So, another eventful (and unprofitable) weekend and time for a quick check on the betting (as much for my benefit as any readers who happen upon this post).
Betting movements are from initial preview (three prices are 7 February to last week and today 27 February / two prices are last week and today).
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Choice: Charli Parcs (6/1 -> 7/1 ->16/1)
He ran a shocker before falling when beaten, with the result that Barry Geraghty is out of Cheltenham (may return for Aintree/Punchestown). It’s remarkable to have seen him gingerly getting to his feet when he’d broken six ribs and suffered a “slightly collapsed” lung. The horse appears none the worse, other than the puncturing of his reputation. I’ve not yet given up on him.
One to watch: Bacardys (33/1 -> 14/1)
…appears to be going elsewhere (see below).
Choice: Altior (1/2 -> 1/3-1/4 ->1/3)
Ultima Handicap Chase
This race is full of horses I want to oppose. Champers On Ice 14/1 favourite and Holywell 16/1. Wow!
Choice: Petit Mouchoir (9/2 -> 4/1 ->11/2)
No reason to move away from the selection, notwithstanding the addition of Tombstone (14/1) and (possibly) Limini (13/2)
Initial Choice: Apples Jade (2/1 -> 11/4 -> 5/2)
This is one to beware of because of possible entries elsewhere. I’m sticking with Apples Jade for the moment.
One to watch: Lets Dance (11/1 -> 8/1 -> 16/1)
I’m very happy with the drift on this one.
National Hunt Chase
Close Brothers Novices Chase
Neptune Novices’ Hurdle
Choice: Finians Oscar (9/2 -> unchanged ->5/1)
Still my choice but Bacardys (8/1) is now featuring in this one and I might change my mind. Neon Wolf also needs to be considered.
Just putting this in as a reminder for a later post.
Choice: Might Bite (6/1 -> 7/2 ->100/30)
Still fine with the selection.
One to watch: Royal Vacation (20/1 -> 16/1 -> unchanged)
Might bite (sorry!) on this one before the impending rash of Cheltenham previews.
Choice: Douvan (4/11 -> 1/3 -> unchanged)
Can’t see an opponent who is likely to turn up let alone challenge.
Choice: Auvergnat (12/1 -> unchanged ->)
No changes here.
Coeur de Lion (one to watch in the Triumph at 33/1) is apparently being routed here (16/1). If confirmed, he’s the selection.
I’m unlikely to have a choice in this one until the day. As in previous years, I might well go for a big mover on the day (if it materialises).
JLT Novices’ Chase
Choice: Politologue (9/1 -> 8/1 -> unchanged)
Still opposed to the front three (Yorkhill, Top Notch and Disko).
One to watch: Frodon (25/1 -> 16/1 -> 20/1)…remains of interest to me.
The signs are that he might go to Aintree but no harm in a NRNB.
Barring any big news in the meantime I’ll have a bet on the day.
Choice: Un de Sceaux (5/2 -> 4/1)
Could be the value of the week.
One to watch: Uxizandre (7/1). Last week: “I’m still happy with this one as a place selection. Get on now because this race will cut up severely”.
No reason to change from the selections and advice to get on.
Choice: Unowhatimeanharry (13/8 ->11/8 -> unchanged)
One to watch: Footpad (33/1 -> unchanged -> unchanged)
Similarly, like the betting, unchanged.
Brown Advisory Plate
Too early. I think that we might see one suddenly emerge in this one. There are still lots of interesting entries.
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
This is a pain in the arse race because it messes up other options. If Let’s Dance (3/1) turns up here, she is the selection.
Another one to wait for and another with the top of the market full of horses I don’t fancy.
Choice: Defi du Seuil (3/1 -> 9/4) is the justified favourite.
Remarkably Charli Parcs has shortened today to 12/1 (albeit after a drift) but maybe I am not alone in my view that we should not give up hope. I still think that he’s more likely for the Supreme.
One to watch: Coeur de Lion (33/1 -> unchanged -> unchanged) …remains of interest for a place.
Choice: On The Fringe (6/4 -> unchanged)
Mon Parrain won well at the weekend but not my idea of a winner.
Too early but interested in Ivanovich Gorbatov at 20/1.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
No clear choice at this stage but interested in Augusta Kate at 10/1.
Choice: Cue Card (7/2 -> 3/1)
Is Thistlecrack fit? NO. What a lot of garbage on the exchanges over the last 24 hours. Skybet and Boylesports are offering 3/1 notwithstanding that, at 8.46 p.m. on Monday evening, Colin Tizzard says that the horse is “still out”. OK, there is apparently no heat in the leg, an update is due tomorrow, he’s made a late transition to chasing and this might be his only chance (ref. Coneygree) but this makes no sense. Conceivably, if the injury is not as bad as first thought, he might be fit for Aintree and/or Punchestown but the Gold Cup, no.
I’m sticking with Cue Card and agree with the market move. As I’ve said, Native River has had an excellent prep but Cue Card is proven at this level and would be a defending champion were it not for that most unfortunate fall.
I’m still hanging on to the hope of Bristol de Mai (25/1) running into a place.
Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle
Still too early but Battleford (10/1) is one to watch for this one.
We’ll be “exhausted” by the time we get to this one and I think I’ll wait for a while before taking a view.
Yet again, good luck!