RACING fanatics Tommy Buckley (@tbuckleythinks) and Alan Marron (@AlMarron) share their thoughts on a win yankeee they've placed ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham Festival | Win Yankee | 16th-19th March 2021
Over the years, ante-post betting on the Cheltenham Festival has been both my friend and my nemesis. It's had me jumping for joy after landing a Lucky 31 but also had me literally dumbstruck with disappointment.
I used to start having ante-post bets for Cheltenham literally as soon as one Festival had finished but my approach these days is to hold fire with any main bets until the weekend before. It's just too risky given the confusion over multiple entries, injuries etc.
My modern day plan now begins a few weeks before the Festival, a softly softly, basically risk-free approach by using only the free bets I gain via my weekly betting and rewards schemes with leading bookmakers.
This is the second of two ante-post multiples I'll be covering and I'm delighted to say that this year I'm (Tommy Buckley) joining forces with Bar One Racing blogger Alan Marron (@AlMarron).
Here are our combined thoughts on an ante-post win yankee that we think will give us a good run for our money.
BOB OLINGER (Ballymore Novices Hurdle)
Bob Olinger-trained by Henry De Bromhead for owners Robcour has really impressed me this season and looks one of the main protagonists for what looks an admittedly top class Ballymore Novices Hurdle.
It was March last year that he made his debut under Patrick Mullins at Gowran Park and he created a very favourable impression galloping clear of his rivals to win by 10 lengths.
He followed that up with an excellent run on his debut over hurdles where he gave the Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow plenty to think about. Even though he got beaten that day he ran with extreme credit.
Bob Oblinger is a horse that has improved plenty this season, while he was only 1/8 to win his maiden hurdle he won it so well with ease and the form was franked when the second placed Dunboyne came out and won.
The Lawlors Of Naas Grade One was next on the agenda and the more I watch that race back the more impressed I am. Bob Olinger travelled really well and once the stamina reserves kicked in going to the back of two out he was away and gone.
The form of that race could be slightly under pressure but the manner in which Bob Olinger got the job done was superb, I think we will see the stamina reserves kick in up the Cheltenham hill, it won't be easy against class opposition but I think he could move away and win in tidy fashion.
ZANAHIYR (JCB Triumph Hurdle)
Zanahiyr owned by Noel and Valerie Moran has been one of the most impressive juveniles I’ve seen in recent years. The way this horse travels and quickens is nothing short of electric and I think he should be much shorter in the market to land the first race on the final day, he looks good value to me.
He was formerly trained on the flat by Michael Halford and had some very solid formlines and finally broke his maiden tag at Fairyhouse under Sean Davis. That form looks good now as he had the likes of Hint Of Stars who has rattled up a hat trick on the all weather for Kevin Philippart De Foy and Druids Altar who was impressive in a hurdle recently in behind.
Zanahiyr made his debut over obstacles at Ballinrobe and while the form looked to lack substance he got the job done in no uncertain terms.
His next run was nothing short of phenomenal in the Bar One Racing Price Boost Juvenile Hurdle when he absolutely destroyed a decent field and left Saint Sam in his wake by 14 lengths. I have said in a couple of previews about this horse, when the camera angle changed at Fairyhouse that day he looked as if he had just joined in and he quickened in the style of a very nice horse.
His run at Leopardstown at Christmas was very classy and it looked like he had improved again to get the better of Busselton. Busselton has backed that form up since by finishing behind the highly rated Quilixios at the Dublin Racing Festival.
In terms of a Triumph Hurdle you need a horse that will travel away and can pick up, Cheltenham is the ultimate test for them all but I would say Zanahiyr is in a different league to anything in the Triumph and is one of my main bets of the week.
EASYSLAND ( Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase)
Going with a short priced favourite won't win me any prizes for originality but I do believe that when I look at all the short priced favourites then for me EASYSLANDS is as solid looking as any of them, possibly the most solid and so I'll keep it quite simple.
Credit goes to my colleague Alan Marron for tipping EASYSLAND for us on here last year when he won the Cross Country Chase in great style, he looked made for the course & demands of the race, to my eyes I don't see how a primed Easysland won't win again.
Easysland has had this one race as his main target all season, yes he was beaten earlier in the season but he's been prepared to peak on the day that matters, I do believe that if he's right then he'll win it well again.
THYME HILL (Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle) Non-runner
Back in 2003 it was the great Baracouda that gave me my first real interest and success that I can remember in the Stayers Hurdle and since then whether I've backed the winner or not, it has been a race that I've enjoyed trying to solve and to watch.
This year the focus quite rightly appears to lay on two horses, 2019 champion Paisley Park and young pretender THYME HILL head the market around the 3/1-7/2 mark and they do look some way clear of the rest.
The betting suggests it's tight, the various formlines suggest it's very tight as they've both beaten each other and yes it is one of those cases where you fear picking the wrong one of the two.
THYME HILL got my vote in our ante-post piece last year when selected for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle, that day he finished a gallant and some will say unlucky 4th not beaten far by the likes of Monkfish, Latest Exhibition and Fury Road.
Time has shown that not many, if any, races have worked out better than that race last year with Monkfish devastatingly good over fences this season and Latest Exhibition running with great credit every time, I think that festival form along with a very real scope for more improvement gives THYME HILL every chance to put right what connections feel went wrong last year.
They are our thoughts on four horses who we believe have live chances at Cheltenham and are worth combining in a win yankee. We hope this helps and interests in some way, good luck if you follow us in, always remember to shop around for the best odds and terms.
Cheltenham Festival win yankee:
Bob Olinger – Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Zanahiyr – JCB Triumph Hurdle
Easyland – Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase
Thyme Hill – Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle