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Cheltenham Festival 2011 

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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Watamu Bay Out of 4-Miler & Early Value on the Mares’ Hurdle

Watamu Bay, a leading fancy for the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, has been put down after suffering a serious injury on the gallops.

Carole’s Legacy
© Grossick Racing Photography

Carole’s Legacy

Speaking in his Betfair column, trainer Paul Nicholls said: "One of the most distressing parts of this job is when we lose horses, and unfortunately I am sad to report that we lost Watamu Bay this morning.

On a brighter note, I hope I have found a real value ante-post bet in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle. The Nicky Henderson trained Carole’s Legacy is as good as a mare gets and this ultra-consistent type was thwarted only by Quevega in the 2010 renewal. A record of 9 wins and 5 second places from 14 is excellent and it is hard to think she isn’t a leading contender this time around, despite the likely presence of Quevega once again. In her latest race at Ascot, she was never really jumping or travelling that well and was beaten a long way out but she still ran to a mark of 150 and the 20/1 available with SportingBet looks superb value. Indeed, as I write, 28/1 is available on the exchanges. Hopefully the mare will not take up an engagement in the Racing Post Chase but either way, she looks worth backing for Cheltenham.

Looking at the 6.40 at Kempton this evening, then Libertino is clearly capable of winning off this mark. A few recent near-misses have caused some to question the horse’s resolve but George Baker in the saddle will help and the pairing look sure to go well. The 11/1 on the exchanges early looks a steal and likely to be a lot shorter come the off.

Recommendation: 6.40 Kempton – Libertino, DN Mares Hurdle – Carole’s Legacy e/w at 20/1 Sportingbet


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