Tag Archives: Paddy Brennan

Cheltenham 2017 – Day 3

Cheltenham 2017 – Day 3

Gordon Elliott’s good form continued on Day 2 with 2 more winners (Cause of Causes and Fayonagh). Unfortunately, Shattered Love wasn’t one of them – she just didn’t jump well enough to get into the race at all and maybe would have preferred slower ground

Whisper came within a whisper of giving the blog recommendations a winner in a pulsating finish to the RSA. Might Bite had it easily won, then showed his wayward tendencies to throw it away only to rescue the race again once he had company. A very talented horse who could be a Gold Cup contender next year…though the King George at Kempton might just suit him better.

The capitulation of Douvan in the feature race was quite a shock. With Special Tiara having an unharried lead he had it all his own way. I thought beforehand he wasn’t quite the horse he was but was conclusively proved wrong there. My outside fancy, Simply Ned was well enough positioned but ultimately disappointing once they quickened downhill.

A massive gamble on the Irish raider Linger in the Fred Winter proved badly off target

Not a great day for the blog selections but there’s always another day….


Early thoughts and some selections for Day 3

(Thursday lunchtime updates where applicable at end of each race. Now racing on the New Course. Watering took place last night so ground now Good (good to soft in places) > it could get quicker as days progresses if drying conditions persist

1.30 JLT Novices Chase 2ml 4 fur

Odds can be found here:

Yorkhill is a very talented horse who won last season’s Neptune and would have been a strong contender in yesterday’s Champion Hurdle if not moving to chasing.

He does have his own ideas about racing and in a recent schooling session at Leopardstown there were some very hairy jumps early on before he settled into it. I wouldn’t be considering him as a safe bet to get round here based on what I saw. He can pull very hard as well but that hasn’t stopped him winning in the past.

Politologue has looked very good in his novice chase season but did get a bit worked up last time at Haydock and I would worry about him in the preliminaries here. He’s also had two below par runs at the course (including a very strange jinking out manoeuvre in his first visit here).

Disko’s form in Ireland is pretty solid and as he likes to race handily so will make this race a good test. He has never raced here before and his best form comes on a softer surface.

Top Notch would be my choice as he seems a proper little professional and has got better and better with his fencing through the season. He has good Festival form already.

top notch

He might be a little behind Yorkhill in terms of hurdling form but he’s much more solid  and I find it hard to see him out of the top 3.

Look for 1/4 odds available here – with 8 runners though we really do not want a non runner to emerge which would cause there be to be 2 places instead of 3


2pts ew Top Notch 4/1 (Bet 365, Stan James offering 1/4 odds 123)

****Thursday update*****

Some opposition to the favourite Yorkhill who has drifted from around 2.35 to 2.6 on the Exchanges. Top Notch has stayed strong in the market and 4/1 now gone. He would have appreciated the overnight watering I think


2.10 Pertemps Hcap Hurdle Final 3 miles

Another of the week’s highly competitive hurdles with too many runners for me to go through in too much depth. For now I will just fancy on the one I do fancy

Barney Dwan has been an extremely unlucky horse this season. He probably should have won his first two chases but for mishaps and although running well over hurdles since, I think he can show his true colours again now that the ground is improving. Hopefully, he has already exhausted his quota of bad fortune already this season.


He is trained locally and Paddy Brennan has been very bullish about his chances in the recent Preview evenings. He is 7lbs better off with Impulsive Star from his most recent run. That was on a much softer surface and was probably more about qualifying him for this final

Tobefair has to be mentioned as he has kept winning all season despite the handicapper raising him throughout. He started his winning run off a mark of 81 and his last win came off 134. He’s on 143 here but we have seen such types win at the Festival before (Hunt Ball had similar progress in recent years). Expect him to give his all again but I wonder if softer going would have helped him


Look for firms paying 1/4 odds with 5 places here

0.75 pts ew Barney Dwan (Bet 365)



2.50 Ryanair Chase 2ml 5fur

A sort of ‘middle distance’ championship race but one that has confounded me to pick the winner of it for many a year

I have to admit this is one race I have really struggled to get a proper handle on and seldom have any luck finding the winner of.

It doesn’t help matters that one of the main contenders, Empire of Dirt, is still among the entries for the Gold Cup on Friday so can’t be thought of as a guaranteed runner.

Un De Sceaux would probably have run in the Champion Chase if the same stable’s Douvan hadn’t been foaled (they could be rueing that now after today’s result!). Connections have mooted that they consider him more vulnerable on the good ground than they do over this longer trip.

