Well this week started off in very tragic circumstances with the fatal fall of the high class Darlan. Nicky Henderson pretty much summed it up when saying “why is it always the good ones?” I like most others get quite sad when any horse is lost during a race, but I must admit when it is a horse with such a promising career like Darlan had, it does tend to sting that little bit more.
Onto a brighter note for the Henderson yard, where yesterday My Tent Or Yours put a smile back on connections faces by absolutely bolting up in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. He made some pretty decent horses look like donkeys in the closing stages and surely has to seriously enter anyone’s betting book for the Supreme Novice come March, although at around 2/1 he hardly stands out as a value price.
So with that point in mind I’m going to make a case for another runner in the same race at the Cheltenham Festival who I believe holds similarly strong claims but is a much more appealing proposition from a punting angle, then I’ll finish by adding a nice little value pick for today who I reckon could go well.
12th March 2013 (Supreme Novices Hurdle) – Dodging Bullets
Hailing from the Paul Nicholls yard this fella has been showing some very smart form since being sent over hurdles, particularly this term with two wins at Cheltenham and a pretty gritty performance in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day to finish third on ground probably far from ideal. That form looks very strong indeed considering some of the opposition he faced that day were potential Champion Hurdle prospects and arguably better opposition than he will face come March. He managed to finish 4th in the Triumph hurdle at the festival last year, which although I would not say was exactly strong form on the whole, it was only his second outing in the sphere and certainly gave him valuable experience in a big field event. His credentials would certainly point to him being a strong contender for an event of this nature and his obvious liking for the track is an added plus, all we need now is a decent prep race as the stats strongly point to a recent run being essential to win this with 12 of the last 13 winners having had a run in the previous 52 days.
All in all he is sure to be a lively contender on the day, unless something goes wrong he should also have Ruby Walsh in the plate, and I doubt he will be this price at the off so we should snap it up whilst it is still available.
Dodging Bullets – Each Way bet currently 14/1 with various firms
Finally onto today’s value pick which comes in the 15:30 at Exeter and is in the form of the Colin Tizzard trained Golden Chieftan. The horse has some jumping frailties but when putting things together he is a smart prospect indeed. The introduction of blinkers may well aid his concentration and if that is the case he could enhance his flawless record at the distance on ground he will likely appreciate. He is a decent price at 8/1, and I reckon is worth an e/w investment.
Golden Chieftan 15:30 at Exeter – Each Way currently 8/1 with William Hill
Until next week,