You may have noticed that the £100 challenge has collapsed into obscurity, I can only really apologise for this because work has been something of a mare the last week and I’ve struggled to find ten minutes spare. it’s worth noting if you want to follow Watson’s and Irish’s selections you still can on either https://watsonswinningpost.wordpress.com/ or Irish on Facebook and Craig on Twitter. The latter found the 25/1 winner of the Imperial Cup today so is well worth following ..
Anyway as Cheltenham is approaching thought I’d post some my early pokes and thoughts. I’ve backed a fair few horses already this year but it would be pretty pointless of me to gloat about the likes of MTOY or Sir Des Champs at fanciful prices which helps no one at this point. At the same time I’ve also backed Grandouet and Grands Crus which paints a different picture.
As stipulated I’ve backed MTOY in here at 14s prior to the Newbury run. I have the Underground Tipster to thank for that one really as he’s been sweet on the horse for months. However, at the current prices the options would be to lay off and have a free bet or back something else at longer odds for a little insurance. I think MTOY will likely win which is obviously great but at the same time his lack of Cheltenham experience worries me. I can’t have Jezki due to his lack of recent run and to me the Irish form doesn’t look all that great – Waaheb beaten miles etc. Un Atout is very much unknown and the time of his run last time out was decent compared to others on that card, but again it’s more hype/stab in the dark type stuff. The two horses I feel still offer a little value are Melodic Rendezvous and Dodging Bullets. The former has good form at the track and on heavy. If he was trained by Nicholls/Henderson I’d suggest he’d be 7/2 or 4/1. The latter has seen a little money but still at 9/1 seems overpriced to me. He’s the second highest rated in the race – he’ll likely have the assistance of Ruby Walsh. Davy Russell will be on Un Atout. And he’s got decent form round Cheltenham having come fourth in a Triumph and having won twice this season. People might say about the Triumph well if he couldn’t win that then he won’t this. However, I think he’s improved noticeably and the run at Kempton where he finished ahead of two horses who are as short as 10/1 and 12/1 for the Champion Hurdle is decent form – especially considering he’s a novice. I think at an each way price 9/1 is gigantic. Another couple who I quite like at bigger prices and are worth considering with William Hill are Mozoltov (20/1) and Ifandbutwhynot (66/1). I’d fancy the latter in one of the hurdle races later in the week but with 5 places I think he’s well worth chancing running into a place as he keeps improving, has won at the track beating the progressive Tanarko Emery (ran well again today off 141), and previously beat the 142 rated Eduaord. Put it this way I think he’s well handicapped and he’ll run his race and could nick a place at 66s. I think he’s also worth backing for his handicap entries in the Martin Pipe and County Hurdle if he turns up in either. Make sure it’s NRNB mind. The other one Mozoltov is 20s which looks reasonable compared to the likes of Champagne Fever, Un Atout etc. He beat Ned Buntline and Don Cossack last time out – the Don has let the form down somewhat but was rated 147. He should like the ground much like Ifandbutwhynot and Dodging Bullets.
So to sum up … and I’ve already backed MTOY so I’ve actually backed four but MTOY at 14s is fair game.
Dodging Bullets 2pts win @ 9/1 – by all means back him e/w or with 5 places. He’s 7s with Hills which 5 places really is a penalty kick in my opinion.
Mozoltov 0.75pt e/w @ 20/1 – 5 places with Hills
Ifanbutwhynot 0.5pt e/w @ 66/1 – 5 places with Hills.
Hills are NRNB on this race so make sure you back with them if following.
World Hurdle –
Again a lot of this is dependent on the ground and whether he’d turn up and run but the race looks like it will cut up and hopefully if it stays soft Bog Warrior at 10s will be the one to bring home the bacon. Reve De Sivola has been crabbed on numerous preview evenings I’ve seen but he’ll love the ground and I think he’ll hold form with Oscar if it stays soft. Oscar Whisky is obviously a class horse but on soft ground I feel he’ll struggle to get 3m in a race which won’t be run at a dawdle. Celestial Halo, American Spin etc will make sure that it’s not especially if something like Wonderful Charm runs. Anyhow Bog Warrior in my book has the best form either side of the Irish Sea – having beaten Solwhit 6l off levels “the latter is shorter” work that one out. And last time out beat Zaidpour with little trouble. Essentially if he runs and its soft he should be nearer 5/1 in my opinion. I can’t have the likes of Peddlers Cross who looks gone at the game somewhat and the form of his last run is working out badly. Never run over the trip etc.
Bog Warrior 2pts win @ 10/1 – William Hill NRNB
Other things I’ve backed in past few days/week – these prices have shortened on the whole and really it’s just what I like not something I’d advise following! Not that I ever would haha.
Champion Bumper – Regal Encore @ 16s – Not liking this so much now the ground seems unlikely to improve. Though the way he put the race to bed at Chepstow was eye-catching and he’s been saved for this. It’s a much of a muchness. Form of most runners is hard to weigh up.
Jewson – Module @ 14s – Now 6s with 365. Though I’m a little gutted that Dynaste seems to be running here. Looking through the Jewson I still think Module is worth chancing at 8s compared to the first three in the market.
Ryanair – For Non Stop @ 20s; Albertas Run @ 20s – More an indictment on the front few in the market and me thinking the ground would end up reasonably decent near the end of the week. Both have been backed a little and I wish I’d done them each way now.
I’ve also backed Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Quevega in a triple and taken the £20 free from Coral for Sprinter. He will win doing handstands anyone who tells you otherwise needs their head testing!!
More on Monday – with a through the card look.