Shares in Paddy Power Bookmakers have risen sharply in the past couple of weeks as the stock market anticipates the bookies having a very good Cheltenham this year, naturally at the expense of the punters. Last year was a tough one for Paddy Powers with a lot of heavily backed Irish favourites winning.
This year, several prominent ante-post favourites e.g. Kicking King, Best Mate, have failed to make it to Cheltenham while others such as Moscow Flyer and Hardy Eustace have not demonstrated good form in their recent races. Beef or Salmon is ante post favourite for the Gold Cup but has never looked like winning the race in the past. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever won outside Ireland.
As always, Irish punters at Cheltenham will roar home any Irish winner. The problem is that we’ll have several runners in each race and it’s often one of the less fancied, least backed runners that actually wins. Patriotic fervour and empty pockets too often go hand in hand.
Day 1 - Tuesday 14th March 2006
It’s only 9.30am, but already I’m on the following horses for today’s racing:
Supreme Novices Hurdle: Sweet Wake @ 3/1
Arkle Chase: Accordion Etoile @ 6/1 and Don’t Be Shy @ 9/1
Champion Hurdle: Arcalis @ 14/1
Wm Hill Chase: Korelo @ 12/1
I’ll probably lay off some of the Arcalis bet on Betdaq, the horse should start at 6/1 - 7/1, and have something on one of the fancied Irish nags. Picking the right one will be the challenge.
I have to look after my mother this afternoon. I hope she likes watching racing on the box.
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