Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 15th November 2014

Racing UK

The sun is out but it can be a Grey day at Cheltenham

An eye-catcher from the Showcase Meeting in October for me was Chicago Grey and he can go well in the 1.50 at Cheltenham. Trainer Gordon Elliott is in form and the horse knows his way around as this will be his 13th run at Prestbury Park.  

The BetVictor Gold Cup is just too difficult, and Present View is the obvious choice so seeking a slice of each-way value I’m going to back Eastlake, but only tentatively.

The partnership of Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson racked up a 105-1 treble at Cheltenham on Friday, and at a preview evening at the course on Thursday, Richard Johnson was animated about Golden Doyen. The horse is worth keeping a close eye on at 3.35pm.

Nearly 20,000 attended Cheltenham on Friday and plenty more are expected for Paddy Power Gold Cup day. Among the banter I heard from the bookmakers as they packed away on Friday was the ability to afford a dessert with the main course.  They’ve had their starters today are you going to afford them second helpings?

Talking of sweet things, I treated myself to two mince pies after racing at Cheltenham and if you ever go to the course the hot drinks catering facility which also sells these said mince pies comes highly recommended. It is by the north entrance and the shopping village. No, I don’t have shares in it, although more of my money has been lost to cappuccinos than bookmakers.

Cheap Deal On Costly Tipping Service
Mathematician Betting Promo

Friday was a quiet day in the betting ring, although you won’t find many solemn layers. A good day was had by all as the bookmakers acclimatised to the differing surroundings due to Cheltenham’s £45million redevelopment. 

As I stood on Julie Williams’ pitch, two in Tattersalls, a couple of £300 bets went in at 4-6 on Balthazar King, the Cross Country winner, so nothing too harmful.  

Earlier in the day there were tell tale signs of differing liabilities with at Ladbrokes going 13-8 about Colour Squadron at one point while those around them were 15-8.  

A few people on the rails spotted how short Festive Affair had traded in-running for the Paddy Power Handicap - sadly that suggests he had been mistaken for Bold Henry. 

The low sun caused havoc before the third race of the day at 2.30pm, which doesn’t bode well for the Paddy Power Gold Cup that will be run at the same time. There is a hope it is overcast at that time 24 hours on. 

At the time of writing my Channel 4 colleague and pundit Graham Cunningham, a few desks away from me in the press room, was asking those sat around him for thoughts on eye-catchers from Friday’s racing.

For me it had to be Urban Hymn, who surely would have been much closer had they all jumped 15 fences rather than nine. Monetaire would be another for the NagMe account as the money was down, while Bold Henry has barely raced over fences and will improve a bundle. Blue Heron would be another. I know he did not run, but he defeated Parlour Games, the impressive Neptune winner, last time.  

Blue Heron runs in Sunday’s StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle.

Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tips:

1.50 Cheltenham: Chicago Grey at 10-1 with Paddy Power

3.35 Cheltenham: Golden Doyen at 9-4 with Paddy Power

Tanya Stevenson's pointers:

2.30 Cheltenham - Paddy Power Gold Cup:

Fifteen of the last 20 winners came from the first three in the betting

Since 1980 the only Irish winners of the Paddy Power Gold Cup are Bright Highway and Tranquil Sea

Seven of the last ten winners carried 10-13 or less to victory

Nine of the last ten were aged six or seven

The last horse aged nine or over to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup was Cyfor Malta in 2002

Only three horses aged 10 or over have won the Paddy Power Gold Cup since 1960

Eight of the last ten winners had run at the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival

2012 saw the first win in the race for Paul Nicholls from 27 attempts which included four seconds

Oscar Whisky has raced 12 times at Cheltenham, winning six, second twice, third once

Barry Geraghty has ridden Oscar Whisky 25 winning on him on 16 occasions

Johns Spirit has won three of his seven races at Cheltenham

1.50 Cheltenham - Murphy Group Handicap Chase:

Since 2000, 11 of the 14 winners carried 10-13 or less to victory

Eight of the last ten winners were priced at 8-1 or less

Tom George’s strike rate as of Tuesday 37%

Only one winner aged older than nine since 2000 – Sir Rembrandt 2007

3.00 Chelteham - Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Hurdle:

Only one winner has managed to carry more than 10-13 to victory in the last ten years

Seven of the last ten winners finished no worse than second on their most recent run

Nine of the last ten winners have been priced 10-1 or less

Nine favourites since 1990 have won

Only four horses since 1990 have been priced 10-1 or bigger

Nine of the last ten winners were aged five, six or seven

3.35 Cheltenham - JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial:

Eight of the last ten winners came from the first two in the betting

Eight of the last ten winners went on to run in the Triumph Hurdle in Katchit won this in 2005 and went on to win the 2006 Triumph 

Seven of the last ten winners had won on their most recent start

Eight of the last ten winners had run at least once prior in Britain or Ireland.

Nicky Henderson has won the race three times

Paul Nicholls has won the race four times

Five of the last ten winners were favourites