Cheltenham Festival

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02 Mar 15 23:20
Date Joined: 14 Mar 06
| Topic/replies: 5,105 | Blogger: CVByrne's blog
Douvan will win the Supreme, Shaneshill will chase him home. Only reason Douvan hasn't had a run since January is they felt it'd take the edge off him as he's had 2 runs in France this season too. Of all Mullins Novices this is the one he's talked up most, so clearly he's doing the best of them at home. Look at all the talent Mullins has in his yard and take heed of what he fancies most. Bookies will take him on so have a nice bet in the Morning and go e/w on Shaneshill.

Un De Sceaux will win easily, he's a very good jumper and it's rare horses who are out in front like him fall.

Hurricane Fly is too old to win the Champion Hurdle. The New One just isn't good enough on good ground on this track, all out to beat Diakali on his last Grade 1 win. Jezki can't beat Hurricane Fly this season, only beat MTOY last season who lost the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Irving beat Arctic fire the same distance Jezki and Fly have. Blue Heron beat Irving in Kingwell and was 15 behind Faugheen at xmas. Ruby will be allowed to dictate from the front and he's a complete master of it over hurdles on the Old Course. By simple deduction the rivals aren't good enough so Faugheen will win.

Annie Power is obviously a cert for Mares, put her and Un de Sceaux in accas with Douvan and Faugheen. Boring boring but it's just value. Simonsing, Quevega & Sprinter Sacre were the ones to throw in accas 2 years ago and obliged.

Very Wood is tailor made for the 4 miler. Shame Wounded Warrior doesn't run in it as he'd be as much of a good bet. The Job is Right is a stonking bet too, if he stood up he'd have been 4l 2nd to Djakadam and he was a good 4th behind Foxrock and Living Next Door in the Paddy Power at xmas.

The Neptune is far too open a race. I have no opinion. Just oppose Parlour Games. Form of bunched finish is poor. Deloitte winners have to be respected, 3/4 won our should have won at festival. Oscars Well, Champagne Fever, Vautour. So would respect Nichols Canyon. I'm just not a fan tbh.

Only Don Poli or Conegree can win the RSA so just back both. King Palace is just not for me at all. I just don't like Pipe in Grade 1 races at Cheltenham, poor record. The Young Master has lots to find with Conegree on line through reliable Houblon Des Obeaux.

I think it's fashionable for people to write off Sprinter Sacre, everybody who writes for anything wants to write him off. Compare him to an 11yo Big Bucks!! I'm sorry but Denman was trounced by 19l on his first run back when he was suffering the same problem as Sprinter but had to take medication to get back. Sprinter ran a fine race lto to be only 3l 2nd to Dodging Bullets. He'll reverse form with that horse. He'll be taken on by the Bookies and sure it's an open race and he has a great chance if within a stone of his old self.

Vautour is getting rather short and if Mullins has a good first couple of days as I expect him to then this one will become unbackable. But I'm not concerned with odds for this ramble. I think he was talked to highly of and was held in huge regard by all until he had a poor run at xmas. What is becoming evident from listening to people close to him is Mullins has spent this season undercooking horses in Ireland to peak all of them for Spring. So I'll forgive many of them poor runs. This is a very competitive race though but the added stamina trip should be to his liking. Apache Stronghold is very good too, if he jumped better he'd have won easier lto. I don't rate Ptit Zig at all. Irish Novices are miles clear of English this season, I'd imagine at least 5 of the 6 novice will go to Ireland.

I just don't think Don Cossack has beaten too much, Champagne Fever never carried Ruby when he fell when looking set for a battle with him and I think people putting all their stock in that run. Form of 3 wins prior to that is hardly great. He's too short. I really like Balder Succes for the Ryanair, I think since he's gone up in trip to 2 and 1/2 he's improved a lot. Very solid in an ok race.

Zarkandar is my bet of the meeting. He's just proper class at this trip. With the faster pace and more competitive field he'll be able to be travelling well coming to the last and with the right ride he'll have too much speed and class for these. Saphir Du Rheu was good the last day but he made hard work of beating Reve De Sivola getting 4lbs. Zarkandar idled badly and contrived to lose at Ascot when he travelled all over Reve at that horses favourite track. It's utter  nonsense to say Zarkandar won't stay, he battled back over a furlong further to almost get back up on Reve in soft ground. Irish form is dire, oppose the lot unless you want to punt on Briar Hill. Rock on Ruby won't stay.

