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25th April 2024 5:02 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Cheltenham – for what it’s worth

SUMMARY Having unjustly gained a negative reputation for being part of the Pandemic problem, perhaps impacting local and regional community support, Cheltenham has managed to lose racing fans through a combination of poor event planning, weak and/or arrogant customer relations, aggressive price marketing, and a race schedule, which has managed to engineer an uncompetitive and, […]

Cheltenham Day 4

A very smiley girl appeared at my breakfast table this morning, clutching at some of my clothing that she’d found on her travels. “You bounder and cad”, I hear you say, but wait, the Hon was close at hand; nothing untoward was afoot, and even coffee and a warmed croissant were offered, or a glass […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 3

DAY 3: THURSDAY 14 MARCH 13:30 THE TURNERS NOV. CHASE (G1) 2m 4f Chase ZANAHIYR has had a good season so far with two decent graded runs before converting to Chasing. His debut saw him run into Fact To File, and his poor jumping didn’t aid his cause – but he did have Minella Cocooner […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

DAY 2:  WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH 13:30 THE GALLAGHER (BARING BINGHAM) NOV. HDL (G1) 2m 5f Hurdle If you swerve HANDSTANDS and THE GREY MAN on trends grounds, and you think the probable winner, BALLYBURN is too short, then you might want to consider either PREDATOR’S GOLD or MERCUREY. The former has recently run second in […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 1

As of 8:30 am on Monday, the ground was Soft all over, and the Cross Country was Heavy, Soft in places.  Some drizzle was possible on Monday. Showers are forecast for the early hours and into the morning on Tuesday (3-4mm). This will be Soft, sticky ground and beginning to dry. Champion Day – Tuesday, […]

Raceweb’s Cheltenham Festival: The Stats Pack – 20 STATS YOU NEVER KNEW

The following statistics, trends, and anomalies, call it what you will  – these numbers  – provide a potentially useful insight into possible Festival race outcomes. The numbers are facts, but as a dear friend once remarked after Mon Mome’s National victory, your statistic on French-bred National runners winning isn’t wrong; it’s simply that there are […]

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival – The Kneesup Overview

Whatever happens, please ensure that you only bet NRNB. Also remember that if there is a non-runner in Doubles, for example, the bet becomes a Single. Thus an 11 bet Yankee (1x 4, 4×3, 6×2) with a non-runner becomes a Patent (1×3 – 6×2 – 3×1 with 1 stake returned). Champion Day – Tuesday, March […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 4

We popped into The Tent to see chums and to apologise for The Hon’s picture appearing in the Daily Mail. The place was awash with Not Old People including Young Lochinvar who spent 20 minutes complaining about [a] my tipping [b] my lack of winners compared to his six by end of day 2 [c] […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 3

Truth be told, there is not much to report. A supper party of Prawns in a tomato, garlic and chilli sauce, Cottage Pie and peas, Lemon Posset with macerated strawberries, English cheeses, French clarets, a very jolly team of guests and somehow time has flown and as I suspected might happen, I find myself short […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

We returned from the jolly lunch to find a note from an old friend to say that she had found herself at a loose end and thus watched Cheltenham on the box. She who might weep in Othello for the pitiful Desdemona or for Mimi’s consumption wrote that she had been moved to tears by […]

The Last Post of Cheltenham

There was a moment on Thursday when the Kneesup world took a definitive turn for the worse. Not the excessive prices that Cheltenham has been charging for a Pint of Guinness, nor the ludicrous absence of mobile signal in the 21st century; nor the woeful and controlled wifi signal that allows you to only bet […]

Cheltenham Thursday St Patrick’s Day

I have just read some unutterable drivel that suggests that the Turners Novice Chase, while not totally brilliant with only the four horses competing in a championship race, is somehow still great, (and thus excusable), because we will actually get a great match race between Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs, and neither will be […]

Cheltenham Ladies Day – Wednesday

A very jolly lunch with racing and pointing folk. Our host has of late become increasingly deaf, and lives in a world where TVs are best full-on  – and the resulting output then passed through an amplifier. Various grooms, vets, farriers, a dog-walker and assorted others drifted in and out to watch the racing on […]

Cheltenham Day 1

No time for chit chat. I’m building a website for a charity; I’ve got an environmental campaign to put together; I’ve just come back from seeing my furrowed eye-brow consultant and I’m not sure where The Cheltenham tweeds are. All this before 7.00 pm when I’m off for road-kill with his Lordship. So onto the […]

The Cheltenham Question

I had a jolly Fish and Chip supper at a local pub last night with my old friend The FinTech Brain, and while inventing a new and delicious dessert (one scoop each of Blood Orange and Gin Sorbets covered in a shot of Cointreau), we cruised around the conversational islands of Paralympic Curling, Olympic 3-day […]

Feast or Famine? It’s not just at Cheltenham.

