Wider Horizens bets whilst the Rugby is Suspended.
Cheltenham Festival Notebook Horses, with 2021 Cheltenham Ante Post Bets detailed below.
Champion Hurdle, Le Patriote
Was very much up against it in the Champion Hurdle but ran with great credit for a long way and can be marked up considerably on his eventual finishing position. Having raced midfield on the outside of the pack, he made really nice headway as they raced down the hill to the third last, travelling a good deal better than a lot of the field having also made an error at the previous hurdle. He was still right in the firing line as the jumped 2 out, but understandably faded from the home turn against higher class horses and on ground is simply doesn’t like. A speed horse, all his best form is on a better surface and rated 2lbs higher than when winning the Swinton Hurdle last May, he’s fairly treated if returned to handicap company. He’d also be interesting if tried over fences again, as he ran well for a long way behind Mister Fisher on his chase debut when pitched in at the deep end, and that may well be a path connections try next season.
Coral Cup, Coko Beach
Still relatively lightly raced and this was the most competitive race he’d run in since running 2nd in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at last years Festival. Racing in midfield early on, he made some nice headway through the field but was knocked sideways when Champagne Well fell at the 2nd last hurdle, losing upwards of 5 lengths and all momentum. Under the circumstances he dd well to finish 9th beaten around 10 lengths, finishing off his race really strongly to pass a number of horses in the home straight. He’s a fair deal better than this with the first time headgear perhaps proving a big help. Only a 5yo, we’ll no doubt see a good deal more from him and he can play a big part in some nice handicaps going forward.
Coral Cup, Champagne Well
It’s always tricky to quite evaluate where a horse would have finished when falling 2 out with plenty of racing to go in a competitive handicap like the Coral Cup, but Champagne Well looked to have plenty left in the tank and from his previous form we know he finds plenty for pressure. He’d moved through the field from halfway to get himself into a rally good position on the outside of the field approaching two out and still travelling well within himself, only to catch his hind legs on the hurdle and stumble badly. He lost all chance and was sensibly allowed to come home in his own time, being pulled up before the final flight. With a clear round we’re sure he’d have finished in the places. He’d been progressing nicely throughout the season and looks to be on a very workable handicap mark.
Boodles Hurdle, Gealach
Having never travelled throughout the race following a slow jump at the first hurdle, Gealach showed bundles of guts, effort and ability to be staying on as well as anything to finish a very creditable 8th place. He was always struggling to go the pace, being niggled and asked to keep tabs with the field for much of the race, he kept finding when asked and probably jumped the last hurdle as well as any. He’d related to a few staying types on the flat and looks like he’d really be suited by more of a test of stamina and less requirement of natural pace. Rated just 129 going into this, he’ll have plenty of options going forward and his shrewd stable are sure to place him to good effect.
Boodles Hurdle, Thyme White
Not really a case of an eye-catcher in terms of his future over hurdles, but one that will be of interest when sent over fences, perhaps next season. He travelled through this race extremely well and perhaps to well, jumping his hurdles beautifully and without effort. Harry Cobden hadn’t moved a muscle when they jumped the second last and he looked like he’d be a major player, but when they quickened for home he didn’t have the required pace to stay competitive and was then looked after having jumped the final flight. He’s a really big scopey imposing 4yo who towered over the majority of his rivals. He’ll benefit hugely from time, allowing his to strengthen up and fill into his frame and is sure to prove considerably better than his in time, over hurdles and when he’s sent over fences.
Pertemps Hurdle, Third Wind
Pretty inexperienced going into such a competitive handicap like this having raced just 8 times previously. He’d shown he excels in soft ground previously when winning a decent Novices Handicap Hurdle at Sandown last March and also on his previous start when successful at Wincanton in heavy ground; so these slightly drying tacky conditions were perhaps not ideal. Held up early on here, he got in close to the 2nd hurdle, losing early ground and finding himself a couple of lengths of the main pack, he also got in tight to the 4th hurdle again causing him to lose a little ground. Always travelling within himself and with improved jumping he kept in touch with the pack quite comfortably but was still a long way back. Asked to get competitive from 3 out, he gradually made ground to get himself into a competitive position with two to jump. Whilst not matching the front two, he continued to finish his race off well to finish and excellent 4th place. Very much capable of winning off his current mark, especially when conditions are testing, he may also be sent over fences next season, as he has the size for chasing.
