Cheltenham Festival

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18 Mar 17 08:14
Date Joined: 16 Feb 03
| Topic/replies: 6,492 | Blogger: unclepuncle's blog
Buveur Dair and Sizing John were both very impressive winners and being young and in their first year out of novice company I see no reason why they can't deliver again next season. They might even be the new Istabraq and Best Mate.Shocked

BD has run at the last two festivals, and SJ has run at 3 in a row so they appear sound and easy to get ready for the big day.

BD in particular looks to have little to beat. The old guard of Faugheen and Annie Power surely can't come back as good as they were, and the novice races didn't exactly throw up anything that
screamed Champion Hurdler (admittedly BD didn't scream Champion Hurdler last year).

SJ might have Thistlecrack to beat, while the novices Yorkhill and Might Bite clearly have engines, as well as quirks.

At 5/1 BD and 8/1 SJ I have had a decent double on them.Grin
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Report lewisham ranger March 18, 2017 8:57 AM GMT
i have a plan for 2018 festival.

stay away from races that I do badly in, like random supreme with loads of unexposed runners.

also stay away from soft ground sloggers who do well all winter on slow going and then are artificially short, like yanworth, native river, death duty.

listen less to silly preview shows where we hear about the "wonder horses" charli parcs and death duty, who turn out to be polished turds. Go with your visual impression/form rather than leaving your decision to rumours.

also look more at flat breds and try and find the quickest horse, like for example the albert bartlett yesterday was won by penhill, who had run on the flat. most races now at cheltenham, because of the global warming we've had, are run on quick ground. that suits the quicker horses.

btw I don't think either of those horses will retain those titles. not sure who will win the champion but think yorkhill a good bet for gold cup.
Report rl91 March 18, 2017 10:35 AM GMT
Our Duke is 33/1 for the Gold Cup, it will be interesting to see if the owners decision to stay away from Cheltenham in preparation for next year works out or not
Report charwell. March 19, 2017 12:04 AM GMT
Agree BD looks good for the 2018 CH but think we will see Sizing Jogn won a very poor renewal of the GC. Be amazed if he was good enough to win again.
Report Giddy March 19, 2017 1:15 AM GMT
Great point LR re visual impression. I for one have a tendency to get sucked in by the hype and BS spouted by the so called experts. Will avoid all Cheltenham previews in future and Im old enough to know better now anyway. Melon for me next Champ Hurdle. Thought his inexperience told in the Supreme. Was never slick at his hurdles and a bad mistake at the last done for him. Still a long way clear of the third, and I know Ballyandy didn't have the best of runs but even with a clear run i don't think he would have got near Melon or the winner. Theres talk of him going the Arkle route but doesn't look  like a chaser to me and breeding suggests the same. Can see him being a big player next year with more experience under his belt
Gold Cup. Mite Bite would have won the RSA by a mile without the debacle on the run in. Who knows why he lost concentration,but that aside the most convincing winner at the Festival in my opinion and should still be open to improvement. The Giggy firm must be kicking themselves for not running Empire of Dirt in the GC rather than the Ryanair. Got to within 3\4 of a length to Sizing John at  Leopardstown in the Irish Gold Cup and was checked in his run turning for home. Fancy he could be a player next term and was also quite impressed by Bristol De Mai
Only a 6 year old and beaten 20 lengths. Would have been half that if he never clumped the last so heavily. Another year on his back will bring him on I'm sure.
IMO Sizing John will have his work cut out to retain his crown
Report wellchief March 19, 2017 9:21 AM GMT
Don't know how anyone can say it was a poor Gold Cup.

Winner was a thoroughly unexposed horse stepping up in distance with rock solid grade 1 form over various distances and is only young.

Native River was 168 going into it and he ran a career best from the front, so his rating will go up. Sizing John will be mid 170's and roughly the same as what Don Cossack got, and he's a 'wonder horse' according to some.

