Here is a summary of all of the Antepost selections sent out so far and their current prices.
1pt win – Ballyadam – 16/1 Skybet, Bet365 & 888Sport (Now best priced 9/1 Bet365)
As expected, he ran a much-improved race on next start, getting to within 3 ¼ lengths of the strong favourite Appreciate It. With the yard form gradually improving I expect him to peak at Cheltenham. Whether he is good enough is another matter. If you are on at the 16/1 advised then we have a good price whilst the current 9/1 is fair as only Bet365 are that price with most going between 7/1 & 8/1.
0.75pt e/w – Captain Guinness @ 20/1 Bet365 1/5th odds 3 places (Best price 33/1 Unibet)
A big shame he fell last time behind Energumene as he was in the process of running a big race. The problem is he will now likely go into the Arkle on the back of a fall which is never ideal. Not only that but with Shishkin and Energumene looking a class apart then it seems at this stage even with each way bets we could be only betting for third place. Normally I would say if you are not on yet then to take the bigger price now but in this situation it is probably best to leave it.
0.75pt e/w – Abacadabras @ 16/1 Paddy, WillHill, Unibet & 888Sport (12/1 widely available)
Like Ballyadam, Abacadabras improved from his run at Christmas for the Elliott yard. Was still 10 lengths off of Honeysuckle but I think he will benefit from a stronger pace of a Champion hurdle, along with the stiff finish. With doubts about many of the field, even the form of Epatante and how Honeysuckle copes in a race of this nature, I would still advise that the 12/1 is a good price and worth taking of not on at 16/1.
0.5pt e/w – Indefatigable @ 28/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 3 places (33/1 Bet365 & Unibet)
The only run since recommending saw her finish only 6th of 7 at Kempton. That was in a very strong grade 2. Have to admit I am a little worried that we haven’t seen her in any kind of form that would be good enough to win a race like this. But, her form from February to end of season reads 15111. 5th came in the mare’s novice hurdle at the Festival in 2019. So, plenty of hope she will improve for the Spring. With the race likely to cut up (Next 4 in betting likely to go elsewhere) then she certainly has at least place chances. If not on yet then she is worth a bet, whether it is now or potentially hold out till nearer the time in the hope of getting an extra place.
1pt win – Court Maid @ 14/1 Skybet & Unibet (Non-runner)
Disaster as she has inexplicably been left out of the entries for the race. Somewhat surprising to me and the racing media. Now looks likely she goes for the Festival Chase over three miles, taking on Monkfish. Would be in with a shout of a place with her experience, though surely lacking the class of her rival. 1pt down here.
Ballymore Novice Hurdle
Gaillard Du Mesnil backed up his run at Christmas and is now favourite for this race. It now shapes to be a cracking race if the big three turn up. Glad I didn’t take any pot chances in the race because you expect the winner to come from one of the front three in the betting.
3m Festival Novice Chase (Previously the RSA)
1pt win – Pencilfulloflead @ 20/1 Bet365 (25/1 Bet365, WillHill & Unibet)
Run since and was only third. Conceding weight but it was still a disappointing run. Didn’t seem to jump as effectively or efficiently as he had shown before so wonder if something will crop up. Because of that I can’t recommend at the bigger price. Monkfish has a very strong hold of the race but there are still a couple of places up for grabs.
0.75pt e/w – Put The Kettle On @ 14/1 BetFred NRNB (14/1 Bet365, 12/1 with NRNB)
0.75pt win – Defi Du Seuil @ 14/1 Paddy Power NRNB (Non-runner)
Start with Defi Du Seuil who has been announced as an absentee from Cheltenham. Yard are going to give him a rest and bring him back next season to see how he gets on. That is one of the reasons we have taken a slightly shorter price with the NRNB guarantee. Money back so no loss. Put The Kettle On is still 14/1 which is very fair to me. Hasn’t run since, Chacun Pour Soi has cemented his place at the head of the betting and does look a class apart. However, not sure I want to be taking odds on about a horse who has yet to race around Cheltenham and has had problems with fitness in the past. If you are not on then I suggest backing Put The Kettle On at the slightly shorter 12/1 with NRNB guarantee. There is still the possibility she goes for the Mares chase, especially with that race potentially cutting up.
Cross Country Chase
0.5pt e/w – Some Neck @ 33/1 WillHill (25/1 WillHill)
Still confident on this bet. Easysland has had to miss his prep and is going straight to Cheltenham. Could be a worry for him as his record after 54 or more days since last run reads F3614. Not great for a horse whose record under rules reads 9/18. We don’t know what is going on with Tiger Roll where it has now been suggested this could be his last race. Some Neck looks to have a couple of preps lined up either in a banks race at Punchestown or a National trial at Haydock which is promising. I hope he takes in more experience at Punchestown though. Has a bit of class I think he is still a great shout and worth getting on now even at the slightly shorter price. I may even top up my bet nearer the time if able to get 4 places on the race.
