Sunday, February 22, 2009

A few Festival fancies

The business section in Friday's Times reported decent results for bookmakers Ladbrokes. Apparently the average spend at their outlets is a meagre £8.40; that compares pretty well to the sort of bills I get lumbered with on an average trip to the shops. In order to save money, I'm thinking I should go to the bookies rather more often than the shops. Even when my selections fail to oblige (most of the time), I can console myself with the thought that I would have spent a hell of a lot more had I gone shopping.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you my current Festival thinking, just in case you wanted some suggestions should the opportunity arise for you to pop in to your local turf accountants and save yourself some money in the next two weeks. You know, next they'll be telling us our money is safer with a bookmaker than a bank, but we already knew that...

Tuesday March 10th
Arkle - not a race I'm particularly keen on. My two against the field at this stage are Kalahari King (10/1, prefers decent ground) and Forpadydeplasterer (12/1).
Champion Hurdle - Binocular looks different class and has a racecourse gallop booked at Kempton on Wednesday. Having said that, he offers no real value. Two each way shots against the favourite are last year's runner-up Osana (10/1) and current champion Katchit (14/1) provided a recent break from stable routine has re-kindled his interest - keep an eye out for updates from trainer Alan King.

Wednesday March 11th
Champion Chase - Master Minded looks set to start the shortest price we've seen at the Festival for many a long year. I'm looking for an each-way longshot; the best hint I've come across so far is Mark Winstanley's tip for Briareus (25/1) but other suggestions welcome.
RSA Chase - I prefer What A Friend (6/1) to Cooldine while Gone To Lunch (10/1) is not the best horse in the race but his jumping should stand him in good stead.

Thursday March 12th
World Hurdle - Kasbah Bliss offers no value. I wouldn't write off Punchestowns but think there's more to come from Big Buck's (6/1). Lough Derg (33/1) must have an each-way chance. [Connections indicate they're leaning towards a run in the Coral Cup on the Wednesday for which LD is priced up @ 25/1 with William Hill - 23.02.09.]

Friday March 13th
Two for the Triumph Hurdle - Starluck (13/2) and Walkon (5/1).
Gold Cup - I took 3/1 Kauto before Denman's return. The vibes from the Nicholls' stable suggest it's a race against time to get Denman ready so if I'm going to hedge I'll consider doing so with Neptune Collonges (6/1).

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