Whether SJ will win it next year again I don't know, but the front four definitely are all very good staying chasers and wouldn't be out of place in any of the recent Gold Cups.
Report GI MAC March 19, 2017 10:46 AM GMT
Totally agree wellchief, very good gold cup imo (quick time). Winner beat Djakadm a similar distance that Don Cossack, people will under rate it because thistlecrack and others never made it.
Report bluebirdfan March 19, 2017 11:06 AM GMT
Would be nice to see a really competitive Arkle next year, 2/3/4 runners with proper chances rather than the usual one horse procession we've had most years since the introduction of the JLT. Neon Wolf v Melon v Defi Du Seuil v Movewiththetimes
Report wellchief March 19, 2017 11:17 AM GMT
Ballyandy could jump a fence next year too, although he'd probably be JLT anyway.

Also Giddy, I agree that Empire of Dirt looked too slow for the Ryanair, and his Irish Gold Cup form looks even better now. This may have been his best chance though.

One horse that never gets a mention and has had some serious stick is Don Poli. His form of beating Djakadam this year and just losing to Sizing John would have put him bang there imo, he seems to be a better horse than when he was thrashed last year.

Also, the way Sub Lieutenant stayed on, I'd like to see him have a go at a 3m G1 at some point.
Report duffy March 19, 2017 1:29 PM GMT
My initial gut reaction thoughts was that I will be against BD next year, I didn't think it was a good CH, he travelled best and stuck on the best, don't think their was any quickening involved, more outstayed them, nothing got into it and he ran past PM when he'd had enough, and good old "tent" followed him home. I'd expect a Faugheen or AP, if they ever come back to see him off easily as well as Defi if they don't go chasing that looks likely at the moment.

Thought SJ was a very good GC winner, he's a case of a quality horse over shorter that stays the trip well and can bring that class with him, my gut feeling is that MB and Yorkhill won't be GC winners, they're just going to have too much baggage to sort out, pulling, jumping, idling!!, SJ is bang straight forward.

In the hope that all is well with Douvan I think 3/1 in a years time will look big.

Can't see why NC won't win the stayers again, I got the wrong one, picked Jezki as the classy horse over shorter that stays and brings that class with him over the longer distance, it was NC who finally getting the chance to run over 3 miles outclassed them.
Report duffy March 19, 2017 1:37 PM GMT
Incidentally, I wouldn't rule out Yorkhill eventually running in the CH next yearGrin, if the big two are finally gone and with the log jam mullins is going to have over 2.4/3 it could happen as Mullins has that 2 mile hurdling void that needs filling...Melon..maybe but doubt it.......even in the immediate aftermath of the JLT Mullins was still musing about the CH, it's still definitely in his mind and the stable are going to need a strong contender for the race.
Report ReaseHeath March 19, 2017 2:25 PM GMT
Faugheen and AP will both be 10 by the time the next festival comes around.

Faugheen has missed the last two festivals through injury and was n't yet been ridden out according to reports pre Cheltenham.

Buveur D'Air is a 6yo - in fact he's not even 6 yet really -  who has only run in 6 hurdle races. Surely plenty of scope for improvement yet.

It's not impossible that Faugheen and AP come back almost as good as ever at 10 but you'd want to see some evidence on the track first - particularly in Faugheen's case.

On balance, I think I'd be with Buveur D'Air at this stage but I've absolutely no desire to have a bet yet.
Report lewisham ranger March 19, 2017 3:01 PM GMT
if faugheen wins another champion hurdle I will give up gambling.

aw shucks according to charwell I should do that anyway Grin
Report impossible123 March 19, 2017 6:06 PM GMT
You cannot be serious Yorkhill could eventually run in the CH next year regardless after his immaculate JLT performance - connections especially his owners will lose all credibility and respect, if so. But one thing for sure though is be prudent and best to hold fire on nearly everyone of Closutton runners final target except Djakadam for the Ryanair in 2018, the question is will he be good enough?
Report macrocky March 19, 2017 6:30 PM GMT
What's matter with closutton? With the withdrawals this year plans are changing weekly as horses got injured and races changed shape
Who would have thought last December Bouvoir dair  would have switched from novice chase to champion hurdle glory
Horses are fragile . Bet on antepost at your peril. It's money gone till you reach the starting gate
Report impossible123 March 19, 2017 6:49 PM GMT
"What's the matter with Closutton"

VVM entered in nearly everything (King George as well) yet ran in the Mares Hurdle against a stablemate; Limini was the same....CH? That was taking the mickey to the extreme given her limitations.
Douvan entered in the King George and the Ryanair (wtf!) yet only serious target is the CC!