Peace and Co is a proper horse, I think he will take a huge amount of beating. But this is shaping to be a hot Triumph and it's hard to trust Juveniles who are learning the game when they lack so much experience. Especially when some horses have come from the flat. Our Conor and Katchit were the two most impressive winners of this in recent years and both came from the flat. Beltor looked good at Kempton but he's likely one for Aintree. Hargam would look the biggest danger and will love good ground. I think Peace and Co is the best of these but you'd be brave touching him at the price he is now. I'd oppose the Irish here too.

No More Heroes is a horse that has had a huge reputation and Elliott really loves him. Cooper has talked him up lots too. He scoped very bad the last day but the form of his win over Shaneshill is very good. He'll love this extra trip and is still a nice price at 8/1. Black Herculese is one who could yield a free bet, back now and as Mullins has a great week he'll go mega short like Briar Hill last season. Martello Tower is a horse who looks tailor made for this race, dour stayer. I'm not fan of English form all bunced finishes in the races = no standout.

I just want to oppose last seasons Gold Cup form. Conti has raced against non stayers in England since and not faced any of the 2nd season Staying Chasers who went Hennessy and Argento or are in Ireland. I like Djakadam, Carlingford Lough and Road To Riches in a very open Gold Cup. Any horse from about 10 of them could win it.

Bunch of handicap bets. Pendra in the Ultima Solutions. Keltus & Little Jon in Nov h/c chase. Lack Fontana in Coral Cup. Sempre Medici & Goodwood Mirage in County Hurdle. Roi De Francs in Martin Pipe. I'll back Dell Arca in Coral/M Pipe too whichever he runs in. Pertemps, Fred Winter and Grand Annual ones for picking out on the day. Val De Ferbet also interesting wherever he runs.
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Report cufcno1 March 2, 2015 11:28 PM GMT
I agree entirely with you Cv for the Tuesday,and Briar hill won't be 20-1 on the day !
Report stevo1 March 3, 2015 12:13 AM GMT
Good write up CV,cannot see all 4 Mullins hotpots winning on Tuesday,at least one will be beaten but what one?
Douvan for me is way too short, only bt stayers on soft,will be different ground next week.
Good luck for Festival end enjoy.
Report Can't Catch Me March 3, 2015 7:53 AM GMT
So basically, back the favourite in every race.
Report foolsgold123 March 3, 2015 7:59 AM GMT
Willie is not messing about this year he wants the record 7+ winners.
Report CVByrne March 3, 2015 8:02 AM GMT
Rather than care about prices I just looked at the races and wrote what I thought about each race. Thing with racing these days is you ave to play antepost in the graded races. Peace & Co and Zarkandar were double figures after the 2 races from December which has them the price they are now. Yet they've done nothing since then.
Report foolsgold123 March 3, 2015 8:05 AM GMT
Get Me Out Of Here 25/1 NRNB for C@ral Cup is sticking out for a sore thumb. Gotta have abit e/w of that.
Report walllace007 March 3, 2015 8:17 PM GMT
CV they have, they have managed to stay sound which is an achievement in itself.. Unlike some of the main opposition, in Zarkandar's case at least..
Report jimmy777 March 3, 2015 8:57 PM GMT
I don't see how backing Faugheen, Douvan, UDS and Annie Power as a 4 fold at about 16/1 best odds represents value. Two are bound to fail. Think of all the sure fire hotspots in the supreme over the years dunguib, cue card, My tent or yours. The champion hurdle has found out horses from the previous years novice crop. You just can't contrast the form with Faugheen and Douvan to be able to say 6/4 is value. UDS and Annie power I agree though
Report CVByrne March 3, 2015 10:16 PM GMT
I think both UDS and Annie Power are going to win bar accidents. So lump them into trebles with Douvan and Faugheen at best morning prices. Nothing earth shattering. But Simonsig & Quevega 2 years ago were certs and obliged. Sprinter and Quevega the year before. Thing is bookies will be at their most agressive price wise on Tuesday morning and Oddschecker can tell you what bookie pays the best on the acca.
Report layingisthewayforward March 3, 2015 10:31 PM GMT
Cv you post some good stuff on here. I'm sure I've seen you post that you never back anything under 4/1 nowadays.  Seems a big change of stategy lumping on all the day 1 shorties.
Report Howdi March 3, 2015 10:33 PM GMT
im not sre Zakandar stays!
Report CVByrne March 3, 2015 11:02 PM GMT
laying - No horses less than 4/1 outside of Cheltenham is the general policy. But in Grade 1 races at the Festivals we know horses are trying 100% to win and we've the evidence of their runs that season. We know they will be fully fit and so it's a bit different. I have had good result with Arkle and Mares horses in accas so will do it again to get a bit extra exposure on Faugheen and Douvan

