Just as we were preparing for the Podcast the result of the hearing into bullying came through and that dominates the chatter but these are my words relating to the races discussed:
I’ll be providing Ratings for this race but for I’ve enough back stats to produce Scribblings, too.
Nothing younger than seven, nothing older than 10….and with only one winner in the last nine years younger than eight and seven of the last 10 winners aged eight or nine, I’m going to look to that pair of age groups for my winner here.
I’m seeing no weight advantage at all and we’ve even had two carrying less than 10st in 2014 and 2015.
Market position of the last 10 winners suggests you drop the favourite for both win and place suggestions. Only one of the last six has placed and not a winner in the last decade.
Front four on the tissue makes sense as six of the 10 were so the only qualifier here is COMMODORE, trained by Venetia Williams.
She has saddled four in this race, in the last 10 years, won with one, placed with another.
I’ll have COMMODORE as a 20/80
Ron – COMMODORE – 20/80
Sean – SANTINI – E.W.
A Cross Country event….I would close the curtains if they ran that in my back garden….hate them. They have no place at Cheltenham (he says, chucking a cat into the pigeon loft!).
Seriously, for betting purposes, I’d not spend a bean on them but Dick Dastardly has put it in the Podcast running order so, here goes….
In the last five years we’ve seen horses aged 11, 12, 8, 5 and 9 winning this but, generally, you want a nine year old…or older.
Definitely 11st or more on your back….nine of the last 10 winners suggest that is a positive trend, and in the first three on the tissue….eight of the last 10 winners were.
The winner, if trends speak the truth, is MIDNIGHT MAESTRO who is trained by the Cross Country King, Enda Bolger, runs in the colours of JP McManus, is a 9-y-o sitting co-favourite of three as I type and is a 20/80 @ the 5/1
Ron – MIDNIGHT MAESTRO – 20/80
Sean – ALPHA DES OBEAUX – E.W.
Obviously going to be won by a 3-y-o but, which one?
Weight stats are heavily in favour of horses carrying 11st or more and trading front two on the tissue and right now that horse would be PORTICELLO.
Another stat I’m liking is that four of the last five winners of this arrived having won last time out and of the front two on the tissue, he’s the only qualifier.
He won a Listed race at Wetherby turning cartwheels and arrives unbeaten in two career starts for a yard still bang in form and running a very healthy 51% RTF figure. The market for this has been funny in that since a tissue was put up, everything has drifted
Ron – PORTICELLO
Sean – KOLISI – E.W.
Five of the last seven winners of this went off odds on favourite and nine of those 10 winners arrived having either won or placed last time out.
In the last seven years only one winner went off bigger than 7/4 but this feels like a much weaker renewal than those that have gone before. I see no Defi Du Seuil, Apple’s Shakira, or Adagio in here and so bearing that in mind, I’m thinking that purely for Podcast purposes, I’m going to suggest a 20/80 MESSAGE PERSONNEL.
He arrives the only winner last time out and is currently priced up @ 6/1.
I was impressed with the favourite, YORKSEA, on debut but felt he has better horses that had tried to win the race, falling into his lap, which helped him nab third place.
This race did us a favour in 2019 when we were all over BOTOX HAS and I had the pleasure of being there with Post Racing members….a great day out and one I look forward to repeating at some point in the future.
I’ll go 20/80 MESSAGE PERSONNEL
Ron – MESSAGE PERSONNEL – 20/80
Sean – MESSAGE PERSONNEL – E.W.
A great shame that BOB OLINGER isn’t here because I wanted to see MY DROGO beat him and go favourite for the Arkle.
If MY DROGO stands up, he wins this head in chest. He didn’t jump the fence he felt at badly at all when making debut, he just seemed to knuckle on landing and the bag of spanners was off.
Bag of spanners is nickname for Harry Skelton….because, in a finish, he quite simply looks like a plumbers bag of spanners as said plumber walks up the driveway.
There are a few bags of spanners riding right now and when they are riding one of mine, I close my eyes and pray, as they approach the last fence, especially if they are upsides another horse and we need a good jump. The number of time we have spanners flying all over the place and a horse running loose after that last fence is becoming the stuff of legend.
MY DROGO to win
Ron – MY DROGO
Sean – MY DROGO
Only six going to post and whilst the last two winners have been priced 12/1 and 14/1, traditionally this goes to a five year old, in the front three on the tissue and (usually), trained by Twiston-Davies, who has sent nine for this and won with three.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t got one this year so I’m looking to one of BLAZING KHAL, GELINO BELLO and BARONY LEGENDS.
The Irish took this last year with an outsider but have the favourite on Saturday in BLAZING KHAL. He beat GELINO BELLO at the last meeting here, is currently unbeaten this season and I can see no reason why these two will not dominate the race as the betting suggests they will, and equally no reason why the Paul Nicholls runner should reverse that form from November.
Ron – BLAZING KHAL
Sean – BALLYGRIFFINLODGE – E.W.
The thing about Graded races is that the cream usually rises to the top and again the market position of the last 10 winners bears that out, with six winning favourites a pair of third favourites and a second favourite all doing the business so working with trends means a shortlist straight away of SONG FOR SOMEONE, SCEAU ROYAL and GUARD YOUR DREAMS.
SCEAU ROYAL ran a belter in the Fighting Fifth and if the official marks are right, he wins this as he’s effectively 3lb better of with the horse they have put in favourite, SONG FOR SOMEONE, and 5lb better off with GUARD YOUR DREAMS.
The Alan King runner must be one of the most consistent horses in training, and in single figure fields at Cheltenham, has form figures reading 1, 1, 2, 1, 3, 5, 5….that third was to ALTIOR in a Champion Chase, when he led over the last so I’ll forgive him that one!
His Cheltenham form sways me towards him and if he doesn’t find a fourth run in less than two months catching him out, I think he’ll win this.
Ron – SCEAU ROYAL
Sean – SCEAU ROYAL
I’ve very limited trends here as we’ve only had four previous running’s of this race and two of those have been won by horses trading 14/1 and 9/1, with two winning favourites either side of them.
If I fancied being a lunatic, I’d suggest that this time is the turn of the favourite but that’s the same as Karen telling me she’d like a fiver on the grey horse with the big backside!
Only one of the four winners to date has arrived having finished out of the front four on the tissue so far, but I have no tissue right now so could not tell you how this will look on Saturday afternoon.
I imagine COLTRANE will be prominent in the market, he is the only runner in here with a front four finishing position last time out and so, purely for Podcast purposes, I’m a COLTRANE man.
Ron – COLTRANE – 20/80
Sean – COLTRANE – E.W.
- GLADIATEUR ALLEN – 10/1 > 15/2 – WON 13/2
- LIGHT FLICKER 14/1 (AND STRONG) > 8/1 – WON 5/1
- THE BOAT – 16/1 > 7/1 – WON 10/3F
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
RON – SCEAU ROYAL (Cheltenham 3-00)
SEAN – SCEAU ROYAL (Cheltenham 3-00)