Life Changing Festival Lucky 15

As soon as the NRNB markets open I like to have a few multiple bets safe in the knowledge that my money won’t be lost on non runners.

Skybet are NRNB on all festival races while Bet365 are NRNB on the 5 major races: The Gold Cup, The Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and the Ryanair.

I’ve only had a cursory look through the Skybet markets and no obvious value jumps out. It doesn’t help that they’re only quoting around half the likely fields in the handicaps.  Anyway, onto my recommended value bet.

The Gold Cup

I was impressed by Al Boum Photo’s recent win at Tramore and I’ve already tipped Lostintranslation at 14/1. But the standout value in this Bet365 market is Sizing John at 50/1, three or four times the price he should be if he turns up here. He won the Gold Cup in 2017, followed up at the Punchestown Festival and disappointed Leopardstown where he finished distressed and was declared clinically abnormal by the vet.

Two years passed before we saw him back on track in Ireland on December 31st. He looked on very good terms with himself as he travelled well in the 20f hurdle and had just moved into 2nd when he stumbled after landing over two out and came down. He seemed none the worse for it and is due to turn out at next month’s Dublin Festival, after which I’d expect his Gold Cup odds to shorten dramatically.

The Champion Hurdle

Still something of a dark horse is Saldier although he is just 6/1 for this. He’s improved hugely in his last three runs, winning the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle on his first run this season. There looks to be quite a bit more to come from him especially as his trainer Willie Mullins has reportedly altered his training routine this season to give his horses a (‘quieter time’). Patrick Mullins said this recently on Racing TV, speculating that, given how almost every Mullins horse this season has needed its first run, they’ve no idea what Saldier could be capable of.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

I’ve tipped and backed Defi Du Seuil for this at 20/1 and 16/1. He’s a 7/2 chance now and Hobbs has yet to commit him to this saying The Ryanair remains an alternative depending on ground and opposition. I’ve backed Defi Du Seuil at 7/2 NRNB for the Ryanair to save my Queen Mother Champion Chase stakes. If you have backed him for the two miler I suggest you also save your stakes via that NRNB Ryanair option.

So, the value in the current market is another Mullins horse I’ve always liked: Cilaos Emery. He’s 8/1 for this after landing the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase last time out, following up his seasonal debut victory in a Grade 2. He’s 3 from 3 over fences, already a much better chaser than he was a hurdler and could still have quite a bit to come.

Stayers Hurdle

Many will be avoiding the hotpot here in Paisley Park, but Summerville Boy stands out as value at 25/1. His novice season was his best, capped by winning The Supreme. He lost his way the following season although he raced in quality company most of the time. At the start of this season he was put over fences, resulting in a win at Uttoxeter and a fall at Sandown.

Back over hurdles in The Relkeel next time he was up in trip to 20f and he made the running, the first time those tactics have been tried since very early in his career. He seemed to relish both changes – trip and tactics and I think he is a much better horse than his overall profile suggests. I doubt he’ll have a problem with the extra half mile here – it might even bring out more improvement – and it will be fascinating watching him go from the front again if that’s what his connections choose to do.

In Summary

I recommend and EW Lucky 15 with Bet365 who pay as a bonus in Lucky 15s: double the odds for one winner only, and a 15% bonus to win money (not the EW part) if all four come in.

Gold Cup –  Sizing John  50/1

Champion Hurdle – Saldier  6/1

Queen Mother Champion Chase – Cilaos Emery 8/1

Stayers Hurdle – Summerville Boy 25/1

A £1EW Lucky 15 pays £129,149.60. for the win part and £951.68 for the place part.

Good luck. Most tipsters are unreliable and inconsistent, including me. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile – whatever the source of the tip.

All the best



  1. Joe, antepost bets like this are one of the great joys in life.

    Apropos one of your recent comments elsewhere, (which I only just noticed), analysing a test tube full of water is quite an exacting science. For example, the French bottled water market is worth well over 4 billion pounds a year. Each brand has to have an exacting analysis of all its constituent minerals, etc, and there are hundreds of brands. So you are in good company. I have every confidence that the Lucky 15 will see us all taking a memorable break in la belle France, sipping eau minérale ( at least). Merci.


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