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Racing Chat - Thursday March 18th

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Day 3 and the ground appears to be drying with today’s action being run on the ew course.
A race to sit back and enjoy with no financial interest (unless you’re already on at fancy prices obviously). Envoi Allen (pictured below) is unbeaten in 11 starts - that’s a point to point, 4 bumpers (including Cheltenham Champion Bumper), 4 novice hurdles (including last years Ballymore) and 3 novice chases. He’s actually only beaten 11 horses over fences in those 3 small field races but to my eyes he just oozes class and I’ll be very surprised were he not to beat these in good style. Fusil Raffles maybe the best of the rest.
A competitive renewal of the Pertemps Network Final with likely favourite Imperial Alcazar holding a definite chance to give local handler Fergal O’Brien his first ever Festival winner. He looks sure to run a big race but I like the horse that ran him to 5L at Warwick in the qualifier and is now 8lb better off - Tom George’s Come On Teddy. He had previously won over the course and distance beating the useful yardstick On The Blind Side and he looks poised to run a big race.
COME ON TEDDY 1 point EW @ 10/1 1/5th 123456
A well contested and competitive Ryanair Chase where officially there is only 11lb between the whole field. A case can be made for many including last years one - two, Min and Saint Calvados. Fakir D’oudairies has been on my radar for a while for this race as I feel this intermediate trip is just ideal for Joseph O’Brien’s charge. The only time he’s actually run at 2m 4f he blitzed the useful Ronald Pump by 22L at Fairyhouse in a grade 1. He was certainly not disgraced when running Chacun Pour Soi to 8L last time and represents a bit of value here.
FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES 1 point EW @  Bet365 8/1 1/5th 1234
The Stayers Hurdle and Paisley Park brings the best overall form to the race although I still can’t get out of my mind his flop in this race last year at odds of 4/6. He may well win but I’m happy to take him on and find some each way value. I’ll take him on with Flooring Porter, who may prefer softer ground although he has abundant stamina and will see this trip out well. He appears to have improved this season winning a handicap hurdle at Navan in December and the grade 1 Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle, keeping on strongly to beat The Storyteller and Sire Du Berlais who re-oppose today. Jonathan Moore is his regular pilot and keeps the ride here today.
FLOORING PORTER 1 point EW @ 11/1 Paddy Power 1/5th 12345
A typically tricky renewal with many having claims. Mister Whitaker is an interesting runner who’s Cheltenham Festival form figures are 1P3 with the pulled up coming over 3 miles which he just doesn’t stay. He was 3rd in this race last year and can race off of a mark 2lb lower so is no doubt well handicapped. He looks value at a big price with the firms paying the all important extra places. Farclas is one of the market leaders who could also run well as may last years runner up Happy Diva.
MISTER WHITAKER 1 point EW @ 14/1 Paddy Power 1/5th 123456
Willie Mullins has farmed this race since its inception, winning all 5 renewals. He runs three here and the best of them may well be Hook Up. She ran well behind Tuesday’s impressive winner Appreciate It when 4th at The Dublin Racing Festival and in a tricky enough race looks each way value, once again with firms pays those extra places.
HOOK UP 1 point EW @ 15/2 Paddy Power 1/5th 1234
Novice Mount Ida looks worth an each way bet in quite an uninspiring Kim Muir which obviously won’t be run with amateurs this season following their COVID ban. She ran Mares Chase fancy Coolreevy to 12L at Thurles last time out and could be well handicapped on her first handicap start. Kilfilum Cross has finished runner up in this the last two years off of 139 and 138 and can race off of 135 here. He’s not shown much this season but maybe he’s been trained with this race in mind. He’s worth a small ew saver also.
MOUNT IDA 1 point EW 8/1 Bet365 1/4 12345
KILFILUM CROSS 1/2 point EW 12/1 Bet365 1/4 12345


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Weren’t going to bother with the Ryanair Chase. There’s too many I fancy but would you say Put The Kettle On has franked the form today with Fakir ? She only beat Fakir by 1 and half lengths in the arkle last year and goes on to win the QMCC today. I think Fakir does his best racing at Cheltenham too. Might be tempted with him .

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All prices Bet365:

1.20 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w Blackbow @ 25/1

Clearly Envoi Allen is the likely winner but with 8 runners standing their ground, it makes sense to have an each-way play and I think Blackbow appeals at the prices. Has plenty of form with the right horses through its career including when falling at the last when set to beat Captain Guinness in a hurdle race. He's a buzzy type who has run behind Energumene the last twice with some credit and I think the better ground will help him. Will need to switch off which is a little concern upped in trip here but should be more in his comfort zone going this pace than in those two mile dashes and just looks worth a small go each-way.

