CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN TODAY: TRAINERS-2 Which trainers spring the big surprises at the Cheltenham Festival? Who can you rely on to turn over the favourites (sometimes from their own yard)?
COUNTDOWN TUES-TO-FRI: SEE HOW THEY WON From tomorrow Daqman’s stats for every race at the festival every day one week in advance.
Head and shoulders. No, not a shampoo advert but the scathing words of Henrietta Knight on just how far Irish trainers are ahead of the English.
Punters expect short-priced Irish winners in the championship races but what about the Cheltenham Festival handicaps and the novice events? This table of strikes at double-figure odds suggests that six out of the 11 top stables for big-odds winners are Irish.
The one-two slots for successful outsiders are held by their top yards, with 24 wins to 15 by England’s leading duo.
Back a winning outsider ante-post on the BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE and it’s you who could be uncorking the ‘shampoo.’
Willie Mullins (13) 50-1 Mares Novices’ Hurdle, 25-1 Champion Bumper, 25-1 and 20-1 County Hurdle, 20-1 Coral Cup, 16-1 Albert Bartlett, 16-1 Champion Bumper, 12-1 Gold Cup, 12-1 Martin Pipe, 12-1 and 10-1 Stayers Hurdle, 12-1 Triumph Hurdle, 11-1 Champion Bumper.
Gordon Elliott (11) 33-1 and 25-1 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle, 25-1 Supreme Novices Hurdle, 16-1 and 12-1 NH Challenge Cup, 12-1 Coral Cup, 11-1 Mares Hurdle (aka Denise Foster), 12-1 and 11-1 Martin Pipe, 10-1 Pertemps Final, 10-1 Triumph Hurdle.
Paul Nicholls (9) 28-1 Grand Annual, 25-1 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle, 25-1 and 16-1 Hunters Chase, 16-1 and 14-1 twice Martin Pipe, 11-1 Champion Hurdle, 11-1 County Hurdle
Nicky Henderson (6) 40-1 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle, 28-1 and 14-1 Coral Cup, 20-1 Grand Annual, 20-1 Triumph Hurdle, 10-1 Ultima Chase
Tony Martin (4) 20-1 Turner Novices Chase, 16-1 Cross Country, 16-1 Grand Annual, 10-1 County Hurdle
Jonjo O’Neill (4) 25-1 Pertemps Final, 14-1 Grand Annual, 14-1 and 10-1 Ultima Chase.
Henry De Bromhead (3) 50-1 Albert Bartlett, 16-1 Arkle Novices Chase, 11-1 Champion Chase
Gavin Cromwell (3) 16-1 Champion Hurdle, 14-1 Albert Bartlett, 12-1 Stayers Hurdle
Noel Meade (3) 80-1 Boodles Juvenile Hurdle, 33-1 Albert Bartlett, 14-1 Plate
David Pipe (3) 33-1 Arkle Novices Chase, 12-1 Plate, 11-1 Ultima Chase
Dan Skelton (3) 33-1 and 12-1 County Hurdle, 10-1 Mares Hurdle
Rebecca Curtis (2) 50-1 Stayers Hurdle, 12-1 Brown Advisory Novices Chase
Jessica Harrington (2) 16-1 Coral Cup, 10-1 Grand Annual
Malcolm Jefferson (2) 20-1 Martin Pipe, 14-1 Pertemps Final
Patrick Kelly (2) 14-1 and 11-1 Pertemps Final
Alan King (2) 33-1 Coral Cup, 16-1 Ryanair Chase
Donald McCain (2) 16-1 Coral Cup, 10-1 Supreme Novices Hurdle
Ben Pauling (2) 14-1 Ballymore Novices Hurdle, 14-1 NH Challenge Cup
Colin Tizzard (2) 33-1 Albert Bartlett, 28-1 Ultima Chase
⭕ 3.30 Wetherby I’m not a fan of ‘expected’ results. Brentford to score 0.39 goals seems impossible to me but I appreciate any ‘feed’. It keeps the computer anoraks happy, and I was happy, too, when they scored twice!
To say that Dan Skelton has a 30% strike rate at Wetherby is to suggest that one of his three there today might just about win, though a long view has to be taken.
But that’s where we need the computer. We need to determine the ‘true’ odds and bet for ‘one out of three,’ playing to the required staking plan to make a fixed profit.
There are punters who will do that. A simpler ‘expectation’ that I hold on to is that playing the range of BETDAQ offers will provide me with a better chance than take-it-or-leave it bookmaker odds.
Playful Saint, the first Skelton beast to line up this afternoon, is an enigma in that we haven’t seen him for nearly three years so the ‘expectation’ there cannot be high.
But I will certainly keep a market eye open for this Guillaume Macaire purchase having his first run in England for the same sire as the stable’s Gold Cup hope, Protektorat. Jante Law is another returning from a long break.
Old boy Chti Balko has slipped 18lb in the last year and has dropped back to 2m at which he was placed on the course in November.
I prefer Albert’s Back, with his stable just coming to form and, according to the Racing Post, getting 100% from its runners.
The ‘expectation’ is that, with Wetherby form of 1131 (still standing), he will at least match his 127 rating, and Brian Hughes is booked.
⭕ 4.05 Wetherby Another handicap, this time so tight that three of the five runners are within a pound of each other.
Below them you have Frimeur De Lancray for a stable on a modest 2-19, and Indian Brave after 738 days off. Charmant has had more than a year off.
Mark Walford is 0-10 and, despite being beaten favourite twice running, his Buster Valentine remains on 124; the handicapper will give him no less, probably assuming they were in ‘expectation’ of a win in those races when the money was down.
This may all add up to the Dan Skelton winner we’re looking for: Seven No Trumps was impressive at Lingfield in November.
He failed to follow up at Market Rasen but ran better than the bare form, keeping on though not involved in a tussle between the first two. Wetherby could suit him better.
⭕ 8.00 Wolverhampton A class 2 over 1m 4f, in which quality is usually expressed at the top of the handicap on a lower-grade track.
So here is King Of The South, 0-4 on Polytrack, returning to Tapeta on which he has an impressive 6-9, and also back to his best trip.
He had dropped back in distance but stepped up in grade to a Listed when failing to catch Fancy Man at Lingfield.
Celtic Art and Protected Guest have met twice recently. It’s 1-1 without either of them showing the progress King Of The South had been making until he found Listed level at the wrong trip beyond him.
3.30 Wetherby (win 10, nap)
BET 3pts win ALBERTS BACK
4.05 Wetherby (win 10)
BET 3pts win SEVEN NO TRUMPS
8.00 Wolverhampton (win 10)
BET 5pts win KING OF THE SOUTH
What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….
Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.