Mathematics are the governing force of horse racing betting
It is our belief that mathematics are the governing force of horse racing betting so embrace numbers and dismiss racing pundits. At this time of the year especially we perennially unsubscribe/delete from those who seek to raise their own profiles, a spring clean if you like. Moreover, we avoid those who bum steer, inject hype, confuse and spoil and those who interview worthless personalities passing on random and valueless comments. As we approach 70 the words of my lovely aunty is never more salient - better to make your own mistake than someone else's!
Our view regarding a winning bet and long-term profit has always been simple, and made up of a few essential rules. They include the form of the trainer, the class of the horse in the race, the jockey, optimum ground and racing conditions. But, these prerequisites/components have no value unless they contain perceived value and that is the biggest challenge to any bettor! We wrote a piece for RACE ADVISOR over five years ago sharing some thoughts on the subject.
Filtrate the contenders from the pretenders then...
At this year's Cheltenham Festival we will look at our trends for filtration purposes so as to sort the pretenders from the contenders. At this stage we have not introduced a personal opinion. It is a mathematical fact that profiling is a massive help to the process and a check/stop on hunch, hype and random! In this piece we hope to entertain a little whilst at the same time give a few more pertinent facts and a couple of quotes.
Our overriding advice to our members this year is the same as last, absorb pertinence and plough your own furrow - do not bother with the pundits - they have their own agenda and have nothing to do with profit and loss.
First we admit to potential bias regarding our runner Pentland Hills in the Champion Hurdle. Contrary to the above we have a firm opinion but in our defence they originate from a certain Nicky Henderson who has won the race 7 times. By now our members know our thoughts but feel aggrieved at a certain Kevin Blake, he said of his defeat at Haydock: "It was a capitulation rarely seen at such a high level of the sport and it has understandably raised significant questions about him." We have never heard the word capitulation used to explain a nose defeat in heavy ground and especially after being keen throughout the race. We have not even touched on the long ridiculous run in that day which negatively affected our horse! This was both over the top and silly and especially now, as the professional gambler has tipped the exposed 8yo Darver Star (rated 152) to win, and he is a 2m4f type so needs soft staying ground. Remember, he had claimed our fella (rated 157) and a Cheltenham course winner had to find a stone to win. Henderson has him in advance of Call Me Lord who is rated 160. The consensus suggests to win this race a rating of 162-165 is required but ours can improve a few pounds (better hurdler, better ground, faster pace, small wind op, fully fit and trainer in great form) whilst his (Blake) very average jumper (going 3m next season) will lose lengths at each obstacle, not have optimum ground, and it is his selection that will need to find a stone, plus. Ye Gods and good luck with that one Kevin! He will have no problem getting on...
The trends are against Pentland Hills - if taken literally!
Now, we do appreciate that to back up his Triumph Hurdle win from last season he'll need to become only the second horse in the past 22 renewals to win the Champion Hurdle without a win to his name in the current season. That said, we know he was beaten on his second run back by a nose when Nico went far too early after his mount was so keen throughout the race. We think the world of Nico but we know he was disappointed with his ride and Mick Fitzgerald underlined the point and called him out live on TV, not something he does with Nicky Henderson runners and the stable.
The trends are against Champ - if taken literally!
Talking of the past 22 renewals and a last time out jockey ride, we note if Champ is to justify RSA favouritism then he’ll need to become the first horse in the past 22 renewals to win the RSA without finishing in the top 3 last time out. Watching the Dipper Chase on TV with the race at his mercy we feared the worst with Barry Geraghty never looking confident throughout the race. His comments about his horse spotting a woman in the stands with a blue hat as he was about to jump seemed a little fallacious.
Henry De Bromhead promising a winner or two!
With a week to go before the Festival beware of the race switchers - especially a Willie Mullins race switcher. We note the Henry de Bromhead's entry Honeysuckle is going to race in the Mares Hurdle and not in the Champion Hurdle so some real competition for his Benie Des Dieux.Henry has confirmed he is sending the strongest team he has ever sent to Cheltenham and the advice is to factor his horses into thought processes. At this stage he has 40 horses entered for the Festival and his horses are in form with 3 of his last 12 winning including a 25/1 winner and another at 5/1. Surely he will have at least one winner this year and maybe two?
Flu vaccination, not an issue this year
Returning to trainer Nicky Henderson we are reminded he trained four winners last year and had to run the gauntlet of racing his team with a necessary flu vaccination shortly before the Cheltenham Festival. His highly creditable effort saw kingpin Altior the star of the show with his second success in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Altior is attempting to gain a fifth successive victory at the Festival following earlier success in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Arkle Trophy which would match the legendary Golden Miller who took the Gold Cup from 1932 to 1936. Just six days to go and counting...
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