrit. A point to note about Mick's Delight: his last 7 runs have all been on RH courses - coincidence?
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 28 Feb 12 08:02
Thanks. Yep having gone through the Novice Handicap Chase field Mic's Delight is my no.1 choice on form. But the worry is his form is all RH recently as you say. The runs at Exeter wouldn't worry me as it's one of Dartnalls favourite tracks, but the fact he took him all the way to Market Rasen twice does!
By:
lazychef
When: 28 Feb 12 09:31
I don't post often but wanted to say fantastic handicapping there incorporating statistics and well reasoned hypotheses in a methodical manner. It's a touch too early for me to be getting involved but will have your selection at the back of my mind on the day. Much appreciated..
By:
Joist
When: 28 Feb 12 09:48
Nice one EC, enjoyable and informative.
By:
liam the lips
When: 28 Feb 12 11:08
Concur completely EC. Lie Forrit is definately capable of posting a 150+, granted a true test at 3mile (which this always is)and a bit of dig( no need for alarm with hosepipe in arm ). Noticed this is his only entry so took the 25s yday and today, altho the 20s with bet3p is still attractive given their NRNB concession.
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 28 Feb 12 11:53
Appreciate the comments.

Good to see it's been cut already. 16s NRNB and the 25s has all gone too.
By:
Just So
When: 28 Feb 12 12:07
thanks EC, great analysis and a good spot - see Ben Linfoot in the sporting life website also puts him up as one of his eight Festival handicappers to keep an eye on. The King and JP horses will obviously be well backed but can see a bit of momentum building for this one too.
By:
marychain1
When: 28 Feb 12 12:14
Chisholm are 25/1 nrnb, but restricted my steaks to £7ew Laugh
By:
sintonian
When: 28 Feb 12 16:43
Your stats indicate what an idiot the trainer was to get Knockara Beau up 7lb. Off 140 he'd win this easy, now off 147 it's a bit more tricky.
By:
roobuck
When: 28 Feb 12 17:00
Yeah but book a decent jockey and he'd still be 4lb well in ExcitedLaughLaugh
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 28 Feb 12 18:24
Personally think Knockara Beau would always struggle because of his Jumping which will always get him behind at a crucial point.

I'm more pissed with the trainer for not getting him qualified for the Pertemps again off an 11lb lower mark than when he placed last year!
By:
wellchief
When: 28 Feb 12 18:34
I think we might have just found our forum CHAAAAAAARRRRGGGGEEEE!
By:
sintonian
When: 28 Feb 12 19:00
Listening to Evan Williams earlier today he said they are yet to discuss with the owners whether he will send Cappa Bleu straight to Aintree or to Cheltenham. Remember, there is an extra 1 week between the two festivals this year so i'd not be at all surprised if they try both.

Cappa Bleu meets a lot of the trends (the ones posted by EC) and also has course form so at 20/1 NRNB I shall have a bet.

First time up this season he Won, which was then followed by a decent effort in the Welsh Nat conceding 9 & 14lbs to Giles Cross and LBB who have both franked the form since. Cannington Brook back in 5th has also come out and Won.

His run last time at Ascot, over 3 miles, was his first start since Dec27th so it is likely the trainer would have left something to work on given that the National or perhaps Cheltenham Wink is his aim.
By:
roobuck
When: 28 Feb 12 19:14
As I have backed him for the National, I'd prefer if he went straight there
By:
sintonian
When: 28 Feb 12 19:18
Yep they may do. 4 weeks gap between races this season. Would you back him if he showed up at Cheltenham Roobuck?
By:
harry callaghan
When: 28 Feb 12 19:29
extreme a cracking good read pal...well done to you...

have to say I quite like lie forrit myself, just haven't been able to make out, how much ability he still retains... he is well handicapped on hurdle form if able to go forward your right the bigger field and pace angle will help him...he is likeable and if the engine is still there he can definitely get involved...a good shout imo

have to say i'm only just starting out on this race...i will throw one in, if it is a runner?? run it noel - please open your eyes... and that is becauseicouldntsee...have always thought he was a 3 miler and he interests me, as still feel he is well handicapped and had a nice little prep the other day...the problem is, will he be fully tuned for this with the grand national in mind?? or will he even run? but if i owned him this is the race for him...he can win a good race at this distance imo... but not a sheckle for him which probably means he is a non runner but at 33's he would appeal to me...

like i say - an informative read for the race fan
By:
roobuck
When: 28 Feb 12 19:33
Possibly, the ground certainly in his favour. Personally my impression was he got 3rd in the Welsh National for staying past very tired horses.