Brown Advisory, Livelovelaugh
No spring chicken as a 10yo, but he ran really well here and is well worth noting for as he’s lightly raced and could easily hold his form for next season. He’s been tried over various trips since sent chasing, even contesting last years Grand National, but 2 ½ miles is most certainly his best trip. Having travelled and jumped really well just off the pace, he was literally bought to a standstill by La Bague Au Roi when that one took a tumble, losing a considerable amount of ground. To his credit he then made up ground passing several rivals to pretty much get back into the same position before being hampered, perhaps making up that ground a little quicker than ideal and using up a fair amount of energy. Still in contention 2 out, that effort to get back into the race told in the closing stages he could only plug on into 8th place. He has tended to need a outing, so we’ll be looking out for an early an early run and then perhaps a tilt at the Paddy Power Gold Cup back here in November.
Kim Muir, Champagne Platinum
May well have been one of those JP McManus Festival plots that didn’t quite come off, as he was significantly backed in the build-up to Cheltenham. Completely unexposed after just 2 races over fences, all of which were over significantly short trips he’s definitely got a lot more to offer in the seasons to come & is clearly well regarded having been asked to contest a Grade 1 Hurdle last season. A little sketchy early on and held up early on, he then settled into his jumping and made his way through the field very comfortably. Seemingly travelling very well 3 out he looked to be cruising behind the leaders as they turned for home, but when asked for his effort he’d clearly reached the reserves of his stamina and unable to go through with his effort. He’s without doubt very well handicapped and when dropping back in trip can take advantage of that handicap mark. He may well be a player contender come the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November as well.
Martin Pipe Hurdle, Column Of Fire
Having started off slowly and held up off the pace, he made progress through the field around the first part of the race to be just off the leaders as they approached the top of the hill, traveling very well and maintaining his position up the back straight. Still travelling sweetly over 2 out, he was asked to get competitive as they turned for home and made ground up rapidly to then be pretty much upsides the leaders as they approached the final flight only to misjudge the hurdle, clipping his front legs and coming down. Having finished strongly over 3 miles on his previous outing, he’d surely having finished his race off well here but for falling and would have probably been victorious. Still very much unexposed with that being just his 2nd handicap start, compensation awaits.
Martin Pipe Hurdle, The Bosses Oscar
Caught up in the early battle for places on this inside, he was slightly hampered over the 2nd flight finding himself near the back of the field early on. He was also less than fluent jumping the hurdle as they went out for the final circuit, and then caught his hind legs at the 2nd hurdle along the back straight which aw him drop to last place. Still near the back and being pushed along as they jumped 3 out, he did make up some ground as they raced down the hill towards the second last, but still had a lot of ground to make up. To his credit he continued to battle for one so inexperienced and was staying on really well into a promising position approaching the final flight, only to be then hampered at the final flight. Once he regained his momentum, he stayed on strongly again to finish a very good 5th. That was only his 4th run over hurdles, so has plenty of improvement to come and he looks like he’d relish stepping up to 3 miles.
Cheltenham 2021 Ante Post Bet:
We have advised 4 Ante Post horses below, and have reviewed all of the major bookmakers odds to provide you with the best cumulative odds for any multi-bets, although a number of bookmakers are currently only accepting win bets on multiples.
We have also provided a breakdown of our staking plan for these bets, so you can follow suit or decide for yourself how you’d like to bet. You can obviously choose how much you stake, we’ve just used £100 stake as an example.
We have advised an additional bet on what we consider to be the strongest of the 4 bets, which also just happens to be the biggest price.