Uxizandre was very impressive when winning this race from the front in 2015. He has had his problems since and only run once this season. He will be hard to beat if in the same vein of form but there remains a question mark on that. Wayne Hutchinson is now riding after some jockey switching today. He’s much underrated and will know the horse very well – this certainly won’t do his chances any harm

Until Empire of Dirt’s participation is known it’s hard to make a proper judgement. Given my terrible record in this event it’s very unlikely I will be making a recommendation though!

***Thursday update****

No sign of Empire of Dirt being taken out of the race. He would be my marginal selection but really have no strong view and happy just to watch this race

3.30 Sunbets Stayers Hurdle 3miles

Nice to see this race come back to it’s old title of Stayers Hurdle after a few years of being renamed the ‘World Hurdle’

Harry Fry’s charge Unowwhatimeanharry has dominated this division this season and won the Albert Bartlett here last season.

It’s hard to knock his chances but the one chink could be that his best efforts have been on softer going.

He beat Cole Harden giving him weight last time (West Approach 3rd). On that basis it would be hard to see a reversal but that was on totally the wrong ground for the second. He’s a previous winner of this race, loves good ground and likes to run from the front.

West Approach is a novice and it seems apparent that the stable preferred to run him in Friday’s Albert Bartlett. That would have been much more his level but it seems the owners preferred to race here instead

When he did win, Zarkandar, looked to be the likely winner coming down the hill until a catastrophic error ended his chances. Paul Nicholls’ ex Triumph hurdle winner had been looking to be on a downward curve since until bouncing back at Haydock last time (first run back after a wind operation). He isn’t getting any younger and is still prone to errors at crucial times but if back to his best again is a big contender.


Shaneshill has lots of both winning and placed Festival form. The ground should also suit him and I can see him reaching the frame again. I’m just not sure he has the class to win it.

Jezki seemed disappointing when beaten last time (form not advertised by Tombstone today). I’m not quite convinced this is the trip for this former Champion hurdler.

Connections seem to be playing with the trip with Nichols Canyon now and he doesn’t look to be enjoying life too much this season. I find it hard to fancy him despite being Ruby Walsh’s choice.


I’m just willing to give Zarkandar a small each way interest with his price appealing as the best value right now. He certainly has the class to go close and looked to have rediscovered some sparkle last time.On softer ground I wouldn’t be looking beyond the favourite but just worry he could be vulnerable. Cole Harden shouldn’t be far away back on his favoured surface – if Ballyoptic (think this one had a wind operation since his last run) doesn’t take him on up front he could get an uncontested lead which would increase his chances.

I’m looking to see how the odds and place terms develop here but Cole Harden and Zarkandar both looking possible each way recommendations later

Added Recommendation

Upon checking updated odds a few firms have pushed out Zarkandar to 28/1 and are offering 1/4 odds…this will do for me. If Cole Harden goes to 10/1 with the same place terms he would be of interest to join him

For now:

0.5pts ew Zarkandar 28/1 (1/4 odds 123 – Ladbrokes, Stan James, 888)

****Thursday update ****

No real movements in the market amongst the principals. Hope of 10/1 for Cole Harden disappeared when Pricewise put him up. Shaneshill looks noticeable weak on the exchanges

4.10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Hcap 2ml 5fur

Probably the race title that trips off the tongue most easily at this meeting!

Diamond King has been well touted in Ireland and already has been backed significantly. He’s a previous festival winner who will appreciate the ground but is still a novice.

Starchitect is another novice at the front of the betting who also seems to be carrying plenty of stable confidence. His jumping errors over hurdles often cost him dear but so far he’s unblemished over the larger obstacles – albeit at a less competitive level

An old friend of mine, Thomas Crapper, has crept in right at the bottom of the weights and stands out to me. He’s previously finished 2nd twice at the Festival (on a mark of 134 both times) and lines up here off 133. Both the horse who beat him, Don Poli and Irish Cavalier went on to much better things. He had hinted at a return to form a few times this year on unsuitably soft ground but defied those conditions last time to bounce back at Newbury. I don’t think I have ever seen him jump as well as he did that day and even with a 5lb penalty he’s on a winnable mark here. The ground is right up his street and he’s well proven on the course. He would rate as one of my stronger selections for the handicap races this week. He’s formed a great association with his jockey Charlie Poste over the years and hope he can finally get that Festival win tomorrow


1.5 pts ew Thomas Crapper (take 12/1 with 1/4 odds 1234)

***Thursday update****

The recommended bet Thomas Crapper is the main mover here. Pricewise selected him as well yesterday and 8/1 now the best price on offer. C’mon Thomas!