I wondered this week, at what point the Labour front-bench might overcome their oft-absent scruples and walk out of the chamber en masse in order to join the International Brigade. They might not have been alone. The demeanour of Ben Wallace, (whose preemptive “Here, Let Me Help You” strike on Priti Patel will have weakened […]

Cheltenham Day 4

One of my readers, the one who doesn’t live in North Wales, sent a note to remind me that Beau Geste, who I mentioned yesterday, died at his post. He asked if I was, like Beau, considering doing the decent thing, should my Cheltenham failure continue. Trust me, Mr Scrote-Boggis of Pinworm Villas, everyone here […]

The Pharaoh of Galway breaks his quarantine to give his tips

The top Irish Tipster and irregular commentator for Raceweb, Peter O’Tool, aka The Pharaoh of Galway, has managed to smuggle out his Gold Cup day tips, from his quarantined quarters in Barbados. Having never missed a Gold Cup meeting before, his frustration at a constant diet of rum and pineapple, various types of Prawn, Snapper […]

Cheltenham Day 3

With the sad inevitability of the unsinkable ship travelling at speed and an enormous stationary iceberg, I suspect my Cheltenham maybe gashed below the waterline. I tried to enthuse about Tiger Roll’s victory and Cheltenham five-timer, honestly. I was thrilled for Ms Blackmore, who isn’t a female but is a jockey. (Broadcaster please note). I […]

Cheltenham Day 2

I have not yet had the chance to congratulate myself for tipping and Brian Harman for playing into his 3rd place in TPC.  A 175/1 third, even for a shared place at a 5th odds means that to a £1 e/w LSP, we are +22 pts overall. The rest of my picks… buck up your […]

A weekend view of The Cheltenham Festival

The girl in the picture is Elvira, whom I have mentioned ante scriptor. She turned up rather suddenly, refused coffee, and then said nothing, but threw furious glances at my unlit fag. I tried to tell her that I thought her top, though lovely, was possibly too chilly for racing. She simply scowled. That is […]

At Last – Some Irish Craic

I am aware that many of the Trends in this section are negative, but I hope will allow the reader to avoid backing horses that probably won’t win unless The Baby Jesus gets involved. This stat however has a solid base and forms a good platform for further investigation. It has produced a profit on […]

Of Course you can – but not that Course and not here

This trend continues the theme of horses that are unlikely to win, based on their last race. In this case, they have had the misfortune of being unable or unwilling to have their final Cheltenham prep race other than at these tracks. Personally I think some of these tracks are delightful, but for whatever reason, […]

Stick to what you know.

As you might expect, when you’re digging in dark statistical corners, you occasionally unearth a shard of old pottery which makes you understand that the Trojans had possibly invented Toblerone. Thus it was that I uncovered this small gem, that suggests that Handicap Hurdlers do what they do best before the Festival, which is race […]

Something of the Arriviste about these

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You turn up somewhere you’ve been invited to and you’re wearing your best Waikiki Beach Surfing Shirt and a pair of shorts and flip-flops. You’ve bought a six-pack and a smile and the door opens on a scene of sophisticated elegance, as the besuited […]

You do actually get what the price suggests

Turning up at Cheltenham is no guarantee of success – and that even applies to the crowd, as I am reminded whenever I see the bookie’s children returning from another term at Harrow. I wondered about those horses who do turn up and more importantly where they came from. Supposing they weren’t fancied LTO, came […]

Don’t be handicapped by inexperience

Bizarrely you would think that taking 7lbs off a decent handicap hurdler, might give one a fighting chance with Honest Bob, bookie to the gentry. I hate to disillusion you, or indeed to remove the experiential crust from the plate of young Ignatius O’Hare, claiming jockey to Mr Jumps-Ditch. But here’s something to consider about […]

Give it a rest

As with so many of us, there are a finite number of miles on the clock and even the most elite of elite athletes will tell you, that they all have moments when a twinge or a creak tells them that moment has come. Is it the same with horses at the top end of […]

