day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

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day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby beaker1 » March 12th, 2013, 8:47 pm

John Oaksey National Hunt Chase

Not a strong trends race to kick off the day. I feel it is best to concentrate on the patterns since the race conditions changed notably in 2002. They have been tinkered with twice more since then but the main alterations came 11 years ago. Since then no winner has contested less than three chase starts which puts me off Buddy Bolero, Heathyard’s Flyer and Scampi Boy.

The strongest negative pattern over a longer period of time is that five and six-year-olds are a combined 1-64 since 1989 so on that basis I would struggle to ally myself to Emperor’s Choice.

On the positive trends, the fact that the last two winners contested a Grade 1 tells us what a good race this has become and Back In Focus stands out in this respect having won the same Grade 1 at Leopardstown over 3m at Christmas in which Chicago Grey was unplaced in two years ago before he won this prize. Tofino Bay also contested that race finishing fourth.

Four of the last six winners had run at Cheltenham earlier in the season. The only on this score this season is Highland Lodge who won at the December Meeting.

Short List
Back In Focus
Tofino Bay
Godsmejudge
Highland Lodge

Conclusion

Grade 1 form has come to the fore in the last two years so the Grade 1 winner BACK IN FOCUS is a worthy favourite and has to have a big chance of giving Willie Mullins his first winner in this race as trainer. The ground has also come in his favour and stamina is very much his strong suit. He had TOFINO BAY back in fourth in that Grade 1 but Dessie Hughes’ novice is experienced being a ten-year-old and has won the Troytown Handicap Chase and won a Grade 2 novice chase either side of those runs. I do like some handicap form for this race and then dropping back to taking on fellow novices so GODSMEJUDGE also appeals in that respect having only just been nailed on the line in the £50K Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick takingon experienced handicappers and he has won since and represents the Alan King yard that won this race in 2008. Being the only horse to run in a novice chase at Cheltenham earlier in the season then HIGHLAND LODGE makes the short list and he will like the ground as well as it was heavy when he beat Our Father by 22 lengths on that occasion.


Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

Very much a race for the leading fancies, 25 of the 27 winners started in the first five in the betting so we should really be concentrating on Pont Alexandre, The New One, Taquin Du Seuil, Rule The World and Chatterbox.

Unfortunately there are no fancies aged over six as there has been no winner since 1974 but it is very easy to strike off horses that failed to finish first or second last tine out as only one of the last 29 winners won with that profile so I would have to be against Minsk and Ubak.

Taquin Du Seuil won the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle in style but all 13 winners of that prize to run here have been beaten. On that basis he is no trends horse but it should be noted that six of those 13 winners did finish second or third here. Most Challow Hurdle are run on testing ground and the winner tends to get found out on better ground at the Festival but we should have Soft ground tomorrow so Taquin Du Seuil is more likely to have his conditions than most Challow winners so it wouldn’t surprise me if that stat is overturned this particular year. That said, he is an ex-Flat horse and this race normally goes the way of jumps-bred contenders (12 of the last 14) though ex-bumper horses would comfortably outnumber their ex-Flat rivals. Minsk would also come from the Flat.

Thirteen of the last 15 winners had been contesting pattern races so Chatterbox would be an unusual winner in this respect as would Ubak.

The Irish have fared well (this is their second best race at the Festival since the early 1970s) winning four of the seven runnings, two of which trained by Willie Mullins who is responsible for the Irish banker of the meeting, Pont Alexandre. Rule The World and Minsk also travel over and the former is interesting as his trainer has had a winner (First Lieutenant) and second (Venalmar) in this race in recent years and Rule The World is a half-brother to Venalmar who won the Slaney Hurdle as did Rule The World. Nigel Twiston-Davies, however, has also won this twice with Gaelstrom and Fundamentalist and he rates The New One in a different class to that pair over hurdles.

