Bloggers and Pricewise compete for ‘Top Cheltenham Tipster’ title

Just for a bit of fun we’re competing for the title of ‘Top Cheltenham Tipster’. We’ve put up our selections for some key races at the Cheltenham Festival which is now less than two weeks away. We’ve also asked Tom Segal, Pricewise of the The Racing Post, to join in so we’ve included his ante-post tips for some added spice. So the contestants are:
JP – Jonathan Pollinger – Founder and Editor at
CF – Cathryn Fry – Chief Reporter at
JM – Jordan McBride – Writer for
TS – Tom Segal – Pricewise of the Racing Post
We’ll use 1pt win at SP to determine the result with the winner announced on Saturday 19 March. No prizes. (although if you’d like to sponsor please get in touch).
Underneath the selections box we’ve asked each contestant to say a few words about their selections.

Champion Hurdle

RSA Chase

Queen Mother

World Hurdle

Ryanair Chase

Triumph Hurdle

Gold Cup



Peddlers Cross


Captain Cee Bee

Grands Crus

J’y Vole

Smad Place

Midnight Chase



Hurricane Fly

Time For Rupert

Big Zeb


Kalahari King


Imperial Commander



Peddlers Cross

Time For Rupert

Woolcombe Folly


Kalahari King


Pandorama/ Weird Al


Captain Chris

Mille Chief

Jessies Dream

Captain Cee Bee

Spirit River

Kalahari King/Weird Al
A Media Luz/
Third Intention

I’ve stuck with all the ante-post selections (select the links in the table to view race preview) as I’m very happy with them, apart from Gauvain who is likely to skip the Queen Mother for the Ryanair. Not sure he’s good enough for that and I fancy Willie Mullins mare J’y Vole. He was third last year beaten only a nose by last year’s and this year’s favourite Poquelin. My selection is currently 16/1 and Poquelin is as short as 7/2 so surely she’s value. Hopefully, she’ll be a good price on the day too.
In the Queen Mother I’ve gone for Captain Cee Bee who is a previous Cheltenham Festival winner (tipped on this blog). He has to put a poor run last time behind him but is a different horse in the Spring and will love the likely good ground.
In the Arkle, I’m fortunate to have backed Medermit at 16/1 although gutted I didn’t put him up on the blog. He has all the right credentials to win and although he might be short on the day – probably favourite – I think he’ll win. He’d be my most confident selection above although Oscars Well is the JP Festival Banker.
Medermit was a 164 rated Hurdler, stays 2m4f which is needed in an Arkle. He now jumps very well. Main dangers are Realt Dubh and Ghizao.

Hurricane Fly gave me goose bumps when I saw him in Ireland, will handle the hill as stays 2m4f, has seven Grade One wins under his girth. To me he is the second coming! Main dangers are Peddlers Cross and Dunguib.

Time For Rupert loves Cheltenham, previous Festival form when second in last year’s World Hurdle, he jumps well and is totally genuine. Main dangers are Wayward Prince and Jessie’s Dream.

Big Zeb the reigning champ, wasn’t disgraced when beaten by Golden Silver last time out, He idled in front and had missed a piece of work prior to the race. His old jumping errors are now a distant memory, this is one of my favourite horses in training! Main dangers are Captain Cee Bee and Somersby.

Mourad placed behind Quevega and Hurricane Fly last season over trips too short. Has won twice over three miles this season both in Grade two company. Was third to Zaynar in the 2009 Triumph Hurdle. Main dangers are (obviously!) Big Bucks and Grands Crus.

Kalahari King put in a great run behind Master Minded at Ascot considering he was hampered then nearly carried out, has been placed three times at the Festival before, is a spring horse. Main dangers are Albertas Run and Poquelin.

Unaccompanied; awesome win in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle last time out, loved the way she travelled in that race. Will receive the 7lb allowance which makes her all the more dangerous. Main dangers are Zarkandar and Sam Winner.

Imperial Commander had a good gallop on Saturday, loves Cheltenham. I just cannot see a chink in last years winner. Main dangers are obviously the big two; Tidal Bay.

Medermit is the best jumper in field and has the best form on offer, good record at Cheltenham, and should enjoy the ground. Peddlers Cross is still unbeaten, and won the Neptune last year, which has produced more winners of the Champion than the Supreme with Istabraq and Hardy Eustace following up in the Champion after winning the Neptune.

Time For  Rupert has the best hurdles form and has done nothing wrong with two easy victories at Cheltenham, jumping brilliantly for a novice, and that course form is crucial.

Woolcombe Folly won a handicap off top weight in December at Cheltenham over the CD of the Champion Chase. The Tingle Creek took place later on the card, and under the same weight, Woolcombe Folly ran a quicker time than Master Minded.
Fiveforthree is very underated, and has been racing at the top level throughout his fragile career. He won what is now the Neptune in 2008, before winning the 2009 World Series Hurdle at Punchestown after finishing runner up to Solwhit in the Aintree Hurdle. Although his nine there could be more to come after a winning reappearance over two-miles at Punchestown.
Kalahari King, has been crying-out for a step up in trip after being campaigned over two-miles, nevertheless he has still been classy enough to finish fourth in the Supreme, second in an Arkle and third in a Champion Chase. That’s top Festival form and Ferdy Murphy has a fantastic Festival record, and his charge should take the beating in a weak race.
Zarkandar was much bigger prices, but he is still generously priced at 14/1 after his comfortable victory in the Adonis, which has been a good trial in recent years.
Pandorama was unbeaten over fences until he encountered terrible luck in running in the Hennessy and had to be pulled up. However he bounced back to form in the Lexus and was ruled out of the Irish Hennessy due to a setback, and he is still well on track to line up in the Gold Cup. Would want a bit of dig, so if the ground is quick that would be a concern, but 16/1 is a far too big. If Pandorama doesn’t line up, I would be interested in Weird Al at massive prices. A breathing infection was blamed for his poor show in the Hennessy, and his had an operation since then. Has a 100% Cheltenham record, and should be watched for a very shrewd trainer. My NAPs would be Peddlers Cross and Kalahari King.
TS (by JP)
Tom Segal has kindly allowed us to include his tips. He is however at a disadvantage as all his tips are scheduled and have to be made on specific dates. Sometimes this can work in your favour but I find it a great advantage to be able to make the selections when I want and of course I can also choose which races too. As Ton Segal says, “In my opinion timing is the key to ante-post punting”.