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Cheltenham – Day 4 Live

by Josh Powell | March 19, 2010

It’s the final day of the 2010 Festival and what a contest we have to look forward to. Yes, the Foxhunters’ Chase … er … no actually it’s the Gold Cup and Kauto Star v Denman III – Citizens On Patrol.
 
Emotions are set to run high with such a clash, so today I’m going to be on the lookout for slow motion montages soundtracked by some sort of a ballady pop crap (think Leona Lewis) that tries to make you feel a little sad and nostalgic that it’s all coming to an end.
 
Sightings of Paddy enjoying the corporate hosptiality at Cheltenham: 0
Hell Of A Horse Moment Total: 1
Slow motion motages of Cheltenham with something wanky like Leona Lewis: 6 & 1/2
 
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5.30pm: It has been an emotional four days and for the bookmakers that emotion has mainly been delight. It’s been tough and at times immensely frustrating for the punter, but always entertaining and a superb endorsement for the sport of jumps racing.
 
I hope you enjoyed the racing and if I’m being optimistic I hope you enjoyed the strange mix of news and random insults that made up this blog.
 
5.20pm: Another winner for Nigel Twiston Davies, but not the one I plumped for. Paddy Brennan rallies Pigeon Island to a strong finish.
Grand Annual Chase Result
1st Pigeon Island 16/1
2nd French Opera
3rd Consigliere
4th Cornas
 
5.10pm: It’s the last race of the 2010 Festival and why would it be any different to the vast majority of races we’ve seen over the last four days? It’s the Grand Annual Chase and as is now tradition, there’s a decent collection of horses who’ll have decent hopes of winning this. Nigel Twiston Davies is the man of the day, so it’d be no surprise to see him sign off with another win with Tramantano who looks like value.
 
4.45pm: Yeah, I always said that McCririck fella is a good judge. On Borrowed Wings didn’t get going at all under BT O’Connell, but I don’t think there’s any need to slander the jockey – he would have needed to be on a borrowed horse to stand any chance of winning. Pause and Clause wins it for Emma Lavelle.
Martin Pipe Hurdle Result
1st Pause And Clause
2nd Radium
3rd Clova Island
4th Peveril
 
4.35pm: Next up it’s the race run in honour of Martin Pipe – the Martin Pipe Hurdle. They didn’t exactly extend themselves when they came up with a name for this one did they? I’m going for On Borrowed Wings ridden by a certain Mr. BT O’Connell just because I’d like him give John McCririck one in the eye.
 
4.28pm: If you don’t have Racing UK, you can always watch the long goodbye that is the last two races at Cheltenham on our Bet And Watch service. There is a slight condition that you need to place a €5/£5 bet on the race, but that’s not the worst condition you’ll have to fulfil.
 
4.20pm: It’s over to Racing UK where they’re replaying the most aesthetically unappealing race since the Na’vi . Are the Na’vi a race? Are they aliens? It was about the only option I could go for that wasn’t exceptionally racist.
 
4.15pm: They’ve saved the wankiest til last! Channel 4 bids farewell to the 2010 Festival with the mother and father of slow motion montages. It sounds like Buble or some other crooner that’s popular with the ladies and same sex couples.
 
4.11pm: Ted describes it as a Hell Of A Moment. It’s been slim pickings so it’s going to count.
 
4.08pm: Another one for Nigel Twiston Davies – not that he was watching because he was at the burger van getting a mid-afternoon snack. Baby Run leads from the front and and his son drives him over the line to win the Foxhunters’ Chase.
Foxhunters’ Chase Result
1st Baby Run 9/2
2nd Kilty Storm
3rd Reach For the Top
 
3.56pm: “I wanna sex you up” sings John McCririck in the betting ring. There’s some betting going on for the Foxhunters’ Chase and Nigel Twiston Davies has Baby Run in his corner to add the Hunters Gold Cup to the actual Gold Cup. “He could put a couple of easter eggs in those cups – the fatarse” says an unidentified voice on the Channel 4 team.
 
3.50pm: Wow! Real back-handed compliments for the winning trainer from Alistar on C4! “Yes, Nigel Twiston Davies might be a real tubster – very fat altogether – but he’s a good trainer. A good trainer who likes his food.” He didn’t say it quite so bluntly, but that was the message.
 
3.44pm: Kauto’s fine after his fall – at least physically. On the inside I reckon he’s really upset.
 
