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27th May 2024 3:33 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 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, […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Did Cheltenham week sound an alarm for you?

If I’m honest, the first couple of days of Cheltenham were spent in a state of bewilderment. Despite God and Government, we were alive although marooned, blamed, alone, vaccinated, yet still incapable of sharing a glass, and throughout it all, still watching some superb racing performances. Racing TV covered the races in a professional, engaging […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Marsh Novices’ Chase

28th Jan 2021 James Hill in Racing & Football Outlook has suggested an e/w punt on CHATHAM STREET LAD on the following interesting grounds. Compared to other Festival Hurdle winners transitioning to the Novice Chases,  ENVOI ALLEN’s collective races under rules winning margins are way lower than normal for a horse with his OR.  SHISKIN […]

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

15th Jan 2021 BARBADOS BUCK’S had a 10lb penalty for his two Southwell wins over brush hurdles and was rated 131, when arriving at the start of his Kempton 4l victory on 9th Jan. He beat a decent field by 4l earning a rise of 8lbs to 139. They’ll have to send him chasing soon […]

Pertemps Network Final

11th February 2021 Hendo’s CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM may be aiming for this race, although at the time of writing he does need to qualify. Which was why I noticed he had a brace of hurdle entries that with his current mark of 138 would see him run here – possibly. His far-from fluent jumping at Newbury […]

Ballymore Hurdle

8th February 2021 GAILLARD DU MESNIL got things underway at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival,  with a brilliant performance in the opener. The five-year-old was cut into favourite with most bookmakers for the race. 8/1 before the race, he’s now a best price of 7/2 and 3/1 with a number of firms. Sent off 13/8 favourite […]

Cheltenham Day 4 – Staying alive, staying alive

It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell between exhaustion, alcohol poisoning, and some ghastly virus passed on by an itinerant back-slapping, celebrating Irishman. I was, on Thursday, surrounded, (trapped would be a better word), in just a situation. Sat in the confines of The Cheltenham Automobile Society’s on-course HQ, one chap had bought a “lucky dip” […]

CHELTENHAM 2020 DAY FOUR – Quick and Dirty from The Pharoah of Galway

1.30 TRIUMPH HURDLE ALLMANKIND 2PTS WIN A WAVE OF THE SEA 1PT E/W 2.10 COUNTY HURDLE ADJALI 1PT E/W STOLEN SILVER 1PT E/W OAKLEY 1PT E/W 2.50 ALBERT BARTLETT HURDLE HARRY SENIOR 1PT E/W THYME HILL 1PT E/W LATEST EXHIBITION 1 PT E/W 3.30 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP CLAN DES OBEAUX 3PTS E/W BRISTOL DE MAI […]

DAY 3 CHELTENHAM. Nearly out of hand-wash……

Exhausted. Surely this punishment can’t go on. Together with some 50,000 of my closest friends, I have chosen to self-isolate this week in a marquee or two at Cheltenham, where I am drip-fed Guinness, white and red wines of varying qualities and have to eat food to which only a very grumpy gourmet might turn […]

DAY 2 WEDNESDAY – CHELTENHAM: CHAMPION CHASE DAY

Well, a tough first day, where we really can’t make any excuses. The Pharoah of Galway suggested decent performances from  KILDISART – HONEYSUCKLE – IMPERIAL AURA – RAVENHILL and Capt. Kneesup had a few places. I hope you made some sense of it all. As for today’s selections, like a bunch of Cistercian monks, whose […]

Cheltenham 2020. Surely we’re sunk if the future is cinq.

Over the last 96 hours, I have sacrificed the remaining parts of my working anatomy to your collective cause. I have dined with Nicky Henderson and Nick Luck; I have sat with Haggas, Jarvis, Beckett and Balding and then remembered they weren’t a firm of National Hunt solicitors. I have drunk a huge amount of […]

Festival Trials day and all Saturday’s TV races

I suppose as race titles go, the 1:50 isn’t at all bad, given that it tells us exactly how much time we have to wait for The Festival. However. it doesn’t tell us how much time until the announcement by Martin St Quinton, Cheltenham Chair, regarding the introduction of a five day Festival. So, as all […]

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