Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Cheltenham - love it

Back from Harrogate and straight into the Cheltenham Festival - highlight of the jump racing calendar.

My mate Steve is Deputy Features Editor at the Racing Post (he even has a blog) and we compared notes before the start of racing today. My tips were: Go Native in the first, Tartak in the Arkle, Millennium Royale in the Wm Hill Trophy, Katchit in the Champion Hurdle and Quevega in the last. I refuse to think about the cross country as it is a stupid race in which horses always seem to take the wrong course and, in any case, JP McManus would win.

Steve's tips were Go Native, Planet Of Sound, Nenuphar Collonges, Ashkazar, L'Ami, and Quevega and he stamped the word certainty all over that last one.

What happened - well we both had two winners. And they were the same horses. Go Native won just in the first at 12/1 and Quevega romped up in the last at 2/1 although he was at 5/2 before racing.

For the record, I had a couple of quid each on Go Native, Tartak and Millennium Royale, doubled Katchit with Quevega for £2 and had £10 on Quevega on its own. Result was a profit of £43 for the day. Which I like.

Steve will put his thoughts up on his blog no doubt by tomorrow morning. I am sure he will be waxing lyrical about Ashley Brook - his favourite horse - and how even now it could overcome Master Minded to win the Champion Chase. Except it can't. MM will storm it. That's why the second best horse in the race - Voy por Ustedes - isn't even running and will go for the Ryanair chase on Thursday instead.

My tips:

1.30 - Forest Leaves at about 8/1
2.05 - Mikael D’Haguenet at 7/2
2.40 - Gone to Lunch (who I photographed for the Racing Post a few months ago) at 13/2
3.20 - don't bother having a bet. Just watch Master Minded romp clear at the shortest odds this side of Christmas
4.00 - Ambobo at 12/1
4.40 - Nothing stands out, but Ski Sunday might be worth each way at 20/1
5.15 - Whatever you bet on, it'll be an Irish winner, so why not Shinrock Paddy at 14/1

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