Champion Hurdle – Goshen 6/1 Paddy Power, generally 5/1
Goshen would have been an incredibly impressive winner of the Triumph Hurdle in what was considered a very high standard renewal of the race. Prior to switching to hurdles, he’d been very progressive on the flat in 2019 impressively winning all of his 3 races with his final victory seeing him win by a very easy 7 lengths off a mark of 80, resulting in the handicapper putting him up to a mark of 88. There is a chance he’ll have a flat campaign in 2020, but he’ll surely be relatively lightly raced with the Champion Hurdle as his main long-term aim. He made a rapid impression over hurdles, winning his first two races by long distances. His final start before Cheltenham was another impressive victory, where his opponents simply couldn’t match the gallop he set and he came home as he liked, easing a long way from home. The runner up that day then bolted up in a decent handicap at Ascot suggesting Goshen was well above average. The acid test would come at Cheltenham, and having dropped in behind the front running Allmankind, he then put in his challenge 2 hurdles from home and simply swept past the leader and pulled well clear of the entire field in a pretty short space of time. An error at the last and a bit of a freak incident with his front and back shoes catching saw him unseat Jamie Moore with the race in the bag. Visually he looked incredibly impressive and when looking at the times compared to the County Hurdle that impression is backed up as Goshen was quite a bit quicker between the 3rd last and final flight than the experienced and high class handicappers. Looking at the Champion Hurdle odds, Epatante clearly has to be respected as she won this year’s race well, but it was far from a vintage renewal. Other than her, Goshen is the potential star quality
Ryanair Chase – Fakir D’Oudairies – 33/1 William Hill & Corals, generally 25/1
Fakir D’Oudairies has shown a liking for Cheltenham with a decent staying on 4th in last year’s Supreme Hurdle and an excellent 2nd in this year’s Arkle, where, but for a mistake at the 2nd last, he might well have won. His jumping is an asset as he’s usually very accurate at his fences and will surely be stepped up to this more suitable trip next year, as connections suggested they felt he wants further and it was a bit of a surprise to see them opt for the Arkle over the Marsh Chase run over ½ mile further. His only run over the longer trip resulted in a facile victory at Fairyhouse, although Samcro was upside when departing 2 out. He’s been an extremely consistent and high class performer for Joseph O’Brien, winning 4 of his 9 races to date and placing 2nd four times; he was 4th in his only other run, the Supreme, last season, where he was outpaced over the 2 mile trip but stayed on well. Still only a 5yo, he has plenty more improvement to come and when you consider Samcro is as low as 10/1, the 33/1 about this chap is completely wrong. Looking at the current Odds, Min, this year’s winner, will be a 10yo and perhaps won a slightly below par race this year. We’re not sure the Marsh Chase was top class this season and would prefer Fakir over any that ran in that race. Saint Calvados and A Plus Tard still need to continue to improve, although perhaps A Plus Tard wasn’t at his best a couple of weeks ago. We feel Fakir D’Oudairies has as strong a claim as any at this stage, with this race looking very much the most suitable target for him. Even a year out, he looks a really good bet.
Stayers Hurdle – Thyme Hill – generally 16/1
Thyme Hill was arguably a little unlucky in the Albert Bartlett where he found his path blocked twice in the home straight having looked to perhaps be travelling better than the three that eventually finished in front of him. Being a smaller type than those 3 we very much expect Thyme Hill to remain over hurdles, with the Stayers Hurdle being the logical target. The top three from the Albert Bartlett are all chasing types and would be expected to be sent over fences next season. The stayers division was slightly blown out of the water at Cheltenham with Paisley Park not at his best; he’ll be a 9yo next season and Lisnagar Oscar caused somewhat of a surprise on the day. Whilst he was a good winner, the general feeling is that he won a substandard albeit competitive renewal with Ronald Pump and Bacardys filling the places. Looking at the current odds we’d assume Benie Des Dieux will be aimed at the Mares Hurdle again, or perhaps the Mares Chase which is a new addition to Cheltenham 2021, with the same remarks for Honeysuckle. Question marks over Paisley Park and with the likelihood of the Albert Bartlett front 3 going chasing, then Thyme Hill looks a pretty solid proposition at this early stage.
Gold Cup – Lostintranslation – 16/1 Skybet & Betfred, generally 14/1
Lostintranslation was an excellent 3rd in this year’s Gold Cup, and some may wonder why he’d be expected to turn the tables on Al Boum Photo and Santini, but we can see valid reasons why. Firstly, he very much had an interrupted preparation having run so poorly in the King George with that effort being his last run before Cheltenham. He’d shown himself to be suited by running on a fairly regular basis in his novice season with a run in January and February prior to the Festival. He’s a powerfully built specimen who perhaps needs racing to keep his peak fitness. As seen in the Gold Cup he travelled as strongly as anything, but just didn’t quite finish off his race as he had done previously, so may just have been lacking fitness wise when push came to shove. Another reason to be optimistic of more to come would be the fact the stable was far from firing over the Festival, with numerous horses running way below expectations. Not only getting beaten, but beaten by a long way, where a big run was expected from a number of the stables runners. Back to Lostintranslation and prior to his King George flop he’d shown he was ready to mix it with the best following his defeat of Bristol De Mai at Haydock, following what was an excellent novice season, where having run with great credit over 2m4f he won impressively at Aintree when stepped up to 3 miles for the first time. His Gold Cup run this year was very good and as previously mentioned he travelled best of all approaching the 2nd last, jumping upside of Al Boum Photo and landing dead level with the eventual winner after the final fences, but just faded in the closing stages into 3rd, beaten just over a length. With the potential to improve based on his not ideal preparation and the stables poor run over the Festival period, he’ll be right in the mix next season and Lostintranslation just might be the one to beat.