I've just finished posting up screenshots of every antepost bet I've got on Cheltenham in the gallary on my site. It's a bit messy to try read but tomorrow I'll be compiling all my bets race by race in the blog, while also compiling my total lost antepost bets.
Report CVByrne March 3, 2015 11:21 PM GMT
I've just noticed there is huge value in the NH Chase market currently

Don Poli, Wounded Warrior, The Young Master all RSA bound. Vroom Vroom Mag not running. Then excluding horses >50.0 on betfair and we get a book well under 100%.
Report nocturnal March 4, 2015 1:18 AM GMT
Evening CVB

Sounds like I will need the " without markets" day 1 !
Always think the supreme is the hardest race,trying to evaluate novice form both sides of the sea.
Mail you nearer kick off.

Good Luck
Report CVByrne March 4, 2015 7:57 AM GMT
Aye Noc, I've had my ups and downs in the race. I've a good hand this year but feel I want more exposure to Douvan as think he'll be a good price in the morning and you have to respect Mullins Nov Hurdlers, especially these days.

Once we get the 5 day decs for the handicaps I can wade in fully. I'll email you my thoughts then.
Report mahle March 4, 2015 11:37 AM GMT
Supreme:  Douvan may well win but can't be value - Vautour had better form coming into the race last year and went off quite a big bigger.  You are losing money because of the hype, whether it be right or wrong.  Just can't have L'Ami Surge's run at Ascot, the run of the second was not right and the faller (level at the time - 2 out) is very disappointing.  I actually think think the second (Kiltullah Vic)was possibly coming over to get a handicap mark for one of the Festival handicaps.  Shaneshill is my pick - P. Mullins (who I gather is the best judge in the year by far) said last Autumn that he is quick enough to run at graded level on the flat but they wanted to focus on NH racing for him.  When did he sustain his injury i wonder (defeat last time?), either way he still cruised through the race.  I can't believe that he is double figures and you can back him with all the offers on the race so if Douvan wins, you get your money back.  Qewy is a real danger, Newbury win might be as good as this is in Britain, could back both Qewy and Shaneshill with the offers. I would back Qewy to beat L'Ami Surge if they ran in a two horse race.

Arkle - All been said.  UDS just awesome but he has a short life span in my view, he is obviously mentally very highly strung and horses like that sooner or later just implode.  Could it be Cheltenham, well none of us know do we but there will be more noise in the pre-parade than he has even heard in his life before, let alone the paddock and down to the start.  Good luck to those who want to back him before then!  Smashing got as close to UDS as any horse 2-out at Fairyhouse(?) and has strong Cheltenham form, you can back him at 12-1 without UDS which seems fair enough to me.

Champion Hurdle - Faugheen for me.  Really worried by TNO's run at Haydock.  I can see Faugheen making it - I cant see him getting beaten to be honest. With any other trainer, he would already have been Irish Champion hurdler.  My logic is that he must be better than HF at home, HF very close to Jezki, so Faugheen is a lot better than Jezki.  Time will tell

Mares - Annie Power.  Different class.

Neptune.  Poor race in my view. Nichols Canyon just doesn't look like a Nepture winner to me.  Not sure of the value of the last Irish win  lots of hyped horses but not a lot of form behind him.  Being an ex-flat horse puts me off too, i don't think there is any improvement to come.  The best British form is Parlour Games - really really impressive at Cheltenham but the horses behind are slow so may have been flattered. No one, and I mean no one, from the Mullins yard would have put Outlander in the same class as Tell us More if you would have asked them 3 months ago.  Evidently Bryan Cooper goes on pure form to make his choices so will go with Outlander, but again I can't believe he is better than a fit and healthy Tell Us More so I can't back him. Kilcrea Vale super impressive at Market Rasen but obviously has had a problem.  No bet for me as I don't rate those at the top of the market and both my fancies have had problems.

RSA - Don Poli has great form, pure and simple.  Coneygree has great form in the book but I think its needs it soft, whereas Don Poli won at least years Festival on good ground.  I favour Don Poli.  I don't think Kings Palace form is anywhere near those 2, dominating in small fields and able to run at its own pace.  I will lay for a place.  Wounded Warrior is my third in, really good form in Ireland and I fancy him go close - probaly back in forecasts/tricast with Don and Coneygree.  Southfield Theatre looks a solid performer and has good festival form, may not have the class of the other 3 but will stay all day and like good ground. 

