So we go again. Would be nice to show a profit today, although the card looks incredibly difficult. But then, to my untutored eye, they all do.
1.30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Bet Alchemist – Longhouse Poet each way 18/1; Racing Service 1 – The Big Breakaway each way 10/1.
No return from the first race of the day, but a reminder of what a doughnut I can be at times! The Big Getaway made all and approaching the climb up the hill to the line looked in a real chance of winning. I’d been cheering this beast on from the beginning, and as it passed the line in third place consoled myself with the thought that it least I’d grabbed a place return. Doh.
The Big Getaway wasn’t my horse. The Big Breakaway was. Where did that one finish? Just the one place out of the frame in fourth. Naturally.
Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
2.10 RSA Novices’ Chase
Racing Service 1 – Battleoverdoyen each way 14/1; Precision Value – Allaho to win 4/1; Racing Intelligence – Battleoverdoyen each way 12/1.
For a long way I thought we were going to get a big result with Battleoverdoyen, which to my eye jumped superbly all the way around. Coming down the hill it looked to be going best of all and I was getting really quite excited. As soon as he hit the hill though, he went out like a light and crossed the line rather wearily just out of the frame for my Racing Service 1 bet, but with a different bookmaker paying out on four places for the Racing Intelligence bet, I got at least a small place return there.
Meanwhile, as that one faded, Allaho seemed to be finding a second wind but it was misleading, and with the winner Champ storming home with a wet sail Allaho stumbled into third.
So, two races down, and barely a return in sight. I’ve been in this situation at many a Cheltenham Festival in the past only to end the week with a fine profit. Will that pattern be repeated here, or will things deteriorate further from here?
Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Precision Value: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Intelligence: Staked 4pts, +2.8pts.
2.50 Coral Cup Handicap
Bet Alchemist – Dame du Compagnie each way 6/1, Black Tears each way 18/1; Racing Service 1 – Franco du Port each way 10/1, Coco Beach each way 40/1; Racing Intelligence – Thosedaysaregone each way 14/1; Racing Service 2 – Dame du Compagnie to win 5/1.
An absolutely impossible looking handicap and yet Bet Alchemist managed the 1-2, which is quite the feat. Great to see Dame du Compagnie get up for Racing Service 2, too. A. doesn’t have the best of records at the Festival which is strange for a man of his talents, so to watch his sole wager of the day land the spoils was particularly gratifying.
In my experience, you make good profit at Cheltenham when one of two things happen. Either you back a big-priced winner or two, or you have two or three tipsters tip up the same horse that goes on to win. This is why I would always treat each individual tipsters betting advice as it’s own thing, and stick to the staking plan you have in place for each tipster.
Not only did we have the 1-2, but we had the 3 as well, with Thosedaysaregone again landing place money for Racing Intelligence.
Bet Alchemist: Staked 2pts, +5.5pts; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Intelligence: Staked 4pts, +5pts; Racing Service 2: Staked 1pt, +5pts.
3.30 Queen Mother Champion Chase
Racing Service 1 – Defi du Seuil to win 9/4 (antepost).
To my mind, there’s nothing better in gambling on the nags than a well planned and executed antepost coup. It’s great holding a ticket at a good price for a horse whose price come the off is a fraction of what you took. So when Defi du Seuil goes off as a 2/5 favourite and the price I’m holding is 9/4, I feel justified in smiling smugly and feeling that all in the gambling world is good.
And then the beast runs like a hairy goat.
Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
I’ve got nothing in the next, which is a relief. I hate those cross country mickey mouse races. Find them incredibly dull.
4.50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Racing Service 1 – Thyme White each way 14/1, Frazer Island each way 28/1; Racing Intelligence – Saint D’Oroux each way 16/1.
Not a clue what happened in this race, other than Racing Intelligence brought up a hat trick of place returns for what amounts to a decent day.
Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Intelligence: Staked 4pts, +4.4pts.
5.30 Champion Bumper
Bet Alchemist – Five For Brian each way 28/1.
Had a bet. Came nowhere.
Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
A much better and profitable day. A big doff of the cap to Bet Alchemist for getting the 1-2 in one of the most fiercely competitive and open handicaps of the week – sensational tipping (shame I didn’t back the forecast – some lucky beggar will have done so, no doubt!). Great to see Racing Service 2 hitting bullseye too. So, a good profit on the day but not enough to make me think the Festival will definitely be a profitable one. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
By the way, I’ve got to leave the house at 4.30 tomorrow and won’t be home until late, so the post will likely be up much later.
Day’s figures: ROI 77.71% (Festival to date: 32.99%)
Bet Alchemist: Staked 4pts, +3.5pts.
Racing Service 1: Staked 10pts, -10pts
Precision Value: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Racing Intelligence: Staked 12pts, +12.2pts.
Racing Service 2: Staked 1t, +5pts.