Yes folks, it’s only a couple of weeks away – the hype – the roar of the crowd before the first race – the shorties – the Denman – the Kauto – the Tommo interviewing some lovely lady who has no clue about horseracing yet has an uncanny ability to pick a 16/1 winner because the horse’s name is connected to her daughter in some way – the McManus with his underpant changingly large bets – and the shysters of course charging for their “privileged” information.

Don’t be taken in by anyone selling “tips” for Cheltenham. They will be largely chancers hoping to take YOU for a ride.

The simple fact of the matter is that this festival is so big, so popular, that sites like atthereaces.co.uk and www.racingpost.com will have micro sites devoted solely to Cheltenham.

We all have a level playing field and to pay for someone?s “opinion” for the 3-4 days of the festival is folly. Use what?s freely available. Try out the Patriarch?s Cheltenham system, which logically narrows any field down to those potentially improving.

Use the 16/1 system to highlight when those crafty Irishmen fancy an outsider.
Use place only betting – there’ll be some rock solid ones.
Use dutching – the markets at the big races are generally extremely accurate.

For those who would like someone else to do the work for them, well I’ve got some great news for you. I have persuaded Martin Blakey to offer his synopsis on ALL 24 Cheltenham races FREE to all readers. This is the guy behind the impressive www.pro-info.co.uk and www.thetradingplan.co.uk websites. To have him analysing Cheltenham on your behalf is something of a coup. He knows his onions!

As a taster I have 2 races, which Martin has already looked at, to give you an idea of how he will be tackling the other 22 races and what you’ll expect for, erm, FREE sometime in next week?s eletter. I hope you like it.


2m 110y


33 of the last 39 Novice hurdle winners at the Festival were won by a horse that won last time out. When you consider 12 of the last 13 winners of this race were won by a horse that won last time out, I will only be looking at horses that won on their most recent start.

I also like in this race, horses who are unbeaten over hurdles, more than half the winners of this race going back to 1997, were unbeaten over hurdles, including the first and second last year. The Irish are traditionally very strong in this race, having won 10 of the last 17.


Horses beaten last time out and Non French bred 4 year olds.


Without knowing the exact field and going conditions, it is difficult selecting a horse at this very early stage. My long range fancy, given decent ground on the 1st day, is a horse that meets all the statistics and is trained by a yard that knows what it takes to train festival winners. So currently RED MOLONEY makes the most appeal.



8 of the last 9 winners were classy over hurdles and officially rated at least 142 or more the season previously, so look for a former good class hurdler. Of the likely entries this year, only TATENEN, FORPADYDEPLASTERER and MAID IN TAIPAN would qualify on that score alone.

Interestingly, 5 of the last 8 Arkle winners were the top rated hurdler, which is a plus for Tatenen. One nagging doubt about him is that his best run was when making all over the course and distance in November, and if they decide to try to make all again, only Azertyuiop has made virtually all in the Arkle since 1980.

The is very much a race to look at the leading fancies, with only Flagship Uberalles (11-1) of the last 19 winners scoring at a double figure price, so don?t go looking much beyond the obvious. Another key statistic is that 20 of the last 22 winners finished first or second last time out, again.


Only the great Moscow Flyer was the last horse to win the Arkle aged older than 7, so ignore all horse’s 8 years old and over in this race.


There are two horses that stand out to my mind, TATENEN and FORPADYDEPLASTERER, and at the forecast prices, my long-range selection for the Arkle Challenge Trophy is the Thomas Cooper trained FORPADYDEPLASTERER.

This is, as you can see, a very logical approach to selecting horses, based largely on statistical evidence and trends.

The information provided seeks to reduce a field down based on previous trends. When we get nearer to the Festival, you will see this kind of trend analysis apparent in the Racing Post RP Trend articles that appear.

It only remains to be seen how strong trends are in selecting, or at least short listing, those most likely.
At the very least (if you don?t want to take on board Martin’s opinion) you will have learned a method of trying to whittle down fields to the likely contenders at the business end, by noticing what’s gone before and hoping that it’s a trigger as to what?s going to happen.

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Place Only Betting

4 out of 4 since Monday continues the run cut short by Kicks for Free on Sunday (although other selections on that day restored parity somewhat). Low prices this week as there have been some tricky races. Some Cheltenham fancies are also getting a final run out too, but the run continues unabated.

As to market movers, if you read my ’16/1 system in your lunchtime’ in February?s newsletter, there have been 4 winners I think this week at the sub 5/1 odds I look for, a couple of 2nds and a couple of unplaced. So this system seems to have merits.

Paul Fowlie’s Dodgy Favourites

Another Sportsworld Publishing release (and we know all about their track record and “trends!!” ? not quite as solid as the ones Martin Blakey highlights!
This system takes its queues from the racing post betting forecast rather than the traditional betting market and I will begin with this system on 1st March 2009.


A quick word on the Champions League. 6 of the 8 recent Champions League matches finished under 2.5 goals, and this trend could be set to continue for the 2nd leg matches. Watch out for “dead rubbers” such as Sporting Lisbon v Bayern ? Bayern have scored 5 goals away from home at Sporting Lisbon.

Games involving the English 4some should be even tighter in their 2nd leg matches so watch out for low scoring affairs.

We could even chance dutching correct scores in these matches, to include 0-0, 1-0, 0-1 for instance, or go for under 1.5 goal bets (riskier but good odds and tradable).

Again, as with the horse racing, it’s trend led due to the all-important away goal rule meaning home teams daren’t concede.

So, look forward to a full Cheltenham preview in next week?s eletter, it is a fascinating read I’m sure you?ll agree.

I’m off now to wish my brother a happy 40th birthday and supply him with a year’s supply of Just for Men.

Have a great weekend

Clive Keeling