I have a confession to make.
After the first race at Cheltenham this afternoon, I have to go out, and am unlikely to miss a couple of races. I know, I know – how can you let life get in the way of Cheltenham? I hear you. I really do. But I can’t do anything about it.
So, I’m afraid that just for today, for some of the races, you’re not going to get the witty, insightful and high-level assessment of each race in the normal way. And I can’t write between races either!
Knowing my luck, this will be the day of all days for Cheltenham thrills and spills. A day for the ages, one that will be discussed in hushed and awe-struck tones for years to come in Cotswold pubs on the eve of every future Festival. “Do you remember when, back in ’21…?” And all you’re going to get from me is, “Yeah, it won” or “Nope, mine got beat”. Sorry.
My final pre-race thought for today?
Yesterday was a reference to Scorsese, today I’m turning to Guy Ritchie, and a scene from Lock Stock…”Oh, and if Racing Service 1, PCB Pricewise, Bet Alchemist or anyone else for that matter feels like givin’ the bookies a bit of a kickin’, I’m sure it won’t do any harm.”
Well said, that man!
1.20: Novice’s Chase
NMP: Envoi Allen in multiples.
Well, that wasn’t in the script. What’s all that about?
Envoi Allen went off at 4/9 but before the race got anywhere near the stage of being serious, had fallen. I hope it’s not going to be one of those days.
1.55: Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
BA: The Bosses Oscar ew 11/2, Dandy Mag ew 20/1
NMP: Come On Teddy (AP) win/ew 40/1 and 25/1 (plus in multiples – would be a big win!), Champagne Platinum (AP) win/ew 20/1 and 14/1
RS1: Come On Teddy 10/1
Looks like a couple placed. I think in a race as competitive as this one, that goes down as a result.
2.30: Ryanair Chase
BA: Melon ew 7/1.
NMP: Imperial Aura (AP) win/ew 6/1
RS1: Mister Fisher 8/1.
OK, so I go away for an hour and I come back to this!?! What on earth happened in this race? More than half the field pulled up, including all three of those I’d backed. Not sure I’ll bother watching a replay…
3.05: Stayers’ Hurdle
BA: Fury Road (AP) ew 12/1
NMP: Sire Du Berlais win/ew (AP) 11/2 and 8/1
PV: Fury Road 9/2
RS1: Lisnagar Oscar 11/1
Got home just in time to see the off, and kinda wished I hadn’t bothered. Lisnagar Oscar tipped over down the back straight, managed to almost take out Fury Road in the process which never really recovered. Paisley Park looked outpaced quite a way from home and despite battling away and looking at one point as if a remarkable win might be on the cards, it could never quite get to the leader. And Sire Du Berlais managed to pick up a little place money in 2nd, but never really threatened to win.
Right then. Need a winner.
3.40: Plate Handicap Chase
BA: Farclas ew 13/2, Happy Diva ew 16/1
NMP: The Shunter win/ew 100/30, Mister Whitaker (AP) ew 33/1
PV: The Shunter 3/1
Well, I asked for a winner, and a winner I got with The Shunter doing remarkably well for a jumps horse who today looked like he couldn’t jump! Seriously, it seemed to lose ground at each flight, but on the flat it flew and ended up winning pretty cosily, fending off Farclas which we had each way. And at last, a winner at the Festival not put up by NMP, as Precision Value weighs in. Well, I say that, but of course The Shunter was an NMP pick too.
Of course it was.
4.15: Mares’ Novices Hurdle
BA: Tellmesomethinggirl ew 6/1
NMP: Glens Of Antrim 7/1, Roses Hollow (AP) ew 6/1
And not to be outdone by Precision Value, Bet Alchemist hits the mark with Tellmesomethinggirl, which came up with a strong run up the hill to win nicely. So at last, from what was becoming the Northern Monkey Benefit Festival we’re getting winning contributions from others. May it continue.
4.50: Kim Muir Handicap Chase
BA: Shantou Flyer ew 10/1, Storm Control ew 16/1.
NMP: Mount Ida win/ew 11/2, Plan Of Attack win/ew 8/1
PCB: Mount Ida ew 6/1, Plan Of Attack ew 17/2.
RS1: Hold The Note 8/1.
Well, well, well. Now everyone’s piling on. Precision Value sticking up a winner is proving to be a bit like the first person up on the dancefloor. Get that person on, and slowly but surely more follow. Hopefully tomorrow, it’ll be the equivalent of a rave in a field in Hertfordshire with every tipster throwing their shapes in the form of winners. Didn’t see the race, but Mount Ida did the biz! Just to help, Shantou Flyer, and Storm Control finished in the frame for some place returns.
So another day comes to an end with NMP producing a profit, but nice to see Precision Value, Bet Alchemist and PCB Pricewise starting their contributions too. Going into the final day I can say it’s been a pretty decent Festival on the betting front. Wouldn’t it be nice to end it with a bang.
Figures below, but be aware I’m pretty sure there are a couple or so more small multiples I’ve not yet accounted for. Done my totting up in a bit of a rush….the Arsenal are on!
Bet Alchemist: Staked 10pts, +1.349pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 9.125pts, +1.477pts.
PCB Pricewise: Staked 4pts, +5.2pts.
Precision Value: Staked 2pts, +2pts
Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts.