Good morning all!
Thanks to the lovely people at Paddy Power financing an all expenses paid trip to my desk, I’ll be bringing you all the latest news, views and random observations from Day 2 Cheltenham! Excellent tips, perceptive insight and witty comment on the day’s proceedings – we’lll have none of those, but we will hopefully hurt a few people’s feelings.
If you’ve no access to TV, radio or just don’t like mainstream media with all their ‘facts’ and ‘impartiality’ then this is the perfect way to keep up to date with all the goings on at the Festival. We’ll have cheap gags, competitions and occasionally some useful information – like the patented ‘Ted Walsh Hell Of A Horse Count’. If you, like me, think you’re ‘down with it’ enough to have a twitter account, you can follow me at @AidanWaffles_PP Please note that this invitation only extends to twitter and not real life.
(That’s a two, not eleven. Sadly)
6.50pm: That pretty much wraps it up for me today. It wasn’t as profitable a day as it had been shaping up to be after the first couple of days, but at least I got to resolve some deep-rooted feelings of anger towards Rupert Bear.
Come back tomorrow for therapeutic ranting mixed with ocassional pieces of useful Cheltenham information.
Good night and good luck.
6.08pm: There’s news coming through that all was not well with Time For Rupert after the RSA Chase. From @paulmstruthers via twitter:
Time For Rupert was reported to be coughing post-race. The trainer later reported that the TFR had scoped badly.
5.20pm: Phillip Hobbs pisses on the Irish parade by landing the Bumper and denying the raiders a clean sweep of Wednesday’s races. It’s a nightmare for my spell-checker as Cheltenian storms up the hill for the win.
1st Cheltenian 14/1
2nd Destroyer Deployed
4th Go All The Way
5.15pm: They’re away in the Bumper …
We’re paying 4 Places in the Champion Bumper. Ericht and Divine Rhaposdy have been trimmed and there’s lots of movement lower down the market.
4.45pm: It’s another one for the Irish. Good for the nation’s battered ego, not so good for the nation’s bookmakers. The well-backed What A Charm wins the Fred Winter with Kumbeshwar defying an alarming drift in the market to claim second.
1st What A Charm 9/1
4.40pm: The Fred Winter is underway …
4.30pm: Ten minutes to go before the Fred Winter Hurdle. After the day he’s had, it’s no surprise to see money for Gordon Elliott’s Plan A. He’s 4/1 after being 13/2 earlier. There’s been money for Tenor Nevernais, Paintball, What A Charm and Titan De Sarti – amongst others. Celtus is on the drift and Kumbeshwar is floating on a lilo somewhere in the Atlantic.
4.25pm: That’s quite a lot of shameless plugging so it’s time for some utter nonsense and so we turn to Tina ‘Queen of nonsense’ Crawford, who used the comments section to tell us a couple of top notch jokes. Here’s the first:
A man walks into a dentist’s office and says, “Excuse me, can you help me. I think I’m a moth.”
The dentist replied “You don’t need a dentist. You need a psychiatrist. His office is just down the hall”
“Yes, I know.” Says the man.
“So, why did you come in here?” asked the dentist.
“The light was on …”
Not as funny as me saying Master Minded would regain his Champion Chase title, but a good effort nonetheless.
4.21pm: I’ve been told by my
dark overlords wonderful managegment team here at Paddy Power to point out that you should probably have a bigger bet than £/€1 – why not make it a tenner? Or a hundred? Or a monkey (if that’s not already a hundred)? After all, we are supplying you with pictures and they can be pretty expensive. Those Van Gogh ones always seem to fetch a pretty penny. £/€1 is merely the minimum bet to quality for Bet And Watch. Not betting more than that is basically stealing.
They’re wrapping up the show on Channel 4 so it’s over to Racing UK. Or – if you don’t have Racing UK – why not have a £1/€1 bet and watch the last two races of the day on Paddy Power.
4.06pm: Another winner for Gordon Elliott and also Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud. He probably hasn’t been this happy since the last Aer Lingus strike. Carlito Brigante does easily claims the honours and probably reopens the old ‘British handicapper handicapping the Irish horses’ can of worms.
1st Carlito Brigante 16/1
4th Battle Group
4.01pm: Dantari is trying to set a ridiculous pace.
