Morning peeps. Sorry for the lack of posts this week, it’s been incredibly busy. Normal service to resume from today. I had planned to be at Cheltenham today but with the look of the card and the weather coupled with the fact I can’t shake this cold, I thought it wise to stay indoors in the warm. This also of course gives me the opportunity to watch the darts action from the worlds! You know it’s Christmas when the darts gets underway.
I’ve done a few hours of study with the draw and past performances. I even watched back some of the action from the first round last year which provided a few shocks and thrillers. The problem this year from a punting point fo view is that the market seems to be pretty accurate. If you’re looking for value, there is not a lot out there other than probably Phil Taylor. I know you might think that sounds stupid as he is 2/1 favourite but he has been odds on for this tournament for the past ten years and probably comes here in better form than each of the last three.
I’ve had a break even saver on Phil but have backed some runners at prices to make a lovely profit! They include Lewis, Barney, Hamilton, Huybrechts and Wes Newton. All have been played on Betfair with a view to trading for a nice profit when we get to the quarters.
Today’s racing is solid but with so many short priced favourites expected to win it could turn into a blood bath for either the bookies or the punters.
My best bet of the day comes away from Cheltenham and arrives in the first of a fourteen race epic at Wolverhampton. DARK ORCHID (2.05) really caught my eye last time out when upped in trip to 9f. He clearly didn’t stay that day and the drop back to 7 will be ideal. Spencer keeps the ride today and he is still really lightly raced for a 3-year-old. The 12/1 on Betfair that is available is much too big and I’ve had a nice each way bet on him.
I’ve backed MIDNIGHT OSCAR (12.25 Donc) as we did on his hurdling debut. Kim Bailey thinks he is his best novice in the yard and he travelled really well last time before getting outpaced by a couple of more experienced rivals. The step up in trip today should suit and I expect him to win.
I’m hoping the OUR FATHER (12.45 Chelt) wins the novice chase today. He is much too shorter price to be backing today but I’m on him at 60’s for the RSA ante-post so fingers crossed he enhances his reputation today.
By far the horse I am most looking forward to seeing today though is CONEYGREE (1.55 CHELT). I know how much the team have thought of this fella since day one and I hope that he can defy a penalty today and enhance his chances of success at the Festival. Spoke to Mattie briefly this morning and he thinks the ground will be no problem at all. I expect him to grind them into the ground from the front and win well! Come on the Batch!
The big chase of the meeting is the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at 2.30. I have the feeling there are several well handicapped horses running in this race. Walkon is the right horse to be favourite based on his 2nd in the Paddy Power to Al Ferof but I just have a nagging doubt about him putting two solid efforts together. I went through this race in some depth and the two arrers that I’ve thrown are at NOTUS DE LA TOUR and UNIONISTE. The former looks like a mark of 144 massively underestimates his ability based on one or two of his novice events last year and I think he will run a big race. I just couldn’t get my eyes away from Unioniste though as he gets in here off such a light weight. His jumping has been sound and I have backed both and will be disappointed if they don’t fight out the finish.
Lots of action which considering the weather is a right result!
Have a good day