A big-priced Festival ‘tip’ from Richard Hoiles

I don’t actually believe in tips: learned my lesson when I worked at Aintree in the ’90s where, within half an hour I was introduced to three owners, with competing runners in the same race.  Each told me to ‘Get on!’ with substantial confidence – none of their horses was in the first three.

Fortunately, their bullishness discouraged me from having a bet.

Doubtless trainers set horses up and can occasionally back them with some confidence; but that sort of information, as you know, is very well protected so ‘tips’ – interpreted as “inside information” as such, are pretty worthless.

Well, that’s the disclaimers out of the way! Since starting my blog, I’ve been in touch with numerous journalists and broadcasters and the highly respected Richard Hoiles has been extremely kind and helpful, not least in allowing me to re-publish his List horses.

Anyway, Richard himself has no inside info on this one, but he has put in a hell of a lot of work in digging it out of the ‘Fred Winter’ field, (the 4.40 race next Wednesday).  The horse is called Tenor Nivernais.  Venetia Williams trains it, and at the time of writing 25/1 non-runner-no-bet is available with Bet 365.

I agreed an embargo with Richard as he was saving this one for his Preview Night audience on Monday – now over as some of you on Twitter will have seen. Given the jollity at some of these events, most will not take action on the tip till some time on Tuesday.  If you are reading this late and have an online account, there’s a fair chance these big odds will still be available.

It’s worth scanning Easyodds first.  Bear in mind that not all bookmakers are offering NRNB on this race so be wary and double check.

Tenor Nivernais has run twice in the UK, finishing third both times.  Of his first run, 2 miles at Wincanton, the Racing Post (RP) said:

Tenor Nivernais looked fascinating on his first start in Britain and travelled strongly for a long way. He became outpaced turning in and seemed no threat, but he found a bit more and started to run on again. He either needed the run after a lengthy break or is in need of further.

His second run was at Taunton where the RP report reads:

The well-backed favourite Tenor Nivernais travelled strongly and had every chance, but couldn’t quicken with the first two. Twice a winner in France, he should continue to be competitive in this sort of race, with a stiffer test likely to suit.

Timeform’s comment on him:

ex-French gelding: fifth foal: dam lightly-raced maiden chaser: successful both starts in juvenile hurdles at Vichy in August for G. Macaire: fairly useful form both starts in handicaps in Britain, good 1½ lengths third of 14 to Karky Schultz at Taunton on latest, again finishing strongly to pull clear of remainder: will be suited by 2½m.

And Timeform’s view of his two races:

01/02/11  TAUNTON: TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) remains sure to get his head in front in similar company before long, travelling comfortably up with the pace and staying on, a long way clear of the rest; he’ll be at least as effective over further and shapes as though chasing will probably see him to even better advantage.

22/01/11  WINCANTON:  TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) is sure to win races for his new yard (formerly with Guillaume Macaire), shaping well on the back of 2 wins from as many starts in juvenile hurdles in the French Provinces, shuffled back to fifth entering the straight and finishing with encouraging purpose; he jumped fluently and could well benefit from being upped to 2½m

Venetia Williams has trained 5 Cheltenham festival winners in the past 10 years, from 107 runners – a strike rate of 4.7%.  Backing all those at Betfair odds yields a profit of 24.6%

This comes with the usual warnings as I know some readers are fairly new to racing. Richard reached his conclusion on this horse after lengthy detective work with his ‘form’ hat on, then put the results of that together with his knowledge and experience and, doubtless, that dash of inspirational intuition we all seek.  Let’s hope he is right, but, if you decide to follow this ‘advice’, do not bet more than you can afford to lose.

Good luck and a big

to Richard

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