A tough start for us yesterday with -3.84 units profit but we hope to recover throughout the rest of the festival and come away with a tidy profit. So, let’s get stuck into our analysis and see who we are going to be selecting.
1.30 – NATIONAL HUNT CHASE CHALLENGE CUP
With a extremely competitive race to begin the day there are many runners in this race that have a strong chance of taking the winning position. Seven and eight year olds have fared best in this race, and five and six year olds have struggled the most. To start I am going to remove all runners who haven’t had a good race for a long time and who are five or six years old. This removes Heathyards Flyer, Emperor’s Choice, Tofino Bay, Top Smart, Scampi Boy and Sacred Mountain from contention.
Trends show us that we are looking for runners who have raced at least 5 times in the last year and over their career won at least 5 races. This leaves us with three runners in Godsmejudge, Back In Focus and Highland Lodge.
Of these three runners, Back In Focus should not have any difficulty over the ground condition. He has been a consistent performer and can certainly make all in this race. Godsmejudge has also proven that he likes the ground condition and distance. His race on the 12th of January was a strong performance and we can expect to see him run a good race today. Highland Lodge’s last two races have been disappointing and although finishing his last race, he was so far behind the winner that he was effectively pulled up. While we may be able to forgive one bad race, the two preceding this weeks festival is too much of a concern to be able to select him.
Selection: Either Back In Focus and Godsmejudge could take this race and I will be dutching them both.
2.05 – NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES‘ HURDLE
This is a race where the market seems to predict well and there has only been one winner which has gone off at more than 12/1. Very recent performances, within the last 60 days, have proven to be key to winning this race. If we put these criteria into place then we are left with just five runners who are Two Rockers, The New One, Chatterbox, Rule The World and Pont Alexandre.
The New One saw a rise in performance leading up to the race at Cheltenham in October which produced excellent figures. However since then there has been a decline in performance over the last two races. Two Rockers has been consistently performing, although is unlikely to reach the heights of The New One if he can come back to the form we saw in October. While putting in a good race last time out, there are concerns over whether Chatterbox is going to have the necessary class to win todays race. For this reason I am going to remove Chatterbox from contention.
Pont Alexandre should excel on the distance and ground condition, as should Rule The World. But Rule The World doesn’t look to be such a classy horse. With The New One having shown a reduced performance recently we are going to remove this runner from contention, which leaves us with three runners in Two Rockers, Pont Alexandre and Rule The World.
Selection: I will be dutching Two Rockers, Pont Alexandre and Rule The World but having Two Rockers as an each-way proposition.
This is a race that favours seven year olds and runners who won in their last race. Last year, when Bobs Worth won, all previous winners had raced within the last 90 days. This recent performance is still likely to be important and I’m going to remove any runner who has not had a good race recently.
Taking this information into account we are left with four runners. Houblon Des Obeux, Unionist, Vintage Star and Hadrian’s Approach. Although Unionist is the current market favourite, and trends suggest the market is a bad indicator in this race, we don’t want to ignore this runner without looking further in depth as he has had some excellent races recently.
Houblon Des Obeaux is a consistent performer who likes both the ground and distance conditions today and we can expect good things from him. If he puts in a performance like he did at Ascot then he has a chance of taking this race. Unioniste beat Hadrians Approach on the 9th Feb but it was only by a short head and both runners performed well. They both like todays conditions and are likely to be competitive. Vintage Star has been racing in significantly lower class races and today may prove to be too much, being up against such classy runners. I will be removing Vintage Star from contention.
Unsurprisingly this is going to be another very tough race to determine selections for but I am leaning towards Houblon Des Obeaux who, if he runs well today, has every chance of taking this race.
Selection: Houblon Des Obeaux each-way. You may also want to consider dutching the above three runners.
3.20 QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of the great races in this festival. There are seven runners and I am going to start by removing those who have not had a good race for a long time. This removes Mail De Bievre, Somersby and Tataniano.
Sprinter Sacre is, unsurprisingly, the very short odds-on favourite in this race. With only one winner in the past having had odds of higher than 11/1 I am also going to remove Wishful Thinking and Sanctuaire. This leaves just Sizing Europe and Sprinter Sacre. With the odds so low on Sprinter Sacre I only have one choice open which is an each-way on Sizing Europe.
Selection: Sizing Europe each-way
4.00 – CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE
This is a race where the longer odds runners have had the most success. In fact following the market would have brought you only three winners from all the past races. Carrying more than 11-4 in this race has proven to make it very tough to win and removing those runners reduces the field significantly. I am also going to remove any runners who have not had a good race within the last year. This still leaves us with thirteen runners which we need to reduce.
I am also going to remove those runners who have not won at least one of their last three races. Only three winners historically have won this race without having won one of their last three.
Of those left the runners that look most interesting are Buck Magic, Loose Chips, Abbey Lane and Master Of The Sea. They all have the potential to contend strongly in this race and have shown they like the conditions.
Selection: Buck Magic, Loose Chips, Abbey Lane and Master Of The Sea in a dutch bet.
4.40 – FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE
Another big field and one were horses coming from a maiden race have never won. This removes a few runners. A recent performance is also very important and there has only been one winner who has not raced within the last 25 days. Removing these runners still leaves us with twelve potential horses.
Of the rest all of them have some potential which makes this race one to avoid. My advice would be to not bet in this race, but if you wanted to choose one then the ones of interest to me are Caid Du Berlais, Bood Coti and Ruacana. All of these runners have shown credible performances over the distance and ground condition and if they get space in the race they could be potential contenders.
Selection: A race to stay away from ideally but if you want to have a bet then I would go each-way on Caid Dur Berlais, Blood Coti and Ruacana.
5.15 – WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
The final race of the day is another where the market isn’t a solid indicator. Horses that have run recently are the strongest performers and five year olds dominate this race and are runners to watch. Mullins has an excellent track record in this race and has three runners today in Briar Hill, Sizing Tennessee and Union Dues.
This is a totally open race and another that I would recommend against betting in. There are many runners with potential and lot will depend on where they are sitting in the field.
Having gone through all the runners, this race has too man possibles for me to recommend any type of bet.
Let me know what you think and who you’re going to be betting on by leaving a comment below.