A Cheltenham Festival 20/1 shot well worth a 20/80!


I’m now in full Cheltenham spring and looking at all races for horses I feel are overpriced.

This horse I’m talking about now is improving rapidly, with a trainer currently in rare old form and is no way a 20/1 shot for the race he’ll run in at the Festival.

FUNAMBULE SIVOLA is the name of the horse in question and 20/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes, but just 12/1 with BET365.

Going over fences has been the making of this horse and he has a lovely way of going. His hurdles form was ordinary, and it’s true he has to improve to beat the likes of SHISHKIN in the Queen Mother Champion Chase but improve is what he’s doing right now.

He placed in two of his six races over hurdles (both those placed efforts in France), but since being sent over fences, he has blossomed.

The 11 runs over “the big black ones” as the late, great Arthur Stephenson used to label fences, has produced six wins and three visits to the runners up spot include that superb run in the Maghull Novices’ Chase in April last year, beaten just over three lengths by SHISHKIN.

Watch that race back and you’ll see just how easily FUNAMBULE SIVOLA was travelling three out and it was only after jumping the last that the result was decided.

Another year on his back, he will arrive at Cheltenham with a pair of 1’s next to his name and he beat SCEAU ROYAL easily recently. That one has already proven himself to be a proper Champion Chase horse.

His two unplaced efforts over fences were both over 2 1/2 miles and he doesn’t stay that trip.

Will Cheltenham suit?

One of those two races in which he failed to win or place was at Cheltenham, over that longer trip and, on soft ground. Approaching the second last he was still disputing fourth, just over four lengths down, when he ran out of gas, finished ninth, beaten 26 lengths eased off.

His last two runs, back over two miles, won both and his optimum conditions are that trip with good, or good to soft ground.

The 20/1 is an insult and if you look at the form of NUBE NEGRA, who is currently the 10/1 fourth favourite, you’ll see a horse that doesn’t win once we exit January, form figures between February and the end of April reading 3, 3, 3, 5, BD, 3, 6, 2, 2, 3….consistent but, doesn’t win.

By contrast, the form figures of FUNAMBULE SIVOLA in February onwards since going over fences read 1, 1, 2, 1….only SHISHKIN has, so far, been good enough to finish in front of him as the spring arrives.

I’ve taken the bet


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