Clef. 20. Manchester City. What links these three words? Treble (surely only a matter of time for Pep’s Playas).
Thankfully, because I know very little about music, darts – except where treble 1 is – and football, it’s also a bet to whet the appetite, a tantalising multiple which – unlike Spurs – never seems to go out in the second leg. “Ho-ho-ho”, as Derek Thomson might say.
Here’s Timeform’s Treble for the Cheltenham meeting, starting with a banker, getting a (little) more edgy in bet two, and then going wild in the final leg.
Plenty has been said about Footpad’s chance being compromised by being taken on the lead by the electric Saint Calvados. However there’s more chance of Theresa May getting a good Brexit deal than there is of Ruby Walsh compromising Footpad’s chance by getting in a pace battle.
Ruby may have a stinking record in handicaps at the meeting, but he’s the best jockey for the big Grade 1s, especially when riding the best horse, which looks to be the case here. Petit Mouchoir rates a big danger – I tried harder at my General Studies lessons than Davy Russell did in the Irish Arkle last time – but he may have to play second fiddle again.
All of the sages will point to Cause of Cause’s tremendous Cheltenham Festival Record (2017: 1st 2016: 1st 2015: 1st 2014: 2nd 2013: 7th), and rightly so. But I’m a firm believer in patterns (I’m still wearing that Christmas jumper knitted by Nana) and it’s interesting that Tiger Roll has followed a very similar prep for the Cross Country as his stablemate did 12 months ago.
He’s not been without support in the betting, despite being beaten over 40 lengths last time, and it’s important to remember his own Festival record: 2017: 1st 2015: 13th 2014: 1st. It looks to me like the apprentice is about to become the sorcerer.
This is simple. The trends are strong – very strong – telling us to look out for novice mares that begin with the letter ‘L’ and are trained by Willie Mullins, based on all of two years data.
First there was Limini, then came Let’s Dance, and now there’s Laurina, who’s very much taking her lead from Limini, winning the same prep race (at Fairyhouse), by the same margin (11 lengths), and running to virtually the same rating. Her form stacks up too, with Fairyhouse runner-up Alletrix easily winning a competitive handicap since.
* All odds correct at time of posting.