Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 13 March 2010
Over the next week you might hear people singing Petula Clark's 1964 hit "Downtown" with the word "Cheltnum" substituted, racing folk having recorded the song for charity in time for the National Hunt Festival.
It could catch on – "There's Nothing Like This", by Omar, would be perfect for York's high-summer Ebor meeting. But next week's four-day epic doesn't need music – there'll be enough in the hearts of the 215,000 racegoers who've survived the winter, bankruptcy, and the Grim Reaper, who just want to hear the bookies squealing.
Achieving this is easier said than done – the Cheltenham layers know that over the meeting's 26 races, they'll probably finish ahead. What hurts them are "bankers" winning. The four horses they fear are Dunguib (Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Tuesday), Master Minded (Champion Chase, Wednesday), Big Buck's (World Hurdle, Thursday) and Kauto Star (Gold Cup, Friday), whose current best odds are 10-11, 5-6, 8-13 and 8-11 respectively. Skinny prices but imagine the weight of money behind them.
If you don't bet odds-on, try Peddlers Cross (20-1), Kalahari King (5-1), Tidal Bay (7-1) and Cooldine (10-1) as each-way alternatives, or "Exacta" partners for the big kahunas.
Elsewhere, the following look solid each-way types – prices are general, but don't ignore the Totepools at Cheltenham. On Tuesday, Exmoor Ranger (William Hill Trophy, 14-1); Wednesday, Diamond Harry (RSA Chase, 8-1) and Chicago Grey (Coral Cup, 25-1); Thursday, try Schindler's Hunt (Ryanair Chase, 12-1); Friday, Carlito Brigante (Triumph Hurdle, 11-2).
"Forget all your worries, forget all your cares..."
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