16 Mar 2018

Cheltenham Festival - Day 4

A nice 7/1 winner for the blog yesterday in Shattered Love; turning in it looked all over bar the jumping and thankfully she made it home. If Glenloe was a slicker jumper he too would have collected, held off by the narrowest of margins.

Thursday was also a huge day for ‘The Cheltenham File’ our fanatical Festival angles report, which flagged 11 qualifiers on the ENIGMA forum, including 3 wins and 3 placed. Anyone who subscribed before Cheltenham has already recouped their annual membership many, many times over.

So, to Day 4. It’s fitting to round things off with the Gold Cup. My approach to this race is to narrow the field with some basic class trends: handicap mark 166+, previously won a Grade 1 race of any kind and aged 6 to 9yo. These criteria make a blind profit and has shortlisted the winner every year bar one since 1999.

This year’s list is: Might Bite, Native River, Road To Respect, Our Duke.

Everyone who runs racehorse share syndicates has a ‘one that got away’ story, and here’s mine.

I run the ENIGMA Racing syndicates and we have shares in a number of horses at Seven Barrows. One day Nicky showed us a handsome, but raw and slightly unfurnished gelding he had knocking around.

JP didn’t want it, nor Munir or Buckley or any of his other big owners. Which of course was off-putting. Eventually he found someone to take it. That horse turned out to be none other than Might Bite. It just goes to show what an amazing place Seven Barrows is – where else would that happen? He buys really nice horses.

It’s bad enough he won the King George. Today I discover whether we came within a whisker of owning a share in a Gold Cup winner. Deep joy!

All that aside, this is a day of reckoning for Might Bite. He’s not the most natural jumper in the world and you would think speedier, flatter tracks would be his natural habitat. It’s hard to shake the memory of that quirky / iffy display in a very average RSA last year.

No hiding place here, every which way this is a proper race. In his prime, as he surely is, Might Bite may just win anyway, but there are some big questions to answer - not only the ground, but his King George victory also looked a pretty average renewal. Today he must answer these questions, and in the meantime I suspect the percentage call is to take him on.

I’m against Native River. I backed him last year, he ran very well but got beat and horses who fail to win and come back to try again have a terrible win record. I also think this looks a better renewal.

Which leaves Irish Grand National winner Our Duke, who is heavily fancied in Ireland and Road To Respect who does look the most underestimated horse in the field, and a knocking each way shout. They’ll do for me.

3.30 Our Duke 1pt win 6/1 various
3.30 Road To Respect 1pt EW 11/1+, 4x1/5 generally

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.KEYRACINGNEWS.COM/FORUM-RESULTS

** Feedback: The correct decision to oppose Might Bite, Native River did the business from our short-list, Road To Respect earned place money **

Day 4, the end is nigh

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