The Pertemps Final will terrify some punters with 24 runners contesting a seemingly wide open handicap but new research suggests age is a factor and that half the field have less of a chance.
Cheltenham’s three-mile hurdle race will be run at a blistering speed at 2.05 and traditionally the race can throw up some big prices, like 14/1 shot Cape Tribulation last year. Indeed, horses with an starting price of 10/1 or bigger have won 12 of the last 15 renewals.
However, it is emerging from detailed analysis of the race that experience is a key factor in handling the hurly burly of the stamina sapping race
Horse racing stats specialists Proform have uncovered that horses aged 8 or older have won 9 from 15 runnings which significantly is 59% better than expected. The other side of the equation shows that conversely horses aged 7 or younger have won 6 of the 15 renewals but that is from a large total of 206 runners, which is 39% worse than expected.
Eleven of today’s field are seven or under which includes the likely favourite Sam Winner, the mount of inform Ruby Walsh.
Proform have produced a 50 page in-depth statistical guide for the Cheltenham Festival with each race covered in detail with relevant data.
Two-time winner Kauto Star (10/3 in 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup – Non Runner No Bet with bet365) has been declared fit to line up in Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup while one of his rivals, Grands Crus, has been taken out of the race to concentrate on the RSA Chase instead.
The 12-year-old, who showed a remarkable return to form when beating rival Long Run in back-to-back big races at Haydock and Kempton earlier this season, was rated “50-50″ after a fall at trainer Paul Nicholls‘ Somerset yard two weeks ago.
But Nicholls has now revealed that Kauto Star will bid for a third Gold Cup with Ruby Walsh on board after coming through a schooling session.
“He came through with flying colours. I had a chat with Clive Smith, his owner, and we were happy to say ‘Yes, he’ll run’,” Nicholls told BBC Sport.
Nicholls and Smith have been given a further boost in that Kauto Star’s potential Gold Cup rival, the David Pipe-trained Grands Crus, will not run in the showpiece race of the four-day festival.
Instead, the seven-year-old, trained by Pipe for owners Roger Stanley and Yvonne Reynolds, will compete in the RSA Chase for top novices on Wednesday (6/4 Grands Crus in 2012 RSA Chase – Non-Runner No bet with bet365).
Long Run remains the favourite at 13/8 with bet365 for Friday’s Gold Cup with Burton Port third in the betting at 7/1.
Tags: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Clive Smith, Grands Crus, horse racing bet, horse racing betting, horse racing odds, Kauto Star, outright betting, Paul Nicholls, rsa chase, ruby walsh
Cheltenham Festival | Horse Racing Betting News | March 12, 2012 20:59 |
For many people the only horse with a serious chance of stopping the mighty Big Buck’s galloping away with a fourth successive Grade 1 Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March is Oscar Whisky, Nicky Henderson’s very talented and versatile campaigner who is being readied to go head-to-head with Paul Nicholls’ superstar, writes Elliot Slater.
Looking ahead to Oscar Whisky’s final race before the festival in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on February 4, (the course created by his owner Dai Walters), connections expect the seven-year-old to defend his title at the Welsh track where he will race over the minimum trip of two miles before being stepped up for a first crack at three-miles at Cheltenham on March 15. Fans of Bwin should remember this.
Third in last season’s Stan James Champion Hurdle behind the outstanding Hurricane Fly, Oscar Whisky then went on to Aintree where he tackled two-and-a-half-miles for the first time and ran out a brave neck winner from Thousand Stars (subsequent French Champion Hurdle winner), in the Grade 1 John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle. Driven up to challenge Overturn at the final flight of over the Aintree trip on his reappearance run at Ascot in November in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle, the general opinion is that Henderson’s charge would have won had he not made a mistake and suffered the first fall of his career. Those looking at the Stan James betting should bear this in mind.