1.55 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w No Comment @ 25/1

This horse has done just about everything and clearly he's not thrown in having stayed around this mark without winning for a long time but he's the type of horse who I think thrives when able to switch off in big fields and work his way through late in the day. Has run in two mile hurdles and four mile chases since running good races at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in 2017 so he's got plenty of experience and gets his conditions tomorrow. Has had a fairly gentle but solid prep for this - staying on without threatening on seasonal reappearance when weak in the market and then was chinned on the line in a 2m3f handicap - beaten by the right horse on the day. Travelled strongly at Wetherby last time but was outpaced at the top of the straight and despite looking beaten in 3rd at 2 out, hadn't been given a hard time when falling. The hood and tongue tie combination returns and whilst he's not thrown in, at a big price I can see him running a good race now he's back up to three miles.

2.30 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w Chris's Dream @ 33/1

I think this is wide open but Chris's Dream has been a bit overlooked for me as he's not done too much wrong in the past couple of years and this looks to be prime conditions for him. Was a good winner at Gowran Park last February before not getting home in the Gold Cup (traded at 10/1 having been sent off at 20s) and was again outstayed on his return behind The Storyteller in the autumn - trading at 1/10 in the run. Flopped when last seen at Christmas but was weak in the market (7/2 out to 11/2) and it came at a time when the yard weren't at its very best. Better ground won't inconvenience, the trip is ideal and his Racing Post ratings of his last runs when he's returning from a 3 month+ break have been 167, 167 and 163 - Min's win at Punchestown got a rating of 164 so on his day, he's more than capable and obviously running fresh here will help his chances too, so just looks overpriced to me. 

3.05 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w If The Cap Fits @ 25/1

I like Paisley Park and he's the most likely winner for me but I can't help but think If The Cap Fits is wildly overpriced here. He's bang there on ratings and an end-to-end gallop over three miles over hurdles is spot on for him, especially on decent ground. Continued to run soundly over fences despite often finding himself on the back foot before staying on and the smaller obstacles play to his strengths I think. The only time he's previously run in a 3 mile hurdle race on decent ground saw him beat Roksana at Aintree and he was a shade unlucky here behind Paisley Park last January too so 25/1 looks a generous e/w price.

3.40 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w Dead Right @ 25/1

Dead Right I think is a really big price as you can barely knock what he's done and his handicap mark hasn't ever really climbed to a figure that restricts him. He needs good ground which he gets and also runs best fresh so the absence is no concern and barring two no shows in the autumn of 2019, he's done very little wrong. He won two novice hurdles nicely, essentially beaten 130-rated horses in the process and then chased home a 140 horse in a novice chase before being 2nd in a handicap off 130 despite making a bad mistake in the race. Despite winning when last seen, he still gets in off a mark of 132 here which I think is absolutely fine and a strong gallop/stiff track will certainly suit. Stayed on very strongly under pressure up the straight at Market Rasen last time to get up late in the day and with these conditions spot on for him, 25/1 looks really big.

4.15 Cheltenham - 1pt e/w Mighty Blue @ 16/1

A lot of these have already met each other including Mighty Blue, who has typically finished behind the main market leaders for this but I think there's more to come as she's a class act on the flat - rated 104 and is group placed over 2 miles. Has taken pretty well to hurdles, however, but has struggled to switch off which has cost her showing her full potential. Has travelled well on each occasion and has still found enough off the bridle to finish close up in each of its races but a stronger gallop and better ground I think will suit her really well and I can see her going through the race well here. She's not a short runner, as seen by her stamina on the flat, and I think if she can settle a touch better here, she's a big player.

4.50 Cheltenham - 2pts win Mount Ida @ 6/1

Can see why there's been support for this one as she looks generously handicapped to me considering I think she's been running over trips shorter than her best. She's stoutly bred with both full siblings staying 3 miles well and her half sibling running over 4 miles, so the fact she's been running so well over shorter suggests that now getting this test, she can improve past her mark of 142. Chased home Colreevy last time which is decent form and shaped very much like a stiffer test would help despite having enough class to win over 2 miles - beating some smart types in the process - just a couple of starts ago.


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8 hours ago, Villa Chris said:

Weren’t going to bother with the Ryanair Chase. There’s too many I fancy but would you say Put The Kettle On has franked the form today with Fakir ? She only beat Fakir by 1 and half lengths in the arkle last year and goes on to win the QMCC today. I think Fakir does his best racing at Cheltenham too. Might be tempted with him .

There is one frightening RyanAir stat that would put me off. Its normally a mid 160s upwards horse that wins this race. Only 1 horse in the last 10 years has won off a rating less than 164 ( Dynaste 2014)

I like Melon for this, especially with Saint Calvados being a non runner

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5 hours ago, Wanderlust said:

There is one frightening RyanAir stat that would put me off. Its normally a mid 160s upwards horse that wins this race. Only 1 horse in the last 10 years has won off a rating less than 164 ( Dynaste 2014)

I like Melon for this, especially with Saint Calvados being a non runner

I'll go against you with MIN .


Melon has had four 2nd placed efforts at the festival so is due one , good each way shout 👍 

Another ultra consistent type in The Stayers 

THE STORYTELLER 11/1 ew been going well in good quality races & against top opposition all season .