4pm: The Coral Cup begins …
Just a contractually obliged reminder that we’re paying 5 Places in the Coral Cup. It’s wide open so it’s the least we could do.
3.45pm: Best Accessory in the Best Dressed Woman competition? Unless it’s a James Bond mini-rocket cigarette, I don’t want to know.
3.42pm: Champion Bumper ‘Preview’
I’ve used inverted commas because on no level should this count as a preview.
I don’t have a clue who’ll win the Champion Bumper. Nor do I have an idea, suggestion, plan or proposal. I’m just putting that on the table – I have less of a clue than normal so you can appreciate how much knowledge that truly represents. I think going for the best name isn’t the worst of tactics for this race. There’s so much chicanery, bluffs and double bluffs it’s hard to know where you stand with any of the runners. I like the name Ericht, simply because it sounds a bit like ‘erect’ and I am that childish.
3.29pm: That performance deserves a ‘Hell of a Horse’ I’m counting it.
That’s 2 for the day – one of which may have actually happened.
3.27pm: Was that a ‘Hell of a Horse’ from Ted?? I wasn’t listening properly.
3.25pm: No wonder Henry de Bromhead was looking so smug earlier – you’d be smug if you knew your horse was about to do that. A great performance from Sizing Europe sees the Champion Chase change hands. Big Zeb runs well to finish second and Captain Cee Bee stays on for the place money.
1st Sizing Europe 10/1
2nd Big Zeb
3rd Captain Cee Bee
3.20pm: The Champion Chase is underway … good luck.
3.17pm: Still no winner in the latest game of Cheltenham Katchphrase. See if you can nip and win it before the Champion Chase starts.
3.14pm: (Kind of) an explantion for Time For Rupert’s run from the trainer via Cornelius Lysaght on Twitter:
Time For Rupert trainer Paul Webber says still inexperienced & way he stayed onto be 5th creditable; may go to Aintree; dignified
The big one of Ladies’ Day is almost upon us and the market has a famiiliar look to it. You can break it down into 3 categories – the likely winners, the hopefuls and one’s here just so the owners don’t have to pay for tickets. Big Zeb and Master Minded are battling it our for the favourite tag and behind them there are a few really talented horses capable of profiting if they don’t get it right. Sizing Europe and Somersby have drifted slightly, whilst Woolcombe Folly, Captain Cee Bee and Golden Silver have been trimmed.
2.58pm: Fred Winter Hurdle
Best of luck for picking a winner in the Fred Winter Hurdle.
There’s a lot of good young horses in this one and I could bore you with more detail, but no-one really deserves that. The tempting Plan A looks a little more tempting after Gordon Elliot’s success in the first, but the one I’ve picked out is Tenor Nivernais. Venetia Williams is normally good for a winner or two at the Festival and he looks like one of her better chances of doing the business. It’s a notoriously difficult race to predict, so good luck with whatever you decide to go for.
2.48pm: It wasn’t by choice as Time For Rupert disappoints. All is forgiven for Jessie Harrington as Bostons Angel stays on for a hard-fought win. Jessie’s Dream was pipped to the post and Wayward Prince came back to finish third after looking out of it coming up the hill.
1st Bostons Angel 16/1
2nd Jessies Dream
3rd Wayward Prince
2.43pm: Time For Rupert’s out the back – how much of it is by choice?
2.40pm: Away in the RSA Chase …
A quick look at the betting for the RSA Chase doesn’t tell us a whole lot we didn’t already know. Time For Rupert is easily the best backed horse of the race and should go off at around the 2/1 mark. Wayward Prince has been trimmed to 8/1 from 9/1 earlier and Mikael D’Haguenet has had a mini-trim from 8/1 to 15/2. On the drift are Wymott, Master Of The Hall and Quel Esprit – the latter rather alarmingly.
2.20pm: There’s another game of Cheltenham Katchphrase underway.
2.13pm: Victory is confirmed for First Lieutenant and Pricewise. He gets up on the line to deny Rock On Ruby. Oscars Well was looking good until losing his footing on landing at the last.
1st First Lieutenant 7/1
2nd Rock On Ruby
3rd So Young
2.11pm: It’s gone to a photo, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say First Lieutenant has won – which is probably what Rock On Ruby should have done.