Oscar Whisky bounced back in style though beating Get Me Out Of Here in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, and then followed up when easily accounting for Poungach back at the Prestbury track on New Year’s Day giving every impression that he will stay three-miles and that his smart return of foot could well give Big Buck’s something to think about. The gelded son of Oscar is currently a best priced 5/1 second-favourite to win the staying hurdling crown, while Big Buck’s remains odds-on at a general offer of 4/7.
Since he finished as a gallant runner-up to the brilliant Big Bucks in last years World Hurdle, Time For Rupert has been considered the most likely winner of the 2011 RSA Chase. Nothing the gelding has done over fences so far this year will have his supporters changing there mind.
Time For Rupert has been impressive in winning both his starts at Cheltenham; the seven-year-old has jumped with aplomb. His experience of Cheltenham will be a huge benefit in a fiercely competitive race like the RSA Chase and he is sure to a very popular selection when it comes to Cheltenham 2011 bets.
The concern in siding with Time For Rupert is the fact that he has not raced since early December, and although his connections will tell you that is not a problem, it is surely not ideal and he could just be lacking a bit of match practice and those looking at the Cheltenham racing betting should bear this in mind.
Ainteen Thirtythree would not be able to match the achievements of Time For Rupert over hurdles, but he has always looked the type to make a top-class chaser and his two wins at Newbury this season have been ultra impressive. He looks a relentless galloper who will be suited by the stiff test the RSA Chase will provide and at the prices on offer he looks the one to be with.
Aegean Dawn has been one of the most progressive handicap hurdlers seen this season and it seems that the unbeaten six-year-old has recovered from a minor problem in time to run at the Cheltenham Festival, with the Coral Cup believed to be his target.
It had seemed highly likely that Nicky Henderson the gelding trainer would try to win the £75,000 bonus that is available to any horse who wins the big handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday and then goes on to win a race at the Festival. However after working moderately on Wednesday, Henderson ruled the gelding out of the Sandown race and expressed a serious doubt about his participation at Cheltenham.
Since then though the trainer has seen the horse make “remarkable” progress and he is now confident of being able to declare the horse for the Coral Cup and the Cheltenham betting offers suggest he can go well.
If Aegean Dawn is able to line-up at Cheltenham it will be a big boost for many punters. He has long been to the fore in the ante-post market for the Coral Cup.
He made his seasonal return at Cheltenham when he won a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle in breathtaking style and will the stiff course will pose no worries to him and those looking at the Cheltenham racing betting should remember this.
It is obviously difficult to be certain that he fully over his problem, but if he is he will surely run a huge race as he looks a very smart performer in the making.
After a hugely impressive win at Warwick in January, Court In Motion looked a really solid favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.
Since that run though the Emma Lavelle trained youngster has been beaten at odds-on a Haydock and it was a run that has punters questioning the six-year-olds true ability, especially as the form of the race was not particularly strong. Anyone thinking about placing Cheltenham 2011 bets may be tempted to look elsewhere.
One person who has not lost faith with Court In Motion though is his trainer and Lavelle believes the run at Haydock was just a blip, even if punters are a little more sceptical about things. She puts that defeat down to a stop start gallop on tacky ground and thinks her gelding will be right back to his best at Cheltenham, although others may beg to differ. The Cheltenham racing betting still suggests the horse has an excellent chance, however.
Lavelle will be doing something of a rain dance during the Cheltenham week though. She is certain that her charge is better with some juice in the ground, and if the rain does not materialise there is every chance that Court In Motion will not run at the Festival at all.
The Cross Country Chase has become something of a benefit for Enda Bolger and JP McManus since its inception and the pair look to hold very strong claims of landing the prize for the fifth time in seven years.
L’Ami has again found the winning touch this season and this former high-class chaser has a chance that is there for all to see and this is reflected in the Cheltenham betting offers.
The French bred gelding has won his last two starts on the banks course at Punchestown and he was a gutsy runner-up in this race last year. Anyone looking to bet on Cheltenham 2011 should give the horse serious consideration as he looks set to go one better this time around.
