It was the festival trials day at Cheltenham last Saturday and it’s a great meeting to get the old notebook out for some great pointers for the main festival mid March – so what did it reveal?
Well first point to note is the ground was heavy to say the least! Mudlarks were in their element and it’s not that often you see ground as deep as that at Prestbury Park. Imagine what it would have been like without their excellent course drainage? Maybe racing could have been replaced with some mud fights – ahem say no more!
So with ground that bad we have to be very careful in our form evaluation as a lot of these contenders may well perform better come the festival on the usual better ground that avails.
To some degree the Ante post market has taken Saturday’s heavy going into account when adjusting their prices for the festival but it isn’t always the case. The market can be prone to massive over reaction and in part I feel bookies can mislead punters in cutting the winners on Saturday far too much in the hope that a bit of ‘mug’ follows believing them to go closer to winning than their new odds suggest. In other words bad value so beware!
Gold Cup Pointers….
The Cotsworld Chase can be a minor pointer to the Gold Cup itself and ‘Definitely Red’ put himself in the picture with a convincing win up the Cheltenham hill over American and Bristol Die Mai.
However let’s look at this race a bit closer.
The second placed horse ‘American’ had somewhat disappointed in his previous run and the third ‘Bristol De Mai’ has never performed well at Cheltenham in his entire career and therefore I would tread carefully before backing ‘Definitely Red’ for the Gold Cup as the form line is clearly not a strong one.
Come the day it will be hard to see how he or anyone could overturn the King George winner ‘Mite Bite’ who is current favourite for the Gold Cup at a current ‘knocking’ each-price of 7/2 where you will receive a total 85% of your total each-way stake even for a place.
Triumph Hurdle Pointers…
Apples Shirkira won as expected and in this ground proves what a class animal she is. Shirkira is currently 7/2 market leader for the Triumph Hurdle and is going to be hard to push out of the frame come the day in my considered opinion.
Admittedly the ground was not cut up that bad when Shakira raced being the first race on the card, but nevertheless very deep ground by Cheltenham standards from the get go so an excellent performance on closer inspection.
Stayer’s Hurdle Pointers…
Wholestone put in his claims for the Stayers Hurdle on Day 3 of the festival by finishing second in his trial in the Cleeve Hurdle.
He never really had the chance to travel on the bridle throughout the race which is what you need in these 2 mile 7 furlong events and was all out from the start and was outstayed by Agrapart.
He may well be a different proposition on better going and can’t be wholly dismissed and is now generally 16/1.
Finian’s Oscar went out like a light and there is something not right there somewhere and so he has to be swerved for the time being.
Finally, It was great to see Cheltenham pay its respects in regards to the death of trainer Richard Woollacott who died at the age of 40 just days before his horse ‘Beer goggles’ was due to run in the Cleeve hurdle. Would have been a fitting tribute to see Beer Goggles storm up the Cheltenham Hill but sadly it wasn’t to be with him finishing fifth.
So above are some points to note before the big event itself. It’s now down to the trainers to keep their charges on the boil for the next 9 weeks. One trainer who is adept at this is Nicky Henderson who has a nice crop of juveniles this year all working nicely to peak on the day and I have a few of Nick’s on my hotlist.
I will reveal more about my tips in my special Cheltenham report to be found in Clive Keeling’s excellent ‘What Really Wins Money’ monthly newsletter.
To ensure you receive a copy please click here.
So far I have banked over 100 points profit for Clive’s readers over the past 7 years. Not bad from just one meeting per year, and I have some great tips this year including what I feel could be a plot horse, or coup as some like to call them!
Testing Pod Update:
Both Teams To Score (BTTS)….
It appears the BTTS trial has got its second wind and is now powering ahead and is proving to be a nice low risk profitable builder over time with very little stress to the end user.
Check in daily to see the selections from this link below:
Race for the Place…
We have decided to stop our Race for the Place trial after suffering a 9pt loss in 2 days which unfortunately made a big dent in past profits. We have still finished the test +1.37pts in profit so we will bail out while ahead. This is the nature of the beast when it comes to testing systems, which is the reason a solid trial is always done before any potential launch
On a positive note, Quick on the Draw (testing pod area 2) has gone from strength to strength since its launch in late March 2017 generating +51.84pts profit using a small 20 – 30pt bank. Fantastic return on investments from such a modest betting bank in anyone’s book. Then with a total betting bank (Including profits) of 70-80pts+ you can then decide to aim for 2 or 3 points daily instead of just 1pt. You can see more by clicking here