Welcome to my first weekly newsletter since the Bet Alchemist service went live last weekend. We got off to a good start last weekend which is great for building confidence in any new betting service.
For those of you who signed up thank you and for those that are still thinking about it no worries at all.
You can view the progress we are making by keeping an eye on our Results since Live page which has the latest results posted.
Right, down to the interesting stuff. Last weekends big races were contested by small but select fields.
The bookies gave very little value from a betting perspective but there might be some value to be reaped from the bookies regarding future engagements.
Four horses captured my attention and most of the public’s last weekend! But one horse stole the show and that was Sprinter Sacre.

Weekend Runners 8th/9th December report

Sprinter Sacre– Trainer Nicky Henderson – Jockey Barry Geraghty

Everyone acknowledged last weekend that the Queen Mother Champion Chase over 2 miles at the Cheltenham festival is a formality if Sprinter Sacre turns up in rude health. He is yards ahead of the competition (15 yards last weekend) and is unbeatable unless something goes amiss in the run up to Cheltenham.
He is not a betting proposition for me but it doesn’t matter. Horses like him are not seen very often and I think come Cheltenham 2013 he will turn in a performance that will surpass the awesome run of Master Minded in the Queen Mother back in 2008.

Captain Conan – Trainer Nicky Henderson – Jockey Barry Geraghty

Looks like a huge horse with loads of scope for jumping fences. Barry Geraghty mentioned in his At The Races blog that this horse has loads of gears and will have no issue stepping up in trip from 2 miles to 2 and a half miles.
It does look like Nicky Henderson may decide to target the Jewson Chase over 2m5f at Cheltenham Festival to avoid a clash with Simonsig over 2m in the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham. Captain Conan is very talented but Nicky Henderson obviously believes that Simonsig is something special. We will find out soon as Simonsig is due to run at Ascot the weekend after next.
What really impressed me was Captain Conan’s jumping .Whether long of short he managed to land at the other side of his fences running with no momentum lost. He will be very hard to beat whatever race he turns up in at the Cheltenham Festival.

Flemenstar– Trainer Peter Casey – Jockey Andrew Lynch

I honestly cannot remember Flemenstar making a jumping mistake since his chasing career under rules began in November 2011. He came second that day in his first chase under rules behind Bog Warrior.
Since then his racing career has been managed brilliantly by the now well know trainer Peter Casey. Peter is a character that is for sure and is becoming a huge hit with non racing fans worldwide. His unedited dictionary is a breath of fresh air these days.
Flemenstar is a very speedy horse and fabulous jumper. At the moment I can see him winning tactical races over three miles where his turn of foot will be too much for the opposition in the closing stages of the race. However, I would prefer to side with Bobs Worth or Sir Des Champs over the Gold Cups extended 3 miles 2 furlongs distance.
I hope for Peter Casey that I am wrong and Flemenstar brings the house down by winning the Gold Cup in March 2013. However, he will need to win the Erickson Chase at Leopardstown over 3 miles to justify his price and position as joint favourite with the bookies for the Gold Cup!

Sir Des Champs– Trainer Willie Mullins – Jockey Davy Russell

Sir Des Champs was given a nice prep race over too short a distance last weekend. He was never going to have the turn of foot required to beat a fitter Flemenstar over two and a half miles. Both Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs were not given hard races. I think both horses only received a hands and heels ride with a couple of slaps of the whip down the neck.
Willie Mullins was very concerned leading up to the Cheltenham 2012 Festival that the Jewson Chase over 2 miles 5 furlongs would be too short a trip for Sir Des Champs. He mentioned a number of times that his preferred race would have been the RSA Chase over 3 miles 1 furlong.
However, the owners Gigginstown House (Michael O’Leary of Ryanair fame) insisted Sir Des Champs run in the Jewson as they had their other horse first lieutenant mapped out for the RSA Chase. As it turned out, Sir De Champs won the Jewson well but Willie Mullins concerns point to his belief that Sir Des Champs is a true stayer.
As a result, I am confident that in a true run three mile or further graded race Sir Des Champs will turn the tables around with Flemenstar. Sir Des Champs has run twice and won twice at Cheltenham whilst Flemenstar has not travelled across the pond yet.
It’s a no brainer as far as I am concerned Sir Des Champs offers the better value bet presently for the Cheltenham 2013 Gold Cup. That’s not to presume I will be backing either horse come Gold Cup day!
I really like Bobs Worth but his price is short enough. However, there are a couple of other Gigginstown House owned Gold Cup candidates that offer excellent value in the Gold Cup market at this stage! One of them is returning from a year out and has a two from two win ratio at Cheltenham similar to Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs?
Now there is a teaser for the form students 🙂
Till next week,
Nicky

P.S. Cheltenham December Gold Cup – 10 of the last 12 Winners were aged 6 or 7
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