Cheltenham is turning out to be anything but a rotten meeting writes Enda McEvoy
This is turning out to be a really rotten meeting.
- Me, here, this day last year -I bring you tidings of great joy, reader. Cheltenham 2015 is turning out to be anything but a really rotten meeting. Now read on...
Having finished Tuesday €78.50 ahead, an unforeseen and perplexing problem arises on Wednesday morning. What should my gameplan be? Do I pretend I’m Italian and go all catenaccio by opting for safety, metaphorically bringing an extra man into defence and essaying nothing riskier than a series of small each-way bets?
It’s a question worth pondering, although two things are already certain. Today will not have the drama of yesterday and – surer still — I will not have four winners again.
On the plus side, the issue in the Queen Mother Champion Chase has become a little less complicated. Champagne Fever is out after being bitten en route to Cheltenham, Twitter is alive with Luis Suarez jokes and my course of action is a no-brainer. As Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy have both been under a cloud at various stages this season, logic says the young and progressive Dodging Bullets has to be the choice.
What was it Sherlock Holmes said again? “When you have eliminated the impossible, the bleedin’ obvious must be the solution?” Something to that effect anyway.
The punters being unable to decide between the two WP Mullins runners in the opener, I’m damned if I’m going to try, so instead I stick a couple of euro each way on Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon despite knowing less than nothing about him. Bet365 are going 2/1 about Don Poli, much touted and a winner here last year, in the novice chase: sounds more than good to me. A tenner to win.
I’ve seen Taglietelle mentioned by one or two people as a decent outsider in the Coral Cup, even though I’m more a linguine man myself (it takes less chewing). Two euro each way there with William Hill, who are guaranteeing 16/1, and an each-way fiver on Dodging Bullets in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Elsewhere my old friend and fellow Enda, Mr Bolger, has Quantitativeeasing in the cross-country, with Miss N Carberry up, and not one but two readers get in touch to flag the chances of The Saint James in the 4.40. I put the pair in an each-way double leaving the bumper till later.
Snow Falcon runs well in the novice hurdle without landing a punch. No biggie; Don Poli promptly has me back in the black in the RSA. He does the job, powering up the hill, and if ever an animal had the words Future Gold Cup Winner stamped all over him it’s this one.
My good mood is improved when Taglietelle is a strong finishing fourth in the Coral Cup. Pasta beats catenaccio any day of the week, evidently. And then further joy: Dodging Bullets, Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy all do more or less what I expected and I have my second winner of the day..
Quantitativeeasing is going sweetly in the cross-country when some stupid grey puts him and Nina out through the rails after the second last, a debacle rendered all the more painful when The Saint James finishes third at 33/1: what a neat place double it would have made. My two each-way plays in the bumper – a Mullins and an Elliott – are out with the washing but I’m not complaining.
This is turning out to be a really good meeting.
Yay. And phew.
nRunning total: €126.88. Further tips and thoughts to @endaendamac95
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