3.27pm: Imperial Commander gatecrashes the two horse race to win the Gold Cup! Kauto Star didn’t look comfortable from a long way out and Denman had nothing left to give over the last. Being on the Morning Line didn’t hurt Paddy Brennan’s chances.
Gold Cup Result
1st Imperial Commander 7/1
2nd Denman
3rd Mon Mome
 
3.20pm: The third installment begins!
 
3.10pm: Quality brown-nosing from one of the C4 team. “Thanks for briging them back for us to see,” whoever it was gushed to Paul Nicholls. Yeah Paul, thanks. What was it about the race with a £270,000 first prize that sealed the deal?
 
3.09pm: It’s the cast of Last Of The Summer Wine enjoying a day at the races. Err … no, it’s the owners of Denman and Kauto Star. Sorry, easy mistake to make.
 
2.50pm: Right, everyone’s been on about how great these races before the Gold Cup are, but basically they’ve been a spot of fluffing prior to the undoubted highlight of the week. Denman has come in for some support since this morning and now he’s 4/1. Kauto’s 4/5 and the connections of Cerium must have some sort of Wile E Coyote style plan to hamper everyone else in the race because he’s been trimmed to 250/1 from 500/1 earlier. Dynamite-powered rollerskates anyone?
 
2.46pm: Another upset as Berties Dream toughs it out to claim the Albert Bartlett Hurdle.
Albert Barlett Hurdle
1st Berties Dream 33/1
2nd Najaf
3rd Kennel Hill
 
2.20pm: “I’m going to tie you to bed because you love it, you tart,” says John McCririck looking ahead to the Albert Bartlett Hurdle. No sorry – that’s the Woods texts again. He says something or other about favourites and how they get on in the next race. Tell Massini has been the subject of sustained support all day and looks set to go off favourite at about the 7/2 mark, which is not a legally binding promise.
 
2.10pm: Ted Walsh gets another chance to do his proud father bit, but don’t let that overshadow the fact I finally got a winner!! Katie Walsh lands her second winner of the Festival on board Thousand Stars. On a side note, what happened to Bellvano who looked to be cruising coming up the hill and then looked virtually pulled up a few seconds later?
Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle Result
1st Thousand Stars
2nd Arcalis
3rd Dee Ee Williams
4th Zanir
Extra Place Bonus 5th Noble Prince
 
1.50pm: What’s the story with that white hat the woman on Channel 4 is wearing? She looks she’s the commander of an army of Little Chefs. Saucer of milk, Paddy Power Blog.
 
1.47pm: Sorry, I was reading the Tiger Woods texts while typing away. And that’s not innuendo.
 
1.44pm: “The most open race in nearly a century” is how Big Mac describes the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle. “I want to cover you in cream and slap you in the face you dirty little punter,” he adds.
 
1.35pm: The bravest of solo running efforts from Barizan, but in the end Barry Geragthy gets up to claim victory on board the classy looking Soldatino. What price was that Barry Geraghty fourfold again?
Triumph Hurdle Result
1st Soldatino 6/1
2nd Barizan
3rd Alaivan
SuperExtraBonusPlace and this will come in handy as he went off favourite 4th: Carlito Brigante
 
1.30pm: This is the most punctual Cheltenham I can remember. They’re off exactly on time once again.
 
1.20pm: Ten minutes to go for Day 4 gets underway. There’s been steady money for the favourite in the Triumph. Ruby’s ride, Advisor is on the drift, whilst of the outsiders, Barizan has had support and is in to 16/1 after being 28/1 earlier in the day.
 
1.10pm: Rob has started the second Cheltenham Katchphrase game of the day. My guess is “too many cooks in the toilet don’t wash their hands and therefore spoil the broth.”
 
12.54pm: Another Channel 4 segment from the jockeys’ room. If I see anything flopping down that’s not Robert Thorton’s blond locks, I’ll be very upset.
 
12.50pm: The Foxhunters Chase – My Two Cents
I won a lot of money backing Amicelli in this race a couple of years ago and just because the memories give me that warm feeling of backing winner that I haven’t experienced much this week, I’m going to go for him again. He’s in decent form, knows how to win around here and he’s good value in what looks to be a typically competitive Foxhunters.
 
12.40pm: If you’re the type of person who likes clicking on things to show support for something, the try our Kauto v Denman poll.
 
12.35pm: Back to Channel 4. There’s no music, but that’s a slow-mo montage in my book.
 
