The second race on the New Year’s Day Horse Racing card at Cheltenham (12:50) is a tantalising event, where Grand National notebooks, will be out for this stern 3 miles 2 furlong test. The Michael Scudamore trained Kingswell Theatre, ran well in defeat at Chepstow (03/12/2016) on similar good ground and will be sure to run a great race and, is a potential Grand National contender.

The Rebecca Curtis trained horse, Racing Pulse can take advantage of the key jockey booking of Davey Russell and represents a danger, if staying upright.

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Value seeker alert

There's a large number of so-called experts pushing odds-on selections. There is bound to be statistics, form and popular opinion to support the selections(s).

In response, I am going to set you a little New Year's exercise for you – choose an odds price say 2/5. Follow a number of selections of that price that is a multiple of it (for example 5 selections would be good for the odds of 2/5). Then simply see how many of these are not successful, if it is two or more, in this example, then easy money would not pay, would it, now? You may be shocked at the result, obviously the bigger the sample the better.

The recent Ryan Betting selection of Bayern Munich at 1.42 to beat Darmstadt by two goals highlights the perils of odds-on betting.

An alternative approach is needed

Value betting is a lot more difficult than an odds-on heavy approach, as you frequently have to go against statistics, form and even instinct in order to find that selection that should be a shorter price than it is.

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That's the challenge!

Back to the 12:50 at Cheltenham – Kingswell Theatre is now 8 lbs better off with rival Lamb Or Cod at Chepstow recently and can also use this longer trip to reverse the placings. Currently available at 20/1 (BetVictor), Michael Scudamore’s charge represents great value. Kingswell Theatre will certainly strip fitter for his seasonal debut at Chepstow and the useful Benjamin Post takes off a handy 3 lbs.

Recommendation: €5 each way Racing Pulse, Cheltenham 01/01/2017 12:50 (16/1 each way 1-2-3-4)