Six Nations (outright) in General Spots uploaded - NFL Divisional Playoffs Part 2 & Sunday Race Previews uploaded - NFL Divisional Playoffs Part 1 uploaded - Saturday Race Previews uploaded - Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival Week 10 & Australian Open uploaded
I’m heading down to Cheltenham on Monday afternoon so this will be my final blog before the Festival starts. So, first and foremost I wish all readers, members or otherwise, a very enjoyable week irrespective of how the punting goes but also all the very best of luck for the 28 races as we will all require plenty of that.
Most of us are asked for a Festival Banker so here’s mine. Paint The Clouds in the Foxhunters’. The forecast is for a dry week but I imagine it will ride quite holding on Day 1. By Day 4 however, and on virgin ground for the Gold Cup course this season, I dare say it will be darn sight quicker so expect the good ground horses to be well backed for Friday in the next few days. I can certainly see Paint The Clouds, who is currently 8/1, challenging On The Fringe for favouritism in the Foxhunters’ if the rain does keep away and especially if Warren Greatrex is having a good week. He could have more favourites than any other trainer outside of Mullins and Elliott. The ground went against him on the day last year when he finished third whereas the rain was very much in favour of On The Fringe. On good ground, there is unlikely to be much between them. I’d say at a top price of 8/1 currently, he’s a very solid each-way bet in not that competitive a running which has seen six legitimate contenders ruled out in the last month.
I have one more function to attend where I am looking forward to being on a panel at Cheltenham FC on Monday night (sold out) alongside Davy Russell, Aidan Coleman and Michael Shinners organised by Let’s Live Racing and sponsored by Sky Bet. I have attended it a few times and it’s not as serious as some previews. In fact, piss taking is very much encouraged. I think I will be reminding Russell of when he said he was not allowed to mention Tiger Cry on the preview evening circuit the year Arthur Moore plotted him up to win the Grand Annual!
I’ve got very lucky with my accommodation for the week. You know those houses as the runners gallop down the back straight? Beautiful stuff. So, I’ll write my daily copy which will appear as a continuation of the Cheltenham Ante Post section, upload it at 10.30 a.m., walk out of the front door, hop over the style, go through a marquee entrance and then walk the second half of the course on the way down to the enclosures. Before then there are two more daily updates at 7.00 p.m.
I’ve uploaded Cheltenham-based content from Alan Potts and Andy Richmond in the Guest Contributions section this morning and look out for Paul Smith’s daily advice from tomorrow on the T20 Cricket World Cup. Since the last blog he has added his best bets for the Leading Batsman and Bowler following on from his outright preview and team-by-team guide the previous week.
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