Thursday, 22 February 2018

2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase Fancies

2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase Fancies
The Cheltenham Festival is closing faster than a speeding horse.
The venue: Prestbury Park, Gloucester. Jot down these dates 13th - 16th March because you really don't want to miss out.

The Queen Mother Champion Chase takes place on the 14th March.

3:30 Cheltenham -

This two mile Grade 1 Chase is run on the old course featuring twelve jumps. It has a history which puts it on a par with the best racing in the world. This National Hunt steeplechase is open to horses ages five years and older.

Inaugurated in 1959, Quita Que, a ten-year-old horse, ridden by Bunny Cox, showed the way.

One of the most outstanding horses to have won this race on no less that three occasions is Badsworth Boy taking victory in consecutive years from 1983 – 1985.

Recent winners that may bring fond memories include:

2014 Sire de Grugy
2015 Dodging Bullets
2016 Sprinter Sacre
2017 Special Tiara


At the time of writing, 21 horses are entered to run. However, if we are looking at the betting we may be forgiven to thinking this is a one-horse race.

Altior is an exceptional talent for trainer Nicky Henderson. This eight-year-old bay gelding has race 15 times and defeated twice. This Irish-bred son of High Chaparral has started favourite 13 times and achieved total prize earnings of almost £400,000. It's no wonder this wonder horse is priced 8/11f. After winning at odds of 1/3f when winning ''comfortably'' at Newbury in February, bookmakers are willing to push their luck too far with this May foal. With Henderson primed to have a superb meeting, this gelding will be one for the big players. For those looking to get in on the action for 2018 Cheltenham betting odds and offers there is value in every race. In truth, Altior looks a great bet at 8/11 and if the bookmakers push this out on the day it would be a steal - anything near 1/1 is a bet.

One trainer who may try to spoil the party is Willie Mullins. Readers will be quick to note that he has no record in this race at all. Looking at the previous winners his name is missing. Could this be his year?

The bookmakers' prices illustrate a couple of live contenders.

Min has been backed to odds of 3/1. This seven-year-old gelding, a son of Walk In The Park, has started favourite since joining Mullins, racing in the familiar silks of Mrs S Ricci. He won well on his latest victory at Leopardstown.

Mrs Ricci fields another horse which leads little introduction – Douvan. This eight-year-old bay gelding has raced 16 times and proven victorious 14. Losses bookend his career with being runner-up on debut and a truly disappointing display last time out last year at Cheltenham in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. That day, the 2/9f led but found to be lame finishing 7th. It will be interesting to see how this once untouchable gelding fares this year.

Other fancies as far as the betting considers include:

Fox Norton, trained by Colin Tizzard. This eight-year-old gelding pulled up on his last start and priced 12/1 with leading bookmakers.

Great Field, another charge from Willie Mullins. A winner on his last four starts, hasn't been seen for the best part of a year. Betting odds of 12/1 suggest he is the third string racing in the famous silks of J P McManus.


The betting: Altior 8/11, Min 100/30, Douvan 5/1, Politologue 10/1, Fox Norton 12/1, Un Des Sceaux 12/1, Great Field 14/1, Special Tiara 16/1, York Hill 16/1, Top Notch 20/1, 25/1 Bar.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Enjoying the Grand National at Work

40 horses but only 1 winner – the 2018 Grand National is almost here! If you’re hoping to land a winner and maybe some extra pocket money out of the deal then you need to be keeping an eye our for the best bets from Betfair for the Grand National.

However, if you’re only hoping to have a flutter and maybe have some fun with your friends, family or colleagues, we’ve got a great game for you that you can play from the comfort of your own home/office.


To play, all you have to do is print off the three essential ingredients here – the rules card which tells you how to run the sweepstakes, the race-card which gives you the name of 40 horses likely to run, as well as odds from Betfair:


Blaklion is currently the 10/1 favourite with Betfair with one of last year’s contenders, Minella Rocco looking to go better and win this year’s Gold Cup. The Irish horse is currently 14/1 second favourite.