4.50 Troll House Stud Mares Novice Hurdle  2ml

Only the 2nd running of this event but it’s attracted a strong Irish challenge.

The Mullins pair, Lets Dance and Airlie Beach, plus Forge Meadow have already taken on the boys this year and beaten them. They set a high standard but after results from the first 2 days there has to be some concern over the form of the Mullins team

La Bague Au Roi is a lovely mare representing the home side. She’s been kept fresh over the winter while waiting for this better ground. She runs from the front and will try to run them into submission

At a much bigger price though I am plumping for another Irish runner to run a big race – Toe the Line. She is a listed class performer on the flat who has come to hurdling late. It’s all about the ground conditions for me here…she has form on softer but really needs a decent surface to be effective. She’s finished 4th in the Ebor H’cap on the flat and that kind of class could really shine through with a decent gallop here (hoping we get one as many races haven’t been that truly run). She stays well and can produce a turn of foot in a competitive race



0.5 pts ew Toe The Line 33/1 (Betway paying ¼ odds 123)

(365 were offering 40/1 for a brief time while writing but that seems to have gone now)

****Thursday update*****

Another clash with Pricewise here so all of the biggest prices disappear on my pick Toe the Line. Continued support today has seen her come down to a best of 16/1. She is one who I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see the ground being watered for. This race is late in the day though so hopefully conditions have quickened up again by then!


5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Hcap 3ml 2 fur

An amateur riders handicap nothing is standing out for me so far. I may come back to the race later but will be concentrating on the horses ridden by the best amateurs who are not claiming weight

A bit more late evening study on this one comes up with this:

It’s natural to be drawn to Squoauteur representing the in-form Gordon Elliott yard. There aren’t many better amateur jockeys around than Jamie Codd who has also ridden two winners here already – plus he has won this race 4 times! The downside is the price which is pretty skinny at around 5/1. Squoauteur has sometimes looked like he has been looked after a bit in his races so he might be well handicapped here..just a bit too short for me.

Mall Dini won at the Festival last year and has another top amateur in Katy Walsh on board. Signs are that he hasn’t quite adjusted to the chasing sphere yet but again he could have been handled a bit tenderly in his preparation!

I prefer some more solid form and my eyes are mostly drawn to Whats Happening at 16/1. For a 10yo he hasn’t got that many miles on the clock but goes on good ground and has very decent course form. His jockey, Richard Harding has also rode the winner of this race twice previously.

Of the others, Potters Legend is a novice but makes some appeal now he is going back up in trip. Lucy Wadham’s stable is in good from right now and there’s another very good pilot in Mikey Legg on board here.

Thursday Update and added recommendation:

Good to see Whats Happening is attracting support overnight so I am now adding as a recommendation . 16/1 is gone but 14/1 still available in places


0.75 pts ew Whats Happening 14/1 (1/4 odds 1234 Bet Victor, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook)







Best of luck with whatever you back

Thanks for reading







Summary of recommendations so far:

Day 1

1pt ew Singlefarmpayment 15/2 (1/4 odds 12345) – 2nd (+0.88 pts)

2pts ew Apples Jade 9/2  (1/4 odds 123) – won (+11.25 pts)

2pts win Edwulf 11/2 – lost (-2pts)

1pt win Champers on Ice 8/1 – lost (-1pt)

Day 2

1pt ew Shattered Love 25/1(1/5 odds 123) – lost (-2pts)

1.5 pts win Whisper 7/1 – lost (-1.5 pts)

0.75 pts win Our Kaempfer 16/1 (lost -0.75 pts)

1.5 pts ew Peregrine Run 10/1 (1/4 odds 12345) (lost -3pts)

0.5pts ew Simply Ned 66/1 (1/5 odds 123) (lost -1pt)

0.5pts ew Simply Ned 66/1 (1/4 odds 123) (lost -1pt)

0.3 pts ew Percy Street 33/1 (1/4 odds 1234) (lost -0.6pts)

Day 3

2pts ew Top Notch 4/1 (1/4 odds 123) 2nd (break even)

0.75 pts ew Barney Dwan 20/1 (1/4 odds 12345) 2nd ( +3pts)