12.28pm: Barry Geraghty is one for the positive mental attitude. He’s got four rides today which he rates as: “a big chance”, “could have a big race”, “a chance” and “I’m hopeful”. The win fourfold is 7919/1 right now if you fancy it.
 
12.16pm: The Gold Cup – My Two Cents
After what we've seen down through the years, seeing Denman at 9/2 for a Gold Cup seems mental. Mental but at the same time tempting. It’s the Britney Spears of betting propositions. Kauto Star has the form and if all goes to plan it's his to lose, but for all the disappointment of his most recent performance, Denman was nothing short of stunning when winning the Hennessy Gold Cup last November. Then there's Tricky Trickster who looks like he's improving at a rate of knots. He would need to be an even more rapid improvement to actually win the Gold Cup, but getting into the frame for a place isn't out of the question. The heart says Kauto, the head says Kauto, but the investment banker in me says “what? Are you crazy? 9/2 for Denman – that’s got to be worth the risk.”
 
11.50am: A bit of an aside this one, but it will interest fans of both sport and smut – the Paddy Power staff basically. Some porn star – apparently ‘porn’ is Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal, who knew? – has released details of text message Tiger Woods sent to her. He’s a kinky rascal! “Hold you down while I choke you” and “you are my ***king whore” are just two of many examples. “Where do you want to be bitten?” is another. ‘Close to someone with the requisite first aid skills’ presumably was the answer.
 
11.43am: Phillip Hobbs gives Racing UK a few words about Oldrick who’s fancied for the County Hurdle. And for a change, those words aren’t all positive. Seriously this time. Hobbs says he concerned about turning him out so soon after running at Sandown last Saturday and worried he doesn’t like Cheltenham all that much. This is all far too factual for my liking so I’m also going to add that he announced plans to have a crack at Cheryl now that she’s back on the market.
 
11.40am: Albert Bartlett Hurdle – My Two Cents
Tell Massini – see below for further details.
See here for a dapper tweed jacket.
 
11.34am: Trainer Tom George, looking very tweedy, says that his horse, Tell Massini has no chance of winning the Albert Bartlett Hurdle and he only brought him to Cheltenham to get him off the sofa at home. None of that is true, except for the bit about him being (a) a trainer and (b) tweedy. He says he’s in great form, jumping well and all that etc. etc.
 
11.22am: And by ‘get better’, I mean I hope your health improves. I’m not having a go at your jockeyship skills. Phew! Nearly did a McCririck on that one.
 
11.20am: Sam Thomas is on. Not really random, but we’ll take it. He’s gone for Kauto to beat Denman. Get better soon Sam.
 
11.15am: It must have some night at Cheltenham yesterday. Random Racing UK interviews are a bit thin on the ground this morning. Where’s the “For some reason, I’m with Jack P. Shepherd who plays David Platt in Coronation Street. David … er … Jack, will you ever get back with Tina?” questions.
 
11.10am: Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle – My Two Cents
Throw enough crap at the wall and some of it will stick. I always wonder about the person who decided to put that adage to the test, but I’m sure it’s based in fact. Smelly fact. Pretty much every method I’ve employed for picking winners this week has been a disaster, but adopting the pooey mantra, I shall continue undaunted. Well, I’m daunted to be honest, but not daunted enough to stop. That leads me to the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle. I think Thousand Stars has a chance at least landing a place (we're paying 5 of them, BTW) for Wille Mullins. He’s got the more than capable Katie Walsh on board and the three pounds she takes off puts the horse towards the bottom of the handicap. It’s another wide open content, there’s a bit of value about this one.
 
10.50am: There’s a lot of facebook love for the Paddy Power sign. Laura Parsons left a comment to say:
Facebook
We won’t speculate on what type of work Laura does that requires an early morning drive home, but thanks for the praise nonetheless.
 
10.20am: Triumph Hurdle – My Two Cents
What a race to kick off the final day of the Festival. I’d like to see Puzzlemaster win just because his total prize money in his career to date is zero pounds and zero pence and if he doesn’t win, there’s every chance he’ll be appearing in a tube of Superglue near you sometime soon. He might have to accept his adhesive fate because he won’t win the Triumph. Lots of the horses have genuine chances but the course and distance win of Olofi makes him stand out for me. Plus I’m sure Paddy Brennan was praising him on the Morning Line earlier and a jockey would never be overly laudatory about a horse he's riding just for the sake of it would he?
 
