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Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:29 pm
by marsh316
Absolutely giddy with anticipation for the greatest show on turf, anybody got any good tips?

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:23 pm
by andym1988
Not as excited as usual this year, no Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Flemenstar or Cue Card to name just four.

Gold Cup looks a straight shoot out between the top two in the market unless this wet spell keeps up which would bring Last Instalment and Harry Topper into the equation. Harry Topper would be shades of Synchronised two years ago. Nothing flash regarding how he travels or how he jumps, but when he gets his ground conditions he relishes them and will stay all day. On a sounder surface The Giant Bolster shouldn't be far behind the leaders. Not much splitting Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti at the top of the market, but I'd just plump for Bobs Worth. His couse form is exceptional, and that counts for a lot. Many experts claim that it is harder to retain a Gold Cup than win one to start with. Bobs has had a very light campaign - tailed off in the Betfair Chase on his reappearance before landing the Lexus Chase - so he should be A1 come Gold Cup day. Henderson has purposely avoided running him after Christmas on the bad ground we've been having.

The Champion Chase looks a massive, massive anti-climax now IMO. Can't take to Sire De Grugy and will be looking to take him on. Looks a real mudlark who prefers right handed courses. I don't think he's managed to win at Cheltenham before and was beaten behind Kid Cassidy there before Christmas - albeit giving KC weight. Giving him weight or not, it does not have 'Champion Chaser' written on it. Look at his form this season...
Won a Chepstow handicap well... fair enough
Jumped poorly and was beaten fair and square by Kid Cassidy...
Won the Tingle Creek but his main rival Captain Conan blew up when looking like he had come to win the race...
Won at Kempton but the main story of that day was Sprinter pulling up...
Jamie Moore rode a perfect race on him at Ascot, Hidden Cyclone and Kauto Stone set a frenetic pace going hammer and tongs for 3/4 of the race and no doubt cut each others' throat...
Sizing Europe always comes good for a bit of sun and better ground, he could roll back the years in this race and be a decent E/W bet. Willie Mullins' Arvika Liggeoniere would be my selection if I knew for sure he would reproduce his best form left handed, which he doesn't always do.

The World Hurdle is interesting.
Heart says Big Buck's will streetfight off all comers up that hill like he has four times before. My head says it might be gallant heartbreak as the line looms large. It all depends on Annie Power. If she turns up then conceding the mares allowance to such a talented young horse may be beyond Big Buck's - it would be beyond most horses TBF.
You would think Big Buck's will come on a lot for his reappearance in January, and only about 1/4-1/2L behind At Fishers Cross who was in receipt of 4lbs. At Fishers Cross really loves that heavy ground though and with the benefit of the run you would expect Big Buck's to reverse the form by a length or two, especially with the ground unlikely to be as bad as AFC would prefer. He proved at Aintree he can win on better ground, but the form of that race really hasn't produced anything to give any credibility.
Zarkandar could be a big danger if he stays the trip. I'm no expert but I'm not sure he's crying out for 3m, especially being flat-bred. He was all out to hold on over 2 and a half at Aintree last April. The thing about the WH is that it is nearly always a strong test of Stamina. He could be like Solwhit and love the strong pace, travel strongly and then take it up going towards the last, who knows? I just get the feeling that with Big Buck's back Sam Twiston-Davies will try and make it an even stronger test of stamina, like Ruby did aboard BB, winding it up as they turn in and try to run the finish out of as many of them as possible.
Can't really give anything else a squeak TBH.

The Champion Hurdle looks like being the best race of the entire week. I'm still in the Hurricane Fly camp but everything will have to go right for him in what looks a vintage renewal. He has got the stats to defy, but he is a horse that can defy them. I really like My Tent Or Yours but he will need a killer pace to help him settle, otherwise he might not get up the hill. He pulled for a while in the Supreme last year and then loomed alongside Champagne Fever going towards the last, AP was able to take a pull - the horse was still hard on the bridle. But his keenness was his enemy as he didn't have enough left to fight past a doggedly tough horse like CF. Jezki hasn't been as good as thought this year, but he likes Cheltenham - woulda been closer in the Supreme had he not clattered the last - and should have Barry Geraghty on board as I can't see any CH horses from Henderson's yard. Our Conor produced a massive effort last time but Fly proved just how tough he is. Our Conor does like Cheltenham though and the softer the better for him. Only drawback is his jockey is hardly much cop, Danny Mullins. Would love to see Annie Power run in this as I reckon a fast pace, bit of cut and the hill finish would see her bang in the mix. Mullins could also have another fly in the ointment in Un De Sceaux - we really do not know how good he could be and his rampant, front running style would be a joy to watch around Cheltenham. He would have half of the field off the bridle well before they turned in, if they decided to chase him, but get the feeling Mullins will keep him for something in Ireland before launching an all-out CL assault next season.

My short priced banker of the week must be Quevega. The owners of Annie Power have no interest in the Mares race and Quevega looks set to complete her remarkable six-timer. She is better than a Mares race and still won going away last year despite more than one scare in-running. She clipped heels and very nearly un-shipped Ruby, that naturally knocked her out of her stride and she got stuck behind a wall of slowing, beaten horses when the ones still going well were making their move, and for all the world she still looked to have a superhuman task on her hands approaching the last couple of flights. To win going away shows how much she finds up that hill. Her price probably won't change too much due to the fact this is always her seasonal bow.

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:17 pm
by marsh316
My selections for day 1

Supreme Novice -Wicklow Brave

Arkle - Trifolium

Festival Handicap - Hadrian's Approach

Champion Hurdle - Our Conor

Mares - Quevega

4 Mile - Rogue Angel

Novice Handicap - Art of Logistics

Good luck all, first pint of Guinness scheduled for 11am

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:46 pm
by Trinity Till Death
I went Vaniteux EW in the first even though my tipster told me to back Vantour :(
I've backed;
Champagne Fever
Hadrian's approach E/W
The New One
Shutthefrontdoor (Small bet)
No bet in the 5.15

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:22 pm
by andym1988
Decent bet on Quevega at evs antepost.

Had Vautour in the first and Vaniteux with Paddy's offer so got refunded on the latter.

Used a free bet on Grandouet just now, did not expect Western Warhorse to be the one to beat Champagne Fever!

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:42 pm
by Wanderer
Vautour & Quevega decent winners for me yesterday. Backed Trifolium and Shotgun Paddy e/way to small profits.

Shotgun Paddy really disappointed me because despite any number of mistakes he could still have won with a half-decent leap at the last but again another poor jump proved costly.

Backed the 'Fly' but no excuses, beaten by 3 better horses on the day.

Commiserations to connections of Our Conor.

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:46 pm
by Wanderer
Can't get away from Faugheen in today's opener (Neptune).

A work colleague has an interest in O'Faolains Boy (RSA) and the Ascot win was a surprise as today was the focus. A very competitive race though.

Can't have Sire De Grugy in the QM Champion Chase so Captain Conan each way there.

Balthazar King makes most appeal in the Cross country.

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:05 pm
by Wanderer
Carlingford Lough & Morning Assembly (along with O'Faolains Boy) of interest here.

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:40 pm
by Wanderer
Dell' Arca plus Kaylif Aramis & Waaheb (each way) for smaller stakes in the Coral Cup.

Re: Cheltenham Festival 2014

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:29 pm
by Wanderer
Wanderer wrote:
Can't have Sire De Grugy in the QM Champion Chase so Captain Conan each way there.

Congrats to the Sire De Grugy camp.

Something badly amiss with Captain Conan.