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Date added: 11 March 2008

Beat the Bookies with SwindonWeb 

Place your bets for Cheltenham races
 
Cheltenham races
Festival of racing:
Cheltenham
They say it's the best four days of racing any where in the world.

And if you're a racing fan in Swindon it couldn't be better.

Not only is the Cheltenham Festival taking place this week just a few miles down the road, but SwindonWeb know the men who love their horses more than most - and, most importantly, who they think is worth a bet over the next four days.

And could they be any different!

We've asked the man they call the 'greatest ever' - the Swindon-born seven-time champion jockey and former Gold Cup winner-turned TV pundit - John Francome, for his insight and gee gee genius on where to lay your money.

Plus we've quizzed Old Town personality and professional socialiser cum pub landlord Chris Piper for his unique view on the world of nags and fillies (including those with two legs as well as four).

So whether it's just a light flutter for a bit of fun, or you fancy having a wedge on the big race of the day, you can take your pick of today's top tips courtesy of yours truly.

So here they are....
 
Friday's tips:
 
John Francome
 
John Francome jockey
Equine expert:
John Francome
Qualifications:
 
National Hunt Champion Jockey
75/76, 78/79, 80/81, 81/82, 82/83, 83/84, 84/85
Gold Cup winner 1978
Champion Hurdle winner 1981
Rode 1,138 winners

Famous phrase: 'I was born lucky.'
 
Gold Cup 3.30pm
 
"There's not much I can say about this race that hasn't already been said - it's an epic battle in the waiting.
 
"Kauto Star, last year's winner, versus his incredibly talented stablemate, Denman.
 
"For me, Kauto edges it. Purely on his record. But at 7/4 he's hardly great value, so it's a win only for me. I've got some catching up to do!"
 
BET: 20 win on Kauto Star at 7/4

Triumph Hurdle 2.20pm
 
"There's only one horse in this race - and it's fantastic that it's a Swindon one.
 
"Alan King's Franchoek stands out a mile. My banker of the day.
 
BET: 20 win on Franchoek at 7/4
 
Chris Piper
 
Chris Piper of The Kings, Swindon
Bookies' friend:
Chris Piper
Qualifications:

Reads the Daily Mirror racing section every day
18 years' experience of running a Grand National sweepstake at the King's Arms and Swiss Chalet

Famous phrase: 'I would have bet that!'
 
Gold Cup 2.20pm
 
"This Kauto Star v Denman, it's like Ali versus Fraser, Man Utd v Arsenal!
 
"What a race in store!
 
"But I'm going to stick with my rule of the week - 'Follow Alan King!'
 
"And that's why I'm going for an each-way on Halcon Generalis. At 12/1 I think it's great value for a place."
 
BET: 10 e/w on Halcon Generalis at 14/1

Foxhunter Chase 4.05pm

"How can I not back a horse called 'Man From Highworth'?
 
"It's made for a man like me a bet like that, and by the sounds of things a lot of others in town have been getting on as well.
 
"You'd have to be as mad as John Manners not to have just a little bit on him.
 
"Let's face it. You'll be kicking yourself if you don't!"
 
BET: 10 e/w on Man From Highworth at 10/1
 

 
Thursday's tips:
 
John Francome
 
John Francome jockey
Equine expert:
John Francome
Qualifications:
 
National Hunt Champion Jockey
75/76, 78/79, 80/81, 81/82, 82/83, 83/84, 84/85
Gold Cup winner 1978
Champion Hurdle winner 1981
Rode 1,138 winners

Famous phrase: 'I was born lucky.'
 
Queen Mother Champion Chase 2.20pm
 
"After yesterday's postponement it's going to be a bumper day of racing never seen before at Cheltenham.
 
"There are so many good horses on display today it's difficult to pick out just one. But I would have to go for Tamarinbleu in the Champion Chase.
 
"It pains me to oppose Alan King's Voy Por Ustedes, but I think Tamarinbleu has just a little bit more about him.
 
"But it will be close, there's no doubt about that."
 
BET: 10 e/w on Tamarinbleu at 4/1

World Hurdle 3.30pm
 
"Another high class field full of genuinely gutsy horses.
 
"But the ride of AP McCoy stands out for me - Wichita Lineman - which at 12/1 is worth an each-way flutter.
 
