Friday, March 09, 2012

Dreaming of winners

The Festival is just around the corner and you just couldn't have dreamt it.

In the past week or so at least two commentators, ATR presenter Matt Chapman and former Raceform editor Bernie Ford, have composed a compelling case for the defence; that is the four defending champions, namely Hurricane Fly, Sizing Europe, Big Buck's and Long Run, successfully retaining their crowns.

And Cheltenham MD Edward Gillespie was forced to defend the first day's card with three favourites - Sprinter Sacre, Hurricane Fly and Quevega - looking likely to start at very cramped odds.

To put the top hat on it all, my wife has started to dream winners. Except she didn't have the good grace to tell me beforehand that she'd started. Mrs Tips woke this morning saying she had just dreamt that Sam Waley-Cohen had fallen off Long Run on the way to post - 'I knew it was him because of those ghastly colours.' Spooky.

Sensing the slightest hint of an opportunity, I enquired what had won the race. Clearly in that all-too-familiar Proustian penumbra between waking and sleeping, Mrs T. replied along the lines of 'something with the word "rum" in it.' Naturally I thought she was off on one again, as is her wont, as everyone knows none of the remaining Gold Cup entries contains any semblance of the word rum. So I thought no more of it until the result of this afternoon's 3.40 hunter chase at Leicester flashed up on screen. First past the post was Rumbury Grey, trained by one S Flook and ridden by amateur Mr R Jarrett claiming five, returned at odds of 14/1.

Makes you wonder why you bother, doesn't it?

Still, I am wondering whether to ask William Hill what odds they'll give me about Sam Waley-Cohen being thrown on the way to post for this year's Gold Cup. And I've started to question the hearing as well, which isn't what it once was - did she say 'rum' or did she say 'run'? The irony is I've been pretending I couldn't hear her properly for years... I've asked but she has no recollection whatsoever of our early morning conversation.

Anyway, here's an update on some of the Festival horses I'd previously indicated I was dreaming about. In the past horses I've dreamt about generally don't win.

Arkle - Cue Card is still on track but the defection of Peddlers Cross has taken something away. Cue Card is likely to race from the front and I'm put off by the stat that no horse has made all to win this in the past decade (and possibly to as far back as 1988?) Sprinter Sacre is a formidable-looking opponent.

Champion Hurdle - Oscars Well makes some each-way appeal, as does Overturn (25/1) who was well-touted at Haydock's Festival preview evening.

RSA Chase - Invictus has been declared a non-runner.

Champion bumper - The booking of Barry Geraghty to ride New Year's Eve catches the eye but both that one and Royal Guardsman are short enough in the market now. Yesterday Peter Bowen helpfully pointed out that Sir Johnson had Royal Guardsman seven and a half lengths behind at Aintree in October while conceding seven pounds. I've taken the hint and backed Sir Johnson at 20/1.

Gold Cup - Kauto Star delighted connections in a gallop after racing at Wincanton earlier today and is rated '95% certain' to line up; a final decision will be taken on Monday. The Giant Bolster comes with risks attached but 66/1 struck me as reasonable each-way value so I struck a small wager.

As always, more detailed postings on Festival races will be available nearer the time. In the meantime, I'm still living the dream...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'High' and 'Jinks' were also in the dream frame...but the thing is, it's no good having these dreams if no one puts any money on your horse for you!

BTW I never risk my own money...and having had a quick look at the horses I wouldn't risk yours either...for now!