10.10am: And the first game of Cheltenham Katchphrase on Day 4 is underway. There’s one square removed and I’m guessing “too many culinary professionals have an adverse effect on the broth.”
 
10am: Mick O’Toole has been on to express that rare mix of concern for someone else and complete self-interest to ask:
“Aidan, Where's Rob with the Catchphrase game today? Did he call in sick? Fecker said that he was going to feign a case of the scoots or something!”
Sick days are more of an early week thing for Rob – who doesn’t like a long weekend? I can confirm that he is in the building and is putting the finishing touches to Game 1 of Day 4.
 
9.54am: After featuring David Beckham and then later Sandra Bullock in previous editions of our Really Difficult Cheltenham Quiz, it looks like we haven’t jinxed anyone who’s featured in today’s edition. Although a couple of those babies don’t look very happy.
 
9.50am: Mark The Couch Winstanley of the Racing Post is a gentle flower, but thanks to the expert interviewing technique of Paddy Power, we’ve managed to coax a few words out of him. Here’s his Gold Cup tip.
 
9.44am: It’s random interview time on Racing UK and first up it’s Paul Nolan. Without the need for subtitles or excessive swearing, he tells us a lack of experience in handicaps is his main concern about Noble Prince in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle. Then he went on to say all the other boring stuff you’d expect him to say.
 
9.32am: Right, that makes it the 3rd and a half slo-mo montage in just about an hour. I think I’m going to spend most of the day counting montages.
 
9.25am: Oh Karne’s drunk and being quite rude on Will And Grace! Oh I’d love to stay on how this episode pans out in exactly the same way all every other one, but it’s over to Racing UK. The Morning Line team leave us with their bets of the day, but as htis is arguably the least interesting edition of the show ever, I drifted off and missed some of them. What I remember:
Jim: Carlito Brigante in the Triumph Hurdle
John (I think): Oldrick in the County Hurdle
Ted: For the second time this week, Ted’s tipping up Quel Esprit – this time in the Albert Barlett Novices’ Hurdle .Paddy Brennan: Tell Massini in the Albert Barlett Novices’ Hurdle (what a surprise, that’s his ride for the race!).
 
9.17am: It wasn’t slow motion, but it had a wanky soundtrack – Glee doing Don’t Stop Believing. I’m calling that a half.
 
9am: It was slow motion, it had horses, I don’t know what the music was – I’m counting it as a montage.
 
8.50am: “This one might win. But on the other hand, the other horse might win.” This has got to be the least conclusive Morning Line ever and that’s really saying something. In the absence of something solid, let’s turn to the people who are better than us in every way for guidance – celebrities.
Walking injury, Michael Owen is going for Denman (bear in mind, this is the guy who thought he could make it at Real Madrid). Jodie Kidd “fancies” Kauto Star – do you ever get the impression the upper classes like their horses a little too much? David Haye didn’t actually name a horse but pointed out it was like Ali v Frazier in boxing. Thanks David. Phil The Power Taylor is going for Denman.
 
8.36am: The horse racing public rally behind John McCririck:
Big Mac
 
8.31am: The going is good for Gold Cup day. It didn’t rain as much as they expected last night which was good for the racecourse, but not so good for the daffodils.
 
8.25am: Aw wow! We kick off the Morning Line with a slow motion montage! There was no Leona Lewis, but it made me feel a little sad, so I’m chalking it up in the count.
 
8.13am: Pat Farrell, our punter for Day 3 of our Pun v Punter competition has been on with some humble words after his victory.
“aiden looks like i kicked ass lol”
Yes indeed – ‘kicked ass’ is appropriate. Neither pun or pundit got it right in the Ryanair, but Jacques Kallis and Stevie G came good later in the day and that was good enough to beat our grand total of zero winning tips. Not to piss on your parade Pat, but you did tip up Juventus to win 2-1 – how did that one work out? Bitterness and sore-losing aside, well done Pat – you’ve won a €50 Free Bet for your efforts. Sian Maloney is the punter for Friday and you can have a look at what she’s tipped up for here.
 
8am: Festival weatherman Mick Fitzgerald says it rained a bit at Cheltenham overnight. Festival doctor, Mick Fitzgerald has also announced that Tony McCoy “feels fantastic” after a couple of bad falls yesterday. Bear in mind, fantastic for Iron Man McCoy is probably “crippled” to the rest of us.
 

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