Free Stone Hill has dropped to handicap mark that he has the ability to win off. However he finds little in a finish and isn’t to be trusted.
Deauville Dancer returns from a winter break and may benefit from this race.
Copain De Classe was left with a solo after his only rival fell at only the second fence on his latest start. He has potential, but is at short odds on form achieved. Currently on offer at 5/4.
Both Kayf Blanco and Vocaliser are running well.
My private tissue:
Copain De Classe 5/2
Kayf Blanco 3/1
Free Stone Hill 12/1
2018 Cheltenham Festival
My thanks to everyone who donated and to the preview contributors: Donn McClean, Richard Hoiles, John Hunt and Paul O’Hara.
The two commentators both enjoyed success from their selective advices. Richard with 13/2 winner Mr Whitaker and John emphatically stated that the ‘best bet of the entire meeting has to be Presenting Percy.’ Another great ride from Davy Russell providing a 5/2 winner.
Plus there was plenty for readers from the other contributors.
Lots of great performances with many thrilling finishes and the dominant displays from the likes of Samcro, Altior and Laurina. For me the highlight of the week was the Gold Cup and the relentless jumping performance of Native River. However I have doubts whether the Gold Cup is recently of the same standard of past era’s.
All donations go to the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust who build affordable homes for stable staff and their families. Helping keep vital staff in racing.
An interesting day of racing with the better quality to be found at Newbury and Warwick. The other turf meeting of the day at Uttoxeter appears to have cornered the market in Class 4 races, with all seven on the card being of that standard.
We are concentrating on two races from Newbury. The official going is soft/good to soft in places. Very similar to that reported by Sandown last Saturday, which proved to be generous as many toiled in the testing ground. I understand why tracks don’t want to deter connections from pulling out, but for the serious backers it is not helpful.
With rain widespread across the country I will be getting up to date going reports direct from contacts at the tracks prior to making my betting decisions before briefing clients at lunchtime.
The maximum twenty four declared for this valuable handicap. With over £150,000 prize money on offer it ensures that the respective trainers will have made all preparations to bring their horses here with a fighting chance.
As the betting suggests it is wide open. I will highlight five horses that are expected to run big races.
Current 9/1 favourite Irish Roe has to be considered. She continues to progress and in theory gets into today’s race very favourably handicapped. However, I’m not sure that her latest form can be taken at face value and her chance is reflected in the market.
Misterton comes into this race of the back of his best performance. Conditions are fine and further improvement is anticipated. 20/1 is fair.
Waterlord disappointed on latest start after impressing when winning previously. This will be his first run in a handicap with a return to his earlier form expected. Presently on offer between 16/1 and 20/1.
And finally two further down the betting list, both available at a general 40/1. Don’t be put off by the price, they are worthy of consideration.
Divin Bere is Paul Nichols sole runner. He shaped much better than his finishing position suggests on reappearance. His Cheltenham and Aintree form from last season puts him in with a live chance at big odds.
Nietzsche is another I can make a case for at big odds. A strong run, big field race will suit. Last season’s form ties in with Divin Bere.
The recent radical changes in the weather have been a dominant factor as seen by the abandonment of all jump meetings on Wednesday. However, the overarching theme of this winter has been prolonged testing ground. It is a time to circumspect in your betting. This week we have had just four bets producing two winners at 6/4 and 3/1.
2018 Cheltenham Festival
We are now just over four weeks away from the start of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. I will once again be providing the Cheltenham preview and membership package with all funds going to support the stable staff.
Today we have the final Cheltenham meeting before the Festival. It is a fantastic day of racing with eight graded races, five from Cheltenham plus three at Doncaster.
The going at both meetings is soft with further rain forecast throughout the day. The other jumps fixture in Britain is at Uttoxeter where the going is heavy. There is also racing in Ireland at Fairyhouse which contains a few races of interest for the future.
We are going to look at two of the Grade 2 races from Cheltenham:
Bristol de Mai would be at very short odds if coming here directly from his Betfair Chase success at Haydock. However there is the small matter of a desperately disappointing subsequent effort in the King George on Boxing Day to consider.
His two best pieces of form have been shown in very deep ground at Haydock.
It may be that he can handle those conditions when others can’t.
Although the ground will be soft today, it’s very doubtful if it will be as testing as at Haydock. He has to be considered a vulnerable favourite.
Most of the opposition have achieved a similar level of form, with the exception of The Last Samuri. He has been a wonderfully consistent horse at a high handicap level.
