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What to learn from your Antepost 2017 (with 2018 in mind)

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  • What to learn from your Antepost 2017 (with 2018 in mind)

    So how did we all do antepost wise for all? And what advice can we give for next year...

    I think it's fair to say it was a pretty tough year for most with a whole host of injuries not only denying us from seeing a lot of stars turning up but also as a consequence meaning there was a lot of chopping and changing with targets.

    How did you get on?

    I was lucky enough to come out in the positive once again as below.

    64.3pts Staked (across 41 bets)
    101.8pts Won
    37.5pt PROFIT

    Will you all be continuing with antepost next year?
    AND Will your approach change for 2018?

    25 of those points (approx 39%) revolved around Douvan (in Altior doubles) which sadly didn't come through.
    Altior and an Altior/Yorkhill double also took up another 6pts so almost 50% of my book revolved around these 3 horses.

    So those 3 horses took up:

    31pts staked (across 4 bets)
    Won me 62pts
    31pt PROFIT

    Without those 3 horses:

    33.3pts staked (across 37 bets)
    Won me 39.8pts
    6pt PROFIT

    Luckily 2 of the 3 came in, with Altior being the key but the in race injury to a 'certainty' Douvan and just the spate of injuries throughout this season does make me wonder whether to have such a select number of horses be such a key to profit vs loss. Douvan has in all honesty knocked me back a bit, at least right now in how confident I can be in relying on just these few horses.

    I'm yet to properly look through the 2018 market too but I imagine there are less obvious stand outs in comparison to so many good novice hurdlers last year (Altior/Min/Buveur D'air/Yorkhill/Yanworth...). The novice races this year don't look as strong but very early to say this with any strength right now until i've watched it all back again.

    I am very interested in the posters here who will cover the majority of the field in the races. Speaking briefly to Kevloaf it sounds like his approach worked for him this year and he'll continue. I am tempted to "dip my toe in" shall we say and may take one/two of the championship races as a starting point for 2018 and see how I get on.

    Also how did the yankees/multiples/ lucky 15's/placepots etc do for all?

    Didn't have too many of these and really only one came in (a place 4-fold). The small stake for large payouts will likely still tempt me in and I think the requestbets from Sky will be something I utilise again next year but intreseted to hear many on here actually had success with them?

    What advice or lessons can be learnt from this year (antepost and on the day)

    Flagged up by Leman on here beforehand - Davy Russell continues to excel in handicaps at Cheltenham. In 2016 his 4 rides produced: 4112 finishes. This year: 3301P4 so again a VERY good strikerate. Diamond King pulled up but was hampered and made a few mistakes, and Long Call was disappointing but the other 4 would have made another lovely yankee/l15. I backed Noble Endeavour (3rd) and Dandridge (4th) in singles but need to remember this, albeit such a good strikerate won't last forever. Hope others had a multiple of sorts on his rides?

    Weights in the handicaps - Top weights in the handicaps at the festival have always been treated with caution from myself in the past, and the likes of Presenting Percy, Un Temps Por Tout and Arctic Fire were all looked over as I didn't think they could cope with their weights, all all made a mockery of that. I need to look back over as I may be wrong but it does feel like over the last few festivals classier and classier horses are taking in these races and can defy such big weights?

    Momentum - Gaulstats has a great write up on his site for this ( and again this was apparent this year. Robbie Power won the biggest race of the festival on Sizing John, then followed up with his next ride with a super ride on Rock The World. Jamie Codd won on Cause of Causes on the Wednesday then his next ride in the Bumper produced a stupidly good ride on Fayonagh. To a lesser extent Noel Fehily was on a high after winning the Champion Chase and then very nearly won on his next ride (Divin Bere) Being at the festival all week and the whirlwind of going out drinking non stop has meant I miss a lot of these. On Friday afternoon the festival had started to take it's toll on me as good as the racing was so I need to remember these angles and have better notes/reminders etc during the day and be willing to adjust my position in a race.

    Horses who are tackling a 'targeted race' at the second attempt - also ties in with the momentum point on Robbie Power but in 2016 Rock The World was all the rage in the Grand Annual, a race he had been targeted at al year since winning at the course in October 2015 and as low as 9/2F. He could only come 3rd that day. Fast forward this year and having been again targeted at the race - he this time won well at a much bigger 10/1 on second attempt. Ballynagour in the Plate in 2014 did similar. A plot horse for Pipe in the 2013 plate he went off a short 7/2F but could only come 8th. A year later when less fancied at 12/1 he bolted up in the same race. Again I need to go back on this but when horses are very short favourites/well fancied in a target race all year and don't win - watch out for them the next year. In these 2 cases both had more fancied rivals but won, getting the revenge. If they weren't able to do it on first attempt, watch out for a repeat bid a year later perhaps? One off the top of my head could be Diamond King this year for another repeat next year in the Plate where he was a strong fav but pulled up this year...

