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The Tipping Tim’s Festival fancies – World Hurdle Thursday

| 13.03.2013

It’s half time and I’m staring down the barrel a little. Every year I find something to dig myself out, I just hope I don’t have to wait until Saturday’s Winter Derby this time around (which Premio Loco wins, incidentally).  Thursday is the Festival ugly duckling but winners can be like Tequila when it comes to turning frogs into princesses, and we’ll be having seven shots each in Coral Towers.

Thursday kicks off with the Jewson Novices’ Chase at 1.30 but favourite Dynaste has a stone in hand so, as I’m banned from betting jollies by my employers, I will keep my powder dry until 2.05.  The Pertemps Final used to be a plotter’s dream, but you need to show decent form to get in these days so there are fewer unknowns. Last year I was all over Jetson only for him to be balloted out so, given that this has been the plan ever since, it goes without saying that I will be having another go tomorrow.

The Ryanair is a pointless race and the 2013 renewal wouldn’t look out of place at Plumpton, but it would be wonderful to see Cue Card land it for his sporting connections and I will be having a heart-over-head bet on the carrot crunchers here. Next up is the World Hurdle at 3.20, and this is another Grade 1 in name only. Those at the head of the market look much of a muchness, so I will throw a speculative bet at Celestial Halo in the hope that he can gain sufficient inspiration from his rider’s Big Buck’s silks to see out the last couple of furlongs in the style of his star stable mate.  If he does stay he’s certainly no 50/1 shot on form.

I’m going to stick with the Paul Nicholls/Andy Stewart axis of good in the Byrne Group Plate at 4:00 and take a chance on Cheltenham regular Poquelin. He’s a bit like Justin Bieber in that he has been around for ages yet is only 10-years-old, and the handicapper has given him a real chance with a mark of 155. Useful apprentice Harry Derham makes that 150, and he can go very close provided he doesn’t spend all morning in his box playing video games.

The last two races on Day 3 are the Kim Muir at 4.40 and the postponed Cross Country at 5.15.  They had the right idea on Tuesday when they cancelled the latter, so to see this farcical spectacle rear its ugly head only two days leaves me astounded. Needless to say I will be watching Home And Away by the time the teenagers jump the Sideways Half-Hedge for the fourth time, so my last stab on Thursday will be Super Duty in the Kim Muir. He’s not a very scientific selection but he is the best horse and he is ridden by the best jockey, so I’m hoping weight doesn’t stop this particular train.

Good luck with all your Festival bets on Thursday!



Tim Smith