Cheltenham Festival: OLBG Mares Hurdle – What are the options against Quevega

Cheltenham Festival: OLBG Mares Hurdle – What are the options against Quevega

For the general punter there is no value in backing Quevega to make it four Mares Hurdle titles in a row. Her unbeaten record is another like Big Bucks in that it must come to an end sooner or later. So no doubt BIG BUCKS will be getting the headlines later in the week if he manages a fourth consecutive World Hurdle, but make no mistake QUEVEGAS achievements to date are up there. She too goes for s fourth consecutive win in a Cheltenham Festival race here in the OLBG Mares Race. She doesn’t have the 16 race unbeaten run in the form book, but she has been beaten to the line only once since 2008. Her last five wins have come in this race in three years and the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown where she takes on, and beats, the boys. We have not seen her since...

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Cheltenham Festival: Cross Country Handicap Chase – Scots for the Irish again

Cheltenham Festival: Cross Country Handicap Chase – Scots for the Irish again

Ireland have won all seven of the renewals of this quirky event which takes place in the middle of the course. They can take he eight, with Willie Mullins in 2012. Enda Bolger had a strangle-hold on this race in the early days for Ireland with Garde Champetre, whilst Henry De Bromhead and Michael Hourigan have won the last two races with A New Story and Sizing Australia. All four are entered once again but the mantel this year looks most likely to go to Willie Mullins and his SCOTSIRISH. In the cross country race that took place here in December, few would have forgotten how the majority of the field took the wrong course and gifted the race to GARDE CHAMPETRE for his 6th win at Cheltenham. SCOTSIRISH was one of those who went the wrong way whilst few would deny he looked to have the race at...

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Cheltenham Festival: JLT Specialty Handicap Chase – Tullamore Dew the full Package or a Murphy plot?

Cheltenham Festival: JLT Specialty Handicap Chase – Tullamore Dew the full Package or a Murphy plot?

The JLT Specialty Handicap Chase, otherwise known as the Festival Handicap is the top handicap of the meeting and usually goes to a favoured runner in a big field. That said, there have been a couple of big priced winners in the race in recent years scoring at 33/1 and 50/1. In 2012 I suggest there will be no major shocks and my focus is on two of the runners, both I shall play each way. As we know, it doesnt pay to follow runners that come into the festival without a prep run, with the obvious exception of the wonder mare Quevega who may well beat the odds to do it for a fourth time later in the day in the OLBG Mares Hurdle but there is one here from a yard who can ready a handicapper to come good after a break. David Pipe has THE PACKAGE...

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Cheltenham Festival: Arkle Puzzle – Will the Hill become a Mountain for Sprinter Sacre?

Cheltenham Festival: Arkle Puzzle – Will the Hill become a Mountain for Sprinter Sacre?

The Arkle seems to have become the most contentious race of the Festival with a nation split on whether Sprinter Sacre will get up the famous hill. The arguments have raged for weeks and weekS but now the time is upon us to find out if SPRINTER SACRE can, indeed, perform at Cheltenham and more specifically up the hill at which he blew his chance in the Supreme Novice Hurdle last season. I certainly have been on the side of those that think he will and arguably fortunate enough to have struck my bet on him at odds of 5/4. Despite my usual remit of noting others comments but not letting them affect my personal judgment, it has been very difficult to avoid a tad of doubt to creep in based on the vociferous calls on behalf of those that oppose. I have made my arguments for him, with...

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Cheltenham Festival: Tetlami Can Serve it Up in the Supreme Novices Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival: Tetlami Can Serve it Up in the Supreme Novices Hurdle

Several in with chances in one of the more open Supreme Novice Hurdles in recent years. I have already posted my Ante Post Portfolio for the opening race of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. As it is SIMONSIG now looks to be going for the Neptune Investment Hurdle despite my best efforts to convince all and sundry I think he’s better at this trip, but there are far more qualified connections that suggest otherwise and I’m willing to concede to their superior knowledge. Since Colour Squadron came down last time out he has put himself in a position of having to overcome one of the worst trends; not only in this race but at the Festival full stop. Not a single runner that has come tot he Festival after falling in their preceding race has won a hurdle race. That’s from 69 cases! Of course that stat also flies in the face...

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Cheltenham Festival: Bookmakers’ Offers – How to work out their value….

This is a great post by Billy Blakeman who takes an in depth look at the value aspect of the varying Bookmakers Cheltenham Festival Special Offers. By breaking down the mathematical element into laymans terms here Billy highlights which are the best and worst of the numerous temptations on offer. Particularly interesting is the, what turns out to be,  very obvious flaw in the Bet365 Free Bet for a winner offer. This is the best week of year by far for bookies offers so I thought I would start a thread to evaluate the true worth of such offers. I have no bias for or against any particular firm so my notes are based purely on the mathematical reality. Refer to the bookmakers site via OLBG for the full details and T&C’s and the text below may not accurately reflect the current offer from any bookmaker. Let’s start with Paddy...

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Cheltenham Festival: Neptune Investment Hurdle – Alan King could have a Dark Horse

Cheltenham Festival: Neptune Investment Hurdle – Alan King could have a Dark Horse

With most of the talk about the possible inclusion of SIMONSIG to take on BOSTON BOB in the Neptune Investment Hurdle at Cheltenham 2012, there is one runner in the field whose form has been franked in the most remarkable fashion BATONNIER has done his fair share to suggest he has a chance in the Neptune Investment Hurdle at Cheltenham on Wednesday, but in his absence something more remarkable has happened which may have gone under the radar. Alan Kings 6yo has had a couple of outings over the Prestubury Park track and has shown an ability to get up the hill, winning on his last visit at the end of Jauary. A good win it was as well, given that Broadbackbob and Knight Pass well beaten on the day. One other runner in the race who would not have made any notice to many was Charlie Manns 150/1 shot Low...

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