Five of the last 14 winners recorded a top-six finish in a Grade 1 bumper. The New One qualifies on that count having finished second in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper before he went on to beat My Tent or Yours into second in the Grade 2 Aintree Bumper at the Grand National Meeting.

Short List

Pont Alexandre
Rule The World
The New One

Conclusion
Of the top five in the betting (they usually dominate this race), Taquin Du Seuil has the Challow Hurdle winner stat to overcome and Chatterbox has not run in a pattern race so that leaves the other three as short list material. PONT ALEXANDRE will be heavily backed to give Willie Mullins a third win in this race in five years and the Navan Hurdle he won in December has been a good guide of late featuring two recent winners, and that would have been three had Oscars Well jumped the final flight okay in the Neptune two years ago. A good race in general for the Irish so RULE THE WORLD also makes appeal, especially hailing from a yard with a winner and close second in this race recently and he is a half-brother to the latter. THE NEW ONE has the bumper stat in his favour (finished in the top six in a Grade 1 bumper) and his yard also know what is required having trained two Neptune winners. The only real negative are doubts about the bug in the stable that have ruled out some of their runners this week.


RSA Chase

No Dynaste means we can’t take on the Feltham winner at a short price yet again this season but maybe we can take on the possible favourite in Boston Bob who, although having stats in his favour, he does only have two chase starts to his name and the last 13 RSA winners have had at least three and some very good horses have tried and failed. He is trained by Willie Mullins though who has three winners and two seconds in this race (and three others were going well when exiting late on) and he won the Dr P J Moriarty Chase (where I am reliably informed he didn’t look particularly fit so can be expected to improve plenty and for the step up to 3m), a race in which three of the last four RSA runners ran in so he has big positives too so it’s a tricky one. Mullins also runs Terminal who is not to be overlooked. Ruby Walsh prefers Unioniste though which has to be negative to his chances Other horses that have not run at least twice over fences are Goulanes (just one start over fences),

Another strong negative stat is that all but one of the last 25 winners finished first or second last time out which is against Real Milan (pulled up), Lord Windermere (3rd) and Lyreen Legend (4th). That said, the last named pair were right on the heels of the first two in the Dr P J Moriarty Chase and ran very well in the race’s best guide

French-breds have only won twice in the last 20 years which is a sticking point against the five-year-old Unioniste. The last five-year-old winner was also trained by Paul Nicholls (Star De Mohaison) and Unioniste won the same novice chase at Aintree as him back in November. He has also contested two of the same novice chases the same yard’s Denman won in his RSA-winning season. Unlike Star De Mohaison though, Unioniste receives just 2lbs unlike back in 2006 when five-years-old received 10lbs. Terminal, Houblon Des Obeaux and Goulanes will also be attempting to improve the record of French-bred.

Six-year-olds have struggled in this stamina test as only two have won since 1978 which is against Lyreen Legend, Terminal, Hadrian’s Approach and Houblon Des Obeaux but mark seven-year-olds up such as Lord Windermere, Vintage Star and Theatrical Star as they have won the last six runnings on the spin.

Only three winners in the last 20 years spent more than one season over hurdles which is against Houblon Des Obeaux only. The strongest trend of late is that the last ten winners had placed at worst in a Grade 1 or 2 race so this is not a contest for Real Milan, Theatrical Star or Unioniste.

Short List

VINTAGE STAR
(LORD WINDERMERE)
(HADRIAN’S APPROACH)

Conclusion

Only one horses survived the negative trends and they are big-priced outsiders so this could be interesting! That horse is VINTAGE STAR who has finished in the first two in all four chase starts but he falls short on pure form but strange things can happen in the RSA Chase and he handles soft ground well so who knows, he could sneak a place at massive odds if you fancy risking a few quid each-way. For the rest of the shortlist, it’s a case of going with what is unlucky not to qualify on just one count. That would be LORD WINDERMERE who only fails for not finishing first or second last time out but he was only beaten less than a length on that occasion by Boston Bob in the best trial and he is a seven-year-old like the last six winners. HADRIAN’S APPROACH gets the final berth. He only fails on age being a six-year-old but he was second in the Feltham (a race in which five horses to finish second, third or fourth went on to win here since 1980) including both of Nicky Henderson’s RSA Chase winners.


Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase

Think you might be able to guess who tops the trends-based shortlist here? It could be a case of just watch and admire.

Only one of the last 11 winners had not already a Grade 1 races. Ironically that was the horse that put up the highest rating in Master Minded. I suspect the Sprinter Sacre want to usurp that rating and can see them trying by win by as far as possible. And given his running style of letting him kick on when his jumping takes him to the front earlier than most Champion Chase, he may well put up a monster figure here. Non Grade 1 winners in the line up are Mail De Bierve, Sanctuaire and Wishfull Thinking who have all won Grade 2 races at best. So, it’s not actually a bad race; seven runners of which four have won Grade 1s and three have won Grade 2s as it looked like cutting up to lap of honour at one point.

The 2011 champion, Sizing Europe, would do well to win as an eleven-year-old in a normal year given that there has been only one winner older than ten since 1977 let alone a year when there is a horse like Sprinter Sacre in opposition. That said, that other eleven-year-old had a similar profile being Moscow Flyer who was also an Irish-trained former Arkle winner and former Champion Chase winner attempting to regain his crown after losing the previous season. For me, he has looked more comfortable travelling at 2m4f pace since beaten in this race last season though it should not be overlooked he is unbeaten in the last year and the Irish have won half of the runnings in the last decade.

The last ten winners had run in the calendar year which is against Tataniano. Of course he is also the rank outsider and this is no race to chance a longshot with only one of the last 31 winners starting bigger than 11/1 so this should be a match between Sprinter Sacre and Sizing Europe as it is around 16/1 bar the two. The big two have, of course, won at the Festival before like 18 of the last 28 winners which is something four of their rivals have yet to achieve. Sanctuaire won the Fred Winter when lobbed in off a handicap mark of just 127. Somersby has twice been placed (in the Supreme and Arkle) and Wishfull Thinking was second in the Jewson

Short List

Sprinter Sacre

Conclusion
Apologies that I can’t find an alternative at very short odds to SPRINTER SACRE but he is the only horse that doesn’t fail any of the negative trends and, to top it off, he won the best guide in the Tingle Creek (8 of the last 12 Champion Chase winners ran in that race) and won the Arkle like six winners since 1993 and all 13 to run the next season have been placed which is some going as more than otherwise would not have started favourite. Sizing Europe is the obvious horse to finish second on his overall form and Cheltenham record though I would temper that with the fact they will be all out trying to get Sprinter Sacre beaten whereas others in the race will be mindful of that and ridden to pick up the pieces and hopefully sneak into second as a result. Somersby is often the bridesmaid so appeals in this respect and he has twice placed at the meeting before, handles soft ground, stays further and his connections have said he will be ridden for second so maybe he is of interest in a market without the favourite. I expect Wishfull Thinking to be ridden the same way as he has one burst according to Richard Johnson after he finished late to win the Game Spirit Chase but he is such an in-and-out horse he is hard to predict. It will be interesting to see what happens up front, whether Sanctuaire will revert to front running tactics and, if so, will he and the supplemented Mail De Bierve suffer in a battle for early supremacy. Somersby or Wishfull Thinking without Sprinter Sacre makes some appeal if you, like most, don’t fancy the very short price about what looks an outstanding racehorse.


Coral Cup

All 19 runnings since this handicap was first run were rated no higher than 147 so that is a big statistical negative for the top five in the weights Any Given Day, Sadler’s Risk, Crack Away Jack, Fiveforthree and Medinas to overcome. Eleven of the last 12 winners carried no more than 11st 2lbs so that would statistically also count against Black Thunder, Bondage, Cash And Go and Meister Eckhart. The other notable negative pattern concerns age as horses aged 10+ are 0-23 since 1999 so that is a second stat against Fiveforthree.

