It’s been a long, long time since I managed to get anything up on this blog and for that, you have my sincerest apologies.
I know it’s no excuse but I’ve been ravaged over the last couple of weeks with a level of back pain I’ve never experienced before – the kind of pain, discomfort and lack of mobility that I wouldn’t wish upon a mortal enemy. It’s been just about all I could manage to carry out my form study and keep my premium services running and profitable.
I’ve had bad backs before – with my weight and sedentary lifestyle it’s almost compulsory – but this was beyond anything I’ve experienced before – and I hope never to experience it again!
That being said, I’ve neglected readers horribly and I intend to put that right in the lead up to the world’s greatest jumps meeting. Less than 2 weeks to go now and the various contests are firming up nicely. I spend the first 2 weeks in March in an almost permanent state of excitement and suspense – not so much for the betting element of the festival -that’s always fraught with danger and pitfalls for the unwary – but for the sheer spectacle of the thing. The very best horses facing off against each other, the well planned Irish coups (more on those later!), the highs, the lows, the unexpected wins and the gut-wrenching losses.
It’s a pretty amazing four days.
Which brings me to my thoughts for a Cheltenham Festival tipping competition.
I think that the easiest way to run such a competition would be in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph Fantasy Cheltenham Competition. I’ve set up a league which anybody can join called Make Your Betting Pay. There are decent prizes on offer for the winner of the overall competition but I will be putting up my own prizes for the winner of the Make Your betting Pay league.
The prizes will be as follows:
1st £50 + a beautiful Ruby Walsh signed, limited edition print of Kauto Star winning the King George last December. I love this picture (and I’d really rather not give it away!) but it makes an absolutely fantastic prize
You can sign up for the Daily telegraph Fantasy Cheltenham competition at:
And you can then join the MYBP league by searching for the Make Your Betting Pay League and then using the access pin to join.
Pin Number: 8000357
Make sure you read the rules carefully because it involves picking a horse in each race daily as the festival progresses as well as selecting a stable of trainers and jockeys that you want as part of your team.
It’s free to enter and there are some great prizes so head over and sign up.
Biggest news item yesterday was the schooling fall of Kauto Star that apparently makes it a coin toss whether he’ll turn up for the Gold Cup at all. A terrible shame if he doesn’t because I can’t see him returning next year.
Far be it for me to question the tactics and strategies of one of the best trainers of our generation but I have to say my first reaction to the news was –just how much schooling does Kauto Star really need? This is a horse who has achieved everything in the sport and fallen only 3 times in a 40 race career. Did he really need schooling over fences 2 weeks before the festival? Surely just keeping him fit and hard is enough. I’m sure I’m missing something but it seems a bit odd to me.
In fact, ignore me, Pumpkin knows best and who do I think I am to be questioning his preparations?
Lastly today a word about a couple of Irish raiders.
I’ve been hearing very strong vibes from across the Irish Sea on how highly Willie Mullins rates Call the Police. The information comes from a usually reliable source and I’ve been told that this horse will be the subject of a serious gamble – most likely in the Jewsons. I’ve had a decent wager at the 12/1 currently being offered by Victor Chandler with the Non Runner No bet concession. I thought it was worth taking under the best price of 14/1 to get NRNB with plans not fully finalised as yet.
The other one worth a mention is Carlito Brigante. Gordon Elliott is apparently very bullish about his chances of following up in the Coral Cup again. Now, that’s a pretty difficult race to get right once let alone twice but the horse is certainly ready to give it his best shot. The 20/1 available with Corals makes a lot of appeal as a speculative each way wager or even the 16/1 available non runner no bet with Ladbrokes.
I’ve put the pair of them in a cheeky each way double that will pay the expenses for the next 12 months if I’m lucky enough to land it!
That’s all from me today