Reading the form guide
We have been counting down all winter and now it is only eight days to go before the start of the 2007 Cheltenham National Hunt Festival. This is a picture of me on Gold Cup Day in 2005, when the sun shone all day and the temperature reached 21 degrees on what was 18th March. Twenty-three years after my first trip to Cheltenham where I saw my favourite horse of all time, Silver Buck, win the Gold Cup, a day I will never forget.
2005 was also exceptional, not only because of the weather, but I managed to bring my mother along and we had a successful day, winning on Moulin Riche and coming second with the 66-1 Take The Stand in the Gold Cup.
Take The Stand is due to run again this year, but as he is a horse who prefers good ground, he may not run, as the ground is likely to be heavy or, at least soft. He has only raced on soft and heavy ground this year and has run badly every time, so time ot leave him out of considerations.
This year we have a big favourite in Kauto Star who has won five of the top races this year over all distances and types of ground. He should win, but his price at 6/4 (more than) reflects that. The distance will be further than what he has run over before, the ground potentially heavier than what he hs been running on and he has a tendency to make a bad mistake jumping (making a hash of the last fence in the last three races in which he has run).
Time to look for value...
We need to find a horse who is good, is reliable, who will stay and who likes the ground and is backable at a good price and I have found such a horse in My Will. I backed him last week at 25-1 an again a 20-1 but now he is 14-1. And, I have been spending my time since trying to convince myself that he will at least get a place. I see Exotic Dancer (4-1) and Our Vic (25-1) as the biggest dangers.
Further, I think New Alco is a good price at 12-1 for the William Hill Trophy and my old friend Hardy Eustace could win his third Champion Hurdle at 5-1. Blazing Bailey could win the World Hurdle on the Thursday at 7-1, where Kasbah Bliss is also interesting at 12-1.