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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cheltenham 2012 - Day 1

Palphabet Off to a Flyer with all but the Hurricane on a Whirlwind First Day

Cinders & Ashes, Quevega and Sprinter Sacre provided Palphabet with a successful start to this year’s Cheltenham Festival and a profitable first stab at prospective previews rather than just retrospective reviews.  Unlike Sprinter Sacre's brilliance, these tipping triumphs won’t last long, so I’m going to relish it this evening and keep looking forward with hopefully just a hint of smug permeating into this piece.

Cinders & Ashes and Hunt Ball both gave decent returns, whilst Quevega paid out £74 from a 6pt stake
The biggest damage to the coffers was done today by lumping £135.43 on a Hurricane Fly / Big Buck’s double at 2.64 on Betfair, and is yet to be reflected on the above P&L.  I did have a place bet on Rock on Ruby though, so the Champion Hurdle didn’t leave me too cold, and I was impressed again with Overturn’s fierce gallop.  Binocular showed signs that he would get going, but his inconsistencies continued.  Despite not tipping it in advance, I had a 1pt stake on Hunt Ball (and a smaller, losing bet on Harpsy Chord) that means I can go into tomorrow with a fully loaded gambling gun.

Tomorrow’s bet on Soll (now 8-1) drew enough attention when I put him up at 12s to be chosen by the nice people at to form part of their “Cheltenham Chat” podcast (which you can hear here).  I have been lumping on Mullins's son of Presenting for the past couple of months and cannot wait to see him bring home the booty over the stamina-testing 4m Amateur Riders' Novices' National Hunt chase, which is first up on day two of what is now trending on Twitter as #CheltFest.

UPDATE 14-03-12 ... Read my guest blog preview of this race on Scott Ferguson's here
With two of my antepost selections gone (Alan King's Invictus and Fingal Bay), I will eschew the complicated forecasts tomorrow, stick to Grands Crus (6-4 from 9-4 advised) in the RSA Chase and go for another of King's entries in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle: Battonier (9-1).

UPDATE 14-03-12 ... With Battonier declared a non-runner this morning and the Betfair selection voided, I have put my 1pt e/w on Make Your Mark instead. Davy Russell's ride for WP Mullins offers good value at around 10-1 and I've rather go there than Simonsig, about whom I have my doubts.
As Somersby opts for Thursday's 5f longer trip in the Ryanair Chase, tomorrow's Queen Mother Champion Chase price about Sizing Europe (11-10 as advised a month ago) is no longer available, but the 20-21 currently offered on the Betfair exchange is only a fraction shorter, and should be hoovered up.  I'll also have a bit of Kauto Stone for a place at around 11-4. 
In the later contests on Wednesday afternoon, AP McCoy is worth backing on board Jonjo O'Neill's Get Me Out Of Here in the Coral Cup at 12-1 - after Hunt Ball's performance today I won't be put off by the weight!  I also like Brendan Powell, who claims 5lbs atop the Dr Richard Newland trained Act Of Kalanisi (20-1).  Vendor (4-1) is the one to go for in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle, another Alan King horse who Choc Thornton put up as his nap of the week, but Kie jumped off the page at me available at 59-1 so I will have a small wager each way on this one of McCain's, who will have a fired-up Jason Maguire on board after his win in the Supreme today. 
Exhausting, exhilarating, and only just beginning!


  1. Nice read, would you say it was a good or bad day for the bookies? 2 out of 3 odds on coming in but lots of accas on those 3.....PL

  2. Hi PL - thanks for the comments - I would say that the bookies are breathing a huge sigh of relief at the failure of Hurricane Fly to reclaim the champion hurdle crown yesterday.. with so many accas featuring the Fly alongside other well-liked favourites such as Big Buck's, Quevega, Sizing Europe, Long Run, and to a less extent Grands Crus and Sprinter Sacre, Rock on Ruby's win will have busted a few coupons. The bookmakers will have been celebrating last night for sure, and they know the punters who LUMPED on the fly will be back for more over the next three days.

    Good luck!