Perceptive is the word I would use to sum up Joe and it is worth taking time out to read what he has to say about the Cheltenham Festival.
In the light of recent events, Joe has updated his thoughts on the World Hurdle and the Gold Cup.
I don’t agree with all his verdicts in the following article, but then that is what punting is all about. Opinions. We very rarely all see the same race the same way.
Here is what he has to say.
The World Hurdle
Formerly the Big Buck’s’ benefit race, this running promises to be the most exciting for many years. When Big Buck’s was pulled out Oscar Whisky was put in at 7/1 – the craziest price I’ve seen all season about anything. I blogged then that I thought he’d be nearer 7/4 on the day, but Reve de Sivola has dented the chances of that and Oscar is about 7/2 as I write, though coming in for continued support.
There are still those who believe he does not stay 3 miles but the way he finishes over two-and-a-half makes that very unlikely to my eye. Even after his neck defeat in The Cleeve, some are saying he didn’t see it out. Geraghty will ride him with more confidence this time and, hopefully, the ground will be much better. Also, World Hurdles are usually not much more than a hack round on the first circuit – seldom any pace in them.
There are two in the race worth a win only bet as savers: Get Me Out of Here who’ll be trying this trip for the first time, and Peddlers Cross, also his first attempt. GMOOH is a solid Cheltenham horse with four 2nds in good races. He needs decent ground. I think he’ll get the trip and run very well.The Cheltenham Gold Cup
Historically a very good race for me, touch wood, and I cannot see past Bobs Worth. A dual Festival winner (winning Festival form is probably the most significant pointer to winners here) who has class, stamina, jumps well, is still improving, is utterly straightforward and will be steered by one of the best steeplechase jockeys there has been.
He is 4 from 4 at Cheltenham, this will be just his 6th steeplechase so I’d expect him to still be improving . . . he will do for me.
Of the others, I believe Sir Des Champs to be over-rated, First Lieutenant is thoroughly exposed and looks Ryanair-bound anyway. Long Run does not jump well enough. Boglike ground might push me toward Long Run as stamina is what has won him his big races.
I’ve been uncertain about Silviniaco Conti, but his Newbury win impressed me and has slightly dented my confidence in Bobs Worth: SC should be placed and might even win it, but he is too short for a saver.
My saver then will be The Giant Bolster. If the bloody thing could jump, I’d back him each way with some confidence as he is much better at Cheltenham than elsewhere. His record there when he has completed a race is 6112 – the 6th was in the Neptune to Peddlers Cross when TGB was a 200/1 chance; the 2nd was in last year’s Gold Cup and he is worth an each way bet at 16s NRNB.
But Bobs Worth is a confident selection on anything but bottomless going.Joe’s own website is http://steeplechasing.wordpress.com/
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