5 Pointers for the 2012 Cheltenham Festival
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
Email : stephen at bettingexpert.com
Where is the early value at this years Cheltenham Fesitval? With the festival just a month away, in our new regular racing editorial, BettingExpert's racing analyst Stephen shares his thoughts and tells us which horses are deserving of your investment at Cheltenham this year.
With March now a month away, NH racing fans begin to feel that eager sense of anticipation as the highlight of the entire season gets ever closer. With running plans not cast in stone for many of the protagonists it is essential to bet with a layer offering the valuable "non runner no bet" stipulation.
We have selected five wagers to add to your ante-post portfolio that can provide a vital edge when the festival begins. This will hopefully put BettingExpert followers in a strong position on the day.
1- BIG BUCKS
8-13 WILLIAM HILLS - World Hurdle ***** WIN
The champ has continued in unstoppable fashion this season, extending his winning run to 14. Any slight doubts about his going right handed swept away last time as he was always travelling smoothly for most of the way, just shaken up briefly as the leader pressed on 3 out, soon covering that move and powering away in the straight, not needing to be anywhere near his best but impressive in the manner of victory and remaining very hard to oppose so far as another World Hurdle bid is concerned. This is a short price but 8-13 may seem very fair on the day and it is hard to see any of the present geneartion getting him off the bridle.
10-1 BETFRED TOTE - Triumph hurdle ** EACH-WAY
He was useful on the flat and was unfortunate not to follow up his Taunton win last time at Newbury. He remains a serious contender for the Triumph Hurdle, travelling strongly all the way and 8 lengths up and cruising when he fell 2 out, looking none the worse afterwards. He appeals as by far the best English juvenile seen out and with recent history suggesting the Irish challenge may come up short, he is well worth an each-way investment at this stage.
5-2 General price - Gold Cup **** WIN
Beaten twice this season by his old foe but still appeals as the one to beat, and this course plays to his stamina strengths. Last time he confirmed the positive impression created at Haydock and lost nothing in defeat against one of the outstanding chasers, beaten fair and square but still with every chance of gaining a second win in the Gold Cup, his form and that of the winner head and shoulders above that of any of their likely rivals at the moment, tactics plus less fluent (but not poor) jumping making a difference to this outcome, closing strongly come the end after Kauto Star had essentially sealed the race when pressing on after the twelfth, the longer trip at Cheltenham more in his favour than the winner's.
13-2 Coral - Arkle *** WIN
Finished a very creditable third behind Somersby in the VC Chase at Ascot recently and will be suited by this stiffer course if renewing rivalry. He appeals as sure to be shorter on the day if choosing this option and is a young, unexposed chaser firmly on the upgrade. He didn't look himself beforehand last time, not taking the eye and appearing as if he'd be sharper with the run behind him, and he was a little flat at various stages of the race, nevertheless running right up to form against much more experienced chasers-he remains a very strong contender for the Arkle at Cheltenham, for which he's likely to be trained to the minute; he responded well when pushed along and had every chance in the straight, going less well than the other pair and having to give best before the last.
5-CINDERS AND ASHES
12-1 General price - Supreme Novice Hurdle ** WIN
Won readily in the deep ground last time out but trainer Donald McCain reported he would do far better on a decent surface and appeals as the value choice in a race he has been targeted at all season. He continues to make an excellent impression and looks firmly on target for the Supreme after another easy win, not actually having to improve to land this Grade 2 contest with only 2 in opposition but once more most impressive in landing the odds, jumping and travelling most fluently again and firmly in control when flattening the last, just kept up to his work.
Best Wishes with all your festival wagers and please watch out daily for the Hot Horses that provide exclusive information about what is being supported by the warmest accounts with the major firms.
You can follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenh61
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They are some good tips for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival. No more Denman and no more Kauto Star, but in comes Big Bucks and Long Run. Keep bringing those tips stephen. Awesome.