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RP Tipsters, Betting Guides and Preview Nights

· General Trends


What about Cheltenham 2017? Tom Segal is the most influential tipster in the UK and Ireland because his views change prices. Even at Cheltenham. It has lessened recently very few firms will stand the early morning prices any more (and will only let you a tenner on) but Tom is still important. Witness Regal Encore 12s to 6s at Ascot 17th February, a tip I said to one and all that I wouldn't back with 'stolen money'. I tip my hat to you, sir.

2017 was Tom Segal's best tipping success at the Festival since at least 2013. A total of 42 were given both antepost and 'on the day'. He now hasn't tipped an antepost winner since Windsor Park in the 2015 Neptune but made a profit all the same. Winning selections were Tiger Roll (advised 16s, returned 16s) Apples Jade (9/2 returned 4/1) and Road To Respect (22s returned 14s) Rock The World (14s returned 9s). A decent return, well done. Was perhaps unlucky with Singlefarmpayment 10s to 5/1 fav and Pendra 18s. In the RP the next Sunday he likes to reflect on his week. Last year it was 'travelling comfortably after 1st, blundered badly 2nd, looked to be in trouble 3rd, but late headway and stayed on all right close home.' In 2016 he tipped 39 horses and gave 2 winners. There may have been three or four nrnbs in the 39 but about £17 adrift on level stakes. In 2015 he returned Windsor Park 12s ante post Neptune and a relief grasping Darna 40s for the Mildmay. He had a winnerless annus horriblis in 2014. We have all done that. In 1988 my chum Robin and I did not have a successful week. In fact, he was 0 for 17 coming to the last race of the Festival, the County. He went large on the 16/1 shot Redgrave Devil. The Racing Post site says the horse was 'held up, third when fell last'. I have to disagree as that is far from my memory, We were standing beside the last hurdle. It was more like, 'inside, tracking leaders, going well, led approaching last, going easily, jumped last two lengths in front, crumpled on landing.' I swear. There wasn't much chat between us after for a while. Robin and I had just enough money left for either some decent food or a few beers. Well, both of us could afford to miss the odd meal.

I digress. What about the rest of the Racing Post team in 2017? The straight talking Paul Kealy had 21 selections over the four days, PK deserves the same billing as Pricewise. Kicks off with Tully East (advised 16s) and finishes in profit with Supasundae (20s) but didn't kick on over the final two days. In his Friday column he did complain about overindulgence and said 'if I don't win, I hope you do.' A little bit maudlin, PK, with a few beers? Believe he hasn't been well recently, hope everything ok. Richard Birch got the Day 1 lead but didn't impress. (I'm not giving praise to those who wasted paper space tipping Altior or Douvan). Graeme Rodway and Pietro Innocenzi (Wed only) had responsibility for The Edge column throughout the week. Didn't really make me sit up and take notice. Only correct Banker or Bust out of eight was On The Fringe. GR did suggest Native River buy in a match with Cue Card but that's about it.

My nemesis Kevin Morley, the Trends King (that picture makes him that young?) had three blank days. Only successful with Willouhgby Court and Might Bite on Wednesday. Sounds like a long week. Would have expected better for the space he gets. Steve Mason RPRs gave us three short priced winning favs throughout the week. They aren't shouting it from the rafters, Steve. After three days the great Gerald Delamere had been successful with Un De Sceaux. There you go. I do enjoy his Quite Interesting pages and I am pleased to announce that he and Tony O'Hehir were the only two tipsters in the whole of the comic to give us the Gold Cup winner. Gerald snugly followed up with Rock The World. One final point, apart from the Native River/Cue Card match, I would continue suggest avoiding all spread betting advice from the Post. For the second year, looked expensive.

In defence of the team, and I know I say it every year, I always think that it is only when you see 20 of them charging off at the start of the Supreme Novices that you will remember, this is difficult.

The Pricewise Antepost portfolio for 2018 include My Tent Or Yours(advised 16s ew Ch Hurdle NRNB, hardly rocket science),Yorkhill (6s Queen Mother, you would be surprised), Anibale Fly (33s ew Gold Cup ), Finions Oscar (16s World Hurdle, hmm), Snow Falcon 25s, Mias Storm 20s (RSA), On The Blind Side 7s, Reel Steel 33s (Ballymore) Sharjah 9s, CKalashnikov 33s (both Supreme Novices) Balko Des Flos 14s (Ryanair) Sceau Royal 6s, Saint Calvados 16s nrnb (Arkle), Farclas 16s (Triumph Hurdle). I have seen him with worse books at this stage of proceedings. (Of these, I like Balko, Tom). No antepost winner in two Festivals, due one?

