STAKED £245 RETURNED £248.32
The £million Lucky 15
CHAMPION CHASE: ROUGE VIF 20/1 - The rain that fell last night in the Cheltenham area won't have been welcomed by connections of the Good ground loving Rouge Vif but weather conditions are forecast to be dry and windy for the start of the week at least which gives us every hope the ground will dry out before the Champion Chase on Wednesday. To show just how important the ground is to this horse simply look at his race record on Good or Good to Soft ground - 2121111 which includes a 7 length defeat of Nube Negra in a Grade 2 last February and an easy 7 length romp in a course and distance handicap at the start of this Season off 11-07. If he gets his ground on Wednesday he looks sure to be a major player.
CORAL CUP: JANIKA 33/1 - Nicky Henderson has a cracking record in the Coral Cup with 4 winners in the last decade alone. He's won it with horses of varying ages, of differing campaigns and ranging in price from 5/1 favourite to 28/1 outsider. The selection is a decent chaser who was rated 166 at his best and has a second place finish at the Cheltenham Festival to his name. He's rated just 145 over hurdles which definitely looks exploitable and I think this race has been the plan all season. He was fancied when running off top weight on his sole start this term but was never really in it before weakening from the last flight in a Grade 3 handicap at Ascot. Back to Cheltenham in a race the trainer does very well in I just have a feeling we'll see a much better performance this time around. PLACED
RYANAIR: FANION DESTRUVAL 40/1 - I'm really struggling to see how this one is the outsider of the entire field for the RyanAir after he has finished a fairly close up 4th in both the 2m1f Grade 1 Clarence House and the 2m Grade 2 Game Spirit on his last two runs having been outpaced around the fourth last. Both times though he stayed on late and was doing all his best work in the closing stages looking like he was sure to appreciate a step back up in trip. He was noted going nicely when falling at the third last in the re-arranged Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, that went to Mister Fisher (8/1 for the RyanAir), over 2m4f at this track last December and if he can reproduce that run he's no 40/1 shot. The only problem I can see is that he also holds an entry in the Plate Handicap and Venetia Williams may opt to run him there instead.
ALBERT BARTLETT: VANILLIER 25/1 - Of all the Grade 1's due to be run this week, this one looks the most likely to provide a shock result and although Vanillier didn't run too well at the Dublin Racing Festival he had looked a progressive staying novice leading up to the race. Like a lot of other stables at the meeting the Cromwell yard was woefully out of form at the time (1 from 28 through February) and having raced out the back for most of the race Vanillier got himself detached before making a token late effort in the last couple of furlongs. He's better than that run and, on official ratings he's actually joint second highest in the race, so is over priced for this if we are able to overlook that last run. WINNER
£1EW Lucky 15 RETURNED £110.20
(Odds shown are with William Hill and are correct as of 11am 15/3/21)
14th MARCH - Gary's '4 for Cheltenham' Lucky 15
AVAILABLE FOR SUNDAY ONLY - POST TAKEN DOWN AT MIDNIGHT SUNDAY
Any long time reader will know that my brother Gary's 4 for Cheltenham can usually be relied upon to provide at least one decent priced winner (see below). His record over the last 12 years or so is spectacular with his best ever result coming at the Festival he gave a 33/1 winner and two 33/1 places in the same Lucky 15!
Previous Winners include OISEAU DE NUIT 40/1, CAPE TRIBULATION 33/1, NEXT SENSATION 16/1, PIGEON ISLAND 40/1, A NEW STORY 40/1, CHIEF DAN GEORGE 40/1, WICKLOW BRAVE 33/1 plus KUMBUSHWAR 2nd at 33/1, A NEW STORY 3rd at 33/1, ATTAGLANCE 25/1 2nd, TOBEFAIR 66/1 2nd and WICKLOW BRAVE 33/1 2nd.
£1EW Lucky 15 RETURNED £2
(Odds shown are with PaddyPower (NRNB) and are correct as of 5pm 13/3/21)
7th MARCH - 'Special Guest Poster' Lucky 15
I'm delighted to introduce a Special Guest for today's multiple bet. Top Twitter Tipper, Dean from SimplyHorseTips, who, much like me, loves his Stats and Trends has generously shared his Top 4 horses for Cheltenham with us (below).
Yesterday on his Saturday Blog Post he covered the 9 races on ITV Racing and managed a magnificent 5 winners (at odds of 11/2, 2/1, 9/2, 5/2 & 13/2) with 3 seconds and a loser. That's top tipping in anyone's book!
He's also produced a comprehensive Stats Guide for the Cheltenham Festival which costs just £5 with the added bonus that half of every sale will go to children's charity https://www.acorns.org.uk/
A top tipper AND a top bloke, I really hope you are able to support him and this worthwhile charity. (I've bought a copy myself and also placed a 25p EW Lucky 15 on Dean's 4 selections with all profits going to the charity)...
