The Festival 2017 | Day 4

I said at the start of the week that it would be tough to make a profit, but Apple’s Jade (6.00), Might Bite (4.50) and Let’s Dance (2.63) has guaranteed that I will at least have made a Festival profit for the twelfth year in a row and keep up my 100% record.

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For me the JP McManus horses at the front of the market have to be opposed. If the ground of Defi De Sueil’s last race wasn’t testing then Charli Parcs would’ve been sent off favourite instead of being withdrawn. That leaves me with two conclusions, 1. Defi De Sueil would prefer ground with more cut than he’ll get tomorrow and 2. Charli Parcs is seen as the better horse.

If Charli Parcs is the better horse then we need to look at his last race. In The Adonis Hurdle he was sent off favourite and he travelled awfully, he was getting back on the bridle when he fell but I don’t see how he would’ve got near the winner of the race, MASTER BLUEYES. The Alan King trained juvenile won that race at Kempton by eleven lengths, the Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger, was over seventeen lengths behind in fourth. He just looks like a horse who’s improving with every run and therefore I’m happy to put a line through his run over Christmas, where he finished second to Charli Parcs, as he’s just a much improved animal now.

I think he should be ahead of Charli Parcs in the betting and pushing for favouritism, so at the price I have to back him.

BACK MASTER BLUEYES at 8.00 (Bet365, Bet Victor)

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This is one of my bets of the week, for me DEATH DUTY is way too classy for this lot. The stable are confident of this one and they’ve rated it as their banker of the week, which is a good sign seeing as Gordon Elliott has been in fine form this week. He’s won four from four over hurdles this season and that’s already included wins where he’s beaten Monalee, Turcagua and Augusta Kate.

I have question marks over Augusta Kate’s ability to stay this trip in a race where she’s bound to be knocked about a lot. She had a tired fall at the last when they met in January and I feel that this race, over a longer trip, will expose her limitations. I also believe that when the extended distance will also increase his advantage over Monalee, when they met he wasn’t stopping when they jumped the last and he pulled away in good style.

Of the English horse, I’ve been a huge Wholestone fan all season, I’ve backed him in each of his last four starts, which have all been at Cheltenham. He’s won three of those races and finished second in the other, I fully expect him to run his race again but I just don’t think he’s as classy as Death Duty.

I think that Death Duty is the next Don Cossack and I’d be very disappointed if he just isn’t way too good for this field, he travels well, jumps well, has lots of speed but he also stays.

BACK DEATH DUTY at 3.00 (General)

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”15:30 | The Gold Cup” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I don’t really have a strong view on the race this year apart from the fact that I want to oppose the horses that have run in The Gold Cup before. I’ve always said it’s difficult for horses to win this for the first time if it’s not their first run, it’s something that hasn’t been achieved this century. Therefore for that reason I’m against Cue Card, Djakadam, Smad Place and Irish Cavalier.

I don’t rate the form of The Irish Gold Cup, for me Sizing John won’t stay the additional two furlongs in this, More Of That hasn’t shown any worthwhile form over fences, whilst Minella Rocco unseated in that race and I don’t want to back him for this on the back of a fall.

Tea For Two can’t go left-handed, Saphir De Rheu isn’t good enough and Champagne West doesn’t appeal to me at the prices. That leaves me with a list of three.

OUTLANDER is an interesting contender, he has form that ties in with Djakadam and Don Poli and I can see him improving for the step up in trip will suit as he wasn’t stopping when he finished second to Zabana in a Grade One at Punchestown last year.

The other horse that really interests me is BRISTOL DE MAI, I backed him to beat Native River last time out and there was a deluge of money placed on him before the race, that send him off as an odds-on favourite. He ran no sort of race that day, but it was later reported that he’d picked up an injury. I think it’s significant that he was well support last time out against a horse that was The Gold Cup second favourite and that is one of the reason’s that I want to side with him and not Native River in this race. Bristol De Mai is a difficult horse to get right, if you try to push him along he runs no sort of race, if you try and go steady with him he again runs no race however as we saw in last years JLT and this years Peter Marsh Handicap Chase he’s an excellent jumper when he’s allowed to get in the zone. If he gets into a rhythm then he’ll look more like a 10.00 chance and not the 34.0 that you can currently get.

I’m going to dutch two in this race as follows

BACK OUTLANDER at 12.00 (Betfair, Bet Victor, Paddy Power) with 73.91% of your stake

BACK BRISTOL DE MAI at 34.00 (Betfair) with 26.09% of your stake

That pair combined gives you odds of 8.87 on one of them winning The Gold Cup

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