Cheltenham 2011 Ante Post

Tue, Mar 23, 2010

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Cheltenham 2011 Ante Post

Cheltenham 2011 Ante-post

With the 2010 Cheltenham National Hunt Festival barely behind us, it may seem premature to start looking forward to next year but I couldn’t resist.

Champion Hurdle

Binocular stunned me with his win in 2010. Not just because he turned up having been previously ruled out but because he beat Khyber Kim so comfortably. If he turns up next year in the same shape he’ll be very hard to beat but that has to be a very big if. He makes absolutely zero appeal as a long range ante post bet given his, still unexplained, issues.

One horse who went into the Festival underestimated, ran a blinder, and yet remains underestimated is Barizan. He was so enterprisingly ridden in the Triumph that many will think his finishing position something of a fluke. I doubt that’s the case. The one time he flopped was on bottomless ground, in every other outing he’s shown a ton of class and he remains seriously underrated. If Nicky Henderson trained him in England, rather than Evan Williams in Wales, he’d be a fraction of the current 33/1.


Queen Mother Champion Chase

Regular viewers of At The Races will now how highly I regard Sizing Europe. He was the most exciting hurdler around when he was at his very peak and the patience and diligence of Henry de Bromhead and team has been rewarded with a so far faultless chasing career. His Arkle win was scintillating stuff and if there’s a horse around that can live with his speed and his ferocious jumping appetite next year, I’ve not seen him. 6/1 is no great shakes a year in advance but it’s currently impossible to look beyond him. I love him to bits.

The only other note on Sizing is the possibility of going up in trip with him. He won his first chase over 2 ½ miles in bottomless ground. If the longer distances ever look an option I’d want to be with him still even up to and including the Gold Cup trip. He’s that good.


Gold Cup

Anyone considering siding with Kauto Star over Imperial Commander for next year’s Gold Cup wants their head examined. Imperial Commander routed the 2010 Gold Cup field. He would have beaten Kauto at Haydock with only marginally better luck, or a marginally longer run-in and not even a back to his best Denman could get him off the steel at his beloved Cheltenham.

Gold Cup Quest Starts Here...

He will be ten next year though and he’ll be vulnerable to anything really classy graduating through the ranks.

As I’ve said already, if Sizing Europe successfully steps up in trip he’d be a proper Gold Cup prospect. Assuming he stays down at the minimum trip, the horse who chased him home in the Arkle makes most appeal. Somersby looks every inch the classical staying chaser. Physically imposing, classy and agile he has all the credentials to go right to the top over fences.

That he was able to get so close to a horse of Sizing Europe’s class and pace augurs very well for his future. He gives every impression that staying will be his game and with his abundant ability he’d be a match for almost anything. Of all the prices currently available for next years big races his Gold Cup odds stand out most clearly.


Those are my initial thoughts. Feel free to add you own.

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7 Responses to “Cheltenham 2011 Ante Post”

  1. J McBride Says:

    In the Gold Cup Boycie im with you on Somersby, but I think the horse who was my banker at Cheltenham; Weird Al offers great value at 25’s considering he is still on the upgrade, and would of probably won the RSA had he had stayed safe. That however that would be the big issue as he is lightly raced and has obviously had is problems, I lost my ante-post money on him, but im positive i’ll win it back next season!

  2. DenLon Says:

    There’s nothing premature about having ante post bets for Cheltenham 2011 if the price is right. I agree Weird Al is good value (47/1 on Betfair) I’m also a fan of Weapon’s Amnesty, but is he currently value? I can see the horse being beaten on testing ground in Ireland before returning to a course & ground he excels on and running a big race. I hope bigger prices will be available when next season is underway.

    Another ante post bet I’ve already had is a little investment on Burton Port for next year’s Grand National. Although Burton Port currently has a rating in the high 150’s (Don’t Push It was 153), the possibility of Denman running in the race would surely see Burton Port carrying much less weight than this year’s winner

    Anyone agree?

    Denis in London

  3. Graeme Says:

    I can’t see much value at the moment to be honest. I’m thinking along the lines of the owners with money bringing in a good few decent French horses, so anything i back now might not looks o good later in the year. Couple of not so big bets on Weird Al at 40’s for the GC, and Mad Max at 40/1 for the Champion Chase, even though he might go further.

    I do like Sizing Europe, but not so much at 6/1 for the reason you pointed out yourself.

    Pandorama at 33s looks a fair price, but i don’t know what the ground would have to be like for them to run him.

  4. seanboyce Says:

    All good points Den and Graeme. The best bets to have at this range are the 33/1, 40/1 + kind of bracket really as there is so much that can change between now and then.
    Burton Port is interesting. I’m convinced big weights will be denied by horses in the National in the coming few years, although maybe by physically bigger horses than Burton Port, but he jumps and that’s such a massive factor. Look how well Hello Bud went, the best of his jumpers said Twiston.
    The point about Weapons Amnesty coming back from the bottomless ground in ireland is a good one though as we saw with Hughes’ horses in the Grand National again this year as well. Different game altogether on the different surfaces.

  5. LDC Says:

    I have no strong thoughts as yet regrading the 3 championship races listed, but would like to post an early marker for the Arkle.

    I was at the April meeting and saw Captain Chris win over hurdles and was more than impressed. The time was respectable and would have been even better had he steered a straight course from the top of the hill.Post race it was mooted that his future lay over fences.

    Trends wise he ticks a couple of boxes too. He’ll be seven come the festival (only 2 winners have been older in the last 19 runnings). Officially rated 146, he meets the trend criteria of winners being rated 142 plus over timber (9 of the last 10 winners were 142+).

    Its distinctly autumnal here in Brum this morning and my thoughts are already turning to the winter game. Can’t wait to see if I can get a nice price for this Hobbs stable beast!

  6. seanboyce Says:

    Good stuff LDC, thanks for that.

  7. LDC Says:

    Having read this:

    “It is quite amazing what he achieved in a short space of time last season; fourth in his bumper in mid-February then won his next three hurdles rounding off at Cheltenham in April off 146. We are absolutely delighted with him at home, everything’s gone well, and he’ll go to Kempton later in October with Menorah for a listed novice hurdle — because he won his first hurdle in March he’s a novice until November. After that we’ll decide if he’s going over fences or not. He hasn’t schooled yet and he should be better over two and a half miles but we haven’t run him over that yet! His chase target would be the Arkle but if he were to win easily at Kempton then I’d probably have to look at the Greatwood Hurdle. He copes with soft ground but better on good.”

    I am hopeful that my early stance re: Captain Chris was justified. He’s certainly one to look out for.

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