The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest gambling weeks of the year as Cheltenham tips become priceless.
Punters from around the country do battle with the bookmakers trying to put a dent in their satchels. We here at Cheltenhambetting.org don’t like to see bookmakers smiling either, and have put together an ante-post bet that hopefully can yield a profit and leave the layers with empty pockets.
Boston Bob – RSA Chase (7/1 Ladbrokes)
Willie Mullins is certainly a trainer to follow at the Cheltenham Festival and he should add to his 24 Festival winners in 2013. Boston Bob may not strike on first viewing as one of his best chances but this 7/1 shot has all the credentials you associate with an RSA Chase winner. The market is currently being led, and dominated, by the David Pipe-trained Dynaste at 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
There is no argument to suggest that he shouldn’t be favourite as what he has achieved thus far in his chasing career has been exceptional. Wins at Cheltenham and Newbury were followed up with an impressive win in the Grade One Kauto Star Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas.
However, despite being very effective over three miles, he still doesn’t completely strike us as an RSA Chase type.
This is certainly a race where guts rather than glamour come to the fore, as only the toughest horses come through this slug-fest. Dynaste seems to be a very pacey animal, who relishes flat tracks like Kempton, but doubts still remain about his ability to grind out a victory in a stamina sapping race.
Pipe has yet to nail his colours to the RSA mast yet either, with the less demanding, and notoriously easier race, the Jewson Novices Chase, being widely considered by connections. That is a worry for any ante-post backers taking a short price.
Plus, Feltham Novices Chase winner has a disastrous record in the RSA as all 17 winners that have attempted the RSA/Feltham double have come up short, including Grands Crus last season, who was also trained by Pipe.
Long Run, the future Gold Cup winner, amongst many other very well fancied Feltham winners have all been beaten.
All these negatives make the 5/2 very unappealing. One of the basic philosophies in horse racing punting is that if you think the short-priced favourite beatable, then the market is one that should be of strong interest.
Finding an alternative at a value-for-money price can be a difficult task, but Boston Bob at 7/1 sticks out like a sore thumb.
The selection finished a good second in last year’s Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle behind the ill-fated Brindisi Breeze and that race has a rich tradition of providing good horses for the RSA Chase due to its gruelling, fast-run nature.
We felt that Ruby Walsh didn’t have his finest day in the saddle last season aboard Boston Bob, and if given the race to ride again, probably would throw down more a challenge to the all-the-way winner.
He only finished half a length in front of You Must Know Me at Naas on his chasing debut but there should be plenty more to come from the Mullins-trained warrior, whose jumping was faultless that day and may have been caught for a little race-fitness.
Mullins also has a terrific record in the RSA Chase as he has won this race with Florida Pearl, Supreme and Cooldine but his place record really adds an extra shine having also saddled Alexander Banquet and Snowy Morning to finish second in recent seasons.
The discrepancy in price between Dynaste and Boston Bob is far too big in our opinion, and with the doubts surrounding Pipe’s runner even lining up in this race, the 7/1 on the Mullins machine looks too good to turn down.