Cheltenham Festival 2012 

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cheltenham festival / 2012 news /

By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Byrne Group Plate Could Suit Fine Parchment

The Byrne Group Plate has been won in recent years by horses aged 6 and 11, and by horses carrying 10 stone and 11st 7lb. Nothing much so far trend wise but it is worth noting that horses carrying 10st 9 lb or less have won 8 of the last 10 renewals. The SP brings something to the party with all of the last 10 winners being 12/1 or more and the average being just shy of 25/1.

Fine Parchment
© Racehorse Photos

Fine Parchment
So, a lightly weighted horse that is not amongst the market leaders fits the bill and now we know the final entries, the picture becomes a little clearer.

One who could be interesting is Fine Parchment. The wiki data highlights the fact that this 9-y-o won a handicap over this course and distance in December 2010 by no less than 9-lengths and that is a useful pointer. In addition, he has come to form the last two years in March and hasn't had too hard a season. Conditions should suit and the current 33/1 looks tempting.

The idea that previous festival form is a positive pointer makes it’s way onto every festival wiki, blog, preview etc and quite right that it should. Last year, Divers was a festival winner for Ferdy Murphy and the horse will again be bought to his peak for the big day. A recent spin over hurdles told us nothing but that is the trainer’s style and Divers is likely to be amongst the better fancied, even though his handicap mark is now quite high.

David Pipe had a whole list of credible entries for this and Pond House have won this race twice in the last 10-years. Guessing which ones will line up where is not always easy but should Salut Flo go to post, there are definite reasons for adding him to the portfolio. Looks just the type to win a top class handicap, having shown enormous promise in three runs since arriving from France and the 7-y-o is likely to be far enough from the top of the weights to ensure a nice racing weight. Has the look of one who has been protected mark-wise and attracted some media attention at the Pond House press day recently.

Recommendation: Fine Parchment @ 33/1
(Divers @ 16/1 already advised)


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