Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Sunday 16th November 2014

Racing UK

Robin can be King of Punchestown

Hoards of happy punters lined the bars at Cheltenham well after the last race on Saturday; ice buckets cooling celebratory champagne were in full view as every ledge was occupied. 

Bookmakers reported Saturday’s turnover ‘better’ than Friday and ‘better’ than average.  Queues into the rails bookmakers were 20, even 30, deep and as soon as the previous race was over eager punters fought to get on their next investment. 

I felt like a ball bearing in a pinball machine, buffeted the whole day in a frenetic betting ring. 

It was wonderful and many of the layers likened the crowd to the Festival.  The actual attendance was a record 35,681 for the day.

The action was great and there are many horses to put in your NagMe accounts from the meeting.

Should David Pipe chose to run Katkeau next Saturday in the Betfair Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock the sponsors quoted 7-1 on their Sportsbook

He fought back well to defy the heavily supported Big Easy; to shorten a horse from 5-1 to 11-4 takes a fair quantity of money and remember Pricewise had picked the winner. 

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My heart goes out to Johns Spirit, who was far from willing to hand over his crown to Caid Du Berlais.  The pair had shrewdly tracked round on the outside trying to pick out the fresher ground. 

Present View was the horse to take out of the race, as his jumping was impeccable. Johns Spirit will hopefully be back in March for the Ryanair Chase.   

Fair play earlier on the card to Sam Winner for shouldering top weight and racing right into the Hennessy reckoning in the process.  No doubt see him at Newbury in a fortnight, but at this point its Fingal Bay and Many Clouds who are my go to horses.

Finally what a talented trio in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, roll on March. It was well worth going to the preview evening at Cheltenham on Thursday just to hear Richard Johnson talk about subsequent winner Golden Doyen; what a terrier Golden Doyen is. Hargam and Baraka De Thaix who followed him home are not bad, either.

It’s the hurdlers who are the focus of our attention for the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown and the Greatwood at Cheltenham. 

Despite all the focus on Hurricane Fly and Jezki, I would not rule out prolific winner Little King Robin. She goes for her sixth win in a row and eighth for the year. 

At Cheltenham the Greatwood Hurdle looks very difficult as I’ve toyed with quite a few for the past few days.

Baltimore Rock as David Pipe had a winner Saturday, Blue Heron as he beat Parlour Games latest and tough Roman Flight. I’ve finally plumped for Baradari as the ground is right and he ran well behind Sign Of A Victory. I also feel Raven’s Tower won’t be far away so he’ll be backed each-way.

Hopefully Fontwell will find its way on to the Cheltenham big screen as I want to cheer on Incentivise in the Southern National.  He stays forever, loves the ground and won the race two years ago.

Before all Sunday’s action the mince pies beckon once more and Golden Doyen’s win means I can have two! 

Tanya Stevenson’s Sunday tips:

1.50 Fontwell Park: Incentivise at 4-1 with Paddy Power

2.15 Punchestown: Little King Robin at 16-1 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes

3.15 Cheltenham: Baradari at 12-1 with Paddy Power

3.15 CheltenhamRaven’s Tower each-way at 66-1 with SkyBet

Tanya's big-race pointers:

3.15 Cheltenham - StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle:

Top weights to have won since 2000 are 2010 Menorah, 2006 Detroit City, 2003 Rigmarole, 2002 Rooster Booster.

Rooster Booster is the last horse to win the Greatwood Hurdle and go on to win the Champion Hurdle.

Since Rooster Booster completed the double the six horses who have since tried have all failed. 

Only two of the last ten favourites have won. 

Only one of the last ten winners of the Greatwood Hurdle had previously run at the Open Meeting.

Eight of the last ten winners came from the first five in the betting. 

Five of the last six winners had returned from at least six weeks off the course.

Only four winners since 1990 have been older than six.

The last eight winners had no more than one run prior to the Greatwood in the current season.

Only five winners since 1990 were returned a double figure price.

1.35 Cheltenham - Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle:

Eight of the last ten winners had won at least twice over hurdles.

Eight of the last ten winners had won on their most recent run.

Seven of the last ten winners went on to run at the Cheltenham Festival, six in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Only four winners in the last twenty years were priced 10-1 or bigger.

2.10 Cheltenham -  Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase:

Paul Nicholls has won the race nine times since 1995.

Ten favourites have obliged since 1998.

All of the last ten winners were no older than six.

Eight of the last ten winners went on to run at the Cheltenham Festival (Seven in the Arkle) all were beaten.

Since 1990 only one horse priced in double figures has won – Moon Over Miami 2007.

Eight of the last ten winners came from the top two in the market.

2.40 Cheltenham - Shloer Chase:

Dodging Bullets has won three of his six races at Cheltenham