Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

I've just returned from Wednesday's meeting (having considerably less money in my pockets than I started the day with) so just a brief note for tomorrow's Ladies' Day event. The highlight is the World Hurdle due off at 3.20. Talking through this race with fellow racegoers earlier in the bars, I, along with most people it would seem, can't see Kasbah Bliss being beaten. Second in this race last year, he won the Blue Square Hurdle at Haydock in impressive fashion when it was generally accepted the horse wasn't fully wound up. If you're brave enough to oppose, you'll need to look at both Punchestowns and Big Buck's. On official handicap ratings Punchestowns has two pounds in hand over Big Buck's. The market takes the view that Punchestowns can reverse Cleeve Hurdle form with Big Buck's as the going was particularly heavy that day. Paul Nicholls in his Teletext column this evening is quite bullish about Big Buck's though, saying the horse won't mind better ground - my reading of the comments is that the trainer thinks he can confirm placings with Punchestowns. He certainly isn't a straightforward ride; when winning last time, to me there looked more in the tank. Fair Along is entitled to run a nice race at a price as well, but Kasbah Bliss has to be the selection.
Many will see Voy Por Ustedes as banker material as well. I'm not so sure and, as I haven't had time to do the work on the race, I'm going to abstain. I'll blog my impressions on today's racing over the weekend, when my aching bones have had time to recuperate...

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The money came for Kasbah Bliss who was sent off 10/11 favourite but there was no happy ending for favourite backers as the day's banker struggled to keep tabs on Punchestowns (100/30) and Big Buck's (6/1) after the second last flight. Punchestowns had first run up the hill but Big Buck's took over on the run-in despite making a mistake at the last. Paul Nicholls was confident last night and he has been proven correct. Punchestowns was second with Power Station (25/1) staying on to beat the weakening Kasbah Bliss for third.
Those who abstained from taking a short price about Voy Por Ustedes (4/5f) will be pleased they did so as the odds-on chance made a mistake four out that effectively lost him the race; at the line he was two lengths behind second favourite Imperial Commander (6/1).
Two odds-on shots turned over - a day for the bookies in contrast to yesterday which was a day for (some) punters.