Buveur D'air running in the CH was not a total shock as he was never going to beat Yorkhill (all things being equal) - his last chase was not good either - and the CH was a mediocre field with some an afterthought.

Do not knock antepost as it is the best way of enhancing a returns if one gets it right unless it is on a Closutton inmate; the "nrnb" and "free bet if loser" nearer race day is better than 2-4-1 in retail.
Report The Councillor March 19, 2017 7:29 PM GMT
Speculative punts on the below for 2018, reluctant to take the short odds on Double but hey ho....ATB TC

4 Fold Accumulator(s) @ 11219/1
Fayonagh, Antepost, 2018 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle
Might Bite, Antepost, 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Apples Jade, Antepost, 2018 Stayers Hurdle
Douvan, Antepost, 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase

Stake £10.00 (£5.00 EW)

Potential Returns £56,483.04

Lucky 15
Fayonagh, Antepost, 2018 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle
Might Bite, Antepost, 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Apples Jade, Antepost, 2018 Stayers Hurdle
Douvan, Antepost, 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase

Stake £75.00 (£37.50 EW)

Potential Returns £43,843.96
Report lewisham ranger March 19, 2017 8:13 PM GMT
i admire all these people putting ante post bets on the 2018 meeting already.

I can't even back a winner on the week of the festival let alone 12 months before Laugh
Report macrocky March 19, 2017 9:52 PM GMT
Impossible 123 just take a look at "the councillors " thoughts and bets he has 1 closutton selection but it's fair to say all 4 will have a variety of options.
The bookies don't know which races they will eventually run in and unless you have a crystal ball neither do you.
That's why you get apparently good high odds but it's high risk
Report impossible123 March 20, 2017 11:45 AM GMT
I can understand if there was a need for it but Douvan in the Ryanair (?), that really took the biscuit to the extreme and totally disrespected punters; Douvan (distance)and VVM (no run over fences) in the King George 2016; Douvan in the Tingle Creek after bullish comment just a few days prior (betting here reciprocated) then a sudden change of mind reflected in betting here prior to announcement two days later; Limini and VVM in the Champion Hurdle when there was a near "zero" chance either/both given potential and distance.

The above scenarios may be an opportunity (for you) to obtain better odds however, if an event is deemed very, very unlikely to happen eg Douvan in the Ryanair and King George (near "zero" chance), that to me is nothing but misinfo, and is not punter/racegoer conducive except the bookies.
Report Arklearkle March 20, 2017 2:06 PM GMT
Rich Ricci is reputed to have paid something like £298K in entry fees to Cheltenham racecourse for last years festival. To say he and WM are entering horses in races to dupe the punter is ridiculous.
Report Arsene March 20, 2017 2:13 PM GMT
With JP McManus having BD for the Champion Hurdle (and NJH will probably have 'Tent' ready again) where do you think Defi Du Seuill will end up, as I thought he was one of the most impressive winners of the week and could be CH standard next year?

However, Hobbs wasn't shy in saying he'd be great over a fence and can see him going chasing in which case Arkle or JLT?
Report tomdeane March 20, 2017 7:53 PM GMT
Willie Mullins and his horses with multiple options are a common talking point on here and I have of course backed them in the wrong races from time to time. But, I think the issue is massively overplayed and it's usually bitter pocket-talking that fuels the fires. How many of his horses this year actually ran in races that seemed less likely than other options? I think nine times out of 10 it's fairly easy to work out where they'll end up...

