Very popular, much maligned and long overdue, first blog of 2014 will preview a few ante post suggestions for the cheltenham festival, given now that paddy powers are non runner no bet on a number of the festival championship races…..
supreme novice hurdle
i am of the opinion from what i have seen thus far, the form of last years champion bumper hasnt been overly impressive, 4 of the first 6 home were british, with irish trained briar hill a clear cut winner, connections have indicated he wont be supreme bound. the liquidator one i took out of the bumper last year and duly obliged at punchestown was thumped today in tolworth at kempton, now that said I wouldnt discount pipe getting a horse right day of cheltenham festival, as history suggests otherwise, but what i do think is that the irish novices are much stronger then the british ones this season. There were 3 horses I was bullish about this time last year for the bumper union dues, purple bay & faustine rustico. Now whilst I do still feel strongly about the former and latter neither have done anything thus far this season to suggest they should be top of anyones ante post list, that said union dues at 25/1 is value, purple bay is not for me and i feel like all dom alco progeny, mr rustico will be better waited with as a punting proposition until he jumps the big ones….
So what of this years irish horses that we have seen? the tullow tank is plenty short enough at 10/1 for what he has achieved thus far, by the same token same applies for moyle park… but one that really has caught my eye and has been something of a talking horse is gigginstown exciting french bred, valseur lido, trained by a certain wp mullins, he is sure to be half the price on the day should he go to post for supreme. He has raced on mostly soft to heavy ground and wont get anything like that in prestbury park but I do feel he could well be the one that jumps off, the price at 16s & the fact willie knows what it takes to win a race of this nature as champagne fever hacked up in this last year…
i am going to follow a tried and trusted route here, last time a did such a route was with sizing europe…. basically a horse that competed at the highest level over timber, has bags of pace and stays further then 2 miles…..so the champion hurdle ideally is my first port of call and the answer is simple, even though he broke my heart and daily withdrawal limit last year, the answer lies with “winless over fences and he couldnt jump a hurdle last year at the festival” nicky henderson trained Grandouet…. yep i said it. A broken clock is right twice a day & a blind pig can smell a truffle…. Blind faith i suppose i just think the stats point one way, albeit the facts point another…. stats are he was the highest rated of all the arkle entry novice chasers over hurdles, his chelt form is 3-1-2-F nicky henderson has trained the previous two winners of this race by way of simonsig & sprinter sacre. Facts are he was going to win the champion hurdle last year bar he fell. I am convinced of this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlqZJkwWNHs last years champion, he would have finished at least second, i argue hurricane wouldnt have passed him had he gotten first run…..
This beggars the question why not go back to try win it? well he still holds a champion hurdle entry and his start over fences has been less then pleasing UR-2-2 with a litany of jumping errors to boot. But he is trained in 7 barrows by henderson and lest i say something i shouldnt here, he will be spot on for 2.05pm tuesday 11march 2014. Grandouet is 16/1 for the arkle it is his only festival entry of note champion is just if things go totally tits up in his prep. he will be half the price on the day should he make it there and i am telling you for fact he wont be outside the first three.
Tuesday day 1 ante post selections:
supreme valseur lido 16/1 outside bet union dues 25/1
arkle grandouet 16/1 outside bet trifolium 20/1