    High OR in the 4 miler - Who said you needed a top jockey to win the 4 miler. Take a bow Lisa O'Neil - a stunning ride on Tiger Roll where if Codd/O'Connor had of ridden they would have been praised no end. Showed huge skill with some major mistakes along the way. On a side note - the horses with the highest OR in the race continue to excel even without the top jockeys onboard. Highest rated (152) Edwulf was running a major race and placed at worst before horribly facing issue. Second highest (148) Beware the Bear 7th but made a shocking mistake and rider lost his Irons I believe? That left joint top rated Tiger Roll, Missed Approach and Calet Mad at 145, with the first 2 mentioned being 1st and 2nd.

    Supreme - A messy race that I never really wanted to have a bet in after 3 different antepost bets falter but once again although not winning this year - it pays to side with Mullins and Henderson's first strings in the race with them filling positions 2 and 3rd. Easier said then done of course with the amount of runners (how how each of their main hopes differed from say September time) but they'll again be my starting point in the race.

    Your biggest mistakes/ The races/horses you got wrong

    Despite my antepost book coming out in profit where to begin on what I called wrong! Just a few:

    Cause of Causes - never thought he'd feature and thought and his price was utter madness. Turns out the money was correct and he hacked up. Gutted, considering how fond of the horse I am.

    Charli Parcs - despite really liking DDS all year I got sucked into the Charli Parcs hype from Henderson. I already had DDS covered in multi's and used SkyBet's offer but I'll admit I ditched the fav in favour of CP and feel stupid for doing so now.
    Divin Bere's close 2nd in the Fred Winter, Hendersons super record with juveniles and talking him up SO much pulled me in. Do not get swept into the hype and vibes however strong they may seem. At least with Cause of Causes he had his incredible festival form (albeit different track) to call on. Poor judgement

    Might Bite - doubted he'd stay the trip at Cheltenham. I had backed Whisper each way but I can honestly say I would have been sad to see MB lose that. A stunning display and i'm so glad he got back up to win. What a horse. Get some headgear on him and he'll be a monster player in the Gold Cup next year

    I'm yet to watch back the replays so have only got watching each race live to go on right now so looking forward to analysing everything in a bit more depth over the coming week(s)

  • #2
    Since I started computerising my records in 2009 with the exception of 2014 I have made a profit every year. On that basis there is no reason for me to change strategy that much.

    Last year I had 5 10/1+ winners and this year it was 4 and a 9.9/1 Rule 4, so very similar and the overall result was within £5. The profit would have been doubled had Empire Of Dirt gone in but you can't legislate for horses not 'turning up'. At least my faith in him led me to back Sizing John. My long-term ante-post bets didn't go so well this year, the first one I placed, Defi Du Seuil, was the only one to win. I had been inclined to go win only on the long range bets and it might be I will cut back on these until NRNB begins but that said if I see a taking performance it might be hard to resist.

    Of the bets placed in addition to Empire Of Dirt (40/1) the likes of Brain Power (33/1), Royal Vacation (33/1), Peregrine Run (33/1) and Death Duty (12/1) all ran shockers but they were not bad bets beforehand.

    Clan Des Obeaux was without doubt my poorest bet and having backed Mall Dini at big prices last year, Presenting Percy was the one that got away this year. Having missed the 33/1 ante-post I really should have taken the 12/1 on the day.


    • #3
      Good thread Jono.

      Like many I had the good, bad and indifferent with my AP bets but overall I didn't get value from my investments.

      I had a number of relative shorties but the likes of UKWIMH, Might Bite and Cantlow were all around the price I backed them at just a few days before the off, 2/3/4 months of sweat and sleepless nights were largely not worth it.
      Might Bite I backed at 4/1 around 6 weeks before the festival, he won at 7/2.

      Defi (6/1), Altior (5/1) and On The Fringe (5/1) were the only ones I got at a much bigger price than their SP.

      I only targeted races where my selection was guaranteed to run so had just the one lost NR (Josies Orders) until the NRNB insurance kicked in.

      So next year I won't be busting a gut to get early value...


      • #4
        All Good threads, jono , K.B , Istabraq i think. I finished down , but not as badly as i thought it would be , Obviously the non runners a big part of that ,. As i only bet small stakes , i don't generally bet n.r.n.b , rather take the bigger prices. ( until they are all n.r.n.b ).
        my best results the last 2 festivals seem to be in the first race and the feature race . (except the supreme this time -Obviously )
        So I suppose I should target those races for multiple bets. Without doubt The handicaps my worst results -ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE !.
        One 2nd and a couple of thirds . The worst a/p bet i had was royal vacation , followed by Yanworth.
        Came oh so close in one L 31 - A.jade , T.roll , M.des obeaux , U.des sceaux and U.n.w.i.m.H.
        My best result was a Ruby w l.15 on thurs, So onward and upwards to 2018


        • #5
          Good posts gents. The momentum thing is one definite idea for next year. I can think of plenty of instances of it over the years.

          I will still look for doubles with grade 1 horses that I think will be kept apart but going to keep more of my powder dry until NRNB and weights.

          I have said it before but continue to believe McManus horses are over bet in handicaps.


          • #6
            I'm only just coming out of my depression 3 days after it finished.

            I loved every minute of this year's festival even though it was a losing one for me. I had far too many ante post multiples and will be having less of these in future. I lost 35 points on multiples in total and a further 30 points on non runners.