Edited by calva decoy
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poor day for me yesterday  but it was hard racing as again fairly small e/w stakes. for me again.

1,55 CH-I think KANSAS CITY CHIEF is well overpriced i'm on at 66/1 also think 35/1 is generous for EVERFLOW   also SPIRITOFTHE GAMES from last week at 20/1 still can get that.

3.40 CH-Gutted i misses Sully docaa at 25's yesterday morn too short for me now. HAPPY DIVA 16/1 & EAMON AN CNOIC 40/1

4.50 CH-I did SHANTOU FLYER last week at 16/1 e/w fancy it will go well but wouldn't touch it at current 10/1.

 Have added CRIEVEHILL HILL 33/1 & CLOUDY GLEN 33/1


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1-20 Envoi Allen looks an absolute star in the making and seems to have scared away most of the opposition. His recent move to Henry De Bromhead is unlikely to prove too much of a detriment and he can enhance his already unblemished record. Shan Blue looks to be best of the remainder and can chase him home.

1-55 Come On Teddy looks sure to run a big race for Tom George. The seven-year-old comes here with winning track form and receives lumps of weight from most of his rivals. He has the beating of a couple of these on form lines through On The Bright Side and he can run a big race. It is worth bearing in mind that the Irish have won the last five renewals of this race and The Bosses Oscar looks sure to turn in another solid run.

2-30 This looks to be as competitive as ever but the one I keep getting drawn to is Imperial Aura. He was unlucky with his fall at Kempton last time and is far better than that. His record around here reads well and with question marks hanging over the likes of Min and Melon and their underperforming last time, he has to be seriously considered. Allaho is talented but he folded too quickly for my liking in the RSA last year. Mister Fisher looks the type to put in another solid performance and Dashel Drasher has been in fantastic form all year.

3-05 Sire Du Berlais could well prove to be a thorn in the side of Paisley Park. He just comes into his own at the Festival and there is no reason to think this year will be any different. With nothing separating the front two in the betting, he looks a very viable each way option. Flooring Porter has improved out of all recognition this season and could prove the chief danger.

3-40 This is a wide open renewal of a competitive handicap and Farclas may well be good enough to win it. His yard won this back in 2018 with The Storyteller and this former winner of the Triumph Hurdle looks to have had this on his agenda all year. The popular grey always tends to run his race and he can go well in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud. Paddy’s Poem is in good heart and cannot be entirely dismissed whilst Mister Whitaker also loves it around here and could sneak a place.

4-15 Roseys Hollow was an impressive winner of the Solerina Hurdle last time out and it would be of little surprise if she were to continue on an upward curve by taking this. Willie Mullins has maintained a tight grip on this race since its inception, but this is the most open renewal that I can remember. None of his representatives this time around particularly stand out. Glens Of Antrim would be the one who could possibly offer the biggest resistance to the selection.

4-50 Shantou Flyer may be advancing in years but connections clearly feel that he is up to being competitive at this level. He knows every blade of grass around this track and has to be high on any shortlist for that reason. Bob Mahler was an excellent third in this race last year and actually is five pounds lower this time around. He showed signs of encouragement last day to suggest he was on his way back and no surprise if he delivers a massive run.

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All this is going to be on the Hoof today as I have not had time to prepare in advance.  Very low stakes today with something like 100 runners over the meeting; i just suggest others do the same

1.55 Chelt The Bosses Oscar £2 win at 5.7, Champagne Platinum 34p win at 8/1, Mrs Millner 33p win at 14/1 and Spiritofthegames 33p win at 20/1 = £3 staked.  This is my idea of having fun without breaking the bank

Back soon.  Will probably have to post race by race.  Sorry for any inconvenience


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4.15 Chelt Hook Up £1 win at 6/1 Come on Danny) Royal Kahala £2 win at 6.8 (6.0).  Money piling in on Rachael Blackmore's horse so I hope that my price will get matched on the favourite

4.50 Mount Ida £1 win at 5/1 and Shantou Tiger £2 win at 9.2 (9.0)

That's my bets at Cheltenham for today.  One winner so far that doesn't pay for my other selections yet


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6 hours ago, The Equaliser said:

5.05 Don Toutatis £2 win at 8.0 = £13.72 if it wins.  Brian Hughes aboard.  Let's hope he gets something for skipping Cheltenham 


I had three winners today but apart from Mrs Milner they were insurance bets.  This resulted in a small loss of £1.55 so not bad for a day of thrilling entertainment.  My new balance is £598.87 (£500 Bank)

Tomorrow should be another cracking days racing for us all to savour at Cheltenham


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6 hours ago, Villa Chris said:

999/1 in running 

Interesting that it didn't go to 1000/1?  Is there any way of checking the in-running prices in past horse races without paying a small fortune to Betfair for data usage? I think that one used to be able to click on the day's runners on the race card to get some idea but I don't think that this is available now.

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