The only surprise to me this year was that Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini took each other on, but given that neither could beat Apples Jade it's not hard to understand why they both went for a supposedly unimportant race.
Report impossible123 March 20, 2017 8:30 PM GMT
It's the juveniles and novices that could be difficult to decipher eg Battleford, Cilaos Emery, Meri Devi, Penhill, Augusta Kate, Bacardys, Bon Papa, AO, etc; the older ones eg VVM, Douvan and Djakadam, etc, are much easier to decipher.
Report eric_morris March 20, 2017 9:37 PM GMT
No point whatsoever in antepost for Cheltenham now. The 3 day meeting was fantastic for long range punts, 4 days has killed it
Report eric_morris March 20, 2017 9:48 PM GMT
Those laying on Cheltenham will make fortunes long term.

- A few trainers/owners with the best horses, switching them around at the last minute depending on weather, armagheddon after a looong wait.
- Multiple entries for many horses with the JLT taking Arkle and RSA horses at a late stage.
- Quicker ground than that the form relates to over the few months before. Falsely short priced favs as a result. Which will improve most for quicker festival ground? Willoughby Court there's always one in the big fields to bring your long range shortener down.
- Watering by Claisse has massive effects on race outcomes after a looong wait your bet can be artificially shgged late on.
- Psychology between trainers getting worse. Harry Fry not even confirming Neon Wolf for the Neptune until the sunday.

There is absolutely no point whatsoever in long range Festival punts now.
Report eric_morris March 20, 2017 9:56 PM GMT
- Prices a few weeks before are often much shorter than on the day..
Native River 5/2,3/1
Cue Crad 5/2
Report firstimevisor March 20, 2017 9:58 PM GMT
Imposible, you openly admitted to backing Douvan at 5s for the Tingle Creek and then traded out at shorter. But you were then screaming all over the forum for the BHA to investigate Mullins for market manipulation. When many posters on here pointed out that Mullins had done nothing wrong - he said at entry stage that UDS was the most likely runner and would not issue any other statement until final decs, which was exactly what happened - you changed course and blamed the bookies for starting a false gamble.

Now 3 months later you have changed course again, and have created a few new lies to back up your story. What bullish comment are you referring to and what was the sudden change of mind? You know damn well that there's not a grain of truth to that but you will continue with these sly,nasty digs.
Report eric_morris March 21, 2017 9:12 AM GMT
Lets not forget Buveur D'Air the antepost favourite at 5/2, 3/1 for the Champion Hurdle with the risk of losing all your stake as a none runner. He was available at 5/1, 11/2 on the day, nearly twice his antepost odds !!!!!!!
Report lewisham ranger March 21, 2017 11:34 AM GMT
good point eric. I think antepost bets are only worth taking if you can get very big odds and then try to lay them off later on betfair.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 21, 2017 1:44 PM GMT
Spot on LR
Report maelduin March 21, 2017 5:23 PM GMT
"There is absolutely no point whatsoever in long range Festival punts now."

You probably picked the worst AP season for at least a decade to illustrate this viewpoint. Anyone can go back and pick and chose examples but as far as i'm concerned AP betting can still be profitable with a little bit of luck. Where else can you get 5/1 (any race) about a 1/4 shot on the day. Sure there is a chance the horse won't run but you should factor that into the price before placing the bet. 

Have to say though the concessions offered by the bookies this year were excellent, especially if you backed a string of seconds like me. Would definitely make me think twice about the # of AP bets i'll do next year.

@SEATHESTARS What sort of holiday you taking on your AP winnings this year? Butlins? Mischief
Report cyclops March 23, 2017 12:39 PM GMT
A lot of nonsense posted here.

In particular, the thought that, when making entries, Mullins should have punter's interests in his thoughts. If I owned a good horse, I'd make multiple entries to allow myself to look at going, opposition, weather changes through the Festival, etc. If I had many, I'd be even more encouraged to do so. Mullins can do no right with some of the posters here, but the experience of Annie Power last year shows just how impossible it would be to do so.

