The Kim Muir features a fair bit of value in five or six runners, but Emir Sacree is a standout at 50/1 and Fontaine Collonges looks about 10 points too big at 25/1. You have 6 places EW from two different bookies here: Fontaine Collonges should be backed with Bet365 – the only one going 25s, and Emir Sacree with Skybet at 50/1. If you are feeling brave, Hills will give you 66/1 Emir Sacree to 5 places, and will boost it as well to around 75/1. You do lose that 6th place, but the difference in price might well be worth the risk. From this blog’s viewpoint, I will almost always opt for the maximum number of places.
Emir Sacree has relatively few miles on the clock for a 9-y-o. His formline last season -1421- saw him running consistently and finishing with the highest rating he’s received, a rating he then replicated last time when 3rd at Sandown, where he jumped left at times, a trait that isn’t nearly so costly at Cheltenham. He started fav on his seasonal debut, but was pulled up on what looks like an off day given his previous record.
Fontaine Collonges is trained by Venetia Williams, whose yard looks badly out of form – 3% strike rate in the past 14 days. But given the price available, I think that risk is more than accounted for in the price. The jockey will have kept the price on the long side too, but Miss O’Connor has ridden 28 winners and has a strike rate of 18% over fences. Fontaine Collonges is 3 from 7 over fences. She disappointed last time at Haydock (7/2 fav), but had run a cracker to win a good handicap chase there in November. Like Emir Sacree, I am happy to write off her last run as just an off day given the consistency of her formline: 26/115/31/4141-14. You’ll see from that the mare is largely unexposed, and if she is healthy and well lining up, she ought to run a big race.
For supporters of Trumptown, the fav, you might want to note that his top 7 ratings have come at right handed tracks. He has run poorly in two outings left handed.
My usual warning. Anything I put up as a tip here is for ‘fun money’ – stakes you can afford to lose almost without even thinking about it. There’s just as much fun to be had with small stakes.