Bookies' verdict: Cheltenham Day 2

  • Last Updated: March 11 2013, 13:42 GMT

We ask the leading layers for their thoughts ahead of day two of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.

Sprinter Sacre: The bookies don't have much hope...
Sprinter Sacre: The bookies don't have much hope...

1. Is there any hope for the bookmakers in getting the banker of the week, Sprinter Sacre, beaten?

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet No. He looks a certainty.

David Stevens, Coral Unless Frankel comes back into training and takes to chasing, then no! The easiest winner of a championship race I have ever seen at the Festival was Master Minded when he won his first Champion Chase, and I fully expect Sprinter Sacre to improve upon that performance.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor None; he cannot yet be considered a great of the turf but with Mail De Bievre to tow him into the race I would be staggered if he didn't win well.

Pat Cooney, bet365 None at all. He'll win and we'll just enjoy watching him win as we all love to see a champion. We'll hope to claw some of the losses back on 'betting without' and 'winning distance' markets in the race.

David Williams, Ladbrokes No. Next question.

Paddy Power, Paddy Power No.

Rory Jiwani, Stan James No. next question...

2. It looks a particularly strong renewal of the Neptune with Pont Alexandre, The New One and Taquin De Seuil all legitimate contenders, which of the trio will you be keeping on the right side of?

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet Taquin De Seuil. With a cloud hanging over the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable there has to be doubts about The New One and Jonjo O'Neill's horse looks to have the best form.

David Stevens, Coral The New One and Taquin De Seuil have rock solid form in the book, while reports have surfaced at several Cheltenham preview events that the Mullins/Walsh team are immensely confident in Pont Alexandre, so we could be in for a cracker. But at the prices, we prefer the proven form of the first two and so will take on the Irish raider.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor I know our guys are very keen on Taquin De Seuil; we may not see the best of Pont Alexandre until he goes over fences and he showed a slight tendency to jump out to his right last time

Pat Cooney, bet365 We've been fans of Pont Alexandre all season and will remain so on the day. His form is on soft ground but better ground will suit him, and give him a strong chance

David Williams, Ladbrokes The Irish seem to think they'll need an act of parliament to get Pont Alexandre beaten but he's too short for me if my own eyes are to be trusted. The value has already been squeezed out of Taquin Du Seuil but he has the right kind of profile to win a belting race.

Paddy Power, Paddy Power Keeping Pont Alexandre, he looks exceptional. Will take on everything else.

Rory Jiwani, Stan James We don't want Pont Alexandre with Willie Mullins saying he's his best hope to win at the Festival and we've cut him again this week to 7/4. He'll certainly be well backed on the day as well. The New One was popular last week but news of illness at Nigel Twiston-Davies' Grange Hill Farm must be of some concern to his supporters.

3. Is Dynaste a big loser in your RSA book and what have been the most popular each-way selections in the race?

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet He's a small loser but he could go for the Jewson yet. We've seen each-way nibbles for Unioniste and Hadrian's Approach.

David Stevens, Coral He is a significant ante-post loser, and although connections have not confirmed the RSA over the Jewson at the time of writing, we expect him to line up in the longer race. With most of the market principals holding multiple engagements and Dynaste dominating, it's been a quiet book without the favourite.

Charlie McCann, BetVictor If Dynaste were mine he wouldn't be going anywhere near the RSA; he looks all speed and class to me and plenty of time to see is he is a Gold Cup horse. I would take the Sir Des Champs Jewson route and not just because of the appalling record of Feltham Chase winners.

Pat Cooney, bet365 Some shrewdies (not me sadly!) took the 14/1 at the start of the season. He's the best horse in the race but no bargain now at his current odds. Unioniste looks the best e/w alternative.

David Williams, Ladbrokes These novice chases have lost some of the antepost appeal with the presence of the Jewson so Dynaste is hardly keeping us awake at night. He should be shorter than he is and certainly would be, were it not for what happened to Grands Crus last year. Take that curve ball out of the equation and he should win easily.

Paddy Power, Paddy Power No, Boston Bob is the big loser. Unioniste relatively popular e/w.

Rory Jiwani, Stan James Boston Bob is actually the big loser in our book and one of our worst results of the Festival. Dynaste is a loser but the market lends itself to some each-way nibbles. Houblon Des Obeaux and Hadrian's Approach have been supported while Unioniste has been popular in the last few days.


Bet of the week

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet: Our Mick

David Stevens, Coral: Overturn (Arkle)

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Sir Des Champs Gold Cup

Pat Cooney, bet365: Sam Winner -Pertemps Hurdle

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Toner D'Oudairies in whatever race he runs in.

Paddy Power, Paddy Power: Pont Alexandre

Rory Jiwani, Stan James: Captain Conan in the Jewson


Lay of the week

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet: Cue Card

David Stevens, Coral: Simonsig (Arkle)

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Dynaste RSA Chase

Pat Cooney, bet365: Ballynagour in whatever race he's goes for.

David Williams, Ladbrokes: My Tent Or Yours.

Paddy Power, Paddy Power: Hurricane Fly

Rory Jiwani, Stan James: Hurricane Fly in the StanJames Champion Hurdle


Top trainer - Henderson or Mullins?

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet: Henderson

David Stevens, Coral: Henderson

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Mullins

Pat Cooney, bet365: Henderson

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Henderson

Paddy Power, Paddy Power: Henderson

Rory Jiwani, Stan James: Henderson


Top jockey - Geraghty or Walsh?

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet: Geraghty

David Stevens, Coral: Geraghty

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Walsh or Russell

Pat Cooney, bet365: Geraghty

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Geraghty

Paddy Power, Paddy Power: Geraghty

Rory Jiwani, Stan James: Geraghty


One horse to note in the handicaps

Michael Shinners, Sky Bet: Saphir de Rheu

David Stevens, Coral: Pendra (Coral Cup)

Charlie McCann, BetVictor: Edmund Kean

Pat Cooney, bet365: Kid Cassidy-Grand Annual

David Williams, Ladbrokes: Bondage (Coral Cup)

Paddy Power, Paddy Power: Our Mick in the JLT

Rory Jiwani, Stan James: Court Minstrel in the County Hurdle - needs quick ground and he may get that on the final day.