So to day three of this jamboree – I’d say the first half of the Cheltenham festival has been fair to middling from a punting perspective, but off the scale on an enjoyment and viewing front! And there’s still arguably the two most interesting days to come.
First up is the Jewson, and while Dynaste is very short, he seems unopposable to me. So it’s to the fiendishly difficult puzzle that is the Pertemps Final. All three at the head of the market can be opposed for various reasons and I like the chance of two Irish trained horses at bigger prices. They have a good record in this race, and it is Jetson and Stonemaster that I like.
They are closely matched on the Leopardstown qualifier run at Christmas time, a race that has been known to throw up the winner of this. Jessie Harrington was very sweet on the chances of Jetson for last year’s renewal but he failed to make the cut. There is no such worry this time around and he looks to be too big at 16/1 with Boylesports.
While his old foe Stonemaster has run two crackers at Cheltenham – in last year’s Coral Cup he was a staying on sixth, and then proved his stamina for 3m when a 9 length sixth behind Goulanes here in November. The blinkers are back on to sharpen him up and 3m on the drying ground here should be spot on. 33/1 is simply far too big.
The Ryanair is up next, and with the dead eight runners I can’t resist an each-way bet on Albertas Run at 14/1. He was second last year and won it the two years before, and clearly Jonjo O’Neill trains him for one day every year. Plus the ground is coming right for him and I can’t see him not being in the three. If things fall right then he must have a great chance of winning.
It’s on to a Big Bucks-less World Hurdle next and I’m very sweet on Get Me Out Of Here’s chances and hopefully for regular followers you are clutching a nice 20/1 ante-post each-way ticket.
The Byrne Group Plate looks another perplexing challenge, but it is with two seasoned campaigners who are very well handicapped on their best form that I will wade in with. Tartak ran a blinder at Newbury 12 days ago before his stamina just gave out. He has snuck in at the bottom and will go well at 25/1.
While Poquelin is as classy an animal as there is in this race, and his handicap mark has dropped considerably for running on unsuitably soft ground. This is the lowest mark he’s been able to race off since a brilliant second in the 2010 Ryanair. 28/1 is there if you look hard enough.
The third handicap on the card, the Kim Muir Chase, is no less challenging to unravel, but there is one horse that I like at the odds and that is Chartreux. Sent off favourite for the 2010 Pertemps when with David Pipe, he has looked a natural chaser for Tom George and with the excellent Jamie Codd booked, 20/1 is very tempting.
Lots to go at it seems and it is advisable to search for the best prices and each-way terms on all these bigger priced selections – perhaps sticking them in accumulators would be the way to go. Good luck!
Jetson – 16/1 (Boylesports)
Stonemaster – 33/1 (Bet365, Totesport, Betfred, Stan James)
Albertas Run – 14/1 (Boylesports, BetVictor, Coral, Hills)
Byrne Group Plate:
Tartak – 25/1 (generally)
Poquelin – 28/1 (Bet365)
Chartreux – 20/1 (Ladbrokes)