Cheltenham Day 4 – going out with a bang?

So here we are, the last day.  With what has happened to other top level sport in the UK and overseas, I think it’s a bit of a surprise to say the least, that the Festival has been staged in it’s entirety.  Bearing in mind it was abandoned for Foot & Mouth disease a few years ago, it does make you wonder what might have happened if horses could contract Covid-19.

I must admit that the more I’ve learnt about the disease I’ve changed my tune somewhat. I’ve gone from thinking that we were victims of media hype and that of course the Festival should go ahead, to looking at pictures of 50,000 crammed in and wincing a bit.  Italy has one of the best-reputed health services in Europe, and has been totally overwhelmed.  That is truly concerning bearing in mind all the experts I’ve heard say we’re about two weeks behind where they are.

Anyway, this is a betting diary, so let’s not get too deep. All I’d say is, wash your hands….lots!

1.30 Triumph Hurdle

Racing Service 1 – Allmankind each way 5/1.

With a place return that meant I come out level on the race, the story here was of the favourite Goshen who looked like he was about to post one of the most remarkable performances – if not THE most – by charging away from the field from two out.  It was exhilarating viewing until disaster struck, the horse failed to pick up at the last and unceremoniously dumped poor Jamie Moore on his backside.  Racing is a truly evil mistress at times, and even an old cynic like me felt for the jockey who was clearly devastated.

Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, n/a.

2.10 County Handicap Hurdle

Bet Alchemist – Adjali each way 12/1, Embittered each way 25/1; Racing Service 1 – Zanza each way 40/1; Racing Intelligence – Thasty each way 11/1.

Not a great result as the only horse to produce a return was third placed Embittered.  To be fair, this looked another of those impossible looking races to try to fathom.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 2pts, +1.625pts; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Intelligence: Staked 3pts, -3pts.

2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

Bet Alchemist – Redford Road each way 33/1; Racing Service 1 – Thyme Hill to win 5/1.

You do need a wee bit of luck at Cheltenham.  You must hope your horse gets the gaps when they need them, avoid faltering or falling opponents, etc.  It’s fair to say Thyme Hill didn’t get the breaks it needed, twice up the hill being closed out of the gap his jockey was going for.  Whether or not he would have won had he not been obstructed, it’s impossible to say, but I can say with confidence it would have a better chance of doing so.  Oh well, c’est la vie.

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

3.30 Gold Cup

Bet Alchemist – Santini (antepost) to win 10/1; Racing Service 1 – Clan Des Obeaux each way 9/1; Racing Intelligence – Santini each way 6/1; Racing Service 2 – Clan Des Obeaux to win 8/1.

The margins between success and failure, profit and loss in this game are frequently very small indeed.  In what has become a bit of a personal theme at this year’s Festival, Santini just failed to get up in a thrilling battle to the line.  It must now be four or five times this has happened this week.  If you remember, the pattern was set as early as the opening races on Tuesday.

The four or five strides it took Santini to regather full momentum after jumping the last and having to pull out and around one of his opponents looked to have cost him victory, and a nice pay out for me.  I feel that I’ve been on the wrong side of that line too many times this week and just one or two going the other way would have ensured a fine profit.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, -1pt; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Intelligence: Staked 6pts, +0.6pts; Racing Service 2: Staked 0.75pts, -0.75pts.

4.10 Foxhunter Hunter Chase

Bet Alchemist – Shantou Flyer each way 8/1

Yesterday’s 50/1 winner in the Stayers Hurdle surpassed by a 66/1 winner in this race!  And by 10 lengths!

Shantou Flyer ran respectably to finish third.  Not a lot more to say.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 1pt, +0.3pts.

4.50 Grand Annual Handicap Chase

Bet Alchemist – Capeland each way 25/1; Racing Service 1 – Eclair de Beaufeu each way 7/1; Racing Service 2 – Greaneteen to win 4/1, Lisp to win 15/2.

The week is very much in danger of ending with something of a whimper.  Another 2nd place, this time Éclair de Beaufeu so a return of sorts, but like so many other times over the last four days not one as big as it so could easily have been.

Bet Alchemist: Staked 2pts, -2pts; Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, +0.4pts; Racing Service 2: Staked 1pt, -1pt.

Let’s see if we can go out with a bang…

5.30 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

Bet Alchemist – Assemble each way 20/1; Racing Service 1 – The Boss’s Oscar each way 12/1.

Hmmm…more a slight fizzle than a bang, as The Boss’s Oscar grabs a place and Assemble is a non-runner.

Racing Service 1: Staked 2pts, +1.4pts.

No winners on the final day and I must admit, this year’s Festival has proven to be harder to make a profit than in previous years.  That’s bound to happen from time to time of course, but the 20%+ ROIs hit in the past sadly didn’t materialize this week.  Bet Alchemist can be pleased with its week’s work, and although not many bets were issued, Precision Value has performed well too.  Racing Service 2, though improving on previous losing Cheltenhams, essentially only broke even as did Racing Intelligence.

So that’s it for another year.  I hope you ended the week in profit and thank you for reading.  Stay healthy, and roll on next year.  Let’s face it, the build up starts tomorrow…

Day’s figures: ROI -35.79% (for the Festival in total: 6.28%).

Bet Alchemist: Staked 7pts, -1.075pts (Staked 31pts, +7.675pts, ROI 24.75%)

Racing Service 1: Staked 14pts, -4.2pts (Staked 47pts, -9.6pts, ROI -20.43%)

Precision Value: n/a (Staked 5pts, +4pts, ROI 80%)

Racing Intelligence: Staked 9pts, -2.4pts (Staked 31pts, -0.2pts, ROI -0.65%)

Racing Service 2: Staked 1.75pts, -1.75pts (Staked 5.75pts, +0.25pts, ROI 4.34%)

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