Thistlecrack out of The Gold Cup Tendon trouble hamstrings the market.

Don Cossack, Coneygree and now Thistlecrack have all now had to come out of the Gold Cup through injury and Native River and Cue Card are now pressing each other for joint-favouritism.

As we have suggested elsewhere Cue Card and Sizing John have statistical flaws and I am uncertain as to Djakadam’s ability to get the distance. In fact, it is over 2 years since he won the Thyestes over 25f and on every other occasion since over a distance, he has looked flawed. I’m afraid this is going to guide me towards NATIVE RIVER as my Gold Cup Saver read Saviour.

Cue Card – is he really as good as Mandarin? Age and the statistics seem against him

Cue Card is 11 years old and is being quoted a best-priced 4/1 second favourite. WHOA THERE NELLY – can he really, win the Gold Cup aged ELEVEN?

The last horse to take the Gold Cup aged over ten was Cool Dawn in 1998. Kauto Star failed three times; Denman and the great Beef Or Salmon have both failed twice, and the rest of the elderly wannabes who failed includes Imperial Commander, See More Business, Dorans Pride, Grey Abbey, First Gold, Teeton Mill and Florida Pearl.

But wait – those are JUST the 10-year-olds. You have to go back to What A Myth in 1969 to find the last 11yo and then – at a time when Cliff Richard had yet to release a song – you have to go to 1962 when Mandarin won the Gold Cup.

In fact, from the last 14 runnings of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, there have been 55 horses aged 10yo+. None won, six were placed.

BOYDY SAYS: I would want to see 12/1 before I got involved. Leave Cue Card alone and cheer him home for a brave place without any of your money on him.

I’m Free! Well perhaps not quite so free - or for so long.

I was going to suggest that the Racing Post headline “screamed” Free bars to close early [at] Cheltenham. Sadly the screaming is all being done by the Post’s new beta layout, which is clumsily purple and gaudy in a way which suggests the children have been given the crayons and found a decent wall to scribble on. Bizarrely, of course, the website appears have gone down the presentational path that ITV chose not to follow: which is a shame given the quality of the writing in the village paper.

Anyway, I digress; the free referred to is apparently the Complimentary Bar system which applies to Cheltenham’s many boxes and chalets. In these satin-walled Palisades, the ticket price includes a “complimentary bar” – by which of course the caterers mean it is included in the price. One might say this is in much the same way as the food, staff, room hire, tipster and Racing Post is all complimentary – it’s just £495 pp for the race card.

This all started of course as a result of the growing yobbishness of the self-important scum who are famous for appearing on television in a programme about sitting at home watching TV while moaning about one’s lack of entitlements. These rights often seem to include the right to go out, and to get so horribly drunk, that they require pumping out by the NHS, at taxpayer expense!

Would it not be easier, cheaper and more fun for Cheltenham to declare that in between races, there will be an extra ten minutes for box-purging by proper racing fans. Thus if you saw someone urinating into a plastic glass on a balcony or exposing their over-injected bosom to the air, you would be allowed to gather a hundred Irishmen and sling them out.

“Out with the Bad, in with the Good”, as Nanny used to say.

Wanna buy a swimming pool gov? Corruption, Greed and Waste. The three Olympic disciplines

Almost everything I ever read in the Grauniad makes me angry – but rarely for the right reasons – or rather precisely for reasons of the right. On this occasion, however, their article on the 2016 Olympic Games stadia in Rio (HERE), makes my blood boil.

Maybe it’s my abiding memory of those over-enthused presenters all screaming how brilliant everything was and how cool and how it was like so real. Perhaps, and apart from witnessing the death of English, its because I knew that thousands of people were being shoved out of sight lest their poverty upset the viewers back home.We know that there were competitors from countries that were even poorer than Brazil who had been given tiny hand-outs by the great Gods of the Olympic movement to attend and to help lend the lie to the continuing tosh that is the Olympic games.

We know that there were competitors from countries that were even poorer than Brazil who had been given tiny hand-outs by the great Gods of the Olympic movement to attend and to help lend the lie to the continuing tosh that is the Olympic games.

We also know that these very Gods go on the most extraordinarily exotic sprees to be greased and oiled and palmed until they can only say Yes, and must award the games to the most deserving country who meets the Olympic televisual ideal.

WAKE UP everybody this is bollocks. Look at those pictures of the Rio stadia and that appalling waste of money. Stop allowing hugely corrupt organisations from handing out world cups and world championships, and international games and Olympics and biennials and triennials. Take that choice away and shove the lot into The United Nations Games Centre based in twenty thousand acres of Canada or Australia or Arizona or anywhere but somewhere poor. Then give the four losing competitors from each of the countries with the lowest GDP in every race or competition $1m. The Winners all get gold medals and silver cups and all the rest of that stuff and the winning team gets a $1m.

This scheme would eliminate Government-backed drug-cheating immediately; it would reward the Corinthian spirit and stop wasting massive amounts of time and money on building crap.

A Canadian in the court of King Cheltenham Make sure you put this on NRNB

Here are my five selections for an exciting 26 x ½pt each-way Canadian coupled with five 2pts e/w  singles to make a 46 pt bet.

  • MOON RACER – Supreme Novice Hurdle – 6/1
    • The Betfair Hurdle on Saturday 11th provides the raison d’etre for this selection. The winner (BALLYANDY) and second (MOVEWITHTHETIMES) have both been beaten by our selection, and are both decent animals. Whether BALLYANDY follows the likes of Flying Angel to the Martin Pipe HCap (or similar) or has a pop at the SNH, is anyone’s guess. The second will almost certainly run in The County. In any event, our selection is a near banker for Day 1 Placepots and could win this – but for this little stat HERE
  • BAYWING – National Hunt Chase – 33/1
    • Our selection took the G2 Towton Novice Chase at Haydock at the beginning of February by 22 lengths on the Soft ground. That might well be the ground he needs – but by backing NRNB, we’re not losing anything if he draws because of good ground. If he stays in and if there is cut in the ground – I’d be tempted to sell the wife and lump on.
  • OUTLANDER – Gold Cup – 12/1
    • Gordon Elliot’s charge hosed the Lexus Chase, beating a host of decent animals including DON POLI and DJAKADAM on a faster surface than historically considered ideal. That was his fourth race over a short period and while I was expecting him to take a bit of a break – I am surprised not to have seen him given a stretch somewhere. Again the NRNB concession is key – but if he turns up and Gordon has got him race-fit, then he’s a solid contender at a decent price.
  • POLITLOGUE – JLT Novices Chase – 8/1
    • A decent run at Kempton LTO – albeit a two-runner near walkover. Jumped clear and never gave cause for doubt. I picked him after his Ascot win last December, and I suspect that he ran up to his winning mark when beaten by WAITING PATIENTLY, at Haydock in January. The Malcolm Jefferson-trained winner will skip Cheltenham if the ground comes up fast and that might give us a clue to the Haydock result. I’m not sure he’s going to win the JLT, but I am reasonably confident that on faster ground POLITOLOGUE will give a decent account of himself.
  • LIL ROCKERFELLA – World Hurdle – 25/1
    • “Are you completely barmy?” I hear you say. I know his Relkeel 4th beaten 21 lengths doesn’t look good, but then again 2½m is too short for him nowadays. Remember he was only 4l shy of UNOWHATIMEANHARRY in the Long Walk and before that he was second to YANWORTH.  Both these should win at The Festival, and frankly, 25/1 seems a bloody decent e/w price. I shall also do the forecast with the favourite.


Remember to play NRNB