Behind the two favourites is the chasing pack of The Last Samurai, Definitely Red and Total Recall. The latter has seen its odds decrease in recent days..
Once the rules card has been printed, here are the betting slips to fill in so you can all pick the horse you think is going to win:


Now you’re ready to go have fun with your colleagues or whomever you are playing the 2018 Grand National sweepstake with this year. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Top Tips for the Festival

Top Tips for the Festival
March is the one month that all horseracing lovers look forward to and it's simply because the Cheltenham Festival roars into life yet again.

We are just a few weeks away from the Festival, but the hype has already reached dizzy heights from all over the world. From the first day to the last, there will be some interesting highlight races most punters are looking forward to. As such, we share with you some festival tips on which horses we think are the main action to finish in the revered first positions.

Day 1 (National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup)

The highlight race of Day 1 is the National Hunt Steeple Chase Challenge Cup. The biggest draw to this event is that it is considered an unpredictable and tough one; featuring amateur riders and novice chasers. Therefore, historical data does not really come in handy during the race. Nonetheless, over the years the race has provided great entertainment and the same is expected this year. This year’s National Hunt is slightly different from previous races in that it features one jockey who had remarkable success over the past 3 years. Gordon Elliot won two of the last three National Hunt races and features again for the fourth time. This year, he will ride Sutton Place. Sutton finished 2017 strongly winning his last five races in a row and with Gordon Elliot, he comes with a tried and tested jockey as the favourite before the race.

Day 2 (Queen Mother Champion Chase)

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is one of the most anticipated races of the Festival. Its popularity is evidenced by the fact that race bets are placed as early as the early to mid-December when the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival closes. There are two headliners for this event this year, Altior and Douvan. Both of them have not entered into any race this year, but will go into the Festival in good shape. Douvan injured himself in this same race last year at the Festival, only returning to action towards the end of the year. He did put in a great shift while Altior swept almost everything in front of him capping it off by winning impressively the Arkle. The rivalry between these two will be one to watch.

Day 3 (JLT Novices Chase)

On the opening race on Day 3, the JLT Novices Chase is the one to look out for. The race is in some sorts is similar to the National Hunt in that it features novice chasers, is relatively longer (though shorter in comparison to the National Hunt) and traditionally features amateur riders. However, even though dominated by first-timers, it provides top-class entertainment. The favourite for the race is Benatar boasting a flawless record to date with 3 wins in 3 races. Going into the Festival, Benatar looks to maintain his record along with Gary Moore; a jockey who has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

Day 4 (Cheltenham Gold Cup)


The Gold Cup is the biggest of all races and all eyes will be focused on this year's event. As the norm, classy lists of horses look forward to winning the prestigious Timico Gold Cup and last year’s winner Sizing John is this year’s hot favourite. After scooping the big prize last year, Sizing John has all the right moves where he managed to finish in the ‘Show’ places in all of his races. The momentum is definitely on Sizing John’s side, but he faces some stiff competition from Native River, Might Bite, and Djakadam.

US Racing Bets – Top Tips

US horse racing tips
With races coming thick and fast this season, punters know they have unlimited chances to place winning bets. At different venues across the US, some of the nation’s top horses compete for honours. Just because you cannot be physically present at the horseracing venues, doesn't mean you cannot partake in the thrill of picking the winning horses. Below we share the daily picks of US races based on stats and current form so that you can place your bets confidently without having to watch how the horses perform at a land-based venue.

Louisiana Downs

At the Louisiana Downs, there will be seven races throughout the day. The first race features a couple of horses that dropped in grade that are also tipped as the favourites. One of these horses is Chick Lips who finished in a respectable eighth position. Going into this race, Chick Lips is the preferred choice, but he faces stiff competition from RootnandToon. The second race is a bit of a rivalry between Fast Dashing Candy and Karoles Patriot. The winner of the race is expected to be between these two, but Fast Dashing Candy has a bit of an advantage as he won his last race at Evangeline in November.

With a string of near misses during the whole of 2017, Pool Party Girl will want to start 2018 on a high by winning this race. It will be a tough task however as she has to finish in front of Reachingforthemoon. Reachningforthemoon herself had an indifferent 2017, but has the added advantage of experience. The other highlight event is race 5 with two favourites, FH Tochin and Hez Our Valentine. FH Tochin won her maiden over the C&D, though Hez Our Valentine drops into the race from an upper-grade race where he managed to compete.

