Day 3: The World Hurdle
The beers are chilling nicely, the boys are primed for an early arrival at mine tomorrow, everything looks set -I'm having my own version of the Cheltenham Festival at my house this year.
A much more civilised Festival will be had. Good beer, good food and good company are the order of the day. I will be watching every race in it's entirety from the comfort of my sofa. No hour long queues for a drink, no loud mouth screaming in my ear, no craning my neck around some overly-hatted fool to gain a glimpse of the runners, no two hour traffic jam to navigate.
What a blissful thought - bring it on!
**********************The Pipe team have finally decided they will go the RSA route with Grand Crus (a mistake in my view, but there you go) and somebody in the know clearly made hay on Sunday on Betfair. Having been as short as 6.8 for the Gold Cup, somebody was very keen to lay him, forcing him all the way out to 40 long before today's announcement. Far be it for me to say there is anything crooked in that - but somebody knew - and has taken very unfair advantage of that knowledge. I'm not talking through my pocket as I didn't have a penny involved but those Betfair backers have been taken for a ride and have every right to feel aggrieved.
*********************Moving on to Day 3 of the festival for my next preview and the feature race of the day is the World Hurdle.
This is a race that lends itself very nicely to domination (at least in recent years) by a single horse over multiple years. It's a specialist distance for hurdlers and we are working with a fairly small pool of horses that have the necessary set of skills to be succesful.
Big Bucks has won the last 3 renewals in the process of running up a 15 race winning streak. To think it was doubtful he would ever go distance hurdling? He only did because he found it almost impossible to get over a fence!
It's very hard to make any kind of a case against Big Bucks but I think his price is about right and therefore not of any real interest to me. If you're looking for a winner at any price, then he's the one you should be on.
Oscar Whiskey hasn't really put a foot wrong this season but I certainly can't have him at 4/1 considering he's never attempted further than 2 and a half miles. That looks a very short price to me and of absolutely no interest. Backing those kind of horses at 4/1 is the fast route to the poor house. In actual fact, I'll be laying this one all day long come Thursday with anyone who's prepared to take that kind of price.
Dynaste is a horse I like. I know he's been soundly beaten twice this season by Big Bucks and is very unlikely to topple the champion this time but I think he's still young and progressive. If Big Bucks has any kind of problem, I could see Dynaste being the one leading them home. He is likely to make a bold bid from the front and who knows (unlikely I know) maybe he will repel them all going up the hill. 14/1 is a very decent price for us to find out.
The only other one who makes any appeal at all is Carlito Brigante. He's had a very odd campaign this year, but I know Gordon Elliott is very sweet on him. He's unlikely to take his place in the race but it might be worth having just a very small, speculative each way interest at the generally available 25/1
My bets are:
Reasonable each way bet on Dynaste at 14/1
Very small each way bet on Carlito Brigante at 25/1 Non Runner No Bet
Finally today, it's pretty much the final chance to get involved in the Make Your betting Pay Cheltenham Tipping League. We've already got a decent number of teams entered and if you want to be involved you need to sign up by noon tomorrow.
The prizes in the league are:
1st £50 + A limited edition print of Kauto Star winning the King George this year, personally signed by Ruby Walsh
It's completely free to enter at:
Once you have selected your stable of jockeys/trainers, you can find the league by the name:
Make Your Betting Pay
and join with the
Pin No: 8000357
Please note that I will only be allowing 1 stable per entrant- any 2nd or 3rd stables entered by the same person will be deleted before the first race.
Head over and join in the fun!
I'll have my full preview of the Gold Cup with you in the next couple of days.
Be lucky tomorrow