2.05pm: They’re off in the Neptune Hurdle …
1.50pm: Right, there’s no rest for the jammy. The next race is only 15 minutes away and it’s time for a look at the market for the Neptune Novices Hurdle
The money has continued to flow for So Young and he’s now 2/1. Oscars Well has been clipped as well, but on the drift are Rock On Ruby, Minella Class and Megastar.
1.40pm: A win for the favourite and – more importantly – a win for my scatter-gun approach to tipping!! Chicago Grey takes the spoils and looks like he go another mile or so. He was given a lovely ride from Derek O’Connor and surely a Grand National tilt awaits in the future.
1st Chicago Grey 5/1F
3rd Be There In Five
1.30pm: They’re off in the National Hunt Chase as day 2 gets underway …
1.23pm: I’m pretty sure those ads are going to make me a lot less likely to visit Dubai.
1.15pm: Jon Francome and Nicky Henderson alone in a stable is just about weird enough to make me completely ignore it, so I’ll look ahead to the National Hunt Chase.
Chicago Grey and Some Target have both come in for support and have shortened up. Pearlysteps in to 12s from 16s and Captain Americo is now 18/1 from 25/1. On the drift are Beshabar, Arabella Boy and a couple of others that probably weren’t going to win anyway.
12.58pm: Ruby – now not wearing his silks for some reason – is being interviewed. He doesn’t say “You can go a stick those stirrups up your arse”.
12.41pm: Back to Channel 4 now we’re they’re talking fashion. It’s pretty dull. I’m hoping a drunken John Galliano will stumbe in at any minute to liven things up.
12.34pm: Coral Cup Preview
It’s a 24 runner handicap, so it’s about time for a shameless plug.
We’re paying 5 Places on the race and it’s badly needed. This contest is more open than a paternity test on the Jeremy Kyle Show. Lightning Strike has been well backed all morning, so immediately that commands attention. Tony Martin is very sweet on Tiger O’Toole in his Irish Daily Star column. The one I’ve been looking at is Pistolet Noir. Looking back at my bets for the day, that pretty much means I’m expecting Paul Nicholls to have the best day in the history of racing. I’m not – but I have plumped for a lot of his runners today.
Don’t pay too much attention to my tips – especially in this race. The main message I’m employed to get across is that we’re paying 5 Places in the Coral Cup. I hope I’ve delicately managed to [5 places with Paddy Power, 5 places with Paddy Power, 5 places with Paddy Power] achieve that.
12.15pm: Donn McLean is also worth a listen – both the one responsible for the smooth tones of American Pie and the one responsible for the useful insights into racing. On this ocassion, Racing UK are talking to racing’s Donn McLean and amongst several pearls of wisdom he offers is Raise The Beat in the Champion Bumper.
12.06pm: Tell me this doesn’t annoy you, even a little bit:
Listen to him – giving out to the two foxes just because they’re having the craic! What a geek.
11.59am: Those helpful people at @AskPaddyPower are running a competition today. I’ve thoughtfully cut and paste the details if you’re interested.
Today is ladies Day at #cheltfest Send us your pics to @AskPaddyPower via Twitpic and we’ll give a €25 bet to the best one later!
11.55am: Champion Chase Preview
I’ve already put my cards on the table to say Master Minded is great value for the Champion Chase and that’s not going to change until about 3.25pm when I look like an idiot. Big Zeb is top class, but I think Master Minded can be better and if he returns to something approaching his best, the former champ will have too much for the reigning champ. Just where Master Minded is at right now is open to debate after grimly hanging on to beat Somersby at Ascot. On that form he looks vulnerable, but the flipside of that is he still managed to win when clearly not at his best. He’s like the Man Utd of the 2 mile chasers – either damn lucky or damn determined.
It’s not all about the front two in the beating and I was struck by the dangerously high levels of smugness emanating from Henry de Bromhead earlier. After Sizing Australia won the Cross Country Chase, his stable look like their in good form, I suspect he knows Sizing Europe will run a big race. Golden Silver looks like a top class animal, but his previous visits to Cheltenham haven’t gone so well, but one outside bet who has done well here before is Woolcombe Folly. I’m going to go for Master Minded, but I’ll be having cheeky little bet on the Nicholls’ second string.