Garde Champetre is a two-time winner of the Cross Country Chase and he goes particularly well for his regular pilot Nina Carberry. He was below his best when attempting to land the hat-trick last year and had looked to be in decline in the early part of this season however, he bounced back to form when he won at Punchestown last month and with his confidence sure to have been boosted by that win it will be no surprise if he bounces back to regain his crown at Cheltenham next week.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Master Minded remains a solid 5/2 favourite in the Cheltenham betting to regain his crown as the leading two-mile chaser in the business when he bids for a third Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 16.
A brilliant winner of the race in both 2008 and 2009, the eight-year-old was written off by many as a light of former days when finishing only third to Big Zeb at the Cheltenham Festival last year when bidding to emulate the great Michael Dickinson-trained Badsworth Boy by winning three Champion Chase’s in succession.
Now though, after three fine winning performances this season, there is a real prospect that the gelded son of Nikos who runs in the white, black and red colours of owner Andy Stewart, could regain the title at the main expense of last year’s winner. A 16-length victor on his seasonal return at Ascot in November when landing the Grade 2 Amlin1965 Chase over two-mile-three furlongs, Master Minded then landed the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase at Cheltenham for a second time, the race having been moved to the Prestbury track following the abandonment of the originally schedule running at Sandown.
Most recently Master Minded was involved in a titanic struggle with Henrietta Knight’s up-and-coming youngster Somersby, going clear before the home turn in Ascot’s Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase before idling after the last and eventually being all out to hold on from the fast-finishing Knight runner by just a short-head.
That run gave ammunition to those who believe that Nicholls’ star is not quite the force of old, but the fact remains that he has been returned to an official mark of 178 and is unbeaten in three starts this term, two at Grade 1 level. His clash with Big Zeb and Somersby promises to be one of the highlights of the whole four-day jumps extravaganza.
Although Colin Tizzard’s Cue Card appears to hold outstanding claims for the opening race of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Nicky Henderson strengthen his hand on Saturday when his Sprinter Sacre put up an impressive performance to win easily at Ascot and advance up the ante-post list for the opening race of what will be an amazing four-days racing, beginning on March 15th.
Henderson already has the unbeaten Spirit Son targeted for the two-mile contest (he is quoted as 7/1 second favourite behind Cue Card at 9/4), but now Sprinter Sacre is down to a general price of 9/1 having easily accounted for Polisky by seven-lengths at Ascot to stake his very own claim for a shot at the big race. No final decision appears to have been made yet as the five-year-old French bred gelding also holds an entry in the two-mile-five-furlong Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle on the second day of the festival, for which bookmakers appear at odds as to his chances.
One firm make Henderson’s charge as short as 8/1 second favourite in the Cheltenham betting, while another offer him at 33/1, showing just what a range of opinions there are as to whether Sprinter Sacre will prove equally effective over the extra five furlongs. A winner of four of his five a career starts, the Caroline Mould-owned gelding’s only loss came when he stepped to up to two-and-a-half miles at Ascot in November, where he appeared to have every chance between the final two flights only to keep on at just the one pace in finishing second to Frascati Park.
It should be noted that this was Sprinter Sacre’s first outing over hurdles having previously won two bumpers and was also his first run for six months, so it could be that he just needed the run. It will be very interesting to see which route the Henderson team take with a horse who is clearly an exciting prospect.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has moved to end any uncertainty and confirmed that Khyber Kim (20/1 with bet365 in the ante-post betting) will definitely run in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The nine-year-old finished runner-up to Binocular (7/2 with bet365 to repeat) in last year’s running and will be returning for another crack for the Champion Hurdle, despite also holding an entry in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, for which he is 20/1 in the ante-post betting on bet365.
Khyber Kim disappointed on his seasonal reappearance at the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, finishing fourth of six behind Binocular.
Twiston-Davies told At The Races: “We’re going the Champion Hurdle without a doubt.
“I was slightly disappointed after Kempton but he blew hard afterwards. He wasn’t beaten that far, he wasn’t that bad, it was just his first run of the season and we’ll have him right for the Champion Hurdle.
“He’ll have a racecourse gallop at some stage.”