This sure as hell makes our vitual racing look rather pedestrian!
We all like to think that we’re capable of picking a winner when we put our minds to it. Why else would we bother signing into our favourite betting site or walking into the local bookmakers? Sure ‘being in it to win it‘ alone can be fun as it’s good to get involved, but one too many losers in a row and even the most patient of us starts to get a tad cheesed off.
With the aim of finding a winner in mind, we again all have our own approache. Some study form closely, or look to see how fellow stablemates have performed. Others go by the look of a horse, or an indefinable feeling they get that has paid dividends in the past. Others have a favourite tipster that they follow, either in a newspaper or online – many a punter follows tips by tipster in the Sun, Racing Post and the like. Perhaps a slightly more modern approach to acquiring horse racing tips though, is by following those tipsters we deem to be ‘in the know‘ on Twitter.
With Twitter tips I tend to find that the first step to getting to the gold is to know what to look out for and what to avoid. Some on Twitter just pump out retweeted tip after tip from others accounts in a bid to get eyeballs on their Twitter page. For them it can be less about picking a winner and more about just being seen, so steer clear! Second hand retweeted tips aren’t likely to see you to your fortune, after all, even if they win, how many people saw them before you and what impact did that have on the betting odds?
Some choose to specialise, and this can break down in a number of ways. One successful horse racing Twitter tipster I know of concentrates solely on two year olds over the flat, others opt for only picking outsider selections. This of course isn’t everyone’s preference though, as many of us enjoy placing a bet at all kinds of odds, both over the flat and hurdles.
Another key indicator of quality can be the follower count. If an account has only a handful of followers (and is possibly following several times that) it may be the case that people ‘aren’t buying what they’re selling’ so to speak. A 5 or 10 to 1 distribution of ‘followers’ to ‘following’ is about right I’d say, as this suggests the account owner is piquing the interests of many! A good example of this is well known Racing Tips & News Twitter account, they post dozens of tips daily and have a large base of eagle eyed followers waiting to view their latest selections.
Of course with a Twitter account it’s possible to follow any number of tipsters but hopefully some of the little hints and tips above will mean you’re on the way to a few winners and cutting out some of the noise!
In the Betway Middle Handicap (6.50) at Wolverhampton on Monday, Champagne Pink completed a course hat-trick before a lesser effort in a classified stakes race at Newcastle 18 days ago and looks worth another chance back at the West Midlands track. Karl Burke’s 4-year-old filly has yet to win anywhere else or beyond 1 mile 1½ furlongs so, although her latest 7lb rise in the weights necessitates a step up to 0-75 company, the return to her favourite course is a definite plus. The daughter of Teofilo made her 3-year-old debut at Wolverhampton in January, but wasn’t seen again in public until August, since when she’s made steady progress. She’s had four attempts at 1 mile 2 furlongs, or further, all of which have ended in defeat, so it’ll be interesting to see if the handicapper has finally caught up with her.
Selection: Wolverhampton 6.50 Champagne Pink to win
After the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is perhaps the most famous event in jumps racing. Run over 3 miles 2 ½ furlongs, it is a gruelling test of stamina, resolve and jockey’s skill. The eagerly-awaited race will take place on Friday 16th March at 3.30pm.
Despite being several weeks away, punters are already scouring the main horse racing and online betting sites for any good 2018 Cheltenham betting tips for the Gold Cup and other races at the Festival. It is one of the biggest betting events of the year and plenty of scrutiny will be put on every race between now and then.
Two things happened recently to shift the focus of the betting chatter for the big race however. Firstly, Might Bite had a brilliant run at the King George VI Chase, which led to his odds being slashed to 3/1 by several top bookmakers. Secondly, last year’s Gold Cup winner, Sizing John, could only finish 7th in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase and promptly had his odds lengthened.
Might Bite is undoubtedly worthy of his place as early favourite for the Gold Cup though. Nicky Henderson’s horse had a stellar year in 2017, capped off with that King George VI win. As far as betting tipsters are concerned, he is the horse to beat.
Still, there are plenty of other interesting candidates for this year’s Gold Cup. In fact, only once in the last four years has the favourite finished in the first three in the Gold Cup (Don Cossack, 9/4 winner in 2016). So, it is a race where punters can find a bit of value.
One such runner could be Native River. Currently priced at 12/1, Colin Tizzard’s gelding has not been seen in a race since finishing third in last year’s Gold Cup. Native River is a class act however, and is expected to make his comeback at the Denman Chase at Newbury in February. If he performs well there, that 12/1 could be shortened considerably.
Value could also be found in Bristol De Mai. The win at Haydock by 57 lengths in November’s Betfair Chase was outstanding, especially considering his opponents included Cue Card and Outlander. He had a bad run at the King George, but has later been found to have stomach ulcers. 22/1 are the odds offered for him at the moment. Tempting if he can recover.
Below is a guide to the ante-post betting favourites for the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup:
|Horse:||Best Odds/Bookmaker*:||Trainer:||Probable Jockey:||Notes:|
|Might Bite||7/2 (William Hill)||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville||An incredible 2017 culminated in King George VI Chase win.|
|Sizing John||7/1 (Sporting Bet)||Jessica Harrington||Robbie Power||Last year’s Gold Cup Winner.|
|Coney Island||10/1 (Ladbrokes)||Eddie Harty||Barry Geraghty||Won his only race outside of Ireland – at Ascot in December.|
|Road to Respect||11/1 (William Hill)||Noel Meade||Sean Flanagan||Has beaten Yorkhill twice in the last 12 months.|
|Native River||12/1 (William Hill)||Colin Tizzard||Richard Johnson||Was among the favourites for last year’s Gold Cup. Finished 3rd.|
|Our Duke||12/1 (Stan James)||Jessica Harrington||Mark Walsh||Limped to 7th place when odds-on favourite for Jnwine.com Champion Chase in November.|
|Bristol De Mai||22/1 (William Hill)||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Daryl Jacob||Won the Betfair Chase at Haydock by 57 lengths. Disappointing run in King George VI Chase soon after.|
|Disko||25/1 (William Hill)||Noel Meade||Bryan Cooper||Two big wins since coming 3rd to Yorkhill in 2017 JLT Novices’ Chase.|
In the Betway Sprint AWT “Hands and Heels” Apprentice Series Handicap (3.30) at Southwell on Tuesday, Archie Stevens won over course and distance three starts ago, off a 5lb lower mark, and his subsequent placed efforts suggest he remains in decent form. Clare Ellam’s 8-year-old is hardly a prolific winner, but has done the bulk of his winning on synthetic surfaces and still looks realistically handicapped in a race that shouldn’t take much winning. He’s ridden by one of the more experienced apprentices in the race, Jonathan Fisher, and the partnership is well enough drawn in stall 7 to show some moderate rivals a clean pair of heels. Frankly, it’s hard to enthuse about anything else in the race so, despite a moderate wins-to-runs ratio, Archie Stevens actually make plenty of appeal.
Selection: Southwell 3.30 Archie Stevens to win