QM - No idea, all ifs and buts.  No line through form.  If SS is right, he wins but even NH says he is not back to his best.  I am a big believer that Punchestown can kill a horse after Cheltenham and Aintree (actually owned a horse myself in a syndicate that never recovered) No bet

Bumper - Ask Willie Mullins, or back Patrick Mullins' mount, same thing.

Fred  Winter - No opinion.  Most have been waiting to get handicapped but its a guessing game whose done it best.  If they have shown their best form already, they wont win, so how can you base analysis on form?

JLT -  Really good race.  Ptit Zig really impressive at Cheltenham but Champagne West pulled like a trian that day and I wonder whether Zig was flattered because CW stopped. Key to remember that PZ has first off the bridle in that race.  Cant back him at the price therefore.  Vautour must have problems, I backed him at 33-1 to win the Supreme last year after Navan so I like this horse(!) but too many bad rumours and not a certain stayer.Not value.I go with the Don Poli, Apache Stronghold, Valsur Lido line of form being the best there is and the latter two are my picks.  I can't split them to be honest but I think they are a good bit better than the rest.


All over Ma Filleule for this.  The run against Hollywell last year in the handicap was top drawer, she tanked through her first race at Down Royal this year like a very good horse and then got tired and she ran really well last time, when no doubt NH would have had more then an eye on it being a prep for this.  Cant see her being out of the 3 and I think she will win.  I am in a group of 1 in being a big Don Cossack fan but thinking he is actually an out and out stayer - I would back him in the Gold Cup.  I think he will be beat for speed by one or two here on good ground.  I cant see Balder Success repeated the form with MF round here and I thought it had everything in its favour at Ascot so under priced (only caveat is that it is trained by the best pound for pound trainer there is (in my view)).  John's Spirit is also a runner, but might just lack the class on form.  Hidden Cyclone is not for me, just think its form is not good enough over this trip.  I stood down at the last at the 2014 Festival and Ballynagour went as quick over it as any chaser at the Festival, really impressive.  He is the main danger in my book - last years run was equal to a graded winner in form and the "wow" factor.

World Hurdle.  No strong opinion apart from whether Shaphir finishes, Whisper on last years form must finish very close to it.  Tinkler got off it at Ffos Las that day and said he should have won easily 2 lengths - galloped all over it.  I will lay Saphir therefore for a place.

Triumph.  I cant have Peace and Co at the price.  It cannot pull like it did last time and win so if you back it, you have to hope it runs differently and you have to take a short price even with that.  Hargam and Top Notch are the ones for me, but have really good form, jump well.  I stood on the horse-way when Hargam won at Cheltenham and McCoy said to Scu that "it was a serious race", it won on ground it didn't like too.  Top Notch could be anything, but was the best of NH's bunch according to informed rumour in the Autumn and I have not yet seen anything to alter that.  I have backed Top Notch and will back Hargam too.

Albert Bartlett.  Two runners for me, one on hype (No More Heroes) and one on form (Black Hercules). On the latter, Patrick Mullins said last spring that we was the pick of Mullin's horses for this season over a long trip.  He jumps really well and has a bit of class.  The run in last years bumper against 2-3 speed horses was a level above the rest of these. I think he will win.  No More Heroes form against Shaneshill is next best, but the only doubt I have is that Shaneshill was not right afterwards.  They clearly expected to win last time but was not right.  Of the rest, they all just look slow.  Backlion at Donny and Cheltenham (against Parlour Games) looked woefully one paced.  Value At Risk the same at Cheltenham last time.

Gold Cup.  No idea.  How can anyone have an informed view with the form all over the place.  I would back Don Cossack!

Handicaps:  I have a system, either back a horse who I think could be graded class next year and/or back a Jonjo horse.  I like Buywise in the hurdles if he runs.  Mullins' horses in the Martin Pipe races too but the value is gone, if it was ever there.  Novices in the 3 miler on Tuesday (Irish Cavalier?)