The strongest recent positive pattern is that second-season hurdlers have won 6 of the last 8 runnings which brings in Sadler’s Risk, Medinas, Black Thunder, Bondage, Cash And Go, Meister Eckhart, Un Beau Matin, Loose Chips, Owega Star, Hollow Tree, Barbatos, Tour D’Argent, Big Easy, Urbain De Sivola and Ericht.

I also like the angle that as many as 10 of the last 12 winners had not won any more than one handicap hurdle. Clearly the less handicap wins, the lesser chance the Handicapper can get a grip on their true ability. That, or the horse just has trouble winning so therefore why would it be of interest anyway? That said 14 of the last 19 winners had won earlier in the season which is against the top four in the weights whi are already up against it on ratings stats as well as Black Thunder, Cash And Go, Meister Eckhart, Hollow Tree, Barbatos, Tour D’Argent, Big Easy, Timesawaistin, Wyse Hill Teabags and Orsippus.

I do like an freshness angle and only three horses in the last four years to finish in the first four had run more than three times earlier in the season.

Finally, respect the Irish. Seven wins in 19 years is some going for a handicap where they are outnumbered and their contenders this year are Fiveforthree, Bondage, Rattan, Un Beau Matin, Owega Star and Abbey Lane. J P McManus owns the novice, Pendra, and he has owned two winners and a second.

Short List

Un Beau Matin
Bondage
Owega Star
Urbain De Sivola
Ericht

Conclusion

Second-season hurdlers with less than one handicap hurdle win appeal as do the Irish and three fit the bill headed by UN BEAU MATIN for the Gordon Elliott yard that won this race two years ago in the same ownership. He has been running in Grade 2 races on his last two starts and running in a big field handicap can bring the best out in him. I wouldn’t knock his stable mate either BONDAGE who is also a second season hurdler plus also a course and distance winner and I like the lack of a run (115 days) as a number of winners have won this race off a longish absence to protect their handicap mark. OWEGA STAR is a third Irish-trained second-season hurdler that could go under the radar a little not being from a top yard. He was second to Un Beau Matin earlier in the season before also going down the pattern-race route and is interesting now dropped back to handicaps. URBAIN DE SIVOLA has only had one run in Britain since he was midfield in last season’s Triumph Hurdle as Nick Williams has been campaigning him in France and, going with the freshness angle, he has not run since the Ladbroke Hurdle and, from a personal perspective, I think he is interesting moving up to 2m5f. He has run over 2m4f once but that was in a Grade 1 in France two years ago. ERICHT completes the short list. Another second season hurdler (though he is officially a novice), Nicky Henderson’s charge was favourite for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper two years ago and is in grand form now winning his last two starts.


Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

The stat I like most is that seven of the eight winners were beaten on their first two starts over hurdles which always helps with a horse’s handicap mark. And especially when you then combine that with having run the minimum of three times to qualify (like 6 of the 8 winners) so then winning on their final start (like 5 of the 8 winners) becomes critical.

Ideally our selection will also have had a recent prep run as 7 of the last 8 winners ran in the last 25 days but it would be churlish to throw out a horse purely on that stat providing that last run wasn’t too far over that 3½ weeks.

French-breds/imports have won 5 of the 8 runnings. Some punters believe they get in too easily off their French marks though the official Handicapper would dispute that but you can’t ignore their record.

Regards the Irish challenge, it is interesting to note both of their winners were maidens over hurdles and their challenge this year comprises of Blood Cotil, Fatcatinthehat and Kalmann representing Willie Mullins plus South South West, Flazen Flare, Habesh and Ibsen so a decent turnout. Of those, Ibsen is a maiden.

The top rated horse on the Flat has a remarkable record winning three times and also supplying a runner-up.

