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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - 15th March 2011

Well for all those who have been meticulously counting down the days, hours, minutes, it’s here, dawn broke over Cheltenham with much expectation amongst all those about to converge on the Cotswolds. Betfred and Paddy Power are the bookmakers to go to if you want a bet in the first. If Cue Card wins they give you your money back on win singles losing bets in the first, read the small print because as always there will be conditions.

It’s the sort of meeting you need Martin Lewis the financial expert who appears on GMTV to trawl through all the concessions and offers. Bookmakers have lifted the bar to entice you in.

From now on I will keep my mouth shut, poor Dougie Costello, I flagged him up as my one to watch only for him to break/incur a severe injury to his leg at Stratford yesterday, rotten luck and my heart goes out to him.

After having a brief good run of luck myself which including four out of five winners on Saturday March 5, things have started to go horribly wrong. Manele Bay pulled up, Pocket Aces pulled up, Current Climate pulled up, a despondent better half who owns various shares in all three and winners have been very hard to find which is not good entering the Morning of the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. Moral is very, very low in my camp and confidence doesn’t even register on the radar.

The bright sunshine and light breeze across Cheltenham made for a drying day yesterday, the taps were on yet it all seemed in vein as mother nature seems intent on keeping the ground nearer good than soft. As we have been watching all the contenders on heavy and soft, it is worth bearing in mind there could be some value to be had amongst the bigger priced runners. Nothing should be dismissed from calculations.

You can look and study form and races too much. To start the meeting off with a winning favourite courtesy of Cue Card would certainly liven the betting ring up. Philip Hobbs is a bit like me at present – can’t buy a winner so if the pair of us team up it all might change. In the first I’m going to go for Dunraven Storm he has good enough form and the beating of Recession Proof who is now without Dougie Costello and most of my press colleagues will be going for Cue Card and maybe Magen’s Star.

As I don’t really subscribe to any of the fanclubs of those at the top of the Arkle market I’m going for Rock Noir, I thought he was travelling well until two out at Sandown against Medermit and the shorter trip of two miles will help, as does AP’s record in the race.

Cheltenham’s 2.40, there’s nothing more than I’d love to see Chief Dan George defend his crown, however there are a few who seem well handicapped, Adams Island, Reve de Sivola will be in a combination forecast with my main selection for the race and day Great Endeavour.

On to the Champion Hurdle, I think there’s been enough said about Binocular so moving on and trying to find the value I think it is with Dunguib and Thousand Stars. With Overturn in the race Thousand Stars should be able to run without worry about what Hurricane Fly is up to. The hill is the unknown for Hurricane Fly whereas we know Thousand Stars relished it in the County Hurdle last year.

Without hesitation Maljimar in the Cross Country, no weight, stable in form, he has tackled these fences before and the course owes him one after Wichita Lineman, time to erase that memory! Pricewise has flagged him up and he is the mover of the day.

La Vecchia Scuola to chase home or even scare Quevega, tipping odds-on is not going to get me anywhere in the HWPA tipping comp. In the last I’ll watch for market moves, probably ending up going for Quantitativeeasing.

Good luck today may all your bets be winning ones.

Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

It is 17 days and 30 horses since Philip Hobbs last winner

It’s been seven years since the last winning favourite

13 of the last 15 winners won last time out

8 of the last ten winners were aged 5 or 6

9 of the last ten had won at least twice that season

Irish challengers have won seven of the last ten

Six of the last 8 winners have had either yellow or gold as part of their silks

Only one of Willie Mullins last twelve runners have won

The last 14 Nicky Henderson runners have all been beaten, but he has had three thirds and two seconds

Barry Geraghty’s last 7 rides all beaten

Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy

Only two winning favourites since 1992 despite that in the last ten years the starting price of the winner has been no bigger than 9-1

Only one front runner has made all since 1980

19 of the last 20 winners had finished first or second on all completed chase starts

21 of the 23 winners finished first or second last time out

30 five-year-olds have run since 1996, four winners, three seconds, three thirds

Only two winners older than seven in the last ten years

Since Azertyuiop won for Paul Nicholls in 2003 his ten subsequent runners have all been beaten, three were favourites

Since 1997 AP McCoy has had 12 rides in the Arkle, resulting in three winners, two seconds and a third

11 of the last 14 winners had white incorporated somewhere on his silks

Stewart Family Spinal Research H’cap Chase

Only two winning favourites since 1977

Since and including 1999 66 horses have tried to carry 11 stone or more, all have failed, but they have achieved four seconds, five thirds and four fourths.

Nine of the last ten winners had finished in the first three on their previous start

Horses aged 11 or older have failed to reach the frame from 34 runners since 1997

Since 2000 only two winners priced bigger than 8-1

Since 2000 only two winners aged ten or older

Six of the last eight winners won on their previous outing
Paul Carberry and Robert Thornton have both ridden the winner twice

Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

Since See You Then was successful in 1985, 78 five-year-olds have run in the Champion Hurdle only Katchit has won

23 of the last 27 Champion Hurdlers had won last time out
Eight of the last ten won last time out
All of the last ten finished in the first three last time out

14 of the last 18 Champion Hurdlers had won or finished second at the previous Festival

Only three winners older than 8 since 1951

Ireland have won six of the last ten runnings

Seven of the last ten winners of the Champion Hurdle had won previously at Cheltenham

Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

From 24 possible places Enda Bolger runners have filled eleven of them

Enda Bolger has trained three of the four winners, three seconds, two thirds and two fourths

Enda Bolger has won 14 of the 32 Cross Country Races at

JP McManus has owned four of the last six winners

Only one of the victors have had a starting price bigger than 4-1

Miss Nina Carberry has ridden three winners and a third

Horses aged younger than 8 are 1 from 72 over these fences at


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