Wow, how things can change so quickly in the horse race betting game. Yesterday, I enjoyed a days racing at Leopardstown to match any past days racing whether at the Epsom Derby when Motivator won or witnessing Sprinter Sacre pulverise the Arkle Field at Cheltenham 2012! It does help when horses you have backed win the race of course! Bet Alchemist clients won 3 from 3 at Leopardstown yesterday with the 1st winner Talbot Road recommended at a tasty 12/1 returned at 7/1 S.P.
However, the manner of the next two winners Back in Focus and Tidal bay is what gives a huge adrenaline rush to punters and a valid excuse to shout like a lunatic at the top of your lungs in Public! I was guilty of both those pleasures yesterday and I hope ye enjoyed the winners as days like yesterday are to be cherished and remembered for years to come. There was a larger crowd than usual at Leopardstown yesterday mainly due to the Flemenstar and Trainer Peter Casey factor. I will speak about Flemenstar in more detail below but back to TidayBay and Back in Focus.
As punters we love a winner but none more so than a winner that looks a forlorn hope nearing the last couple of furlongs of a race. It is a real roller coaster of emotion as we go from “looks like winning” to “looks like losing” to “looks like he is staying on” to “looks like he might get there” to “LOOK he has WON!” as he wins on the line by a head.
The fact that Ruby Walsh was the winning jockey in both races is not by chance. He is in my opinion by far the best jockey over fences that have ever lived or is still alive. He is very good over hurdles but is magnificent over fences. If you read his autobiography you might know that as a school kid Ruby spent time working with Enda Bolger the cross-country specialist hunting and jumping banks. Enda for sure should take great credit for teaching Ruby how to see a stride and when to ask for a long one. He is so still and quiet on a horse over the fences it is a pleasure to watch. He gets his mount settled and jumping first and foremost and that is half the battle in saving the vital energy required by a horse to finish off his race in style. Yesterday, Ruby was at his most magnificent and long may it continue. He won three races at Leopardstown yesterday by the following margins of half a length and two heads! By such small margins are heroes made and Ruby is a true hero of our Sport.
Before, I get down to the nitty gritty of my race report and eye catchers from the last weeks racing I would like to thank those who have remained patient with the Bet Alchemist Service and enjoyed just rewards yesterday. So far since the service went live on 7th December we have made 17.35 Points Profit. The Bet Alchemist Results Since Live web page can be viewed by clicking here . I am quite a safe punter and not brave enough to do many multiple bets, but fair play to one brave soul who placed a winning £10 treble bet at cumulative odds of 195/1 yesterday!
Kempton – King George VI Chase Report
I had a good idea that Cue Card was not going to win this race once Kempton produced the heaviest going for many a year. Even though we beat the market starting price of 5/1 with our 10/1 bet it’s of no use unless they win. I was still vainly hopeful as the race started but knew after two jumps that Cue Card would not be winning this race. The Tizzards (Trainer & Jockey) made the percentage call that Cue Card needed to be ridden conservatively if he was to last the three Mile trip. However, Cue Card being Cue Card cannot help him self but want to lead and pulled way too hard early. This resulted in him not concentrating and jumping uncharacteristically poor over the first couple of fences. He settled after a while and ran and jumped well for the remainder of the race. He stuck to his task admirably when he came off the bridle before entering the finishing straight. The Ryanair Chase most definitely looks the Cheltenham Festival Race for him. Another King George another young speedster that fails to get home!
Captain Chris ran a massive race on ground that he does not like at all. I was ready to have a maximum bet on him last Spring in the Punchestown Gold Cup but he was withdrawn wisely due to the very deep ground. He ran a huge race to come a closing 5th in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham 2012 behind Riverside theatre. He lost any amount of ground jumping right at each fence in that race and still stayed on mightily up the Cheltenham Hill. Maybe as he gets older he is handling it better but he is still a much better animal with good mentioned in the going report. He needs to run right handed so Punchestown on good ground if we ever get good ground is when I want him on my side this coming spring.
The winner Long Run ran his heart out having been up with the pace all the way. I was delighted for Sam Whaley-Cohen and think he is great for the sport. Any amateur prepared to ride in grade 1 race and take on the professionals deserves our support. Long Run did not help his jockey one bit nearing the end of this race. He jumped the last two fences poorly and gave up a good lead between the final two fences. It reminded me a little of how he waited for BurtonPort in the Denman Chase at Newbury last February. This time he let Captain Chris pass him before rallying to win going away. He is a rogue who likes company and does not want to be out in front. He is the best staying chaser in training in my opinion but not really for backing in the Gold Cup anymore.