0.5 pts ew Zarkandar 28/1 (1/4 odds 123)

1.5 pts ew Thomas Crapper 12/1 (1/4 odds 1234)

0.5 pts ew Toe The Line 33/1 (1/4 odds 123)

0.75 pts ew Whats Happening 14/1 (1/4 odds 1234)

Day 4

0.5pts ew Forth Bridge 33/1 (1/4 odds 123)


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Cheltenham Festival Preview 2016

The blog has had to take a lengthy holiday due to work commitments but is back for the big week of the year – the Cheltenham Festival – where it’s had most success over the past couple of years.
I’ll put up some quick previews for each day the night before – starting on Monday.
Here are my early thoughts on some of the selections I am already with over the 4 day period.
I won’t put up a staking plan on these today – merely selections. In many cases, I think there may be more value to be had on the day when prices and place terms are often more enhanced. Generally speaking if a horse is 4/1 or more and ¼ odds 123 or more are available I will probably be playing each way – less than 4/1 and it’ll be win only (there will always be a few exceptions but I will detail those if we come to them)
The ones listed below are the ones I’d be more inclined to be using for angles in multiple bets (doubles, trebles,etc).over the week ahead. A staking plan will be added to the daily blog to analyse profit/loss over the 4 days.
Do always check the place terms if betting now – ¼ odds a place should be widely available next week on most races. Some bookies have already reduced the riskier each way races to 1/5th odds. This makes mathematical sense but it would be no surprise to see them revert next week to be more competitive and lure in more bets.

Onto the week ahead and the early selections….
Ground will hold sway on some of these. At the moment the course is reported as soft but with drying conditions likely over the next few days I’m largely assuming the ground will be good to soft on Tuesday with prospect of it getting better still as the week progresses.

TUESDAY (48 hour declarations due out later today which may cause market movements)

1.30 Supreme Novices
A lot of ups and downs in the market here recently with doubt concerning the participation of Yorkhill. Right now it looks like he will be running in Wednesday’s Neptune instead.
Willie Mullins/Rich Ricci have won this with favourites Vautour and Douvan for the past two years and Min is a shorter price currently than both of those two. That doesn’t mean he is as good and on what he has achieved he is too short. He is a free going sort who has won his races easily so far this season but beaten nothing of the calibre he meets here. The preliminaries are a concern to connections.
I’m much more taken by second fav Altior, who has also displayed keenness in his racing earlier this season but still found plenty of reserves to win his first couple of races. He has winning form on the course – it wasn’t impressive in beating Maputo but that was a very tactical and slow run race. He was much better of a better pace at Kempton over Christmas. I feel he will thrive here off a strong gallop and with the uphill finish and he should be favourite. He probably wouldn’t want to ground too soft but as long as it dries out as expected I’ll be cheering him on

Stablemate Buveur D’Air hasn’t faced any strong opposition this season. He has closely matched form with Altior in bumpers last season but that’s hard to take at face value now. He appeared then as a strong travelling type who didn’t finish of his races quite as well as others and I wonder whether the hill might find him out here. He may prefer the ground to stay soft also
Supasundae has been well talked up at preview nights as an each way bet. Henry de Bromhead doesn’t waste his runners here but this one has to improve his jumping and didn’t get home up the hill in the Bumper here last season after running freely early on.
At a Dublin preview on Thursday, Gordon Elliott was asked if punters should back his Tombstone each way for this race. He replied ‘no’ which doesn’t augur well for that one’s chances!
Selection : ALTIOR ew at 4/1 or better with ¼ odds 123


2.50 Ultima Hcap
This seems to be the desired race for Warren Greatrex’s Out Sam who has somehow got into the Festival with a mark of 139. The form of his last comfortable win at Newbury makes that mark stand out as being highly lenient and if 8/1 is available still it’s hard not to have some interest.
This race will be completely different – a big field racing against seasoned handicappers rather than novices. However this race often favours both novices and light weights (he should be carrying 10st 2lbs if weights don’t rise)
Southfield Theatre would be of interest at a bigger price given his previous Festival record. He hasn’t shown much this season but needs decent ground to show his best. The vibes from Ditcheat are that he is coming back to form but I’m not sure if the ground will have dried up for him sufficiently by Tuesday.
Selection; OUT SAM ew at 8/1


