Don't you just love to bet when you can have your money back if you lose?
We are going to look at the first race again today and use that Coral offer to have a risk free bet and to help us we are going to turn to one of my favourite tipsters, Mark Foley.
Mark has 5 selections at the Festival today, including some juicy big priced shots. You can get access to all of his selections for the final day as well as all his Trainer Trends selections until the end of March for just £14.99 – Click Here.
This will be the last chance to get access to Mark's expertise for 6 weeks at this bargain price. Click Here
Get All of John's Selections
When you Trial his Victor Value service
Just £7 for 14 Days
So onto the Triumph Hurdle and over to Mark…
FRIDAY 15 MARCH 1.30 – JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE – GRADE 1 – 2M 1F.
A REASONABLE STATS RACE. Selection – Rolling Star
The introduction of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap in 2005 has had an impact on this race, 2011 winner Zarkandar became the first horse to win it after just one run over hurdles, and furthermore three of the last five winners had run no more than twice over hurdles.
Whereas this race used to be a bookies benefit, it has been far more reliable since the introduction of the Fred Winter, up until last year the last seven winners had all came from the first four in the betting.
Countrywide Flame was a real stat buster last year, as all but 2 of the last 18 winners had won LTO, as did the 2nd and 3rd last year and the first 3 home the year before. All but one of the last seven winners were all rated 138.
Look to the flat for the winner; just one of the last fifteen winners was rated lower than 80 on the flat and the last 14 Triumph winners also ran over at least 12f on the flat and that’s important in what is essentially a test of stamina for a four-year-old.
Nicky Henderson has won 2 of the last 4 renewals Barry Geraghty was aboard both of his winners to take his Triumph tally to three.
Willie Mullins and Alan King also have a good recent record in the race, although only 5 Irish trained horses have made the frame in the last 8 years and the last Irish trained winner was Scholardy in 2002.
Three of the last four winners were French imports including Zaynar whose 55 days break between winning his final prep race and the Triumph is the longest since Duke of Monmouth defied a 78-day absence back in 1992.
All but 2 of the last 21 runners had their final prep run in February and all but one of the last eight winners did not make their hurdling debut until at least December; 4 of those did not race over hurdles until at least January (last year’s winner debuted in November). Four of the last nine winners weren’t seen until January, with two of the last three Triumph winners being triumphant in the Adonis, a race that has produced 5 of the last 13 winners of the Triumph, along with Supreme Novices winner Binocular.
The roll call of Adonis winners is impressive; Zarkander, Binocular, Punjabi, Trouble at Bay and Well Chief since 2003 alone.
First 4 in the betting 6/6
Raced LTO in February 18/20
Won LTO 16/19
Rated 80 on the flat 14/15
Raced over at least 12f on flat 14/15
The Irish believe they have the ammunition to provide their strongest challenge for years in the shape of Our Conor, who they believe can give them their first win since 2002 and only their 2nd win in the past 15 years. However the fact that only 5 Irish runners have even made the frame in the last 8 renewals would suggest that English juvenile form is a lot stronger than over the sea and although Our Conor looked very impressive in beating Diakali, his jumping left a lot to be desired.
Our Connor (Rated 145) has had 3 runs over timber and debuted in November. All 3 runs were on Soft or Heavy and he never ran further than 9f on the flat and his profile certainly doesn’t fit that of a recent winner. He looked impressive in beating Diakali.
Diakali: Rated 140 Beaten by Our Conor. Raced over 12f on the flat, 3 runs debuted in November.
Far West: (Rated 145) Never raced on Flat all 4 wins on Soft and Heavy.
Irish Saint: Won the Adonis beating Vasco De Roncary, the front two a long way clear. However, Irish Saint was beaten by Rolling Star (Rated 149, Raced over 15f on flat) a horse who was making his British debut, the 2 of them a long way clear. Given the fact that Rolling Star beat the Adonis winner on debut and is trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 5 times) I have to side with Rolling Star, especially with more rain forecast.
Today's Selection courtesy of Trainer Trends
Cheltenham 1.30 Rolling Star – Win Bet – 11/4 Coral (Money Back bet token if it loses)
* There are better prices available on this selection this morning, notably 7/2 Blue Square, Coral are best odds guaranteed so essentially you are getting a free bet at 11/4 or starting price if it's bigger