£25 to £2137.65 #CheltFest Ante-Post Acca

The 2013 Cheltenham Festival was another successful one for me, however my one ‘regret’ was my £25 ante-post accumulator to win £2000+ not landing. It had six legs with five of them winning. The only loser was Dynaste who looked the winner and traded at 1.30 in-running only to finish 2nd. That was the only down point of my week last year  but this year I intend to land the Ante-Post accumulator and turn £25 into over £2000.

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Anyone who follows me on twitter or read my racing thoughts from over the Christmas period on here will know that I have The Champion Hurdle down as a two horse race, between HURRICANE FLY and MY TENT OR YOURS. Many of my thoughts on Hurricane Fly can be found here. The main points of them are that he’s bin there and done it before and he’s now showed that the newcomers are still not on the same level as him. Jezki was race fit but couldn’t beat him and although Our Connor will come on for the run I don’t see him coming on enough to beat both Hurricane Fly and My Tent Or Yours.

The reason that My Tent Or Yours is my other selection in the race is because of his turn of foot and ability to travel off a strong pace. The quicker they go in the race the better he’ll be. He beat The New One at Kempton on Boxing Day and although it’s true that the flat track would have suited him more I think the ground would have suited The New One more. Therefore on better ground in March I don’t see that form line being reversed. Both of these horses have holes in their form over the years, with defeats at odds-on, but they’re the most likely two improver’s from the younger generation. They still need a lot of improvement to beat Hurricane Fly though if he’s on his game come Tuesday 11th March.

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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 above is what I wrote about Quevega last year and she came out and won her 5th Mares Hurdle. There’s no reason to doubt her this year either, unless Annie Power turns up.. but I’ll get to her later. There doesn’t appear to be any mares coming through so again she’ll probably start around 4/6 if she turns up, therefore the 5/4 has to be the bet again.

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”World Hurdle” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

ANNIE POWER is the most interesting horse at this years’ festival, she could go for the Champion Hurdle, Mares Hurdle, World Hurdle or miss Cheltenham all together. Before I go into the reason for why I think she’ll go for the World Hurdle I think it’s worth pointing out that this horse has won nine from nine ranging from 16f to 20f on ground from heavy to good to soft. She’s owned by Rich Ricci, who is amassing some top horses and in a few years I expect him to be the 2nd most powerful owner on the National Hunt scene behind JP McManus.

The NAP of the festival, if she turns up, is that Ted Walsh will be on Channel 4 saying that she’s The Irish Banker of the week etc etc, not normally a good sign but this time I think he’s right.

Champion Hurdle – Pricewise has tipped her up for this race and I can’t really see his logic for it. Ruby Walsh won’t be getting off Hurricane Fly to ride her and she hasn’t raced over two miles this season, I very much doubt they’ll step her back in trip so she can run in a race which is the most competitive of her three possible Cheltenham targets.

Mares Hurdle – Ignoring the Quevega factor of them being from the same stable, I cannot see the owner going for this race. To me Rich Ricci is a man who wants to show off, he sent out a horse called fatcatinthehat at Cheltenham last year, he already has a Cheltenham winner, Champagne Fever, so it’s not like he needs a winner. I see him as a risk taker who wants the prestige, winning a Mares Hurdle once won’t stand out, it won’t get you remembered.

World Hurdle –  She hasn’t been tried over this trip but the way she has won her last two races, she appears that she’d appreciate further and improve over the 3 mile distance. Mullins and Walsh don’t have a World Hurdle horse with a serious chance at the moment so that ticks on box. This is one of the four big races of the week and I think that will appeal to the owner, finishing 2nd in a World Hurdle is more prestigious than winning a Mares Hurdle, so that’s another box ticked. Her main danger in the race is Big Bucks who hasn’t been seen on a racecourse in over a year and is now 11 years old. He still sets the standard but without know if he’s still got it he can’t be backed with any confidence until he’s seen in a race. Even then Annie Power looks a little bit special and in receipt of 7lbs mares allowance she’ll give him a race even if he is at his best. If we knew where Annie Power was actually going to go she’d be an 11/4 shot max for this race right now and if she does turn up I can see her being 5/2 or even 2/1.

Aintree – The fourth option for her and in my opinion the 2nd most likely, is that she goes to the first day of the Grand National meeting for the race over 2m 4f that was won by Zarkandar last year. So if she does go for that race I’m sure I can get my losses back from this bet on it.

As a side bet to my accumulator I’m starting to back Annie Power for the World Hurdle Non-Runner No Bet with Bet365 at 5.00. Normally I don’t like Non-Runner No Bet at shorter odds but I still think the 5.00 is ‘value’ so on this occasion I’m taking it as the treat of Aintree provides reasonable enough doubt for me.

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Gold Cup” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

BOBS WORTH is a Cheltenham specialist, he won five from five at the track and his Lexus win shows that he is still a class above the rest of the division when it comes to actually staying. Flat speed tracks like Kempton and Haydock don’t suit him, but when it comes to Cheltenham it is the perfect track for him, the undulations and extra two furlongs allow him to get going as he doesn’t really have a turn of foot, he just stays whilst gradually gaining speed over those final 400 meters. I make him a 4/6 shot to defend his crown, we know he’s going to the race barring injury so he’s more than likely to be that price on the day.

Those are the four races that I’m interested in pre-festival this year, so I’m dividing my £25 as below;

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Back Hurricane Fly(Champion Hurdle), Quevega(Mares Hurdle), Annie Power(World Hurdle),Bobs Worth(Gold Cup) 4-Fold at 162.00 – Boylesports for £13.35

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Back My Tent Or Yours(Champion Hurdle), Quevega(Mares Hurdle), Annie Power(World Hurdle),Bobs Worth(Gold Cup) 4-Fold at 185.63 – Paddy Power for £11.65

The PROFIT if either of these bets come in is £2137.65

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