Let's start on Saturday where we had:
4.40 Hexham Oh Right 1pt 9/1+generally inc. 10/1 Stan James/Boyles 11/1 Bet365
Let's hope we get our compensation in the days ahead!
Here's our analysis of today's betting markets so far. Again, not designed as tips as such but perhaps some useful pointers ahead of the final day of action! All the best for a great day.
1.30 JCB Triump Hurdle
Baby Mix is solid at the front of the market at 6/1, while most of the other principles are easy to back. The exception is Balder Success, with 8/1 the best price available about Alan King’s unbeaten 4yo. Elsewhere, with the layers pushing many horses out in price a little, the price for Darroun at 12/1, is stable.
2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
The field down to 27 with Master of Arts a non-runner, and there is a lot of support for most of the fancied contenders, in particular Citizenship with Coral and Totesport among the firms to shorten from 8/1 into 6/1. There is still the odd bit of 7/1 available at the time of writing. Pricewise selection Olofi is another being supported, into a best priced 9/1, while Raya Star, Snap Tie and Magnifique Etoile are others being backed, and are best priced 10/1, 14/1 and 16/1 respectively. One of the reasons for these shortening is the opposition to Moon Dice, who is on a significant drift. Generally a 9/1 chance first thing, Paul Flynn’s 7yo is now as big as 14/1. At bigger prices, virtually all are easy to back with Sailors Warn and Desert Cry the two whose prices are holding up best.
2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
Boston Bob is a very solid favourite, with the Irish raider shortening with a few firms and a best priced 11/8. Elsewhere, Brindisi Brreze is being nibbled at in places and a best priced 10/1, while Sivola De Sivola is another being supported, with 20/1 available in a just a handful of places after being as big as 25/1 with Hills this morning.
3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
There can’t be many people in racing who wouldn’t love to see Kauto Star regain the crown, whether they’ve got money on him or not, but he is very easy to back so far, out to as big as 5/1 with a couple of firms. Long Run is also weak in the betting, and a general 2/1 chance now. Pricewise selection Synchronised has seen lots of support, over and above what we would even expect Tom Segal and a Non-Runner (Quel Esprit) would do to the markets, and is now a best priced 9/1 chance. Burton Port is also being nicely backed, and is a best priced 7/1. At bigger prices, Diamond Harry is the one of most interest from a market perspective, with 28/1 about Nick Williams’ 9yo the best price in most places.
4.00 Christie’s Foxhunter Chase
A fairly quiet day so far in the markets here, with Salsify (best priced 6/1) the one with the most widespread support. Elsewhere little bits of interest for Merchant Royal (14/1).
4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Notable support for Bourne in the face of two Pricewise selections, with any 11/2 or 6/1 around the morning now long gone for Donald McCain’s 6yo (best priced 5/1). PW pair Toner D’Oudairies and Grandad’s Horse have both shortened in price with the later attracting the most eye-catching support of the two of them. They’re best priced 7/1 and 16/1 from 8/1 and 25/1 generally. At bigger prices, many are on the drift with quite a few firms, with the excpetion being Tim Vaughan’s Ski Sunday, 2nd in the 2009 Fred Winter, and beaten six lengths in the County Hurdle last year from a higher mark and a best priced 40/1, and Bocciani, who is generally a 33/1 chance.
5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup
A pretty brutal getting-out stakes, with 21 going to post for this handicap chase over the minimum trip. PW pick Slieveardagh has been nicely backed into a best priced 11/1, but of potentially more interest from a market perspective is Lucky William, who has been well supported on his handicap debut, into a best priced 16/1 after being as big as 22/1 in places this morning. Elsewhere Kid Cassidy is pretty solid at the front of the market, while Tara Royal has been nibbled at in a place or two.
1.30 Jewson Novices' Chase
Donald McCain's fantastic Cheltenham means Peddlers Cross is being well backed, with the early 7-2 all gone except at Bet365 (at the time of writing). 100-30 is still quite widely available but he's already been cut to 3-1 in several places. There's also some interest in Zaynar, backed from a best priced 28-1 into as low as 16s (Hills) but still 20s in several places.
2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle)
The Pricewise pair of Sargent Guib's (9-1) and Pineau De Re (now best priced 16-1) are both well supported, with the latter in from an early 22-1 with Hills but possibly of more interested is the support for David Pipe's Beaua Vista , who is looking to follow up after winning the race for the last two years. 12-1 has been the biggest price about him but at the time of writing, 9-1 is the best available. Considering the horse was also second in this race three years ago, he is of obvious interest with 10lb claimer Tom Bellamy aboard. Interestingly, JP McManus only bought Catch Me in the last month or so but he has not yet steamed in and the horse has drifted slightly to a general 12-1 so we wait to see if there is a late plunge.
2.40 Ryan Air Chase
Riverside Theatre has been nibbled at but 5-1 has held up in a couple of places. Captain Chris is the only other one attracting notable support, into as low as 9-1 with those firms who went 12s early on.
3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle
A fairly lacklustre market early on, with Big Buck's drifting slightly as the big backers become wary of a third champion being turned over in as many days. 8-11 is the best available, which was unheard of a few days ago. Pricewise's choice of Thousand Stars is a best priced 9-1 at the moment, with Coral taking the early hits from their 12-1 and they have run for cover with the industry lowest of 15-2. Voler La Vadette has also shortened in places as punters seek out the each way value.
4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase)
A lively market for this very competitive handicap, with Crack Away Jack attracting a good degree of interest, in a point to a best priced 6-1. Hector's Choice (Pricewise) also being backed as per usual, with The Cockney Mackem another one showing up in the charts, into 16-1 from 20s and some support for Glam Gerry and Gilbarry, of Jonjo O'Neill's, at bigger prices.