1pt e/w – Ramillies @ 16/1 Bet365 (33/1 Bet365, WillHill & Unibet)
Took a gamble on Ramillies and it looks to have backfired. Well and truly put in his place by Kilcruit at Leopardstown. It looks like we got the wrong Mullins horse. On the plus side Willie Mullins thought this was his best bumper horse and his RPR was well down on what he had done before so would suggest this wasn’t his true ability. Not ideal for the usual profile of a winner of the Champion bumper, but not going to bin the ticket just yet. Hopefully Willie can get him back to the form he had shown before.
Marsh Novices Chase
0.75pt e/w – Shan Blue @ 14/1 widely available (12/1 widely available)
Though he was run down late at Sandown it was impressive to see his jumping skill still there even on heavy ground. Went a fair pace and just tired late on. I just hope he didn’t have too hard a run. He could really put it to Envoi Allen and though you expect him to have too much class at the end, this trip around Cheltenham is quite a jumping test which will be right up Shan Blue’s street. Depending on what turns up I still believe he has a great chance of at least a place. If you are not on yet then I recommend doing so.
0.75pt e/w – Samcro @ 16/1 Paddy Power NRNB (20/1 WillHill & Unibet, 14/1 NRNB Skybet)
0.5pt e/w – Battleoverdoyen @ 33/1 widely available (50/1 widely available including Skybet NRNB)
Not sure what is happening with Samcro. Was hoping he would run at the Dublin Festival but that didn’t happen. Relying on his record in the New year which reads 1111F1. Not sure with his history I would want to be backing without NRNB but clearly peaks this time of year. With the race looking more open than before then I wouldn’t put you off taking the 14/1 NRNB perhaps more as a win bet.
Battleoverdoyen was hammered by Allaho though the horse was reported to be blowing hard after the race and took a while to recover. Suggests that the horse had whatever bug the yard had and was suffering from it. He is not that bad! With the hope the yard can peak at the Festival then there are worse 50/1 chances. If you are not on then I suggest taking the 50/1 NRNB.
1pt win – Sire Du Berlais @ 9/1 Bet365 & Skybet (9/1 Bet365)
Same price, if not on then I suggest doing so. Not run since but that is no bad thing with the form of the yard. To be fair this is one of the few markets that hasn’t changed much in recent weeks.
Mares Novice Hurdle
1pt e/w – The Glancing Queen @ 12/1 NRNB Paddy Power (14/1 Bet365, 8/1 NRNB)
0.5pt e/w – Gran Luna @ 33/1 NRNB Paddy Power (40/1 Bet365 & Unibet, 33/1 NRNB)
Nothing has taken a grip with previous favourite Gauloise only third recently. The Glancing Queen holds an entry in a novice listed hurdle this weekend which would be a nice prep. If she wins then it can only enhance her chances in an open race. If not on yet then do so. Unfortunately for Gran Luna her intended return was abandoned. Not entered in anything else yet either. It would be somewhat of a surprise if she turned up with just one hurdle run. With time running out she could end up at Cheltenham just for the experience so probably best to hold off until we know if she is due to run again.
1pt win – Adagio @ 10/1 WillHill (10/1 WillHill)
Nothing much has changed since placing the bet. Admittedly disappointed the market didn’t cut up as had hoped after the Spring Juvenile when the likes of Zanahiyr, French Aseel and Duffle Coat missed the race. Still, he boasts a solid chance in a good race.
0.5pt win – Farouk D’Alene @ 16/1 Bet365 (16/1 Bet365)
Again, not much has happened in the past few days, though suggestions are Gentlemansgame may miss Cheltenham altogether. That is a best price of 14/1 but as low as 7/1 with NRNB.
0.75pt win – Frodon @ 16/1 Bet365, WillHill & Unibet (16/1 Bet365 & Unibet)
With the rumour that Kemboy could go for the Stayers hurdle and Bristol De Mai left out of the latest declarations for this race then it is a couple of potential pace angles that are absent. That only strengthens my opinion on the chances of Frodon. Let’s just hope it gets the ground I suspect it needs.
St James Place Hunters Chase
0.75pt e/w – Shantou Flyer @ 16/1 Bet365 & Unibet (16/1 Bet365 & Unibet)
No change in price and nothing much changed in the rest of the market.
0.75pt e/w – Shattered Love @ 16/1 Skybet NRNB (14/1 NRNB BetVictor)
0.5pt e/w – Happy Diva @ 20/1 Skybet NRNB (20/1 NRNB Skybet)
Plenty of blue on Shattered Love with her as short as 8/1 NRNB with Paddy Power. Looks like she has been tipped up somewhere or the subject of a positive report. If not on then do so! If not on Happy Diva then make sure you take Non Runner No Bet. Her handicap mark was announced as 4lb lower just hours after I sent these selections out. That now puts her on a mark 4lb less than when second in the Brown Advisory & Merribelle Plate last year to Simply The Betts. Incredibly she is now 33/1 or 25/1 NRNB Paddy Power for what is now known as the Paddy Power Plate. Well worth taking that as no way will she be that big if going for the handicap considering how well in she would be, even if she is now 10yo.