Click on at 8.01pm the instant after the Pricewise selections are released online and you can watch the prices shrink. All bookies shrink prices if they think they are about to be knocked over. Segal selections tend to be well punted Day 1. (Singlefarmpayment 10s to 5/1 fav) The longer he goes without a winner, the less frantic it becomes.

Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Guide. Always an excellent production which I will always buy. I was pleased to see that Matt Tombs kept up the standard that Paul Jones had maintained for all those years. The 'Freshometer' was a new idea. Enjoyed the read and had points that I would never have thought of. Thought the 2017 version has even improved again. Has given my a very reasonable quote for my homepage. This year when I apologised for this new venture maybe stealing some of his pitch, he replied, " not to worry, there is enough room this time of year for everyone." As I spend the £35 on the package every year I like to get the nightly emails during the Festival printed out. Makes me read something between pints. Last year's essays were fine but the tips over the 4 days can be a bit silly. They come from Weatherbys and not Matt. According to my calculations all that was tipped was the first few in the market on each race. Advertising will suggest that they will tip 19 winners but if you back all their selections you are likely to make a loss. I do hope we are not going to get some misleading blurb again this year.

Sean Graham's Belfast Preview Night - 5th March 2018. As informative an evening as I have ever witnessed at what is now a well run and popular event. Casey and Elliott did not spar as can happen, it was more, 'What do you think Gordon? No, no, after you, Davy.'

Handicap/other race Information that I can remember and decipher from notes.

Gordon Elliott - Runs Jury Duty, Fagan and Mossback in the 4 miler. Talked up Fagan as being the most talented but has had his problems. Shattered Love, in good form, goes to JLT. Has nothing for the Ultima. De Plotting Shed, Brelade and Typhoon Prince in Clos Brothers. De Plotting Shed the best of the three. In Coral Cup runs Diamond King and ben Dundee, very keen on the latter, Davy Russell rides. Fred Winter, Mitchouka, horse travels very well but trainer says concerned that he may not get up hill. In the Pertemps he has Glenloe, better on softer ground and Delta Work, better on good. Both horses in good form.

The Storyteller runs in the Plate, GE concerned that the horse may lack experience needed for such a big field. Said this twice, for some unknown reason. Squouateur in great form, Jamie rides, if runs same as 2017, will go close. In the G Annual The Game Changer 'needs to start now'. County Hurdle, very sweet on Duca De Thaix but may not get in. In the Martin Pipe, again Flawless Escape may not get in, I do not know the man personally but he seemed far more keen on the chances of Sire De Berlais and Blow By Blow. The latter will like the better ground and is in great form.

Both Tiger Roll and Cause of Causes have schooled well over the Cross Country, 'both are in good from, but Cause Of Causes has been there before and done it, and he is the one.'

(Reference Samcro, I have sat there in previous years and listened to GE wax lyrically in soft tones about Don Cossack and Death Duty. He really did try to down play this horse, just to say 'laid back, has travelled there before for the sales, does everything you ask him.' You felt that he really wanted to tell us all. No sign of Brian Graham going evens.)

David Casey said that Max Dynamite may go for Coral Cup. Did seem to have a bit of difficulty remembering all the handicappers in the yard. 'Laurina will win' was the quote of the night. Such enthusiasm that Yorkhill should run in Ryanair was really quite startling. Rides him every day. Carter McKay goes to Martin Pipe maybe with Whiskey Sour. Bennie Des Dieux is a the real improver in the yard. 'Will be on the premises.' Sandsend runs in County Hurdle.

That's all I've got from those main players. Neil Mulholland was not particularly bullish about Kalondra in the Close Bros but with his tone of voice its hard to tell. One titbit he had was that after talking to Tom Scu before flying across, the Pipes are very keen on Moon Racer in the County. That'll please the host of the Final Furlong! Hope this helps, Bryan

All over in three hours. I enjoy it. It has become a very smooth operation and the Grahams are to be complimented. The panel seem at ease. At 7.15 we were knocking the doors down to get in. Packed.

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