4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
Pricewise has put up Sunnyhillboy and he is now 7-1 market leader but lower down the list Summery Justice is being well supported to give Venetia Williams her first winner at this year's festival. She has been in good form of late and the move for her's developed quite late in the morning and across the card so worth keeping an eye on.
What follows is an article we wrote for a Secret Betting Club "Cheltenham 2012 Tips Profit Pack" - which is available via a free download here - http://www.secretbettingclub.com/Cheltenham_Tips_2012/
It is an extension of some work we did last year, looking at betting moves in the ring ahead of the races at the Cheltenham Festival, we hope you find it interesting:
Much is made of betting market moves in the last few minutes before each race during the Festival. The Cheltenham “jungle” can be an intense battle ground where backers and layers clash in a desperate attempt to win out, where fortunes can be won and lost. Of course these days it’s all backed up on the exchanges, where tens of millions of pounds will be matched over the four glorious days.
But what about these pre-race plunges, the type which Big Mac and Tanya will revel in during Festival week on Chanel 4, are they actually worth taking notice of? What would happen if you backed at SP every horse which shortens from opening show ?
We at The Market Examiner specialise in looking at the early market moves on any given day’s racing, and have turned nearly 300pts of profit since January 1st 2010 (ROI +17%). Part of the reason for our success is our ability to, on average, beat SP with our morning selections. This crucial edge, the value in our punting, is all important in our quest for profits.
So with this in mind, to mark the success of market moves in purely results by SP is slightly unfair. Let’s first see how they perform compared to relative numbers.
Of the 232 Cheltenham Festival races, from 2002-2011, 889 horses shortened in price in the last few minutes before a race. This is 20.15% of the total horses that raced. Importantly, 30.6% of races were won by horses whose odds had shortened (71 in total). That shows that horses whose odds have shortened have won more than 10% more than the races than they should have been entitled.
But what does all this mean in terms of profits, and can we make the most of this interesting statistic?
The bottom line is, that if were to back blindly every horse whose odds shortened at the Festival at SP, we would be staring at a heavy loss. To be precise, -261.55pts, or -29.42% Return on Investment. There would be plenty of other systems which would return worse than -29.42% ROI during the Festival four days, but still, this, naturally isn’t ideal.
What about looking in more detail at race types?
If you were to just follow the moves in handicaps – you would be looking at -75.5pts (-18.33%ROI), whereas, if you were backing them in non-handicaps, the results are more painful: -186.05pts (-39% ROI).
So handicaps look more worthy of attention.. We’ve drilled down into the data and found two areas which may continue to be profitable going forward.
Interestingly, horses starting at 14/1 or shorter in all handicap chases – who have shortened up on course, have a much better record than those starting at 14/1 or shorter in all handicap hurdles:
Shortening horses starting at 14/1 or lower in Handicap Chases:
Strike Rate: 14.07%
Total Profit: +17.5pts (+12.96%ROI)
Shortening horses starting at 14/1 or lower in Handicap Hurdles:
Strike Rate: 7.08%
Total Profit: -37pts (-32.74%ROI)
That’s quite something, supported horses at the front of the market in handicap chases outperform their hurdle counterparts by nearly double. Clearly the cavalry charges of races like the County Hurdle are more prone to big priced upsets. So can we take advantage of this?
Shortening horses starting at 16/1 or higher in Handicap Chases:
Strike Rate: 0%
Total Profit: -81pts (-100%ROI)
Shortening horses starting at 16/1 or higher in Handicap Hurdles:
Strike Rate: 4.82%
Total Profit: +25pts (+30.12%)
A pretty brutal return for “fancied” big priced handicap chase selections, although there were five second placed finishes up at up to 50/1. It’s not a high strike rate among the hurdle selections, but at an average price of more than 28/1, it doesn’t need to be.
So in conclusion, we can say it could be worth looking twice at fancied runners continuing to be backed in the handicap chases events. And what about that unexposed type in the Coral Cup that’s been nibbled from 66/1 to 50/1 – maybe today’s the day..
Looking elsewhere, we thought it would also be interesting to look at the results of those horses which have gone off shorter than even money – and have contracted in price in the minutes before the off.
How have these “Festival Bankers” done over the last ten years?
Surprisingly poorly the answer.
Strike Rate: 25%
Total Profit: -4.26pts (-53.25%ROI).
So if Hurricane Fly hardens up from 10/11 on course into 4/5 in this year’s Champion Hurdle – that isn’t a signal that free money’s up for grabs. High profile defeats include Dunguib in the 2010 Supreme Novice Hurdle (4/5SP), Kauto Star in the 2008 Gold Cup (10/11) and Voy Por Ustedes in the 2009 Ryanair Chase (4/5).
Widening it out to include those horses trading at even money up to just shy of 2/1, here are the stats:
Strike Rate: 37.5%
Total Profit: -3.55pts (-11.09%ROI)
An improved strike rate, but still not the gravy train of success we may hope for.
Of course – if we have already backed those 32 likely contenders at 2/1 or bigger, then we’re looking at a different story. Suddenly we’d have a profitable line and market confidence can only be good news.
In summary, market support is a key indicator to success during the four days of Cheltenham, and it could well pay to follow money right down to SP in the Handicap Chases, as long as the horse goes off at 14/1 or lower. Maybe it’d be wise to wait until the last few minutes of such puzzles as the Grand Annual before making a selection or two..
Finally, here's a (non-affiliate) link to a website run by one of our subscribers, which usefully lists all the offers the bookies are running for Cheltenham, which may of interest too - http://www.freeeasybets.com/latest-free-bets/cheltenham-2012.html