Cheltenham Day 3 – break even as we run hard to stand still.

I saw that two or three tipsters referred to Day 3 as a make or break day as far as overall Festival performance is concerned.  Let’s hope there is more making being done than breaking, eh?

1.30 Marsh Novices’ Chase

Bet Alchemist – Itchy Feet each way 5/1; Racing Service 1 – Mister Fisher each way 6/1; Precision Value – Faugheen to win 7/2; Racing Service 2 – Mister Fisher to win 13/2.

Some real ‘Festival’ horses lining up in this race and it turned out to be a heck of a race to watch, but sadly one from which we made no return.  There was a brief moment up the hill when first I thought Mister Fisher was going to rally and make a real fist of getting up, and then as that one faded to fourth that Faugheen might just do so instead.  Itchy Feet had crashed out after making one too many blunders much earlier in the race.  Faugheen ‘The Machine’ sadly isn’t as good a jumper of a fence as he was a hurdler of a hurdle, and his jumping wasn’t as slick as the two who fought a right old ding dong to the line.  I guess at the highest level of the sport, losing the odd half a length at a fence is ultimately going to prove costly.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Precision Value: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 2: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

2.00 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle

Racing Service 1 – Third Wind each way 12/1, Jatiluwih each way 18/1; Racing Intelligence – Welsh Saint each way 11/2; Racing Service 2 – The Storyteller to win 5/1, Tout est Permis to win 20/1.

Oh dear.  That one feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth.  I was convinced Storyteller was going to win but he was just run out of it in the last 100 yards.  Tout est Permis ran a very decent race too at the odds, finishing third – not much good when you’ve backed him win only.  The only return was on 4th placed Third Wind and to come away from such a competitive race as that with just a minimal return having backed three of the first four home…I hope it’s not going to be one of those days.

Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -0.3pts; Racing Intelligence: Staked 6pts, -6pts; Racing Service 2: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

2.50 Ryanair Chase

Bet Alchemist – Aso each way 28/1; Racing Service 1 – Riders On The Storm each way 7/1 (antepost).

Yup, it does look increasingly like it is going to be one of those days.  There’s not much to say about this race.  Riders On The Storm fell, and I think Aso is still running!

Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

3.30 Stayers’ Hurdle

Bet Alchemist – Summerville Boy each way 9/1; Racing Service 1 – City Island each way 14/1.

And again, no joy.  This is proving to be break, not make.  Somebody do some making!  Making is good.  Making is the future.  Breaking is so yesterday, goddammit…

Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 2: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

4.10 Steel Plate Handicap Chase

Bet Alchemist – Ben Dundee each way 9/1, Simply The Betts each way 7/1 (antepost); Racing Service 1 – Clondaw Castle each way 25/1.

I was just beginning to think that Clondaw Castle as a non-runner might be the best result I get today, and then like a lighthouse appearing on a stormy night to guide the ship away from perilous rocks, Simply The Betts lands the spoils.  Thank goodness for that – a win was much needed.  The cherry on the cake was Ben Dundee squeaking home to grab 5th – and therefore a place return – by about the width of a fly’s whisker.  Happy days.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 3pts, +9.45pts.  

4.50 Mares’ Novices Hurdle

Bet Alchemist – Concertista each way 9/2; Precision Value – Concertista to win 9/2.

Now we’re cooking on gas!  This is what we want…a 12 length winner on a horse tipped up by two tipsters.  Never in doubt. I never for one second doubted this was going to be a good day.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 2pts, +5.4pts; Precision Value: Staked 1pt, +4,5pts.

5.30 Fulke Walwyn Amateurs Handicap Chase

Bet Alchemist – Le Breuil each way 8/1 (antepost); Racing Service 1 – Le Breuil each way 11/2; Racing Service 2 – Cloth Cap to win 20/1.

Didn’t see the race, but looks from the result that neither horse came close to giving a return.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Service 2: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.

After the first three races, we were staring down the barrel of a gun.  All the gains made yesterday were at risk of largely being handed straight back before a couple of nice winners turned things around and made Day 3 a break even day.  So, after all that make or break build up, we neither made nor broke.  So we go into the final day nicely up and all to play for.

Day’s figures: ROI -0.21% (Festival to date: 20.4%)

Bet Alchemist: Staked 10pts, +9.85pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 12pts, -9.3pts.

Precision Value: Staked 2pts, +3.5pts.

Racing Intelligence: Staked 6pts, -6pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 2pts, -2pts.

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