Grand Crus ran a very encouraging race in the heavy ground and it looks like his breathing issue has been resolved. He could join Cue Card in the Ryanair Chase most likely. Champion Court ran a dream race until tiring up the finishing straight. He put it up to Long Run for most of the race and emerges with great credit here. His target at the festival is hard to tell at this point but Ryanair Chase why not!
Eye Catchers that ran over the last couple of weeks Part 1
Simonsig – Trainer Nicky Henderson – Jockey Barry Geraghty
Ran twice in six days and won easily two Grade 2 Novice Chases. He looks to have huge scope for jumping fences. He looks a real professional already and reminds is not far off Sprinter Sacre’s level as a novice last season. To win Grade 2 chases by 49 and 35 lengths respectively in heavy ground is something special. He attacks his fences with gusto and is a joy to watch. He has loads of gears as witnessed when he won the Neptune Novices hurdle as the last Cheltenham Festival by 7 lengths. 5/4 is his best price to win the Arkle over 2 miles at the Cheltenham festival and that looks about right.
Oscars Well – Trainer Jessica Harrington – Jockey Robbie Power
Ran very well I thought on softer ground than he may have preferred when second to Arvika Legeonniere in the 2 mile 1 furlong Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown. He seems to have recovered fully from his bad fall at Punchestown last November. He jumped super at Navan on the 8th December when winning a novice chase and jumped very well in this race as well. He has a decent record at Cheltenham on his previous two visits, an unlucky 4th in the Neptune Novices Hurdle ran in 2011 and a very creditable 6th in the Champion Hurdle in 2012 only 8 lengths behind Rock on Ruby. I am interested in Oscars Well for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham where he is currently prices at 14/1 esp. if the ground turns up good. However, Jessica Harrington mentioned upping him in trip after this race so maybe his target will be the longer Jewson Chase at the festival. Personally, I think he should be aimed at the Arkle Chase so I will be listening very carefully to Jessica Harrington over the coming weeks.
Dynaste – Trainer David Pipe – Jockey Tom Scudamore
Wow, he blitzed all rivals in the Feltham Chase run on heavy ground at Kempton on the 26th. I thought he might struggle on the heavy ground but he was having none of it. He is being compared with David Pipe’s previous winner of this race Grand Crus but looks a different type to my eyes. He is much more relaxed and does not expend his energy by being so exuberate as Grand Crus. The Feltham Chase winner has an atrocious record in winning the RSA chase over 3 miles at the Cheltenham festival so beware we are told of backing him. However, if there ever is a Feltham chase winner that can go on and rubbish that stat it is this horse. He jumps travels and stays well. The difference with other Feltham winners is that he has won it on heavy ground when points to plenty of stamina for the Cheltenham Hill. The major caveat is that the bookmakers are only offering 5/2 about Dynaste winning the RSA chase. There is absolutely zero value in that price! 5/1 might be tempting but go take a hike if ye bookies want our cash at 5/2.
Aupcharlie- Trainer Willie Mullins – Jockey Andrew Lynch
Aupcharlie ran a massive race on only his second chase start in the Fort Leney Chase over 3 miles. He was settled at the rear of the field and jumped impeccably throughout the race. He even jumped the final fence well but just knuckled on landing. This genuflection cost him the race to my mind anyways. I was hugely impressed by this big chaser and he will make a name for himself at the Cheltenham festival. Willie Mullins suggested in his post race comments that he would try and keep Aupcharlie and Back in Focus to separate races from now on. With this in mind it looks like the Jewson is Aupcharlie’s festival target at the moment. He finished tired on the tacky soft ground but hopefully will recover quickly and in time to have one more run before the festival. He needs another race for jumping experience before the festival in my opinion.
Back in Focus – Trainer Willie Mullins – Jockey Ruby Walsh
I was blown away by the performance of this horse at Listowel when winning his beginners chase at Listowel in September. He has now won a grade 2 and grade 1 chase since then. He is a barrel of a horse and a relentless galloper. Willie mentioned that he loves heavy ground and that the tacky soft ground at Leopardstown was almost not heavy enough for him. He is a future National sort and a Welsh National at that. Whether he will handle good ground or not time will tell! What we do know he needs is a stamina test and 3 miles is the bare minimum for him on ground better than heavy. Willie says the RSA chase is made for him so that will be his Cheltenham Festival target. Ladbrokes offering 16/1 best price about him winning the RSA chase looks tempting indeed. If Cheltenham turns up soft this year he is the one that will be powering up the hill whilst others have cried enough. Think of Synchronized finish as he won the Gold Cup in 2012. Another ponderable is that Graham Wylie who owns Back in Focus also owns the current 2nd Favourite for the RSA chase Boston Bob trained by Willie Mullins as well. I cannot see both horses running in the same race can you?
Eye Catchers that ran over the last couple of weeks Part 2
I will complete this over the coming days…
Sir Des Champs
Reve De Sivola
Cause of Causes