As for Festival value, of course it's there. You could have backed Sizing John at better than 70/1 before the Irish Gold Cup, which you'd never get from the bookies.

As for the Gold Cup, it didn't strike me as a good one, though it had a good winner. The closeness of Minella Rocco, Native River, Saphir Du Rheu and More of That - some of them confirmed mid 150's horses - on good going more than suggests it lacked quality, though far from the worst in recent times. But, what Gold Cup wouldn't be a pale imitation in a season where Don Cossack, Thistlecrack and Vautour were taken from the race?
Report lewisham ranger March 23, 2017 12:55 PM GMT
is the liquidity there on betfair in the antepost markets?

you mention 70-1 on sizing john, but was there much money up?
Report cyclops March 23, 2017 1:56 PM GMT
I think you could have sniped away and built up a nice bet. A tenner myself but believe there was a good bit more around and probably at better than 70.

At the risk of sounding self-satisfied (I'm not, I've had plenty of losers) I backed Don Cossack at 70 for the 15 Gold Cup after he ran in the Ryanair in 14 and then again at 40 after he won the Melling Chase and could have had plenty more at those prices had I wished. Bookies were not even offering him at the time, I recall. I still believe this site can offer outstanding value if you want to look further than the obvious.
Report duffy March 24, 2017 3:12 PM GMT
You'd be right to not sound self satisfied, he didn't win the 15 GCGrin, but I know what you meanWink
Report rl91 March 24, 2017 10:22 PM GMT
Paddy Power have gone 5/1 on One Track Mind for the '18 stayers hurdle

Something I'm missing here?
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 9:24 AM GMT
It doesnt matter to me whether Mullins and Ricci for example have most of the best novices, mares etc and whether he should have punters interest blah blah. Irrelevant. I only look at the playing field as an antepost punter and the Cheltenham Festival offers by far the worst value of any other horse racing meeting now.

One of those reasons is Mullins / Ricci waiting and switching late. I am not saying they have no right to do so.

The ground is a massive factor, quicker come the Festival than the slower ground that the recent form has been gained on. Unpredictable uk weather and Claisse getting his hose out, not getting his hose out  having a massive effect on your looong range value come the day.

Pennies offered on here antepost suits those who dont like a decent bet antepost. If you want a decent four figure bet you have to place it in pieces at bookies if one wont accept it. Then you have no chance of laying that amount off on here as the liquidity is sooo low months before the Festival. You still run the risk of losing your stake the bigger your bet as the amount cant be laid off. Not that I have done that this season as I try to hold value to the race.

Shocking shocking prices offered close range antepost (3s Buveur Dair, Native River, Cue Card etc) with nr no bet mean you either go long range antepost as above or wait until the day when prices are bigger than short range antepost as the bookies compete for mug money with inflated prices and offers.

Trainers like Fry arent getting my money as they were deliberately unhelpful with punters right up until a couple of days before the race. If he had decided then to switch Neon Wolf to the Supreme it would have fkin obliterated millions of pounds of antepost money as it affected the two biggest novice race.
Tizzard, with his Cral jacket on wtf. He has been telling us once targets have been confirmed late for his that they knew all along where the horse was going. Well thanks for keeping that under your hat mate while saying it could be race A or B in the build up.

Only attractive to those laying on here now.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 9:31 AM GMT
If Claisse had got his hose out on tuesday night rather than wednesday night I strongly believe the narrowly beaten Neon Wolf would have won the Neptune. Willoughby Court would have used more in front on watered ground, Neon Wolf bulldozering past him up the hill.

Claisse imo watered as tuesdays big race favs including Douvan got turned over by horses he has been beating (he didnt know of injury then though he did know the horses jumping had been put under pressure from the start by excellent tactics which worked).

Too late, it made a difference of 4 figures to me. As I say it aint attractive to this antepost punter any more.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 9:34 AM GMT
typo Wed big races favourites..