He looks to be as good as ever, judging on his latest Aintree run.
In receipt of weight from the majority of the field I expect a big performance.
Wholestone put up an improved performance when winning the Relkeel Hurdle on New Years Day.
Both Agrapart and Colins Sister finished behind him there.
Although both enjoy a small pull in the weights, I expect Wholestone to confirm that form.
Finian’s Oscar reverts to hurdles from chasing and his chance is greatly respected.
Beer Goggles has improved on each of his three starts this season.
A line through Colin’s Sister puts him on a par with Wholestone.
Let’s hope he puts up a very strong performance.
On my private tissue I have the front of the market as below:
Beer Goggles 5/1
Finian’s Oscar 5/1
The early prices on offer from the books are fairly tight around their respective favourites: Bristol and Finian’s. As you will see when making a comparison, it is a view I do not share.
2017 Report & Special Membership
Looking back at 2017, it proved to be another lucrative year for my select group of members with well over 100 points profit. We recorded a profit on stakes invested of some 30% and an overall strike rate of 43%.
As with 2016 when we made 100 points, my traditional bookmaker style bets on the Private Service accounted for around 60% of the total bets and profit. 92% of all Private bets were win only and as always, no bets were odds-on.
The Exchange bets maintained steady profit growth achieving an overall 62% strike rate. With the large discount on offer the Exchange Service is well worth adding to your betting portfolio.
You also have my additional race analysis which is for your discretionary use. Members using this area of my work found it to be a regular source of additional profit.
In all, a wholly professional service for the more astute backer.
There are currently special terms available which you can take advantage of now for a limited period. For example to the end of the jumps season, 1st May, are £245 for the Private Service only and £285 for both the Private and Exchange Services. There is also a saving of up to £175 against standard terms for yearly membership. For full details go to: http://www.slh.co.uk/special-terms/
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Eighteen declared with over £90,000 going to the winner.
Kylemore Lough and Ballyalton are the two of most interest.
Kylemore Lough is well handicapped, has conditions that suit and has been aimed at this race on his first start for Harry Fry.
Ballyalton also figures on a good handicap mark. He had a prep race over hurdles at Aintree just under three weeks ago and looks sure to go well.
Kylemore Lough is my provisional 6/1 favourite followed by Ballyalton at 8/1.
Best early prices for the pair are 13/2 and 11/1 respectively.
As always I will be getting reports direct from the courses throughout the morning before finalising betting plans and briefing my select group of members at noon today. Membership terms have been updated, see all the latest options and get your free information pack at: www.slh.co.uk
The story of this summer has been the constant going changes. All six British meetings are reporting ground on the soft side for today and with only Chepstow likely to see any rain that ground will be drying throughout the day.
We are going to quickly look at two races this afternoon.
Appeared is a previously noted horse. Softer ground isn’t expected to be an issue. Run twice this season, both at Ascot with the opening run producing a clear victory.
Unfortunately he hasn’t been missed in the market. Generally around 9/4 on offer this morning, I go 3/1.
With Cuirassier Dempire a non-runner, Deadly Move is the only runner in form.
Form of his latest run is solid and his point to point form impressive. 6/4 my tissue.
Today we have the first day of the flat and two relatively modest jump cards as we approach the Aintree meeting next week. We are going to quickly look at two races from Uttoxeter. The going is Good to Soft, sunny spells and showers are forecast.
2m 4f handicap hurdle and with a few exceptions most of the thirteen runners have been on the go all season.
Saint Cajetan is fairly handicapped in an open race. Drying ground is in his favour, with his 2nd at Wetherby back in October looking a solid piece of form. Brian Hughes is booked, which can only be a plus.
Silverhow and Land League are unexposed and may improve.
Difficult to price, but I have provisionally put Saint Cajetan in as my 5/1 favourite, 9/1 best with plenty of the books this morning.
Lord Bryan expected to figure after putting up an improved performance on latest start.
4/1 my provisional tissue, which is roughly the current price on offer.
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What a great day of racing we have ahead of us and there will be plenty to go at.
The freezing conditions of the week have given way to widespread rain as the temperature inches slightly upwards. With it has brought a disparity of going across the three jump meetings this afternoon. As we head northwards, Cheltenham is now Soft, Uttoxeter Heavy on the chase curse and Soft /Heavy for the hurdlers and Doncaster Good which could ease as the forecast rain penetrates.
We are going to quickly look at two races from Cheltenham.