A wide open race since the defection of Faugheen and Arctic Fire.
Annie Power is too short a price for me considering her original aim was the Mares Hurdle and she has come in as a late replacement for Faugheen’s owner Rich Ricci.
She looked a possible runner two years ago but was diverted to the World Hurdle instead. When it looked likely she would run in the Champion she was no shorter than The New One and My Tent or Yours. There’s no evidence she has progressed since so the disparity in odds against those two is a little strange to me.
My Tent or Yours probably has the most talent but hasn’t run for a long time and that’s a major concern for a horse who has had a problem settling. Twice he has finished second at the Festival after his early exertions have left him vulnerable to a stronger stayer up the hill.
The New One appeals most at current prices. He wasn’t suited by a tactical pace last year and had an interrupted preparation. The year before he was an unlucky loser after being badly hampered early in the race. He is effective on the course though – the way he accelerated up the hill to win the Neptune in 2013 shouldn’t be forgotten. Jumping has always been a bit of an issue with this horse but he can really come up this hill well and this is the easiest opportunity to win a Champion Hurdle he will ever get. (Nice pointer for the form of the stable with Flying Angel winning the Imperial Cup yesterday)
Nichols Canyon probably has the best form this year and he could get an easy lead up front (Camping Ground the only other possible front runner by my reckoning). I’m not convinced he acted on the course here last year though and wonder if he needs a flatter track as his form at Aintree afterwards looked much better.
At bigger odds, I much prefer Old Guard who has improved a lot this year and has plenty of winning course form. The better the ground is the more I give him a chance. I wouldn’t take his Kempton form literally – wrong track and ground too soft. He holds Sempre Medici and Hargam on earlier Cheltenham form. An issue developed here at the Sandown Park preview last night when trainer Paul Nicholls said his latest piece of work had been ‘dire’. I was going to add him as a second selection but best to wait for further news emanating on his well-being for now
Sempre Medici has been put up as an each way bet by several judges at preview meetings. It seems he may be ridden quietly out the back and aiming for a place more than a win. Similar types have been placed before so it wouldn’t be the biggest shock for him to hit the frame
THE NEW ONE ew at 6/1 or better


***Sunday evening update – Old Guard withdrawn from race due to muscle problem***


4.10 Mares Hurdle
Team Mullins has had a stranglehold on this race for several years.
Vroum Vroum Mag is their short priced favourite this time. She’s won a lot of mares races very easily but for me has yet to do anything to suggest that she is a 160 type of horse as her price suggests – her actual rating is 154 and not that far ahead of anything else in the race ( no course form for her either)
I much prefer another Henderson second fav, Polly Peachum, who looks a really solid each way at around 6/1
The more the ground dries out the better for her and she was narrowly beaten in this race last year when rated 155 (now dropped to 149). The ground was far too soft for her when she still managed to beat The Govaness at Sandown (latter an obvious non stayer behind Vroum Vroum Mag at Ascot so wouldn’t be taking that as a collateral form line). She is capable of a higher level than that and is proven over the course
There wouldn’t be much to choose between Polly Peachum and Bitofapuzzle on last year’s form but the latter (if she runs) comes here from a couple of disappointing chasing efforts and apparently has had breathing problems.
The selection goes off to the paddocks after this race so am very hopeful she can end her jumping career on a high.
Selection: POLLY PEACHUM ew at 6/1 with ¼ odds 123


1.30 Neptune Novices Hurdle
I haven’t seen a better novice hurdler than Yanworth this season. He’s not a great price now but will be shocked if he is beaten such has been his superiority against decent opposition in his last two victories. Earlier in the season his jumping technique was in need of polishing up but the work on that seems to have paid off and I can’t find any negatives. One of the weeks bankers
Selection; YANWORTH win


4.50 Fred Winter Hurdle
There seem to be a lot of potential plots here in this competitive handicap for 4yo hurdlers. The handicapper might have scuppered the chances of Campeador who was an early talking horse.
I attended a preview in Dublin on Thursday where there were subtle hints that Missy Tata was well fancied before Gordon Elliott put her up as his charity bet.
The one I most want to be with though is Paul Nicholls’ Diego du Charmil who there has been a strong whisper for over the last couple of weeks and is now fav.
This race used to have a strong stat favouring highly rated flat horses but things have changed a little in the last couple of years with Nicholls having success with unexposed French breds like this one.
He has supposedly been doing very well on the gallops with much higher rated types and has been saved for this. He could be very well in here – it’s hard to judge him on his French form but his second in this race linked below looks to show a horse that had plenty more to offer….

There are a couple of others at much bigger odds I also have my eye on but will wait until the day for those.
For now the selection is DIEGO DU CHARMIL ew 7/1 or better



Not looking the strongest of the four days for me and will largely leave this until the night before
THISTLECRACK has very little negatives in the World Hurdle at 3.30 except a very small concern if the ground has become good by that time. He should be odds on and would be if he were trained by someone like Mullins.
In the new Mares Novice Hurdle at 4.50, SMART TALK appears a solid ew proposition. She’s improving with every race and would have won with a lot more in hand last time but for a blunder in the home straight.
She could be up against a very classy recruit in short priced favourite Limini but that one does have some questions to answer with her jumping. Her flat race class could carry her through but I’d be surprised if Smart Talk was out of the frame so an each way bet appears far better value

***Sunday evening update. 3rd fav Myska withdrawn from Mares Novice Hurdle. 6/1 really shouldn’t be lasting on Smart Talk now if 1/4 odds 123 are available, An each way bet becomes even better value if you can get those odds and place terms***


1.30 Triumph Hurdle
I believe the strongest trial for this may have been run over this course in January event though it probably didn’t throw up the right result at the time.
Who Dares Wins and Clan Des Obeaux finished 4th and 2nd respectively (behind Protek Des Flos) but these two started racing each other a very long way out on some very sticky ground. They paid for those efforts up the hill but in so doing kept themselves at attractive odds.
If the ground were soft on Friday I’d be inclined to be with Clan Des Obeaux who has the look of a future high class chaser.
However, with conditions likely to be quicker, I have to be with Alan King’s Who Dares Wins. He was too keen early on in that Cheltenham race and had to make the running. He still came out as marginally the best horse in the race as was giving away weight all round. On better ground and with a faster pace to come off, this decent ex-Flat racer should be a much better proposition.


It seems possible that Richard Johnson will ride given comments at Sandown last night. Alan King knows how to win this race and I think he will be the stable’s number one here on better ground over Sceau Royal.
Zubayr has to be feared after his win at Kempton recently – the same route taken by recent winners Zarkandar and Soldatino. He appeals more than Ivanovich Gorbatov who didn’t jump well enough last time at Leopardstown and is an awful price on that form
Selection; WHO DARES WINS ew 12/1 or better

3.30 Gold Cup
The highlight of the Festival and I think Kempton’s King George result is by far the strongest piece of form to go on here.
It’s debatable whether Don Cossack would have won that day if he had stayed up at the second last but I do question his effectiveness over this course given his previous record here (3rd and fell)
That leaves Vautour and Cue Card. Vautour was outstayed that day but is expected to be fitter this time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win but reports of a lack lustre gallop recently aren’t encouraging. The stamina question over further and with an uphill finish to contend with remain. On the plus side it’s hard to forget how he came right at the Festival last year with a spectacular win in the JLT.
I’m firmly in the Cue Card camp for this race to pick up a fairytale win and secure a £1 million bonus fund in the process.
Given his breeding (dam Wicked Crack as a very good stayer) it was always a surprise to see him display so much speed when he burst onto the Festival scene winning the Bumper in 2010.
He was one of the stars to develop from a stellar year of novice hurdlers in 2011 and got another Festival success in the 2013 Ryanair. He is a proven Festival performer.

Cue Card lost his way last year but after a breathing operation has come back a completely revitalised horse. He no longer runs freely out at front and can be settled comfortably off the pace – he now looks the stayer his breeding promised him to be. In Paddy Brennan he has found a new partner and they look to be a match made in heaven. His Kempton win proved he was back at the top of his game but I believe he can be better than that. His jumping there wasn’t as good as it can be and all of his best form has been on left handed courses like Cheltenham
I’m taking him to beat off a strong Irish challenger.
Don Poli is some way behind these on form but is a bit deceiving as he is the sort who keeps on winning by doing just enough. That is an admirable trait but I think he may lack some pace against others here on what is likely to be decent ground on Friday. In much softer conditions, he would be one to fear more

Selection; CUE CARD ew 5/1 or better


The blog will be back during the week with updates and quick race-by-race synopsis
Thanks for reading and good luck to all over the week ahead with whatever you back


(comments always appreciated)


Some useful links

To compare odds with all firms I use (though check individual websites as changes don’t always come instantaneously)

For further write ups on many of the Cheltenham preview nights that have occurred over the past couple of weeks:

A really interesting read (as always)from Timeform’s Simon Rowlands on sectional times for many of next week’s leading contenders


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