Thought I'd do what I did last year and blog race by race. Hopefully get a feeling for the ups (hopefully) and downs (inevitably) over the next four days.
1.30: Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Well, well, well. Who'd a thunk it? A winner in the first.
On The Nose tipped Cinders And Ashes a month or so ago at 12/1, and despite being weak in the pre-race market it stormed up the Cheltenham hill like a good'un. Dean also gave Galileo's Choice, as did 4PA this morning and despite running a solid race, this one never really threatened to get too involved. Still, not to worry. I've known worst starts to the Festival (like the first three days, last year!). Wouldn't it be nice to get on a roll!?!
2.05: The Arkle
How impressive was Sprinter Sacre? Next year's Champion Chase winner in my eyes.
Northern Monkey had fired in bets for this race like there was no tomorrow, and fortunately they included Sprinter Sacre. A losing race overall though, primarily because of the dreadful mistake Al Ferof made down the back straight which completely knocked the wind out of him and he was never travelling from that moment, which was a shame as the profit and loss on the race would have been much better had it finished second to SS.
Still, far from a disaster financially and still up after the first two races.
2.40: JLT Specialty Chase
Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yes!!!!
4PA: Alfie Sherrin to win. 20/1.
The big bet was on The Package each way (4PA and antepost for Northern Monkey) and the fact that it finished fourth means that the winnings from Alfie Sherrin were protected.
I thought The Package the likely winner entering the straight. Going well and having made up a lot of ground, I was at the very least highly optimistic for the place. Jumping the last though it seemed to run out of steam, but coming from out of the clouds was Alfie Sherrin who bravely kept on to the line to land the spoils. In all honesty, I only noticed it as it approached the last!
The only disappointment in the race was Tullamore Dew (On The Nose) who was never competitive.
Quite frankly, who cares?
Now, things are going rather too smoothly. If we can just avoid a shock result in the Champion Hurdle, it will have been a good day on the nags...
3.20: Champion Hurdle
Well isn't that just so typical of this game we play? Feeling unbeatable after the 2.40, you feel a chump after the 3.20. Betting on horses really can crumble your Hobnobs, can't it?
4PA went big, both antepost and this morning, on Hurricane Fly and Binocular. I thought the warning signs were there for The Fly pre-race when it got really warm and sweaty, and when push came to shove in the race itself, it wasn't able to find it's customary kick. The same could very much be said for Binocular, who was also the each way tip for Winning Racing Tips and Northern Monkey, so that one finishing fourth was a right old kick in the nadgers too.
Northern Monkey did cover the winner, Rock On Ruby, but only to a minimal stake as a saver. :(
Still. Let's not be too disheartened. Still nicely up on the day.
4.00: Cross Country Chase
Goodness me! Another winner!
Step forward to claim all the plaudits - On The Nose. One bet in this race, Balthazar King - 12/1. Never dropped out of the first two all the way around this ridiculous, near four mile course, and battled on gamely up the climb to win by a head.
5.15: Novices Handicap Chase
After all the excitement, a bit of a damp squib of a finale. Three horses and no returns. On The Nose went for Triolo Dalene and Saint Are, and Northern Monkey had Harpsy Cord, but none of them ever really looked like producing the goods.
No complaints. The first day of Cheltenham hasn't been at all bad. It should be noted that I did benefit from a real stroke of luck. Either the unsuccessful antepost bets that 4PA issued for the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle were sent out in the small gap between my subs running out and my rejoining, or I simply missed them. Either way, it saved me a couple of points.
One other thing of note. Away from Cheltenham, The Market Examiner had a nice winner (Dr Flynn - Sedgefield - 5.2/1).
Northern Monkey: Staked 3.87pts, -1.515pts.
4PA: Staked 8pts, +5pts.
On The Nose: Staked 4.5pts, +11.5pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
The Market Examiner: Staked 2.5pts, +3.7pts.
And so onto tonight's football, in which The Football Analyst 7/22 had two bets, one of which (Tranmere - 11/10) was a home winner for an overall profit. Strike Zone (homes) had a loser, and The Sportsman had a winning corners bet in the Bayern Munich/Basle Champions' League match.
The Football Analyst 7/22: Staked 3pts, +1.2pts
Strike Zone (homes): Staked 1pt, -1pt.
The Sportsman: Staked 0.2pts, +0.15pts.
Month to Date
Northern Monkey: Staked 10.09pts, -7.285pts, roi -72.2%
4PA: Staked 15.5pts, -1.187pts, roi -7.66%
Chasemaster: Staked 3.375pts, +1.681pts, roi 49.81%
WRT: Staked 3.6pts, +0.893pts, roi 24.81%
The Sportsman Racing: Staked 2pts, -0.237pts, roi -11.89%
On The Nose: Staked 4.5pts, +11.5pts, roi 255.55%
The Market Examiner: Staked 17pts, +2.18pts, roi 12.82%
TFA 7/22: Staked 10pts, +5.91pts, roi 59.1%
Skeeve: Staked 33pts, +1.98pts, roi 6%
Football Elite: Staked 9pts, +6.257pts, roi 69.52%
The Sportsman: Staked 0.35pts, 0pts, roi 0%
On The Oche: Staked 1pt, -1pt, roi -100%
Strike Zone (h): Staked 7pts, -4.103pts, -58.61%
Things have gone very well today, and over the last week, some very good profits have been made. I can't help thinking that it is all going a little bit too swimmingly and it can't last. I anticipate a tough day or two, and with the competitive nature of the racing this week, I wouldn't be that surprised if one arrives tomorrow.