For something different this week, I thought I’d blog day by day to cover the events of the Cheltenham Festival – something I did last year. The meeting has, historically, been kind to me although I always get the feeling that things could so easily go very, very wrong. If ever there was a meeting where betting success or failure is decided by very fine margins, it’s this one.
I’ll confess to some feelings of trepidation this morning when it became clear that heavy rain was due. It’s impossible to say the extent to which the ground and going conditions will be effected and that must make the job of the tipster even harder.
So how did our tipsters fare?
It was a relatively quiet day for Racing Service 1 who issued just the three bets. With two of the horses placing – Stormy Island – 8/1 in the 4.10 and Springtown Lake – 16/1 in the 4.50, a small profit was made.
If I remember correctly (and I may not), Northern Monkey made considerable hay on the first day of last year’s Festival. Sadly, the opposite was true today. We had eight horses running – a mix of singles and those with stakes rolled up as a result of multiples – and none of them even threatened to win. Luck wasn’t on Wayne’s side as two of the more fancied runners, Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle and Benie Des Dieux who went off as the odds on favourite in the Mare’s Hurdle, fell, the latter with the race at her mercy when upending at the last! Not NMP’s day.
It looked like Racing Service 2 was also going to suffer from a dose of bad luck too when Kalashnikov – 9/1 was brought down in the Arkle when travelling well. The rain scuppered the chances of Minella Rocco in the next but come the 4.50, things turned with A Plus Tard – 7/1. You will never see an easier winner of one of Cheltenham’s ultra-competitive handicaps, 16 lengths the margin on the line between winner and second and it could have been twice that had the jockey so wished.
The honours for the day though go to Racing Service 3. Sure, there were a couple of losers, but there was also Espoir D’Allen – 11/1, winner of the Champion Hurdle (backed without Apples Jade), supported by Big River – 28/1 which contributed a decent each way return by finishing in the frame of the 2.50. Tower Bridge – 8/1 chased home A Plus Tard in the 4.50 for another return and all in, an excellent day for the Irishman.
Racing Service 1: Staked 3pts, +0.8pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 5pts, -4.375pts.
Racing Service 2: Staked 4pts, +4pts.
Racing Service 3: Staked 12pts, +12.4pts.
Day 1: ROI 46.06%.