When people think of Geordie stereotypes, they’re likely to refer to worryingly obese, shirtless men at football stadiums, contemplate whatever happened to Cheryl Cole, and subconsciously hum the theme tune to either Byker Grove or Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.
What doesn’t come to mind is that a Geordie is likely to give you a solid Cheltenham tip that you should probably follow.
But it should.
The Paddy Power Blog has dipped into last year’s racing book and with some help from the wizards in IT Reporting have broken it down city by city to find out who has the best strike rate. During Cheltenham 2013 it was our friends from the North East of England who had the most success, leaving the rest of the UK (further) behind.
- Geordies did the best over the four days of Cheltenham last year. Punters from Sunderland, Cardiff, Leeds, and Brighton make up the top five punting regions;
- If you’re torn between taking a tip from your Geordie pal at Uni or your Scouse hairdresser don’t think twice. Scousers were seven times worse off than punters from Newcastle during Cheltenham 2013 and only Dublin punters posted worse statistics;
- Galway punters led the way for the Irish contingent while Cork will take some satisfaction in the fact that they were twice as successful as their Dublin peers.
So if you have a relative or a friend in Newcastle it could be wise to take their tip for Cheltenham. Unless of course it’s your nan who hates racing and is more interested in the latest repeat of Only Fools and Horses or whatever song Michael Buble is covering. Then it’s best just to pick the gee-gee yourself.
In the opening race of the Festival, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the book is all about the favourite Irving. 44 per cent of punters’ cash is on Paul Nicholls’ unbeaten star and Paddy is preparing himself for a swift kick to the unmentionables if this thing comes in the top four.
Champion Hurdle punters are torn between two Irish superstars. Hurricane Fly is an 19-time Grade 1 winner and dual Champion Hurdle winner, so it’s no surprise that 35 per cent of the cash is on Ruby Walsh’s ride. But if the Fly has too many years on him, a quarter of punter’s pennies are riding on Our Conor taking Paddy’s pants down at the Cheltenham Festival once again.
There’s no Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase on Wednesday but there is seven times more cash on the new favourite Sire De Grugy than either Sizing Europe or Arvika Legionnaire. There’s no doubt who Paddy Power punters think will win this Championship showdown.
The World Hurdle features a fascinating clash between Big Bucks and Annie Power to find the best staying hurdler. Big Bucks is after a fifth World Hurdle crown but 13 months off through injury and a defeat on his reappearance make Annie Power slight favourite. The two contenders take up 87 per cent of cash in the book so expect Paddy to be worried if they’re left fighting it out up Cleeve Hill
Unsurprisingly Bobs Worth – who is aiming to become the first horse to win back-to-back Gold Cups since Best Mate in 2004 – has attracted a third of punters’ cash in Friday’s showpiece. Jockey Barry Geraghty is sweet on his chances and his Cheltenham form is solid.