Andy Bell won the Cheltenham Challenge which made an excellent profit for everyone who bought it. So it gave you all a great Festival.
Apart from the horrible, horrible final day which ensures the Don and Penny and all our friends will never attend Gold Cup day again (ask anyone who had the misfortune to attend) it was a fantastic Festival of Racing with the first three days full of genuine race fans all there to watch the racing.
Tuesday nearly began with a flyer as our 40/1 shot Sizing John finished third to Douvan ensuring a solid each way pay out. But Douvan was to be the beginning of the most extraordinary day in Cheltenham history as the Mullins bandwagon began to roll and Bookmakers began to perspire.
I cannot tell you the amounts they saved when Annie Power fell after jumping like a little cat all the way round but I spoke in the ring to a senior trader before that Annie Power race and he used the word. Meltdown and he looked terrified. Accas on Cheltenham faves are suicide or at least they have been but Mullins has assembled Racings equivalent of Real Madrid and to be honest I thought fave backers were going to do it because she was the certainty of the lot.
The Bookmakers have a dreadful habit of getting out of the shit and here they played their ultimate joker but Mullins accumulators at Festivals will be around for a few years and they may just be a punters revenge day on the horizon. Which ever side you were on Layer or player or merely observer it was one of the greatest gambling stories in history.
Day 2. And we said farewell surely to two great Champions in Sprinter Sacre and Sire de Grugy. Remember last week I told you to be wary of preview evening talk. Henderson and Geraghty had been saying Sprinter Sacre was back to his old self and that proved to be utter tosh, he was a great horse let’s remember him from his wins not this performance.
Don Poli looked every inch a future Gold Cup and National horse in the Sun Alliance and grabbed hold of that hill like he could have gone round again.
Day 3. And we said hello to Vatour who I will be frank is the most impressive young Chaser I’ve seen since I stood at Newbury and watched a young Kauto Star yes this one is that good. For a Novice he treated the fences almost with contempt and drew gasps from the stands. Walsh feels no other horse at this stage has given him this feel. List to yourself the horses this guy has ridden at Nicholls yard never mind Mullins and then whatever you do make sure you go and see Vatour run.
Day 4. Horrible off track but Coneygree beating my fancy Road to Riches and Djakadam was fabulous theatre. Showing the little yards can still bloody the noses of the big boys given the right horse.
The last race AP’s final race at Cheltenham was spoilt by Davy Russell’s ride on Eastlake where he seemed to be desperate to stay behind McCoy in the same colours only to get going too late and finish second to New Sensation with AP further back. I must have misread the idea of racing, all very odd.
AP was given a standing ovation and he hadn’t even won the race. Who else would get that.
It was simply the greatest Festival ever and in Vatour just maybe a view of a truly great horse
See you all next year.
Today I’ll be backing Chavoy to win in the 4.05 at Carlisle.
Now get your breath back. And always trust in the Don!
Back next Sunday.
The Gambling Don