Thats all
Report delsie777 March 4, 2015 4:05 PM GMT
Great write up. Thanks for taking the time. I do have a couple of quibbles though - You say you can't have the ex flat Nicholls Canyon - but Quey and Parlour Games are OK? I would also doubt that Patrick is the best judge in the Mullins yard - but hey. Also, if you want a hype horse, the surely Tell Us More fits the bill. The new Faugheen? Don't think so. With regard the bumper - there is often value in seeing what Ruby ends up with after Paddy has chosen - Briar Hill did me a right favour a couple of years ago. Good luck and cheers.
Report sintonian March 4, 2015 4:09 PM GMT
No idea how you can say Douvan will win with a straight face CV when you have backed 4 horses in the race. Sounds like a complete guess up!
Report delsie777 March 4, 2015 4:09 PM GMT
PS - Vautour galloped at the weekend and was mega impressive. Looks a million and there are no bad vibes locally I can assure you. The only negative is that he's in the wrong race. Most of the stable think he should be in The Arkle. I'm not saying he will win the JLT but he won't be beat for lack of wellbeing - maybe by his Giggy stablemate - but from lack of wellbeing
Report duffy March 4, 2015 4:13 PM GMT
I'd like to officially go on record to state that I think that Vautour does not need or indeed shows signs of needing a trip...2 miles is and will be his best trip...I couldn't care less who his dad is.
Report mahle March 4, 2015 5:25 PM GMT
Delsie777.  On the flat horses, I don't like them in them Neptune because I think it needs a NH bred horse in terms of strength and stamina.  Happy to back them in the Supreme, especially on good ground. On Vatour, I take point about the recent gallop.
Report cufcno1 March 4, 2015 5:51 PM GMT
Does anyone think that nichols canyon tired inside the last furlong last time out,I've backed shaneshill for the supreme so I was pleased that the Neptune was nominated for nichols canyon,don't think it's guaranteed to stay !
Report johnn March 4, 2015 6:38 PM GMT
Or does anyone suspect that NC's exaggerated knee action may not be suited to an undulating track and drying ground?
Report CVByrne March 4, 2015 7:40 PM GMT
sintonian 04 Mar 15 16:09 Joined: 21 Sep 04 | Topic/replies: 25,821 | Blogger: sintonian's blog
No idea how you can say Douvan will win with a straight face CV when you have backed 4 horses in the race. Sounds like a complete guess up!

Go look at the dates I backed the horses, now look at the odds I got and look at their odds now. My main 3 are less than half the odd's I got. I back horses based on potential and especially potential to shorten in price. I then go and examine the race when we know who gets there.

I think Douvan will win the race. Why does my antepost book matter? Like 2 yeas ago when I traded out of MTOY before the supreme, the joys of Cheltenham is you can reassess everything in the week of racing. I have the capital necessary to lay horses on betfair I've backed with bookies.

When tuesday morning comes, I'll have got my book of bets for that day the way I like it. I've a strong hand in some races and a weak one in others, plus antepost losses of £1000 to recover too. But with antepost value comes antepost loss.

My strategy is my strategy, I'm laying it bare on my site. It's different to most people, but it reflects my approach and more importantly it's worked for me over the years.
Report Swardean March 4, 2015 9:36 PM GMT
If you are having an acca on Douvan, UDS, Faugheen and Annie Power all to win, then I would also recommend an second acca on them ALL to lose.   Good odds and all are far from certainties.
Report CVByrne March 17, 2015 8:12 AM GMT
That turned out to be a pretty good rapid fire preview. If Coneygree had run in the RSA instead of the Gold Cup and Annie and Zark hadn't had some bad luck with hurdle it was pretty close to spot on.

Really learn't a lession with Sprinter though. Horses just don't come back and never expect them to. While the handicaps are oh so hard to win. Best left amost entirely until the day of the race.
Report CheltenhamRoar March 17, 2015 11:54 AM GMT
Surely they'll retire Sprinter now
Report CVByrne March 17, 2015 1:41 PM GMT
Well Kauto was pulled up at Punchestown and came back the following season to win the Betfair Chase and King George. Maybe they should give Sprinter a summer and see how he is next season. Maybe step up in Trip?

He's more than likely never going to win a big race at Cheltenham again. But who knows if he can win some decent races again.
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y March 17, 2015 1:44 PM GMT
He got absolutely stuffed in one of the worst Champion Chase's i can remember, it was as bad as Newmill's one - he should be retired
Report CVByrne March 17, 2015 2:03 PM GMT
On the face of it PF I totally agree. But it's no impossible for him to come back from this. He is only 9 years old and could benefit from a proper preseason.
Report Rathgorman82 March 17, 2015 4:06 PM GMT
CV - if he was trained by Nicholls, yes, Henderson cant keep 'em racing at the top level for long, nevermind bring 'em back.
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