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Cheltenham Festival: A Novice’s Glance At Day Two

March 15, 2012

Day Two of the Cheltenham Festival is already upon us!

This is the first time I’ve followed Cheltenham closely and already I’m hooked. It seems like an incredible carnival. I can’t wait to get there on Friday!

Of our four bets yesterday, only one was successful – sort of! Overturn was able to hang on to second in the Champion Hurdle, we had backed him each way at 25-1 in the morning so we got a return of $6.60 the place. This means we were only down $7 overall yesterday.

I obviously hadn’t looked closely enough at the fields, because I hadn’t seen Pentiffic down for an earlier race. If I had, I would have backed him.

Today’s a day where I don’t really know much about the form, so I am going to be punting very small – without knowing much of the form! It was referred to on racing forum Thoroughbred Village as “Grandma’s Selections” by one user.

Today’s feature race is the Queen Mother Champion Chase and it looks like being a two horse race between last year’s winner Sizing Europe and the 2010 winner Big Zeb. They’ve met four times on the racetrack, and it’s a 2-2 split between them. However, in their main lead up run at Punchestown, Sizing Europe clearly had the measure of Big Zeb, winning by 15L. However, I do think on his day, Big Zeb is the equal of Sizing Europe. The former is 5/1 while the latter is 10/11, so I think I’ll be having $10 the win on Big Zeb. Outside of the top two, it looks like there is little value.

The first race, the 1:30, is a really tough race – actually, most of them are today. If you take out his last run, then Daffern Seal has to be a chance. Trained by the master Dermot Weld, he started odds on but disappointed. His form before that was very strong and he’s 25/1. I’ll be taking some of that! $5 each way on him.

The second race, the 2:05, looks a three horse race on paper between Simonsig (a clear favourite), Monksland and Sous Les Cieux. However, I don’t mind the look of Benefficient. The problem is, he’s an inconsistent jumper. When he produces his best, he is a very strong galloper. But he is probe to mistakes. Therefore, you are taking 25/1 in the hope he jumps strongly. It’s like taking a big price about Glass Harmonium in the hope that he’ll jump out of the gates strongly. It’s worth the risk on one or two occasions, but you wouldn’t want to do it too often! But as an infrequent National Hunt punter, I’m happy to take the risk. Another $5 each way on him.

At the odds, I’d be keen to have something on Act of Kalanisi in Race 5, the 4:00. He looks like he has scope for improvement and in a very open race I’m going to be going on him. Once more, $5 each way.

And at 40-1 in the last, the Champion Bumper (a Grade 1 National Hunt flat race) I’m going to have $5 each way on Circular Quay, who I thought did alright at Ascot last time out when winning by a length.

Not sure how we’ll go today, but we just need a couple of placegetters and we’ll be grand!


Outlay – $40
Return – $33
Balance – -$7

Andrew’s bets:

1:30 – Daffern Seal ($5 each way)
2:05 – Benefficient ($5 each way)
3:20 – Big Zeb ($10 win)
4:00 – Act of Kalanisi ($5 each way)
5:15 – Circular Quay ($5 each way)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2012 12:26 am

    worth noting that while Dermot Weld dominates Galway, his last Cheltenham Festival winner was back in the days of Manikato!

    • March 15, 2012 12:27 am

      I did say I was a novice when it came to Cheltenham!!! Really?? That’s insane, I thought he would have done better than that. Well, here’s hoping he can change that around with Daffern Seal.

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