Short List

SAPHIR DE RHEU
HABESH
MEGALYPOS
IBSEN
FATCATINTHEHAT

Conclusion
In short, I want to be looking at horses with three hurdle runs to their name that ideally were beaten on their first two hurdles starts but won last time out so SAPHIR DE RHEU tops the list as one of two qualifiers on all three scores. In fact he has an almost identical profile to Sanctuaire who bolted up in this race who also was beaten on his first two hurdles starts for the same yard having also been a French import and then also won last time out at the same course (Taunton). HABESH also fits the profile (three runs, beaten on the first two, winner of the last) at a much bigger price and is interesting as he hasn’t run over hurdles since September (to protect his mark?) but has had a couple of runs on the Flat. MEGALYPOS represents last season’s winning yard and is a French import like five of the eight winners so he has to come into the equation and Henderson was keen to protect his mark after a promising only run in this country when he would have been second in a Grade 1 but for being hampered. He has since had a wind operation so can be expected to build on that run. Both Irish-trained winners were maidens so IBSEN, who has finished second on all three starts, catches the eye more than their other contenders and squeezes in off bottom weight of the 24 runners like Tuesday’s JLT winner. He meets Fatcatinthehat and Flaxen Flare (was second to both) on more favourable terms here and makes each-way appeal. As the highest rated horse on the Flat has such a good record (three wins and a second in eight runnings) then FATCATINTHEHAT has to also make the short list having been rated as high as 92 on the level.


Weatherbys Champion Bumper

Another race with plenty of stats. The Irish lead the British 15-5 from less than 50% of the runners and with the best British hope, Empiracle, now a Non Runner, the Irish look mighty strong again so I will be principally concentrating on their nine-strong challenge.

Last-time-out winners have won 18 of the last 20 runnings so I can’t support Caledonia, Fasvcino Rustico, I’m Fraam Govan, Kayf Moss, Posiden Sea, Pure Science, The Clock Leary or The Liquidator. Eleven of those were unbeaten if you want to narrow it down though you would be showing a level-stakes loss if you backed them all down the years as they can be over-bet.

Five of the last 12 winners have not run this year. That is interesting as they would be readily outnumbered so that’s a tick for the likes of Drumlee, Fascino Rustico, Regal Encore and Union Dues.

I am against once-raced horses (unless trained by Willie Mullins) as only Cue Card has won for them outside of the Mullins winners. As for Mullins, he is the main man of course having won this seven times and he runs three this time in Union Dues, Briar Hill and Sizing Tennessee. Five of his seven winners were once-raced but four of his winners were when he brought over just one runner.

I prefer my bet to have won in a decent sized field as 16 of the 20 winners had won a bumper comprising at least 14 runners

Short List

UNION DUES
GOLANTILLA
LE VENT D’ANTAN
DRUMLEE
BLACKMAIL

Conclusion

An Irish-trained last-time-out winner preferably in the first six in the betting (14 of the 20 winners could be found in the top six in the betting of which six started second-favourite) that had ideally won a race comprising 14+ runners is what we want. UNION DUES fits the bill and, furthermore, he is trained by Willie Mullins gunning for his eighth win in the race so he is obvious short list material. GOLANTILLA also qualifies on all three counts and was bought for a king’s ransom after beating 13 rivals at Cork last time out. The third Irish horse to meet all three criteria is LE VENT D’ANTAN who also won a 14-runner bumper last time out and will be in the first half dozen in the betting and four-year-olds fare a lot better in this race now than they used to. DRUMLEE only won an 11-runner bumper and won’t be in the top six in the betting but he is an Irish-trained last-time-out winner and horses given a good break have a fine record here so his absence of 103 days can be viewed as a positive. BLACKMAIL completes the short list being an Irish-trained last-time-out winner who is likely to be in the first six in the betting. He hasn’t won a 14+ runner bumper but was super impressive last time out and before that was second in the same Leopardstown bumper as Champagne Fever last year (who went on to win this race) and has featured two other winners of this Grade 1 prize.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby suisse » March 13th, 2013, 8:58 am

Missed out on the betting yesterday.

