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My Week 12 edition of Cheltenham Festival Ante Post was uploaded last night and weighed in at a record 10,200 words outside of Week 1 where I give my starting positions since I first started this service in 2009. Even since last night a heck of a lot has been reported so here’s a brief overview of the ten most interesting snippets since 7.00 p.m. last evening and I will go into much more detail in next Monday’s copy:
Yanworth has been raised to 158 which is 9lb higher than any horse in last season’s Neptune.
CHAPS Barbados Novices’ Handicap Chase favourite, Doctor Harper, has been raised to 141 which makes him ineligible for that 0-140 at present.
More Of That will bypass the Scilly Isles as Geraghty will be required for Leopardstown on the same day, an unfortunate part of the Irish Gold Cup meeting being brought forward 24 hours as Ireland are at home in the Six Nations.
Camping Ground’s attentions, as expected, will now be directed towards the Champion Hurdle.
Arzal will bypass the Arkle for Aintree.
Enda Bolger will run both Josies Orders and Quantitativeeasing in the same hurdle race at Navan as their Cross Country Chase prep.
Champion Bumper favourite, Aspen Colorado, will run in a winners’ bumper next.
Ma Filleule heads to the Ascot Chase to determine if she will bid to go one better in the Ryanair or head to a handicap.
After Rich Ricci stated Vroum Vroum Mag stays over hurdles, Willie Mullins has said she may yet head to the Ryanair which is looking weaker by the day.
Cheltenham have announced that a horse will not be permitted to be declared for a handicap if they are already due to run in another handicap at the Festival that has not yet taken place.
About time with the last point as top weights being withdrawn as they ran the previous day but were kept in the race just in case, can really spoil a race. Back in 2004 when Sporazene won the County Hurdle, the top weight (who was Sporazene in the end) ran off 10st 13lb after non runners which meant as many as 16 horses that ran out of the weights would otherwise have got in the handicap. It is fair to say that the runner-up, Hawadeth, would have won if the original top weights that were withdrawn had not been allowed to declare as he was beaten half a length but ran from 13lb out of the handicap.
I have had a bet today. Sergio Aguero to be Top Premier League Goalscorer at 11/4 ahead of Manchester City’s visit to Sunderland tonight. Despite missing many matches, he is only four goals behind Vardy, three behind Lukaku, two behind Ighalo and one behind Kane and Mahrez and the class act in the striking division looks razor sharp to me at present. I expect Manchester City to kick on now the managerial situation for next season has been sorted out and if they have a strong finish as many predict, Aguero will be pivotal in that.