What a dramatic day of racing that was, not only at Cheltenham Festival but for the Tipster League as a whole. We saw thrills, we saw spills and we saw plenty of points.
The favourites dominated the ITV races with three of the big favourites winning their races. A dramatic final saw Tiger Roll win the Cross County Chase after Samcro dominated the opener. We also saw Ruby Walsh suffer a fall that at this stage is rumoured to have seen him re-break the leg he initially broke earlier this season.
But did the favourites win the Tipster League races? Has there been a surprise sprung on us? Let’s take a look.
2:10pm – RSA Novices’ Chase
1) Presenting Percy 5/2 F
2) Monalee 10/3
3) Elegant Escape 10/1
Faller: Al Boum Photo
Pulled Up: First Irish
Presenting Percy paced his race very well. Kicking on when he needed to and realistically, nothing could lay a glove on the favourite once he stretched his legs. Monalee was dogged and resilient throughout and deserved a place, Elegant Escape did well to take the final place.
Mr & Mrs Severn Sport were the only tipster to not score a single point, but they also didn’t suffer any minus points.
The Fox, Bacon, And The New, Always in my brother’s shadow and No Speed No Feed all had Presenting Percy but partnered with Black Corton, so they all scored 3 points.
The Bear and Mr Slimbridge AFC had Presenting Percy and Monalee in a straight forecast. Unfortunately for the latter he used his extra place, which fell in Al Boum Photo. The Bear scored 5 points where as Mr Slimbridge AFC scored 3 points.
Big Tips had Presenting Percy to win but also picked First Irish, who pulled up towards the end of the race. They scored 1 point.
Sweet Prince suffered a disastrous start to his day, with his tip Al Boum Photo falling. He scored -2 points.
A good foundation for everyone who tipped the winner. A couple of tipsters had ground to make up.
2:50pm – The Coral Cup
1) Bleu Berry 20/1
2) Topofyourgame 9/1
3) Barra 16/1
4) William Henry 8/1 JF
Faller: Dusky Legend
Pulled Up: As You Were, Diamond King
This race was going to be hard for everyone. On paper anyway. There were a few places to be had with different bookies paying out a different number of places. Coral for example were paying 7, Paddy Power 6, with the standard at 4 places.
Bacon, The Bear and Big Tips all suffered penalties as their selections (Diamond King, Dusky Legend & As You Were respectively) failed to finish the race, meaning they all scored – 2 points for the race.
The Fox, And The New, Mr & Mrs Severn Sport, Mr Slimbridge AFC, No Speed No Feed and Always in my brother’s shadow all scored 1 point each for having Barra, Topofyourgame & William Henry between them.
The big winner of the race was the Sweet Prince who successfully picked the winner, Bleu Berry. He scores 3 points for the win and due to the fact the horse went off at 20/1, he also scored 5 bonus points. He won a total of 8 points for the one race. Incredible tipping.
And with that race we had a tipster league on our hands. The last race of the day was the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
3:30pm – Queen Mother Champion Chase
1) Altior Evens F
2) Min 5/2
3) God’s Own 40/1
Faller: Chabel, Douvan
What a race. Altior flexed his muscles in a strong run in to hold off a very game Min. The race will be remembered though for Douvan’s dramatic fall on his return. It smashed the bookies and it smashed the Tipster League together.
Bacon scored 0 points. He suffered -2 points for Douvan falling but had Min to place on double points, meaning the 2 points he wins for the place cancels out the penalty. Still a bad day at the office. The Fox also scored 0 points for his selctions.
Mr & Mrs Severn Sport and Mr Slimbridge AFC suffered -2 points for Douvan, but both had Altior meaning they both score 1 point for the race.
Big Tips successfully tipped Altior to win with God’s Own to place (fair play with a big price place!). The scored 4 points.
Sweet Prince, And The New and Always in my brother’s shadow all had the reversed forecast, meaning they score 4 points each too.
The Bear and No Speed No Feed scored the full 5 points for the straight forecast.
So after three fantastically exciting races the table is all change. The table looks as follows:
Fittingly, there is a new leader and it is And The New. Kelsey leads with 13 points and also has racked up an astonishing 5 winners out of 6 thus far. He is closely being stalked behind by Sweet Prince, who had such a bad start to the festival. The Bear is a point further back in third.
Going into tomorrow it will be all on the likes of Mr Slimbridge AFC and Bacon amongst others to gee themselves up and try to launch the most unlikeliest of comebacks.
All we know is, at the half way stage of the Festival it is still all to play for.
A reminder that you can WIN with Severn Sport. We are giving away a free £20 bet on the Gold Cup race on Friday. To enter click here.