SELECTIONS FOR GOLD CUP DAY
I found myself caught between that world again as someone that invests in a horses performance and one who is enthralled with the quality of the horses and the performances by the jockeys.
With the exception of Super Duty who lived up to expectations, be it 2nd at the line, as each of my selections have faded from contention I found myself cheering on the finish.
I made a couple of mistakes on my day. First, I got caught up in the Reve De Sivola -v- Oscar Whiskey aspect of the World Hurdle. Part of my approach is to sit down and compare horses that I feel are the principles (and not necessary at the top of the betting) then once that is done, I then compare that once selection to the entire field.
What this leads to is I've created a 'mark' for the race that others have to beat. Instead, I selected Reve De Sivola THEN looked at the rest of the field
On my sheet, I narrowed it to two; Smad Place and Solwit. After readdressing those two, I focused on a note that focused on the going while a question mark remained with Solwit.
We know the result of Solwit winning and Reve De Sivola doing me a favour by finishing behind my EW play. But if I had stuck to my approach, any other time when selecting two, I would have gone with those two and at those odds, probably both each way.
The other mistake was overlooking the winner of the Jewson, Benefficient. I had circled that half way through Wednesday's racing as, in my opinion, Newbury form was a huge tick in the plus column. I still felt Molotof was a value play at the odds but when I put those figures up against those of the eventual winner, I missed a great opportunity to land a big-priced winner at the Cheltenham festival.
File it under the 'one that got away.'
All said and done, some each way dividends kept the day from some 'black hole' figure and with a day to go, if I went zero on the day, it would work out to 3 points a day in exchange for living Cheltenham to its fullest from the build-up, the sifting through months of notes, the enjoyment of reliving some great races back over the year and, of course, the week of racing.
And, after yesterday's need to take two jockey's to hospital, my respect for the men who pilot our selections is only further solidied.
I've also will walk away with more knowledge on taking on a great event like this that will hopefully not only pay dividends next year but help me through the process of the other major events coming up through 2013.
Roll on day four!!
THE JCB (1:30)
While others can discuss the front of the racing, I'm taking a angle on backing a trainer who earlier this week had a horse that showed incredible improvement and a jockey who is getting extra out of his mounts.
John Quinn brings two into the race and I'm going with Kashmir Peak with Dougie Costello joining in on day four. Though unseating his rider last time out, the previous runs showed power in the finish which I feel will come into play.
Lac Fontana is trained by Paul Nichols who has had a disappointing week. I backed the jockey/trainer team with Zarkandar earlier in the week but watching Daryl Jacob through the week, his ability to keep long odds horses in the race has been outstanding.
With some doubts on the front three in the betting, I'm taking two each way bets in the first race of the day.
Kashmir Peak EW
Lac Fontana EW
Prices at posting:Kashmir Peak 18.5, Lac Fontana 23.00
ALBERT BARTLETT 2:40
With a non-runner changing the betting, I have a stance with the front two in the market.
At Fisher's Cross made my notebook from a Newbury run over 19 furlongs when some mistakes were made early on that would have caused some horses to break focus and never get into rhythm. The opposite happened and the horse won its 2nd of the season and followed up with two at Cheltenham.
The track form is transparent and with word that the going will be closer to soft than Good to soft, any give won't be a problem for the horse and hopefully a winner for AP McCoy and trainer Rebecca Curtis.
Earlier this week, I hilighted the Twiston-Davies yard and they returned dividends on day two with The New One winning and Master Of The Sea working into a place to return each-way dividends.
Yesterday, the return to form for the stable continued with Same Difference winning at 16/1 and Changing Times making the frame in the Jewson at 100/1.
So backing them blind would have given excellent returns. But I waited until today to back African Gold EW. With Ballycasey out of the race, the horse moves up in the betting but with two runs at Newbury with decent times and the ability to work through soft and heavy, there is a step up in distance but as I said earlier this week, my confidence in Sam Twiston-davies to gauge the horse in the early going as he has done this week is a big factor.
At Fisher's Cross WIN
African Gold EW
prices at posting: At Fisher's Cross 2.86/African Gold 6.20
THE GOLD CUP
My Cheltenham Festival finishes with the Gold Cup.
Siviniciaco Conti improved through the fall, the run at Newbury in February finished with extra in the tank in soft conditions. The price will be out because of the week Paul Nicholls is having but there are no worries about Ruby Walsh whose wins have been confident and impressive on the horse.
The money will come for Long Run and understandably so. The run February 2012 still ranks number one against ratings over 13 months and the run at Kempton in heavy ground, the horse showed its abillity to perform under pressure.
Silviniaco Conti Win
Long Run EW
Prices at posting Silviniaco Conti 5.90, Long Run 5.90
Kashmir Peak EW (result: unplaced) -1.00
Lac Fontana EW (unplaced) -1.00
At Fisher's Cross WIN (1st BFSP 2.42) +1.35 *available at 2.80+ most of today
African Gold EW (2nd BFSP 5.70/2.01) +0.00
Silviniaco Conti Win (fell) -1.00
Long Run EW (3rd BFSP 4.89/1.65) -0.20 *available at 5.90+ most of today
SUMMARY 1 winner from 6 selections on the day (16% strike rate) and 2 returning each-way dividends. A risk of 6 points would return a loss of -1.85
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