Show some form

FACT: Since 2003, there have been 92 Grade 1 Festival Races. 76 of those races were contested by horses that had completed their races but had NOT been first or second in BOTH their last two races. Recent horses that failed, included MIGHT BITE, PRESENTING PERCY, TORNADO FLYER, MENGLI KHAN, VOIX DU REVE and POLITOLOGUE […]

Older yes, Wiser perhaps, Winners hmmm

FACT: There have been 389 Class 1 races at the Festival, (Grade 1,2,3 and Listed) since 2003. 124 of those races have had 230 horses aged 11 and older compete in them and only 3 have won and 26 have been placed. The A/E is 0.29 and with a win percentage of only 1.3%, you’d […]

The best need a proper break

In many cases, there is nothing strange about many Festival statistics, but for some reason this made me double-check. With further thought, however, it makes perfect sense. FACT: Since 2003 there have been 219 G1 races at the Festival. 68 of those races, almost a third, have been contested by horses who have raced in […]

Flat Out – but not here

FACT: In 83 races since 2003, 103 horses have turned up, whose last prep race was on the Flat or All-weather. 7 of them were placed – but none of them won. Among those not understanding this absolute fact were WHISKEY SOUR the 2019 County Hurdle favourite at 5/1 and the 2018 favourite for the […]

Huntingdon Hackers

We know we have had 437 NH Festival races since 2003. FACT: Almost 25% of those contained a runner who had raced at Huntingdon LTO. In fact, there were 132 such horses in 103 races, who had been to the charming Cambridgeshire track and for an A/E of 0.15, they produced one winner and 16 […]

Ignore Weak Ratings.

For the Lord sayeth that many are called, but few are chosen and at Cheltenham, the meek and those rated 112 or below will not inherit the earth. FACT: Since 2003, there have been a total of 438 races. In that time 59 races have had 139 runners in them, rated 112 or less. None […]

The German Hurdlers Trend

Fact: Since 2003, there have been 206 Festival Hurdle races of which 88 were contested by 122 German-bred horses, of which only 2 have won. (Gordon Elliott’s ARAMAX 11th March 2020 in the Fred Winter and Willie Mullins ARCTIC FIRE on 17th March 2017 in the County Hurdle). There were 16 places. With a win […]

St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase

1st February 2021 Willie Mullins’ son Patrick bought home BILLAWAY to land the Naas hunter chase yesterday. Bookies cut him to 3/1 (5/2 NRNB – 100/30 in a place) for this race, in which he was runner-up last year. “That was a fair performance on ground he didn’t like and on ground, he couldn’t really pick […]

The Wellchild Cheltenham Gold Cup

22nd February 2021 Willie Mullins talking about AL BOUM PHOTO: I’ll give him a big bit of work this week. He’s in great shape. He worked well last week and he’s a big bit of work coming up this week. He’s uncomplicated, he’s very nice to train. I didn’t think when we were buying him […]

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateurs

26th Jan 2021 JERRYSBACK caught the eye, staying on for a 5l third to DASHEL DRASHER from a considerate Richard Johnson ride. (Ascot 2m 5f Handicap Chase). I don’t know what it is, but long absences suggest a fragility He ran off 142 and is 6lb lower than his very tired 3rd in the 2019 […]

Ryanair Chase

28th January 2021 Nicky Henderson is adamant ALTIOR will be going to The Champion Chase, despite yard jockey Nico de Boinville hoping to try the horse over further in the Ryanair Chase. Altior won the Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019 but has suffered defeat twice in his last three starts and missed last season’s […]

Weatherbys Champion Bumper

8th February 2021 KILCRUIT bolted up in The Dublin Racing Festival Bumper with Patrick Mullins not having to move a muscle. He disposed of a high-quality field with total ease and in the process saw his Champion Bumper odds slashed. He’s now the 7/4 favourite for the race, having been available at 10/1 before he […]

Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

26th Jan 2021 Trainer Christian Williams reports POTTERS CORNER, winner of the Midlands and Welsh Grand Nationals, to be in good form following his run over hurdles in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick this month and will now send the 11-year-old to contest the Glenfarclas Chase over the cross-country fences at the Cheltenham Festival as […]

Queen Mother Champion Chase

8th February 2021 CHACUN POUR SOI was impressive in The Dublin Racing Festival’s Dublin Chase, and despite Min being pulled up, Chacun Pour Soi was still very impressive in retaining his crown. He’s now odds-on with every bookmaker, bar one for the Champion Chase, having been around the 11/10 mark before the race. SkyBet is […]

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