BET: 10 e/w on Wichita Lineman at 12/1

UPDATE:
Tamarinbleu beaten into 7th by Masterminded
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 0.00
Loss = 20.00
Wichita Lineman beaten into 9th by Inglis Drever
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 0.00
Loss = 20.00

Running Loss = -37.50
(incl. 2.50 profit from Tuesday)
 
 
Chris Piper
 
Chris Piper of The Kings, Swindon
Bookies' friend:
Chris Piper
Qualifications:

Reads the Daily Mirror racing section every day
18 years' experience of running a Grand National sweepstake at the King's Arms and Swiss Chalet

Famous phrase: 'I would have bet that!'
 
Queen Mother Champion Chase 2.20pm
 
"Like John, it's an unbelievable day of racing ahead for me.
 
"Ten races of the highest order - all in one afternoon. I know where I'll be from 12.30pm onwards! In the Kings watching all the action on Channel 4.
 
"And now I'm nicely in profit, I'm going to stick with Alan King's horses fot the rest of the Festival.
 
"That means Voy Por Ustedes is my bet of the day in the Champion Chase.
 
"King's horses are in such good form that Voy Por has got a fantastic chance of making it three Cheltenham wins in a row."
 
BET: 10 e/w on Voy Por Ustedes at 4/1

World Hurdle 3.30pm

"And don't forget... King also has another of his best horses running in the World Hurdle at 3.30pm - My Way To Solzen.
 
"At 11/1 My Way is great value for another proven winner, so I'll definitely be having a punt on him as well!
 
BET: 10 e/w on My Way De Solzen at 11/1

UPDATE:
Voy Per Ustedes beaten into 2nd by Masterminded
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 20.00
Profit = 0.00
My Way De Solzen beaten into 5th by Inglis Drever
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 0.00
Loss = 20.00

Running Profit = 32.50
(incl. 52.50 profit from Tuesday)
 
 
More tips from John and Chris tomorrow!
 
And don't forget to check out our coverage of Cheltenham so far, including a video interview with trainer Alan King, and a visit to Common Farm in Highworth to meet John Manners and the promising 'Man From Highworth'.
 
See links below.
 

 
Tuesday's tips:
 
John Francome
 
John Francome jockey
Equine expert:
John Francome
Qualifications:
 
National Hunt Champion Jockey
75/76, 78/79, 80/81, 81/82, 82/83, 83/84, 84/85
Gold Cup winner 1978
Champion Hurdle winner 1981
Rode 1,138 winners

Famous phrase: 'I was born lucky.'
 
Champion Hurdle 3.15pm
 
"It's the biggest hurdle race of the year, and this year's field reflects the quality of the prize on offer.
 
"It's a tough one to call, but I would have to go with Osana.
 
"The softening ground could be to his advantage, and he's trained by David Pipe, who knows how to train winners around this track.
 
"At 5/1 I think he's the horse to have your money on."
 
Outsider
 
"For an each-way bet, I'd go for Straw Bear.
 
"He has the champion jockey on board, AP McCoy, and that counts for a lot.
 
At 20/1 he's a great price."
 
BET: 10 e/w on Osana at 9/2
 
UPDATE:
Osana (5/1) beaten into 2nd by Alan King's horse Katchit - Punjabi 3rd
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 22.50
Profit = 2.50
 
 
Chris Piper
 
Chris Piper of The Kings, Swindon
Bookies' friend:
Chris Piper
Qualifications:

Reads the Daily Mirror racing section every day
18 years' experience of running a Grand National sweepstake at the King's Arms and Swiss Chalet

Famous phrase: 'I would have bet that!'
 
Champion Hurdle 3.15pm
 
"I love this race, I do. You can't beat the Champion Hurdle to start the week off at Cheltenham.
 
"My bet is a bit of an outsider, but I think he's fantastic value at 50/1.
 
"It's Punjabi.
 
"Sounds like a curry, I know, but this horse has been tipped to me for weeks and I've told all my mates to get on it.
 
"So I stand to lose a lot if it doesn't come in the first three!"
 
BET: 10 e/w on Punjabiat at 25/1
 
UPDATE:
Punjabi third behind Osana and Katchit
Return on a 10 e/w bet = 72.50
Profit = 52.50
 
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