Festival tips update

With just over 48 hours to go below is a review of my selections with the latest news and betting updates. The great news is that touch wood all my fancies are on target to run and in the right races. Also, it’s encouraging to see that all the prices have shortened with the exception of Exotic Dancer who still trades at the recommeneded 14/1. Obviously, the hard bit is for them to go on and strut their stuff but half the battle is getting good odds so I hope you took my advice and are already on.

Sam Thomas – No additional news to report than in my original post recommending Sam. Betting wise 12/1 is available in a place – Ladbrokes – and a juicy 17/1 is available on Betfair.

Captain Cee Bee – plenty of confidence from connections. Fairly positive in the market with some bookies cutting him to 7/1 although 8/1 is available having been advised at 9/1 here. He is currently 8.8 on Betfair and is vying for favouritism with Muirhead. As anticipated, I think the big Irish gamble will be on the former and not the latter. which will provide further encouragement. We’ll know by Tuesday lunchtime. I don’t think the ground will be worse than good to soft even if the much touted storm arrives. Good going will suit ‘the Captain’, who has been withdrawn in Ireland when the going became soft. It looks like Davy Russell, Irish Champion jockey will ride.

Moon Over Miami – Charlie Mann is happy with preparations which have involved trips to three racecourses to try and calm the horses nerves so he can deal with the big day. Encouraging to see some money lately with Bet365 cutting him to 11/1 this morning. 14/1 is the best price available having been recommended here at 16/1. 14.5/1 is the price to back on Betfair.

Osana – Positive noises are emanating from the Pipe stable and good to see them demonstrate the health of their string with the winner of the big race at Sandown yesterday. The overnight decs have just been made for the Champion Hurdle and Osana is the second favourite in a final field of 17. He is currently trading at a best price 11/2 having been recommended here at 6/1. The Betfair prices are currently suspended due to the recent declarations. I expect Osana to lead all the way and storm up the hill under Tom Scudamore.

Forpadydeplasterer – Preparations have gone smoothly and it seems that the anticipated Irish gamble has already started on this one thus cementing his position at the top of the market. He travelled over on Saturday so have avoided any storm issues. He’ll probably start favourite and holds that position on Betfair at 5/1 which is the best price on the books. Was recommended here at 8s so I hope my reader took the price.

Air Force One – Charlie Mann is happy and is confident of reversing the Ascot form with Albertas Run. There seems to be a feeling amongst pundits that he is a bit of a hype horse but he remains strong in the market. We’ll see on Wednesday. Best price is currently 11/2 having been recommended here at 6/1 although he is as short as 9/2 with Ladbrokes whilst trading on Betfair at 5.4/1.

Blazing Bailey – Slightly disconcerting to hear from trainer Alan King at the Official Preview that he prefers the chances of My Way De Solzen but I really can’t see that one finishing in front of my selection. He is probably my most solid each way selection – if he doesn’t place I’ll run naked down the lower high street! Best price is currently 6/1 having been tipped here at 8/1. He can be backed on Betfair at 7.4.

Celestial Halo – After much thought I nominate Celestial Halo as my banker of the meeting. The Nicholls camp – both owner, Andy Stewart and trainer, Paul Nicholls are very bullish for reasons already stated. In addition, his main – and possibly only danger – Franchoek may not get his ground as it it increasingly looking like the going by Friday will not be soft. Such conditions will be to the detriment of Franchoek but the benefit of Celestial Halo whose Flat speed can come into play over the last couple of hurdles where I can see him outspeeding Franchoek up the hill. Market confidence is also encouraging with the best price available now with Hills at a standout 11/2. He is short at 4/1 elsewhere and interesting trades below this price on Betfair at 5.4/1. If you haven’t yet backed him now is the time as the 11/2 will be gone by lunchtime. Those who took my advice at 10/1 are now in a great position and will have twice the best odds on the day. Could he even usurp Franchoek as favourite? I doubt it but he will shorten further.

Exotic Dancer – It’s been a roller coaster with this one with rumours, incorrect information from the stable and serious doubts about him taking part. However, all appears OK now and if he lines up on Friday he must have a terrific chance. He is the same price now, 14/1 as recommended last month and I can’t emphasis enough how much of a great each price this is. Basically, if he comes 2nd or 3rd you’ll win pretty the same as if you backed either of the big two and if he wins you’re laughing all the way to the bank. 14/1 for a horse with a terrific record at Cheltenham ,who is officially the second best horse in the race and is ridden by Tony McCoy is superb value. He is currently trading at 16.5/1 on Betfair.

Theatre Girl – Alan King, trainer, played his cards close to his chest at the Official Preview but I reckon he thinks he has the one to beat in the competitive Mares Race and he is happy with her preparation. Best price is currently 5/1 having been recommended here at 7/1. A couple of bookies have shortened her to 9/2 this morning and she trades at 4.7/1 on Betfair. Like, Celestial Halo this is below the bookies best price which usually indicates the odds will contract further.