Full details here https://simplyhorsetips.wordpress.com/cheltenham-2021/
BOODLES HANDICAP: DRUIDS ALTAR 14/1 - Has shown steady progress throughout the season, winning a novice hurdle at Naas when last seen, readily brushing off his challengers. The winner of that race has gone on to win this race for the last two years and Joseph O'Brien's runner doesn't yet look to have reached his peak so should have an excellent chance of extending that trend to three.
TRIUMPH HURDLE: ADAGIO 10/1 - An extremely competitive renewal however I am happy to forego the market leaders with Adagio who has won three from four this season, including a very taking performance in the Grade 1 Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in January. He looks not only to have improved for each run but also that he still has more to offer so rates as a solid each way option at current prices. PLACED
HUNTERS CHASE: BOB AND CO 5/1 - Won over this trip under a hands an heels ride at Fontwell twelve months ago, re-taking the lead after being headed a couple from home, and beat the re-opposing Wishing And Hoping in impressive fashion by seventeen lengths on his return in February. Likely favourite Billaway looks stretched over this trip so I am happy to stick with the Paul Nicholls runner.
MARES CHASE: ELIMAY 7/4 - Arrives here in excellent form having chased home Allaho at Thurles in January and followed up with a commanding victory over Shattered Love and stablemate Yukon Lil at Naas in February. She is proven over the trip and has winning form on good, yielding and soft ground so looks to have all the attributes needed for victory. PLACED
£1EW Lucky 15 RETURNED 8.40
(Odds shown are with PaddyPower (NRNB) and are correct as of 11am 7/3/21)
28th FEBRUARY - The BIG 5
For the third Multiple Bet I'm taking a look at the 5 Grade 1 Championship Races
CHAMPION HURDLE: SILVER STREAK 12/1 - I'm a big, big fan of Silver Streak and I've been banging on about him winning a good ground Champion Hurdle for the last few Seasons. The ground really is key to him as his form figures on good / good to soft going show 114121122211C1 and now includes his first Grade 1 win thanks to a Christmas Hurdle win over Epatante. The recent weather has raised the possibility of better ground at this year's Cheltenham Festival and that definitely brings him into calculations.
CHAMPION CHASE: PUT THE KETTLE ON 12/1 - Last year's Arkle winner began her season brightly with a win in the Schloer Chase back in November but came up short against Chacun Pour Soi next time out. She kept on well that day without quite matching the front two but is unbeaten in her three runs at Cheltenham and connections may just fancy their chances of reversing the form up the Cheltenham hill. Arkle winners coming back the following year for the Champion Chase have a cracking record (1121211271)and I give her a great chance of making the places at the very least. The one small niggle I have is that she may end up running in the easier, newly added Mares Chase, but with the PaddyPower NRNB concession we're covered should she take up her other engagement. WON
RYANAIR: FAKIR D'OUDARIES 8/1 - Last year's Arkle second Fakir D'oudaries did best of those left trailing in the wake of Chacun Pour Soi at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out and was just 8 lengths adrift at the line. He had pulled up in the Savills Chase when trying 3 miles for the first time at Christmas looking like a non stayer but found the 2m trip a little short when staying on well into the runners up spot at the DRF. The 2m5f of the RyanAir would look the perfect compromise and with a Cheltenham record of 142 he has all the attributes to go close. PLACED
STAYERS HURDLE: PAISLEY PARK 3/1 - Like a lot of racing fans I love Paisley Park and it was uncomfortable viewing to see him labour home in last years Stayers Hurdle but he seems back to his very best this year and I have every faith that we'll see him regain his Stayers crown this March. New kid on the block Thyme Hill took full advantage of the 3lb he received in Newbury's Long Distance Hurdle to beat him a length and a half but was unable to confirm the form in Ascot's Long Walk off level weights. Having done so well to overcome the traffic problems that day, and find a turbo finish in the ground, I think Paisley Park is still the one they all have to beat and the young pretenders will have to wait at least another year before taking his crown. PLACED
GOLD CUP: ROYAL PAGAILLE 8/1 - I'm hoping Venetia Williams' lets Royal Pagaille take his chance in the Gold Cup instead of any of the other 'easier' options he has as I've been very impressed with him this Season. He's shot up the ratings after three incredibly impressive wins in three runs, one in a novice chase and two in handicap company. His last win came in the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Handicap at Haydock where he cruised home by 16 lengths although the race did fall apart when a few of the fancied horses came down as the race was getting serious. You can only beat what's in front of you and Royal Pagaille did that with the utmost of ease and is now rated 166 having begun the season on 135. That's good enough to be a serious Gold Cup contender and with more improvement to come I'm sure he'll run a massive race.
£1EW Lucky 31 RETURNED £51.18
(Odds shown are with PaddyPower (NRNB) and are correct as of 11am 28/2/21)
21st FEBRUARY - 6 of the Best bets for Cheltenham
For the second multiple bet I've picked 6 fancied horses at Cheltenham to make up a win Lucky 63....