11.43am: Ruby – in his silks for the first remarkably early – is on Racing UK. He could pretty much say ‘You can go a stick those stirrups up your arse’ and people will still back whatever he’s riding, so I’ll spare you the details of which rides he name-dropped in the interview.
11.36am: If you’d like some tips for Wednesday at Cheltenham or just want to hear Paddy Power sound a little creepy when he says ‘Wednesday’ then check out our Cheltenham Wednesday Tips Video
11.31am: Our first game of Cheltenham Katchphrase is underway. There’s a Free Bet for the winner and a sense of disappointment for all the losers.
11.19am: Choc Thornton and his superb hairdo are on Racing UK. The duo team up to ride Bygones In Brid for Champion Bumper in the Champion Bumper. He reckons he could go close with a bit of luck. I reckon Harry used up his monthly supply of luck against AC Milan last week.
11.14am: RSA Chase Preview
I can’t think of too many reasons to oppose Time For Rupert in the RSA Chase. I bloody hated that gimpy Rupert Bear – with his neat little jumper, plaid trousers and matching scarf – and his goody-two shoes mates when I was a kid and judging by how much I’m enjoying this rant, it’s clearly not something I’m quite over yet. ‘Come on Rupert, you’re a feckin bear – go and cause some chaos. Go eat a lumberjack or something’ were just a few of my thoughts when forced to endure his misleadingly titled ‘adventures’. The strange connection between the cartoon lick-arse and this horse that my brain is making between the two unrelated things seems to be the only explanation for this unfounded negativity.
That said, I don’t think he’s a value bet for the race. He’s plenty short enough and I think there’s a number of horses open to the type of improvement that could thwart the favourite. Aiteen Thirtythree is unbeaten over fences this season and obviously has a big chance, as does Jessie’s Dream. Wayward Prince has to be considered and Mikael D’Haguenet will be there or thereabouts if he can return to the form of old. I sort of shot my Jessica Harrington bolt by dismissing her chances of winning the Neptune Hurdle, but I’m happily willing to contradict myself and say Bostons Angel has a real chance. I’m going to go with Wymott just because I reckon he’s good and he’ll like Cheltenham.
10.45am: In his Irish Daily Star column, Mick Fitzgerald has given me all the validation I need about my Master Minded in the Queen Mother Champion Chase hunch.
Master Minded has had an impressive Festival build-up, beginning with a comfortable win at Ascot in November
It’s not much, but I’ll take it.
It’s half ten and as I’m in no shape to be the Diet Coke guy, I’ll have a look at some market movers instead. Alfa Beat has drifted slightly for the National Hunt Chase. Aberdale has been backed from 14/1 into 10/1 in the same race. We’ve had more money for Time For Rupert but given how the strongly his hype machine has been working this morning, that’s understandable – now 5/2 from 11/4 for the RSA Chase. Lightning Strike is a big mover in the Coral Cup and – sorry have to do this –
as we’re paying FIVE PLACES at 1/4 ODDS, it’s no surprise. We’ve seen a lot of each way money for him and he’s now 22/1 after being as big as 33/1 earlier this morning. Likely favourite Plan A and … eh … likely one, two, three, four … 4th favourite What A Charm have bought been trimmed for the Fred Winter Hurdle. In the Champion Bumper, Divine Rhapsody is the one coming in for support.
10.20am: Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle Preview
The Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle brings together the biggest collection of young talent this side of a Silvio Berlusconi shindig. Most of the leading contenders have some encouraging form in the book, which sounds good but pretty much makes it as difficult as when they’ve done nothing. So Young was already a popular choice, but after the Mullins/Walsh exploits of yesterday he’s even more popular. Oscars Well is attracting a lot of attention, but I’m never convinced when Jessica Harrington brings her runners to the Festival. In an attempt to subdue those potentially inflammatory comments, I would say she’s a great trainer and a lovely person, but – with a few very notable extinctions – I just don’t think she gets a good enough return from the number of runners she sends to the Festival.
The one I’m going to go for is Rock On Ruby, mainly because he’ll handle the course. That selective choice of language ignores the fact he may not get the distance, but with the infamous good ground we’re talking about, it may be less of a factor.