Even on tuesday Altior looked in trouble at one point on the ground.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 9:39 AM GMT
Also the younger trainers are more likely to take a horse to the senior race skipping the novice race. Coneygree, Moon Racer etc you can easily do your money with this now more than ever in the past. The press clamour for it as well. You are sitting on 3s Altior the Arkle hoping Douvan doesnt get injured causing a switch or the press banging on about a head to head a year earlier.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 9:45 AM GMT
Oh and Elliott is getting far too good at hiding his horses form ready for the Festival.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 10:24 AM GMT
Also since being taken over by Crls, Lads no longer take a decent antepost bet like they have in the past. They have gone from the best to the worst over night since being taken over.
Report tomdeane March 25, 2017 11:59 AM GMT
I don't really see why any of that means ante-post is dead...

If it's a layers paradise where are they all? Still plenty of value around for those who seek it. Tully East was a good example in the novices' handicap on day one. Was 20-1 everywhere a week beforehand and went off at 8-1 and won easily. Had previous Festival form and was a perfect type for the race.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 12:40 PM GMT
There are a lot of layers on here. It is the backers who are disappearing as it becomes too difficult as explained in numerous posts. One example doesnt cancel all the negatives for me.
Report eric_morris March 25, 2017 12:41 PM GMT
Also i dont even look at the handicaps as i have no idea who is best at hiding their horses form in the run up to the Festival.

The grade 1s are getting much tougher and thats where you would place decent money, not on the handicap lotteries.
Report impossible123 March 27, 2017 10:19 AM BST
For the 2018 Gold Cup Sizing John is 8/1, Yorkhill at 10/1 and Might bite at 11/1 here are ok looking at the possible field; Thistlecrack is fav at 6/1 but will be outstayed and/or achieve 100% recovery from injury?
Report Desmond Orchard March 27, 2017 1:18 PM BST
And yet the prices of the last half dozen winners of the Gold Cup were what, 50 weeks out?
Only Bobsworth would've been anywhere near those prices, I'd imagine, with the last 3 nearer 100/1 than 10/1.
Report impossible123 March 28, 2017 12:53 PM BST
Mullins believes Yorkhill did enough in the JLT to make him a worthy contender for the Gold Cup, and this time next year he could be this race bound.
Report eric_morris March 28, 2017 2:00 PM BST
2012 Synchronised
2013 Bobs Worth
2014 Lord Windermere
2015 Coneygree
2016 Sizing John

These winners of the Gold Cup, perhaps other than Bobs Worth would have been massive odds a year out. To that extent it is ok taking prices on here as you are unlikely to want a grand on a 66/1 or 100/1 shot at the bookies.

The standard of staying chasers has plummeted since the fantastic Best Mate, Kauto Star and Denman days.

The race has become a pin job.
Report eric_morris March 28, 2017 2:15 PM BST
2016 Don Cossack
2017 Sizing John
Report wellchief March 29, 2017 8:07 AM BST
I have a fiver waiting to back Road to Respect @ 100 in the Gold Cup and Ryanair if anyone wants to take the bet Excited
Report cyclops April 2, 2017 11:40 AM BST
Was Bob's Worth a long shot, having won the RSA?
Report cyclops April 2, 2017 11:42 AM BST
Although the addition of Don Cossack in 2016 adds to your argument. He was a rank outsider after the 2015 Festival, still 40/1 after winning the Melling and only came into prominence having won the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Report Howdi April 3, 2017 7:48 PM BST
Was the Don really 40s after his Melling win???/
Report Howdi April 3, 2017 7:49 PM BST
cyclops • April 2, 2017 11:40 AM BST
Was Bob's Worth a long shot, having won the RSA?....I can answer that one NO HE WASNT.
Report unclepuncle December 25, 2017 5:47 PM GMT
Still very pleased with my analysis in the OP.Cool

Just hope I’m still feel as good in a few days time.Shocked
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 11, 2018 7:09 PM GMT
LOTS OF ENTRIES out today - we need the 2018 threads up boys Devil
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