We’re now halfway through the festival and what a couple of days it’s been. We’ve seen Footpad win in impressive fashion. Buveur D’Air managing to get up on the line. Apple’s Jade disappoint. Altior running tamely but still winning in style. Fourteen races that have had the heart racing and six favourites obliging. If it continues like this, the bookies won’t be paying out any Christmas bonuses, this year! And all on the heavy ground! The festival never fails to impress.
My festival started with the necessary fuelling that anyone standing up all day needs and that was a fry-up. From there, my friends and I walked up Evesham Road to the sound of touts, buskers and Irish sing-alongs. Thirsty work and straight to the Guinness village for some refreshments.
Next, it was time to get money down on the first and my tip from last week, Kalashnikov looked mightily impressive in the parade ring. I was tempted to go on the nose but stuck to my guns and went each-way. Managed to get 11/2 with a few rails bookies and went down to the rail to witness the Cheltenham roar and watch my selection run.
Second by a neck (ouch). He was soaring up the run in and looked the likely winner with a furlong to go. Summerville Boy joined the party and turned a large payout into a barely breakeven position (ouch, again!)
Footpad and Buveur D’Air provided a nice double but Apple’s Jade would have paid for a holiday had she obliged. Anyhow, the day ended with a profit and spirits were high as 62,000 people left the course and headed into town.
You feel like you’ve walked the Cross Country course by the time you’ve found a pub and finding a seat is harder than finding the winner of the Grand National. It was a quick scoop and then a taxi back to the cottage for a takeaway and board games.
Not much joy, yesterday, as Altior was the only return on my wagers but was happy with the 6/5 I got on course before he was backed into evens. Nicky Henderson was looking very emotional as he entered the parade ring to pick up his prize and deservedly so. Let’s hope he can make history with Might Bite, tomorrow in the Gold Cup.
So, it’s been an exciting two days and my bank has increased by a whopping 1.3 points. Two more days to turn that around and today, I wanted to look at the Ryanair, running at 2.50 pm.
Here are some trends to get us going –
9 of the last 10 winners had won at Cheltenham before
9 of the last 10 winners had won a Grade 1 Chase before
10 of the last 12 winners were 6/1 or lower in the market
9 of the last 10 winners were rated 161 or more
Un De Sceaux looks like the winner, fitting all of the trends above and could certainly be another spoiler for the bookies. He’s best priced at 11/10 at the moment and it’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to whoever gets the ride, now that Ruby Walsh is on the sidelines. There are obvious dangers in Cue Card, a veteran and Frodon at a big price could reverse the form with the latter and give the favourite something to think about. All in all, it’s going to be an exciting renewal and if you can’t part with your money at 11/10, at least watch the greats battle it out for the thrill of it!
Good luck for the rest of the festival and I’ll be back next week when it’ll be all very quiet!