Staking Plan based on £100 budget.
4 Singles at £5 Each Way – £40
6 Doubles at £2.50 Each Way – £15
4 Trebles at £2.50 Each Way – £20
1 Acca – £2.50 Each Way – £5
Main Bet – Additional £10 Each Way – Fakir D’Oudairies – £20
If you choose to take the bigger odds for the multiples and bet win only then we’d advise keeping the stake the same, but you don’t spend the place part of the budget.
For Example, £2.50 Win Trebles so a Spend of £10 not £20.
Corals are the biggest cumulative odds, but are win only as are Ladbrokes for the multiple bets.
Bet Victor are the best odds for each way bets for the multiples, followed by William Hill, Betfred, Skybet, Bet365 and Paddy Power in that order.
Currently William Hill have issues with bets for the Stayers Hurdle, but we’ve submitted a request that they resolve this.
Additional Ante Post Bet:
Cheltenham 2021 Ante Post Bet:
Bright Forecast (each way), RSA Chase, Wednesday 17th March
50/1 with Betfair & Paddy Power, 40/1 Skybet & Bet Victor, 33/1 William Hill, Bet365 & Boylesports.
Bright Forecast didn’t run last year due to a slight heart murmur, with connections doing the right thing and giving him time to recover, and reports suggest he’s now back in A1 condition. Having shown such promise as detailed further below over hurdles, he’d reportedly schooled over fences extremely well, with comments such as “he jumps brilliantly” coming out of the stable. Nico De Boinville was clearly impressed as when asked about the horse on a “Ten To Follow” panel at beginning of the season just past, he found it hard to contain his enthusiasm. With his novice chase status protected for another year, connections actually made an entry for him for the Stayers Hurdle, of they felt he’d be ready, as well as suggest the 3 mile hurdle at Aintree as a possibility. As it happened he ran in neither, but those entries clearly suggest he’d been showing good signs at home and give an indication how highly he’s regarded.
Ten To Follow from aracingfirst last season.
Bright Forecast, Ben Pauling,
Proved himself to be a decent staying novice hurdler last season after only 4 runs over obstacles. A winner over 2 miles on his debut at Newbury, he then defied a penalty at Leicester to win by 3 ½ lengths from a fair sort. Still racing over 2 miles he was done for pace by the classy Mister Fisher at Haydock, but put up a decent fight against a much speedier opponent. Stepped up in trip at the Cheltenham Festival he ran a cracking race for one so inexperienced, staying on really strongly into 3rd place behind City Island and Champ, with plenty of higher profile names behind him. Reports suggest he’ll be gong novice chasing this season, with a race at Huntingdon his likely starting point. Apparently a natural over fences, he’s related to some nice saying chasers and could easily develop into a leading contender come Cheltenham in March.
Further updating for Cheltenham 2021:
Focusing on that Cheltenham run last year when 3rd behind City Island and Champ, the form was clearly boosted with Champ winning the RSA Chase this season. So when looking back at that race, you’d could have a very strong case to suggest that over 3 miles, Bright Forecast may well have won that race. He’s a thoroughly strong stayer, so with Champ winning an RSA at 4/1, the current best priced 50/1 about Bright Forecast for next season is very appealing; we’d suggest anything at 33/1 or bigger was a fair price at this stage.
Also a notebook horse from Cheltenham last season:
Bright Forecast, 3rd Ballymore Novices Hurdle:
Stepping up on trip here he was held up out the back early on, but crept his way into the race nicely and stayed on really well into 3rd place. He’s a half-brother to a number of nice chasers, the step up to 3 miles could suit and he’s a nice prospect for fences next season. In the short term he can be competitive at this level over this trip or further.
Champion Chase – Chosen Mate (each way) 33/1 with Bet365, Skybet, Ladbrokes & Corals, otherwise generally 25/1.
Having shown a degree of promise over hurdles, chasing looks to be his game and having been laid out to land the Grand Annual at The Cheltenham Festival, he looks sure to take a high rank amongst next seasons 2 mile chasers. Having shown promise in 3 chase starts he went onto the Grand Annual off a mark of 147 and made a mockery of that rating. Held up off the pace, he cruised through the race and took it up over then2d last without ever having to come off the bridle. In a little close to the final fence he lost his momentum but still won very comfortably without Davy Russell having to get serious. To travel that well in the competitive handicap suggest he has the ability to mix it at a higher level and now having been raised to a mark of 156 he hasn’t that much to find to be seriously considered for the top 2 mile races and after just 4 runs over fences, he’s open to more improvement.