– Neptune Novices Hurdle Betting
9.56am: The sight of Georgia Salpa holding a whip on the front of the Irish Sun distracted me, but I meant to say Colm Murphy was on Racing UK a few minutes ago looking smugger than a chesire cat who’s just hijacked the cream truck. He looks like a man who has no doubts about Big Zeb defending his Queen Mother Champion Chase
9.46am:National Hunt Chase Preview
Stamina is the big doubt for nearly everyone in the National Hunt Chase. Pretty much none of the runners have come close to tackling 4 miles, so you’re taking it on trust from the trainers that they’ll get the trip. The story of Alfa Beat serves as pretty much the summary of the race – and not just because I’m being lazy. He’s won his last five starts so clearly he hit a few branches when he fell out of the talent tree, but it’s the stamina that’s the only nagging doubt. Most of the field look like decent performers, but will they get up that hill?
I don’t have the answers, but a lack of knowledge has never stopped me from having a bet. His one previous success at Cheltenham and Gordon Elliot’s olbligitary assurances that he’ll stay the trip are pretty much the only reasons I’m going for Chicago Grey.
9.31am: If you’re the type of person who’s suggestible, why not do bet the way the Morning Line team tell you. Their charity bets for the day are:
Nick Luck (who picked Captain Chris yesterday): Oscars Well in the Neptune Novices Hurdle and Big Zeb in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Ted Walsh (successful with Hurricane Fly yesterday): So Young Neptune Novices Hurdle
Emma Lavelle: Time For Rupert in the Coral Cup and Lightning Strike in the Coral Cup
Jon Francome: Oscars Well in the Neptune Novices Hurdle and For Non Stop in the Coral Cup
9.22am: A well wrapped up Henry de Bromhead is on talking about Sizing Europe in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. I know all trainers have to talk up their horses, but his very understated comments are either admirable modestly or slightly troubling.
9.12am: Aww – Ellen Martin’s been dumped for a younger model. Big Mac flirting with the new generation of glamourous blonde bookie.
9.05am: Trainer Gordon Elliot is being interviewed now. He looks like he’s about to say ‘Not tonight lads’ and send someone to a different nightclub but instead tells us he has no concerns about Chicago Grey’s stamina for the 4 mile National Hunt Chase. He puts up Plan A in the Fred Winter as his best hope of the day.
Ted gives us our first ‘Hell Of A Horse’ of Ladies’ Day. Fittingly enough, he’s talking about Jessica Harrington’s Oscars Well. (Neptune Novices Hurdle)
9am: Emma Lavelle is the guest on the Morning Line and it’s straight into bigging up her own horses action.
8.52am: Did I miss the news that Master Minded is missing a leg or something? Ok, he wasn’t amazing when winning last time out, but he’s not exactly been a donkey since losing to Big Zeb last year. The Morning Line panel all go for Big Zeb in the Champion Chase. 7/2 is very tempting.
8.33am: Tipping messiah, Pricewise had a good day yesterday. Today’s he’s going for Some Target in the National Hunt Chase and First Lieutenant in the Neptune Novices Hurdle. He’s already advised Minella Class in the Neptune, Jessies Dream in the RSA Chase and Captain Cee Bee in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
8.30am: Thank Jaysus the high-brow smugness of Frasier is over. It’s The Morning Line.
8.20am: We’ve got our first tip of the day. It’s from TINA ‘my Caps Lock is always on’ CRAWFORD. She has been in touch to say:
i cant see Tenor Nivernais being out of the first four in the 4.40
So either that’s TINA telling us he’s great each way value for the Fred Winter Hurdle or complaining that she doesn’t have Racing UK.
8.14am: The going for Day 2 has been given as Good, Good to Soft in places, which is the same as yesterday. There is a warning that the ground is likely to be quicker than yesterday however. “We had a light bit of rain overnight but not appreciable enough to measure”, said the clerk of the course, which I presume means he can’t tell what’s water and what’s vodka in all the glasses left outside in the Cheltenham smoking areas overnight.
8.09am: Oh no. It’s a bad start to the day as it turns out today’s episode of Frasier is a continuation of yesterday’s tripe. To recap, his friends and family thin he’s depressed and suicidal after losing his job. What an outlandish plot – Frasier is far too self-important to kill himself.
8.02am: Good morning everyone! I’ve had a look through the Cheltenham cards and I’ve come up with nothing – any tips for today will be gratefully recieved.