            Next year I'll try and be more selective but it's easier said than done.


            • #7
              Originally posted by mayo View Post
              Good posts gents. The momentum thing is one definite idea for next year. I can think of plenty of instances of it over the years.

              I will still look for doubles with grade 1 horses that I think will be kept apart but going to keep more of my powder dry until NRNB and weights.

              I have said it before but continue to believe McManus horses are over bet in handicaps.
              I wonder if at level stakes you'd make money backing a "winner" earlier in the card... Plenty of jockeys also just get 1 win, they're hard to come by? "missing" the first winner? Somethin to research in a few weeks maybe. Would like more flesh on the bones for level stakes / momentum

              Absolutely agree with that. Even though it wouldn't have won, I feel like I should have backed Duuvan / UDS in a double. They we're never going to take each other on from the start of the season ... UDS, Yorkhill and Douvan could all line up in any of the 3 at the moment though? CC, Ryanair, Gold Cup. As you said, still be plenty of opportunity when NRNB appears!

              Nothing to add, just agree.


              • #8
                Min / Douvan / Djakadam are three candidates to be kept apart next season too.


                • #9
                  Min CC*
                  Djakadam Ryanair
                  Douvan GC
                  Yorkhill CH
                  Nichols Canyon Stayers Hurdle

                  UDS wins them all.
                  Last edited by Kevloaf; 20 March 2017, 06:33 PM.


                  • #10
                    Big Chaang - I've said for years that I should have token bets in the handicaps and bigger best in the graded races but this year the handicaps were my saviour.
                    I had 40/1, 22/1 and 33/1 (48/1 on Tote !) winners as covers, all of which collectively only just covered total outlays on those races.

                    The other thing is actually being there; the more people you talk to the more handicap plots you hear about, I think I ended up with 7 horses in the Coral Cup which is ridiculous by anyone's standards.....


                    • #11
                      I took a bit of a hammering with only Yorkhill and Let's Dance as winners and had Minella Rocco e/w. Only e/w bet I placed was M.Rocco and normally never bet e/w but may have to start as, like last year, I had a lot of placed horses.

                      I have always been under the impression that you lose out in the long run by betting e/w, however, as the handicaps are so competitive at the Festival I think I may need to start doing it for the Festival only - thoughts? I also rarely have more than one horse a race which again I think is a bit of a no no at the Festival so shall be reassessing that too. Was disappointed with Alpha des Obeaux bleeding again as had potential 1250 point double return with him and Yorkhill (from Tingle Creek day where I combined with Un de Sceaux and Altior).

                      What I have learned is that having used SkyBet quite a lot during the week and losing double what I won with them they have decided to restrict my stakes as just tried to put £50 on Carlingford Lough for the national and could only get £48.48. Obviously not a great difference but clearly my account has been restricted despite losing a chunk to them last week - quite pathetic! My other pick for the national was M. Rocco and remembered the night before the Gold Cup to put a bet on, then got distracted and completely forgot - nightmare!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Vautour View Post
                        I have always been under the impression that you lose out in the long run by betting e/w, however, as the handicaps are so competitive at the Festival I think I may need to start doing it for the Festival only - thoughts?

                        I also rarely have more than one horse a race which again I think is a bit of a no no at the Festival so shall be reassessing that too.
                        I try to avoid E/W before NRNB ... The "place" part, before then is usually not worth the stake x2 to be worth the risk.

                        For me, it is horse by horse (on price) whether or not I go each way though. I do bet multiple horses in a race, on literally every Cheltenham race (not the same throughout the season) and with that approach I expect to have a horse placed in every race... it is disappointing if that isn't the case, but the likelyhood is pretty slim. I will often have each way bets on multiple horses in the same race. I remember being at Chester (It was the day St Nicholas Abbey won a 5 runner race... I backed Harris Tweed *** May 2011) but that day I had no winners but every horse I backed (1 per race) was 2nd or 3rd. No real logic to it, hadn't been in to racing all-that-long then, but I didn't enjoy the feeling. I remember The Couch saying "get stuck in each way at 3/1 if you think it can't be out the 3" and they reference dirty each way bets often enough on podcasts (ane Neil Channing wherever he pops up) says it and I bought in to the logic that if the price of the horse to place is worth it, then it's worth backing each way, regardless of the odds.

                        It has gone wrong a few times, on the flat in the big handicaps I'll have 1 pt e/w on 4/5 horses and none will hit the frame, but it is fairly rare and I'm not as knowledgable regarding the flat so it isn't as much of a shock.


                        • #13
                          I always back each way , Probably because i don't pick too many Winners !, but , at least you got a chance of recovering your stake money. I nearly always do L.15 or L31. too , same reason , one winner and your stakes usually covered . Live to fight another day.
                          Obviously if you really fancy something big time , only a single will do .


                          • #14
                            Each way all day. Its just a slower walk to the poor house.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mayo View Post
                              Each way all day. Its just a slower walk to the poor house.
                              L.O.L, I like that Mayo ,. My mate Tricky Trev always say's , next time someone gives you a big tip , take a look at his shoes !.