THE much-anticipated Cheltenham Festival gallops into action on Tuesday and as well as our regular horse racing expert JohnB we’ve drafted in an extra top tipster to help you bash the bookies.
The Voice of Value is an amateur tipster with a love for racing and jumps in particular. He caught the bug at an early age when his grandfather had a share in a winning chaser and his annual Grand National and Cheltenham guides have been well received our the past few years.
We’re delighted to have him aboard and here is the first of his detailed day-one write-ups and tips for the greatest show on turf this week.
Supreme Novices Hurdle
– 1.30 p.m.
– 2miles and 110 yards
– For ‘novice’ hurdlers – i.e. those hurdlers who had not won a hurdles race before the start of the current season
– No age restriction
The curtain-raiser for the festival is always met with that famous Cheltenham roar, not least from the bookies who are always ready to fill their satchels at our expense but with every passing year the competition for your Cheltenham bank becomes a little bit fiercer. Totesport online are offering best odds guaranteed and non-runner no bet on all races at Cheltenham, which can be a real help over the course of the week.
Main Selection: L’Ami Serge – 7-2 (totesport)
I have followed this one all season to good effect and although I am very wary of Douvan, the Willie Mullins horse, I have decided to stick with L’Ami Serge. Serge hasn’t run in a race with as many runners as this and there is nothing like a big race at Cheltenham to separate the wheat from the chaff but I think he has a good cruising speed that will let him stay in touch with the breakneck speed that they will shoot off at. I think he also has a quicker change of pace than Douvan when it gets to the business end. Douvan is clearly a classy one and is well-fancied by the Irish but Mullins himself concedes that despite being a very competent jump Douvan is perhaps lacking in a little bit of pace and that might cause problems if one or two of them are upsides coming up the hill. At 6-4 I can’t be having Douvan with some much depth to the race so I’m going with L’Ami Serge.
Each-Way Value: Qewy – 10-1 (totesport)
This one is nice value for those who like a bigger each way price. He has very little form to go on, having run over hurdles only twice and that perhaps explains why he is available at 10-1. John Ferguson is a trainer who takes classy horses from flat racing and turns them into nice hurdlers and he looks like he has a potential star here. Qewy was beaten into 3rd in his first ever hurdles race but he was thrown into a class 1 so there is no shame in that. On his second start he beat a horse called Cardinal Walter very comfortably and that horse has won easily since (albeit at a lower level). The better ground will suit Qewy and his turn of pace from his days as a flat horse will come in handy in the closing stages. I think 10-1 is good value. I should also say that I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Jollyallan – his form in the race that Garde Le Victoire won was eye-catching and with Tony McCoy on board he can’t be ruled out.
L’Ami Serge – 3 points win
Qewy – 0.5 pt each way