Cheltenham Festival Day 1

Right it’s finally time… Cheltenham 2013 is here. I already have This Bet going and am very hopefully of this coming in. I’m also on Sprinter Sacre at Evens after taking up the offer from Coral and getting a few friend to place bets for me.

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I’m a big believer in course and distance form and there are only three horses in this race who have won round Cheltenham. Champagne Fever, Dodging Bullets and Cheltenian. I’m putting a line through Dodging Bullets as Ruby Walsh has opted to ride Champagne Fever. I’m putting a line through Cheltenian as I like to back horses who have a win to their name in the season. The Obvious danger is My Tent Or Yours but I can’t be backing a horse at that price with no course form.

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Back Champagne Fever – 8.00 Betfair
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As I said in my Ante-Post preview;

Like last year Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty team up in this race with a horse that wins it’s races easily. Simonsig was one of my big fancies last year and I was very happy to back it at 9/4 in the Neptune. He has gone chasing this year and from his two runs over fences it looks like he’s just got better. He’s currently even money but I’m expecting around 4/6 on the day.

I’ve seen nothing to change my mind from this and I can see front runner and 2nd favourite Overturn struggling to keep with Simonsig on the soft ground.

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Back Simonsig – 1.66 Betfair
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I’ve seen nothing to change my mind from my ante-post write up;

Quevega has won this race for the last 4 years and seemingly the only thing that could beat her is if she is in season or injury. The trainer has stated that she won’t be going for The World Hurdle so 10/11 on a horse that will start 1/3 has to be taken.

The only difference is that she is a bigger price this year than last and I have to back her

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Back Quevega – 1.77 Betfair
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If my phone works this year, unlikely, I’ll post up some more bets on twitter if i see anything I fancy. They are likely to center around Hurricane Fly and Grandouet in the Champion Hurdle and Carlito Brigante in the 5:15.

If anyone is interested my Champion Hurdle thoughts are below

·         Rock on Ruby was hammered by Grandouet and Zarkandar at Cheltenham in November on soft
·         Grandouet will improve for the run and better ground
·         With No out and out pace setter like last year (Overturn) ROR may have to make the pace himself and set it up for something else
·         ROR would have been beaten by Darlan last time out if Darlan hadn’t of fallen at the last when cruising
·         Darlan hammered Countrywide Flame at Kempton on Boxing Day  and beaten again by ROR last month
·         Darlan was the form horse out of those three and I never fancied it for this race so I can’t have the other two now
·         The Fly’s already Beaten Binocular this year easily so that rules him out
·         Cinders and Ashes was beaten on Boxing Day by Darlan so that rules him out for me
·         That leaves 3 rags which I can’t see winning as they are 20/1 66/1 and 100/1
·         Hurricane Fly and Zarkandar are the best on form, but I don’t fancy Nicholls to win a race in the week and I think Grandouet will reverse placing’s with Zarkandar off level weights.
·         Hurricane Fly also beat Zarkandar in this race last year although Zarkandar will improve with age so that may mean nothing
Conclusion
Hurricane Fly will be ridden up with the pace this year and it all depends on whether Grandouet can get to him up the hill.
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Hurricane Fly is the value and should be 7/4 however I think I can get a bit of 5/2. If that price becomes available I’ll be a backer.
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