Welcome to today's Follow The Money focusing, as you would expect, on the terrific card at the second day of the Cheltenham Festival...
We start off in the 14:10 RSA Chase which looks a match bet between the market principles More Of That and No More Heroes, however, it is No More Heroes who is coming off worse in the morning market, drifting from 3.55/2 out to 3.9. A useful hurdler he has improved as was expected with his three chase starts to date, winning in an authoritative manner on each occasion and taking in two Grade 1s in the process. However those two wins were both on Heavy ground and he comes up against World Hurdle winner More Of That today who has proven Good ground and Cheltenham Festival form. He himself is unbeaten in his two starts over fences and the suspicion is that More Of That may well just have too much speed on this ground for No More Heroes, who looks like he could have done with some rain overnight. With the ground concerns, No More Heroes is taken to lose out in what looks a fantastic match bet.
Our Each-Way selection today features in the 14:50 Coral Cup where bottom-weight Hunters Hoof has been well-supported for Nicky Henderson - 38.037/1 in to 20.019/1. He racked up a hat-trick over hurdles proving himself a progressive sort but he was found out in soft ground at Haydock last time out. A return to good ground should see him in a far better light today and the fact that this gelding is receiving weight all round from his rival is clearly a huge positive. Nico De Boinville takes the ride which would presumably single him out as the stable pick as he tries to chase Ruby Walsh down for Top Festival Jockey honours, and punters are clearly keen to latch on to the same trainer/jockey combination that took the Supreme Novice Hurdle so impressively yesterday. At a large price he is certainly worth keeping on the right side of Each-Way.
Finally we have our back selection and Phillip Hobbs' Balthazar King has been well supported in the 16:10 Glenfarclas Chase, shortening from 8.415/2 in to 7.413/2. Having won this race in 2012 and 2014 connections decided to focus on a Grand National tilt which resulted in a heavy fall, breaking his ribs and he has not been seen on the racecourse since. Phillip Hobbs has been relatively bullish about his preparation however and having such a great record in this race he is not one that can be over-looked. It is also worth noting that now the race is not a handicap he does not have to give weight to most of the field as he would/has done previously which is a major boost. It would be a fantastic racing story were Balthazar King to return to the winners enclosure after such a serious injury, and punters are hopeful that Richard Johnson can guide him back in once again for a momentous hat-trick and give GB a perhaps pivotal winner as the running for the Prestbury Cup heats up.
Lay No More Heroes @ 3.9 in the 14:10 at Cheltenham
Back Hunters Hoof Each-Way @ 21.020/1 in the 14:50 at Cheltenham
Back Balthazar King @ 7.413/2 in the 16:10 at Cheltenham
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Follow The Money February 2016
Profit on month: 4.7
For February, calculated before commission, based on prices at time of publication