He did run well at Ascot but again seemed to lack the tactical speed though he was not that far away at the finish and that might count against him in a race likely to be run at a furious pace. Though on the other course, he does have winning Cheltenham form whether or not it was the hunter chase - its the same couse and fences.

At this stage no but maybe on the day as he definitely has a good handicap in him. So please nobody else back him so if he does turn up I can get the price, thanks.

For the record, and I did say it on the other thread that was started that I have actually had a small e/w interest in Fruity O'Rooney at 33s and got a samll amount of 40s on here
By:
Buster
When: 29 Feb 12 08:32
This is good EC. Have you done any others yet ?
Lie Forrit certainly looks well handicapped and totally agree he needs to come off a strong pace. Just slightly worried if the ground is lively whether he will jump quickly enough in this company. But he will surely be less than 20-1 if he makes the line-up!
I see you like Mic's Delight for the novice handicap. I can assure you that going right-handed has been a pure coincidence. He went to Market Rasen the first time because it was a penalty kick. He went there again the other day because he'd won there before and it looked a good opportunity. Also he needed a 3rd run to be eligible for festival handicaps and time was running out. There is no evidence yet that he won't be just as good left-handed. Ground and availability of Denis will determine which race he goes for.
By:
Meadow
When: 29 Feb 12 09:13
Lie Forrit wont run unless its soft. 

I cant see how Our Mick can be ignored for stepping up in trip when its not a negative?
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 29 Feb 12 10:27
Thanks Buster - Got a few others in the pipe line, have prepared pieces on the Novice Handicap Chase and XC, but waiting for weights today. Can I ask, are you connected with Mic's Delight in some way?

Meadow - Do you know that for a fact? On NRNB, but wouldn't mind still getting a run for my money as I'm sure it will go off a lot shorter. Why do you say it's not a negative? It's a big ask as a 6 year old stepping up in trip by half a mile. His mark is also quite steep and to win this he'll have to be a 155 horse already with wouldn't be far off RSA Class, yet connection have not even bothered enter him for that which i'd see as a negative.
By:
Desmond Orchard
When: 29 Feb 12 10:31
Blimey Buster, you've been keeping your powder dry.......

Buster

29 Nov 00
| Topic/replies: 1 | Blogger: Buster's blog
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 29 Feb 12 10:40
Buster I've also done a couple of others on my blog

http://2012cheltenham.blogspot.com

Everything I write on here, goes up on there two.

Still very happy with Sea of Thunder (16/1) and Hard to Swallow (50/1) in the AB, and still give Lambro (25/1) a big e/w shout (even though he's been defeated since) if he turns up
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 29 Feb 12 10:40
up on there too*!
By:
Buster
When: 29 Feb 12 11:24
Drier than a nun's **** Desmond!
I rarely bother to comment, but this is a genuinely worthwhile thread which EC has put a lot of time and effort into.
Yes EC, I am connected with Mic's Delight. Be interested to see your views on the Kim Muir. Look forward to seeing the weights later!
By:
Extreme Conviction
When: 29 Feb 12 11:48
Isn't a race I've paid much interest in yet Buster. Need to have a deeper look. Did have a small E/W bet on Tullatain at 20/1 with Bet365 last night. Finished 2nd in two nice handicaps in Ireland last two starts behind Sea Bass (won twice since) and On His Own (very well thought of). Bet365 seem to be ducking it at 16/1 in this race, but are 20/1 for the presumably weaker Kim Muir. No idea if it will turn up, but if it does won't be 20/1.

In my Centenary piece I'm doing the only qualifiers from the whole field before last weekend were Trenchant, Cucumber Run, Shot From The Hip, White Line Star and Mic's Delight. First 3 were poor last weekend though, so down to the later two really.

Mic's Delight has impressed me a lot this season and must be a wonderful horse to be involved in. Penny Max is no slouch (I'm sure MD is far better than that anyway) and he's impressed me in his last two wins without Dennis having to get too serious.
See no reason why he would not be bang there. Do you have any preference where to run him at the moment? I'd imagine Kim Muir may be least competitive (but has had 2 good winners last 2 years!) but Dennis would not be able to ride?
By:
Buster
When: 29 Feb 12 12:33
Thanks for your thoughts. All three are still possible. I'm guessing Denis will probably ride Time For Rupert in the Festival Handicap. At the moment MD only has 10st 1lb and isn't certain to get in. He could probably ride him in the novice handicap although if the ground is good, coming back in trip may not be ideal. That may lead to the Kim Muir, which as you say looks the least competitive on paper. There are 2 competent amateurs that work at the stable who would have schooled him before so that's not really an issue, but you'd always like Denis on your side in a big race if possible!
By:
Facts
When: 29 Feb 12 16:33
Hoping Hold On Julio makes the race. He's a bit special imo
By:
Mister Westsound
When: 01 Mar 12 20:08
Glad to see Fruity O'Rooney by-pass the Grimthorpe in the hope of getting in here. Right end of the weights if he gets a run and right trip with no ground worries.  Reliable consistent sort who will give you a good run for your money.  Not sure the expected big field will help or he is 100% good enough to win but at the price he's a decent EW bet
By:
roobuck
When: 01 Mar 12 20:59
Me too MW - is it actually confirmed?
By:
Mister Westsound
When: 01 Mar 12 21:26
Was on the Sportinglife site today that they were waiting for this race and won't run in the Grimthorpe.  Pretty confident he will get in think he needs 9 to come out.  There is a big Hcap in him I'm sure and looks stonking value to me.
By:
stevo1
When: 01 Mar 12 21:49
On Fruity 33s NR No bet slipped under radar i think,backed him week before at Kempton in Racing Post Chase at 14s but didnt show, re according to trainer better going left handed.If his jumping holds up could go close off low weight at nice price imo.
By:
strontium
When: 01 Mar 12 23:38
Excellent fit on the trends if that's your bag (and this is a strong trends race).
By:
Goth 83
When: 02 Mar 12 15:18
Lie Forrit tipped in the Weekender by Billy Wallace.
By:
sintonian
When: 02 Mar 12 16:15
Evan Williams been in great form the last few days ..
By:
monksland
When: 03 Mar 12 14:37
I have backed Noland. the only stat he mas missed is age. He is 11 with not many miles on the clock, just 10 chase starts, 2 at 3 miles.

Its his only target at the festival and nicholls said he would run. If ruby rides which I think he will he wont be trading in the 60's which he is at present.

Any thoughts on this lad fellas or am I losing it????
By:
monksland
When: 03 Mar 12 14:59
another I like which will have a low weight is aigle D'or
has been frustrating so far, but if you look at the finish of his last race you can only see him flying up the hill. Goes on good ground but jumping seems to be a bit suspect, I think his price will be a lot shorter on the day and can't understand why his stablemate is that price with the weight he will be carrying
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 06 Mar 12 13:05
What they said about the JLT SPECIALTY HANDICAP CHASE in the preview evenings.......


Paul Nicholls: Noland will be my only runner I suspect.

David Pipe: The Grand National is the main aim for The Package but he runs here first and was second two years ago off 141 and is now rated 139. He’s in great form but needs everything to go right. Massinis Maguire is also in the Grand National but he is sore after Ascot as he puts so much into his races. We’ll see if he goes here. Junior could go here as his Grand National prep or the Gold Cup or maybe the Grimthorpe at Doncaster.

Davy Russell: Magnaminity ??, Going Wrong novice h/cap
By:
solvingthepuzzle
When: 06 Mar 12 17:07
Heads up to monksland got on Noland @ 65s looks like will run. Has some good form in the book & hoping for a good show GL.
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