Friday, 4 January 2019

Funny Cheltenham Joke

Funny Cheltenham Joke
Riding a firm favourite at the annual Cheltenham Festival, the horse is well ahead of the rest of the field. Suddenly, out of nowhere he's hit on the back of the head by a turkey, then a string of sausages. Rattled and confused, he somehow manages to keep control of his horse and stays ahead of the pack. Moments later however, he's struck again, this time by several mince pies and a box of Christmas crackers. He struggles to keep the lead, but somehow still manages to stay ahead of the field. With the win in his sights though, he’s then struck on the head by a bottle of sherry and, to add insult to injury, a Christmas pudding. As result, he finishes third. Angered, he immediately goes to the stewards to complain that he has been seriously hampered. 

and a couple of bonus funnies:

I found a way to make a horse stand perfectly still. Place a bet on him.

A talking horse walks into a bar and approaches the manager. “Excuse me, good sir,” the horse says, “are you hiring?”
The manager looks the horse up and down and says, “Sorry, pal. Why don’t you try the circus?”
The horse nickers. “Why would the circus need a bartender?”


What's the difference between praying in church and at the track?
At the track you really mean it!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Cheltenham Festival – ‘Championship’ Races 2012

cheltenham festival 2012
Champion Hurdle

The two previous winners, Hurricane Fly and Binocular, returned for the 2012 renewal of the Champion Hurdle, with the former sent off 4/6 to make it 2-2 at the Festival. However, on good going, it was Rock On Ruby, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Noel Fehily, who kept on best to beat Overturn by 3¾ lengths. Hurricane Fly could make no impression in the closing stages and finished third, a further 1¾ lengths. Officially, the winner was credited to Nicholls, but Rock On Ruby was mainly prepared at his satellite yard in Seaborough, Dorset by Harry Fry.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Just eight runners lined up for the 2012 Queen Mother Champion Chase, with defending champion Sizing Europe odds-on, at 4/5, to win again. Henry de Bromhead’s 10-year-old ran creditably, but was joined by 4/1 second favourite Finian’s Rainbow, at the final fence – bypassed following the fall of Wishfull Thinking on the first circuit – and headed in the final half a furlong, or so. Finian’s Rainbow, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty, prevailed by 1¼ lengths, with Big Zeb a respectable, but distant, third, 15 lengths away.

Stayers’ Hurdle

Big Buck’s, the undisputed star of the staying hurdle division, claimed a record-breaking fourth victory in the race, at the chief expense of 20/1 Voler La Vedette, who pushed him all the way to the line, before succumbing by 1¾ lengths. The victory was the sixteenth in a row over hurdles by Big Buck’s, equally the record set by Sir Ken nearly six decades earlier. Another 20/1 chance, Smad Place, finished third, 7 lengths away.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Defending champion Long Run was sent off 7/4 favourite to retain his title, ahead of 2007 and 2009 winner Kauto Star at 3/1. Kauto Star was pulled up before halfway, though, and although Long Run ran creditably he couldn’t find the same turn of foot as he had twelve months previously and eventually finished third, beaten 3 lengths. The race was won by 2011 Welsh Grand National winner, Synchronised, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by A.P. McCoy. The 8/1 chance led at the final fence and stayed on gamely to beat rallying 50/1 outsider The Giant Bolster by 2¼ lengths.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

An early look at the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup odds

Only a few short months remain until Cheltenham Festival gets underway, and a lot of punters are already considering their own horse racing tips for the four-day event. From all race meetings throughout the year, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is by far one of the most highly-anticipated, with it being seen as an opportunity to pit all of the best horses against each other in one of the most competitive jump races in the world.

Through the advantage that can be gained from backing your horses ante post, there’s a lot to be said for picking your Cheltenham tips early, so we’re looking at how the odds currently assess the next Cheltenham Gold Cup, and who you’d be clever to keep tabs on.

Might Bite at 5/1

The current favourite with 5/1 odds, Might Bite stands a good chance of finishing first in the Cheltenham Gold Cup after several major wins, including a notable first place finish in last year’s RSA Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham Festival 2018. After making a lot of punters money through three wins at Cheltenham Festival out of five entries in the last four years, it’s fair to say that the bookies are correct in seeing Might Bite as a favourite.

Presenting Percy at 6/1 and Native River at 6/1

Currently joint second in terms of odds, both Presenting Percy and Native River are high in the estimations of the bookies. Both horses have wins in the last Cheltenham Festival - Presenting Percy memorably winning the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase - but Native River has to be considered as being as favourable as Might Bite due to the fact that he finished first in last year’s Gold Cup. Might Bite finished second and has arguably shown a stronger record since, but if Native River is as capable as last year, he could set an impressive record for two successive wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Potential outsiders

After these three favourites, the odds move past 10/1, with Footpad being ranked as the fourth most likely to win with odds of 12/1. Backing Footpad makes a lot of sense after successfully winning five races in a row between April 2017 and April 2018, which include Cheltenham Festival wins in the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy and the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase.

In a race as fiercely competitive as the Gold Cup, horse racing fans are entitled to choose their Cheltenham tips on practically any nag, with Sizing John being a worthwhile option at 14/1, as well as Thistlecrack at 20/1. It’s a race with such a level of unpredictability that a horse as prolific as Altior, who’s won fifteen of seventeen races in total, is given a price as large as 25/1.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Cheltenham Festival – ‘Championship’ Races 2011

cheltenham festival 2011
Champion Hurdle

The 2011 Champion Hurdle marked the first appearance at the Cheltenham Festival of the prolific Hurricane Fly, trained by Willie Mullins, who’d only be beaten once in eight Grade One starts since joining the Co. Carlow handler. Ridden by Ruby Walsh, Hurricane Fly travelled well into the race after the second last, but was ultimately all out to hold Peddlers Cross by 1¼ lengths with Oscar Whisky 5 lengths further behind in third.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

The 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase featured the winners of the previous three renewals, Big Zeb (2010) and Master Minded (2008, 2009), with the latter sent off the 2/1 favourite to banish the memory of a lacklustre performance in the previous renewal. However, it was the 10/1 chance Sizing Europe, trained by Henry de Bromhead in Co. Waterford and ridden by Andrew Lynch, who landed the spoils, staying on strongly to beat Big Zeb by 5 lengths. Captain Cee Bee finished third, beaten a further 4 lengths, while Master Minded blundered badly at the second last fence and was eased down to finish eighth of the 11 finishers.

Stayers’ Hurdle

Dual winner Big Buck’s was backed as if defeat was out of the question on his hat-trick attempt and, despite Ruby Walsh dropping his whip in the closing stages, stayed on stoutly to beat Grand Crus by 1¾ lengths and justify 10/11 favouritism. The victory took his winning tally to 11 races in a row, including five at Grade One level. For the record, Mourad stayed on, without threatening, to finish third, but a further 2¾ lengths.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup was a vintage renewal, with three previous winners, Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Commander, among the 13 runners. However, it was the King George VI Chase winner, Long Run, who started favourite at 7/2. Trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, the 6-year-old made short work of Denman and Kauto Star, staying on strongly up the hill to win by 7 lengths and 4 lengths. Defending champion, and second favourite, Imperial Commander was tailed off when pulled up before the final fence and was found to have finished lame.