Money, Money, Money, the title of the old Abba song will be heard ringing around the winners enclosure at approximately 4.10 pm after Monetaire wins!
Oh yes, we’re not messing about now. Money is what it’s all about and whilst things haven’t gone to plan so far, we are fighting back today and I’m expecting a good profit on proceedings. Just like John Cena, I, “Never Give Up!
We’ll start in race 1 the JLT Novice Chase. I’m a big fan of Apache Stronghold. Beaten a few times at the top level earlier in the season he finally came good last time out when defeating Valseur Lido fair and square at Leopardstown. This represented a massive turnaround in form from their previous meeting and shows how much he has progressed. Let’s not forget that the time before, he ran into the impressive RSA winner Don Poli, and was basically outstayed. This trip and ground will be ideal for him.
Saphir Du Rheu has been compared to the great Big Bucks in the media, due to the fact that he has had an aborted novice chase campaign, and now returns to top level hurdling. There will never be another Big Bucks, but there will be winners of the World Hurdle and this fellow ticks all the boxes. His Cleeve Hurdle win is the best statistical form over recent years and as he is towards the head of the betting, there are very few negatives for him.
So onto the headline horse, Monetaire. Here we have a horse that has clearly been plotted up by D. Pipe. He has already won this race twice for the owner with Salut Flo and Ballynagour and obviously knows what is needed. Monetaire has had only 2 runs this season. First time out he ran on strongly over an inadequate 2m at this course, suggesting a step up in trip would suit. He followed that up with a good win at Newbury which was followed by a 12lb rise in weights, just enough to get him in this race close to the bottom. That shows how shrewd the trainer is. Money, Money, Money, come on you all know the words!
Just as an aside, it is profitable in this race to back horses ridden by jockeys who can claim weight off their horse. Right at the bottom of this field is Klepht. Ridden by a 5lb claimer and trained by a man who very rarely comes to Cheltenham, but who when he does, is very profitable. T. Mullins has sent out Alderwood to win a County Hurdle and a Grand Annual Chase at this meeting. He clearly doesn’t waste his time sending out no hopers.
An interesting stat regarding the Kim Muir Chase is that the last 6 winners were all within 6lbs of the top weight. This reduces the number to concentrate on massively and makes our life so much easier. The one to be on in this is Masters Hill. This horse ran a great race in the Albert Bartlett at last year’s festival and has knocked heads with some good chasers in the last season or so. He looks a good price to do the business today.
Thursday 12th March – Cheltenham Best Bets
1.30 – Apache Stronghold @ 6s with bet365
3.20 – Monetaire @ 8s with bet365
3.20 – Klepht (ew) @ 66s with bet365
4.00 – Saphir Du Rheu @ 5s with bet365
4.40 – Masters Hill @ 12s with bet365
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