APPRECIATE IT 6/4 (Supreme Novices) - Runner up as favourite in last years Champion Bumper he's a perfect 3 from 3 over hurdles this season and has won his last two races both in Grade 1 company. He stayed on strongly to land the odds from Ballyadam last time out at the DRF and it's hard to find a runner in the Supreme Novices that can match his level of form. WON
ENERGUMENE 9/4 (Arkle) - It's billed as a Shishkin vs Energumene head to head with the former a shade of odds on to beat his Irish counter part but I think Willie Mullins horse has been the more impressive and has achieved more in his three wins than the Henderson horse. Shishkin has won his three races at 1/6, 1/3 and 1/7 and the highest rated horse he's beat was rated 151 (Gumball!). While others were throwing superlatives around as Shishkin thrashed 149 rated Eldorado Allen in a weak Grade 2 I wasn't quite as impressed as he jumped right and had to be shaken up on a couple of occasions to quicken away from a rival who hasn't improved since his lucky Grade 2 win at Cheltenham. Energumene on the other hand beat a Grade 1 winning stablemate in a solid Grade 1 race at the DRF and looked to have even more in hand. NR
CHACUN POUR SOI 4/6 (Champion Chase) - As one by one of the fancied Champion Chase runners fall by the wayside Chacun Pour Soi continues his rise up the ratings with performances out of the top draw. His last two wins at Leopardstown at Christmas and the DRF were of the highest order and, bar a late injury scare, it's difficult to see where the main challenge now comes from.
MONKFISH 8/11 (Browns Advisory Chase) - Monkfish was a very game winner of the Albert Bartlett from Latest Exhibition last year and is an unbeaten 3 from 3 over fences this Season including easily beating that rival again in Grade 1 chases on their last two starts. Both of those races are big pointers to the Festival Chase and with a bomb proof trends profile Monkfish looks a very worthy favourite. WON
KILCRUIT 13/8 (Champion Bumper) - The easiest winner I've seen this Season and despite his critics saying the race at the DRF fell apart allowing him an easy victory he still beat the same rivals Sir Gerhard has beaten but by much bigger margins. With Eileendover looking more and more likely to miss the race he's the one they have to beat. ENVOI ALLEN 4/5 (Marsh Novice Chase) - Envoi Allen is unbeaten in 11 races, won the Champion Bumper in 2019 and the Ballymore Novice Hurdle in 2020 and has won all three of his chase starts including the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase last November. On his last start he gave 11lb to all his rivals and came home an easy winner in a Grade 3 chase at Punchestown and it's easy to see why he's such a short priced favourite.
£1 Lucky 63 - RETURNED £18.09
(Odds shown are with PaddyPower (NRNB) and are correct as of 9am 21/2/21)
14th FEBRUARY - My best 4 bets for Cheltenham
I'm going to start the multiple bets weekly feature with a Lucky 15 containing my best (currently) four bets for Cheltenham...
BOB OLINGER 4/1 (Ballymore Hurdle) - He got beat on his hurdles debut by last years Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow but learnt from the experience to win next time out before scoring easily in a Grade 1 last time out at Naas. That race has been a good pointer to the Ballymore over the years and the horse he beat that day Blue Lord has since run a staying on third to Supreme Novices favourite Appreciate It over an inadequate 2 miles. That gives the form a nice look to it and I fancy the 6yo to win a Ballymore lacking a real star performer this year. WON
EILEENDOVER 6/1 (Champion Bumper) - I was very impressed with Kilcruit last weekend but Eileendover has been just as impressive in her three starts and as a 4yo filly will get a vey healthy age and sex allowance should she go to Cheltenham. The form of her last win in a Listed mares NH Flat race at Market Rasen received a massive boost when the third Grangee won the other Grade 2 Flat race (mares only) at last weekend's Dublin Racing Festival. Unfortunately, there are doubts about her participation so it would be important to back here with a NRNB concession. NR
MONKFISH 8/11 (Brown Advisory Novices Chase) - Willie Mullins has plenty of well fancied runners at the Cheltenham Festival and one of his strongest chances to my eye has to be Monkfish. I backed a couple of other horses each way for the Festival Chase before Christmas but after seeing the manner in which Monkfish has won his last two races I think they are now playing for place money only. Monkfish was a very game winner of the Albert Bartlett last year from Latest Exhibition and is an unbeaten 3 from 3 over fences this Season including easily beating that rival again in Grade 1 chases on their last two starts. Both of those races are big pointers to the Festival Chase and with a bomb proof trends profile Monkfish looks a very worthy favourite. WON
PAISLEY PARK 3/1 (Stayers Hurdle) - Like a lot of racing fans I love Paisley Park and it was uncomfortable viewing to see him labour home in last years Stayers Hurdle but he seems back to his very best this year and I have every faith that we'll see him regain his Stayers crown this March. New kid on the block Thyme Hill took full advantage of the 3lb he received in Newbury's Long Distance Hurdle to beat him a length and a half but was unable to confirm the form in Ascot's Long Walk off level weights. Having done so well to overcome the traffic problems that day, and find a turbo finish in the ground, I think Paisley Park is still the one they all have to beat and the young pretenders will have to wait at least another year before taking his crown.
£2 Lucky 15 - RETURNED £63.45
(Odds shown are with PaddyPower (NRNB) and are correct as of 9am 14/2/21)