Gone for three singles;

Un Beau Matin
SAPHIR DE RHEU
UNION DUES

and put all 3 into a Treble.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 9:49 am

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival will go ahead as planned after the track was declared fit to race.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse had planned to inspect the track at 8am but was able to give the meeting the go-ahead much earlier than planned.

Temperatures are reported to have fallen to -5C overnight but a warmer day than of late is expected.

Claisse and his team covered the track after racing finished on Tuesday and he reports the ground to be frost-free this morning.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 12:18 pm

A tricky day for making money I fear. I'm going for

1.30 Tofino Bay - Win
2.40 Lyreen Legend - Win
4.00 Fiveforthree (Dad's Daily tip) - Long odds (16/1 and being backed out) so Each/Way here
4.40 Saphir du Rheu - Win
5.15 Sizing Tennessee - (Dad's other Daily tip) - I generally hate Bumpers and he's never given me a placed horse in one, let along a winner, so would take with a large grain of salt. Odds about 16/1 so maybe a small win bet or e/w but wouldn't be going mad at all in this one cause anything could happen.

Will be delighted to see any return on these to be honest, has a feeling of a day when the bookies will strike back after getting creamed yesterday. But good luck to all.....
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 2:42 pm

Ahhh... f%~king gutted!!!! Thought Nina had it when that other one fell.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 3:15 pm

I always liked Twiston Davis both father and son so delighted for them.

Backed The New One at 4/1 as Channel 4 had sent Mick Fitzgerald to interview them. Added weight to Beaker1's tip.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 3:31 pm

Have LORD WINDERMERE to win. Channel 4 interviewed Davy Russell so using that to add to Beaker1 info.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby waterboy » March 13th, 2013, 3:35 pm

Had back in focus in the first to get the day off to a winning start. Thought my e/w in the second was going to come good but chatterbox fell back after the last bend and came home 4th.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 3:50 pm

Ah FFS!!! That's twice I've been caught on the home straight today. Thought Lyreen had run it perfect.

Well done Ian.....you git!!! :wink:

Out of the five races I've backed, won one and second in the rest. Where's the justice?? :(
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 4:17 pm

Barry Geraghty did not seem overly confident on the radio this morning so going for a long shot.

Sanctuair at 20/1 each way.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 4:20 pm

IanD wrote:Barry Geraghty did not seem overly confident on the radio this morning so going for a long shot.

Sanctuair at 20/1 each way.


Was half tempted to go on Sizing Europe for old times sake but still think SS will romp home, which he does.
Last edited by Donny B. on March 13th, 2013, 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 4:25 pm

IanD wrote:Barry Geraghty did not seem overly confident on the radio this morning



What does he know?
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 4:31 pm

IanD wrote:
IanD wrote:Barry Geraghty did not seem overly confident on the radio this morning



What does he know?


Ah it needed a lightning bolt to stop that yoke winning.

Hard luck on just missing out on the E/W bet with Sanctuaire. Although you've won enough today anyway.... :evil:

EDIT: Did it only pay on the top two?
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 4:54 pm

For the 16:00

I am sticking with the Twiston Davis's. Master of the Sea to win and Donny tip Fiveforthree to place.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby Donny B. » March 13th, 2013, 5:08 pm

IanD wrote:For the 16:00

I am sticking with the Twiston Davis's. Master of the Sea to win and Donny tip Fiveforthree to place.


Got that place anyway and I get a few bob back at last today. Shame he couldn't hold on, would have been a nice story after not running for two years.
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Re: day 2 cheltenham wednesday 13th march 2013

Postby IanD » March 13th, 2013, 5:14 pm

Donny B. wrote:Ahhh... f%~king gutted!!!! Thought Nina had it when that other one fell.


Nina gets a 7 day ban for use of the whip. Her day goes from bad to worse.
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