Mahoning Valley

The first race at Mahoning Valley features a horse that was widely expected to dominate the headlines at the start of 2017, El Gordo Navas. However he failed to do so as a result of a number of injuries that limited his experiences. El Gordo Navas will face competition from Battle Crossing and Three Pillars for pole position. In race 4, Don’tbothermenow who struggled at this venue a few weeks back will be seeking a change in fortunes. Odds are in favour of Dontbothermenow more so as his main competitor, Magic Apple, who lost dismally.

In race 6 is an emerging horse causing waves in US racing known as Cindor Bolt. Cindor Bolt’s previous race is a testament to his ability and performance where he went on to win without any effort. Cindor Bolt’s is the clear favourite to win, while Game of Dreams and Enta the Circle are predicted to be close contenders.

Turf Paradise

The first race at Turf Paradise features two horses that dropped a grade, and they are both favourites to finish in the ‘Place’ positions. This will be the third race in a row for Miss N Wildcat in this race group and as such is expected to be more accustomed to the surroundings and the turf. Another fellow dropper is West Princess who will race for the first time in the race group. Miss N Wildcat is probably the best nap of this race based on experience on the turf, but a surprise from a fellow dropper, West Princess cannot be ruled out.


Race 5 is another highlight race to look out for with two favourites having contrasting fortunes. Son of a Royal is simply unbeatable while Trevor’s Call, on the other hand, is not exactly a world-beater but has shown consistency over the past year finishing among the top three places in all of his races. Based on consistency, Trevor’s Call may just be the top pick for this race.  

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Cheltenham Gold Cup Memories: Desert Orchid

Magical
Henry Ford once said of his cars: ''You can have one in any colour, as long as it is black.'' 

Thank the Lord he didn't breed racehorses! 


Where would we have been without ''Dessie''? 


It is difficult to put a finger on it, but there is something special about grey horses. Even from afar they eclipse the bays, chestnuts and their like. Lady luck invites us to bet on the grey. No one asks: ''Which one's mine?'' And when they win... it's like watching Pegasus without wings. 


You know, I believe one grey horse was truly magical. Why? Because if you ask someone to name a grey I bet they will give one reply. Such elegance, beauty, captured in a gritty determined winning style. I'm convinced he was born a unicorn but some vagabond stole his magical horn leaving him with a story which foretold one day you will run like the wind, fly over fences and be crowned a champion racehorse.


His name was Desert Orchid.


Born on the 11th April 1979, this son of Grey Desire, out of the mare Flower Child, became an icon of National Hunt racing. With his front-running style and iron will this much-loved horse was simply the peoples' champion.  


His greatest victory came in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Desert Orchid, trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Simon Sherwood, had been in superb form leading up to this race where he was made 5/2f. Running over 3m 2f, jumping 19 fences in heavy ground, would be a remarkable test for a horse who was once thought a two-miler at a course he did not favour. This noble grey jumped well, leading to the 14th fence, he was left in the lead 3 out, only to be headed by the brave mud-loving Yahoo. Over the last fence it looked as though Desert Orchid was beaten. The crowd watched in awe as racing commentator Peter O'Sullivan echoed those famous words: ''Desert Orchid is beginning to get up.'' He won by one and half lengths beating Yahoo, with Charter Party finishing third. Simon Sherwood said: ''I have never known a horse so brave. He hated every step of the way in the ground and dug as deep as he could possibly go.''


Dessie was without question the peoples' champion. A quote from a race fan remembering this day detailed what so many felt.




 ''When Peter O'Sullivan started 
to say Desert Orchid was beginning to get up it sent shivers down my spine. It was like watching England win the World Cup. I wanted to streak up the road I was so delirious''


Few race meetings capture the anticipation, excitement and passion of the Cheltenham Festival. The Gold Cup the pinnacle of equine star. Which horse captures your imagination like Dessie? What's your idea of a good horse racing bet? Bring sports alive with the best odds available at Bet Victor