Its Day 2 and we couldn’t be more fired up. Yesterday was just wonderful racing and Gordon Elliot and Nicky Henderson stole the show. Can they produce the goods again. What about Willie Mullins I hear you say. Surely today is his?
Information is everything when gambling and so when considering who to back at this fabulous festival – the Olympics of jumps racing, we need to take heed of what type of horse has been successful in the past. So in these selections we highlight recent trends and the horse we think most likely to fight out the finish.
So get involved and enjoy the incredible excitement that is The Cheltenham Festival
NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES´ HURDLE (GRADE 1) (REGISTERED AS THE BARING BINGHAM) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) Winner £71,188 15 runners 2m5f26y Good To Soft ITV
Clearly with these all being novices the age sweet spot is 5-6, so not much to bring the field down there, more importantly our candidate needs to be rated within 10lbs of the top rated horse in the race and won over at least 2 miles 4f in the past. We would also expect our winner to have won a minimum of half their races to date. Now that should whittle things down a bit.
By virtue of our statistics we have whittled our probable list own to Bacardys the talented Willie Mullins 6 year old with Ruby Walsh on board, always a sign of the one they think is the best of the stable entries, Messire Des Obeaux for Alan King, Neon Wolf from Harry Fry’s stable, who is the clear favourite and Willoughby Court from the talented Ben Pauling yard. There is no doubting they all have Neon Wolf to beat but at about 7/4 he isn’t a lot of value. We think Bacardys has to improve about 7lbs to match the Fry horse but he may be capable of that. The one who we like at big prices is Willoughby Court who could be on the upgrade.
1 unit e/w Willoughby Court
2 units e/w Bacardys
RSA NOVICES´ CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+) Winner £99,663 12 runners 3m80y Good To Soft ITV
One of the days features with some incredibly exciting horses who really do have big careers.
We need a horse who hasn’t run on the flat, in the last 10 years that’s been 10 times successful, The previous 10 winners had all finished in the first three last time out and contested a graded race and won or placed. The ideal age is 7 for a horse with 9-10 being winners and they must have run at least 3 times over fences. Who fits the bill
These five are just terrific horses. Acapella Bourgeois, who is the apple of trainer Sandra Hughes’ eye, the tough and admirable, Bellshill for Willie Mullins, Might Bite who was robbed of graded glory when falling at Kempton and Royal Vacation for the wizard Colin Tizzard. There has been much out of Ireland about Sandra Hughes’ horse and we would be wrong to ignore that but they all have Mite Bite to beat in this race
2 units win Might Bite
2 units e/w Acappella Bourgeois
1 unit e/w Bellshill
CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) Winner £54,103 26 runners 2m5f26y Good To Soft ITV
Now this is one of the tough handicaps in the racing calendar and because of that if we crack the code then we will be well rewarded. Rarely has the winner ever run in the last 32 days as they dare not risk their handicap mark. The will have won earlier in the season and not run more than four times and certainly over a trip of greater than 2m2f. They also need to be rated between 130-149. Who does that leave us with?
It pays to look deep in to this race and the four we have come up with from the 26 runners are Who Dares Wins for Allan King who won over shorter but stays this trip and will love the drying ground. Automated for the three time 1st day winning trainer Gordon Elliot who ran a big figure for his last win and managed to avoid the handicappers pencil, somehow! Jockey Jack Kennedy has already shown his mettle with a big win. Morello Royale from the Tizzard yard, whose 2nd over further last time out signalled a return to form and Scoir Mear for young Thomas Mullins who has been beaten by Automated but this better ground should suit.
1 unit e/w Who Dares Wins
1 unit e/w Automated
1 unit e/w Morello Royale.
BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+) Winner £208,300 10 runners 1m7f199y Good To Soft ITV
Our favourite race at this amazing event. The best speed fencers in the World and in this race features, probably the best horse at this festival, Douvan. It will be a major shock to anyone if this horse gets beaten and as good as the opposition are in the shape of Special Tiara, Fox Norton, Gods Own and even Traffic Fluide it can only be the obstacles that get Douvan beaten. If you want to get a 33% return on your money then back him. He won’t fall unless he gets brought down by another. How about some each way money at a big price on Traffic Fluide in a market without the favourite
6 units win Douvan
1 units e/w Traffic Fluide (without Douvan)
GLENFARCLAS CHASE (A CROSS COUNTRY CHASE) (CLASS 2) (5yo+) Winner £40,235 16 runners 3m6f37y Good To Soft ITV
A great spectacle as they jump every manner of brook, ditch, mound and birch.
You have to stay in this race so we need a horse who has won over at least 3 miles, 8 out of 10 have been trained in Ireland and officially rated 134-150 and they need some experience having won or been placed in a race of this type.
Not one of the great betting races of the festival but a number of old favourites within this lot. We just have an inkling that Causes of Causes is coming back to form at a course he loves and at another big price we also like Phillip Hobbs’ horse, Sausalito Sunrise who really is quite talented and looked the winner when trying last time.
1 unit e/w Sausalito Sunsrise
1 unit e/w Cause of Causes
FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo) Winner £45,560 22 runners 2m87y Good To Soft RUK
Paul Nichols has won the last two encounters of this race so he is a good place to start and he has 3 wins in 10 years. You need to be rated between 125-133 and have won at least one of your last two starts. It might also help if you were sired by a Group 1 winner on the flat, which is an interesting statistic.
In what is a very strong handicap this race needs a lot of research and we have got it down to four horses, none of whom feature strongly in the betting. The first is Dakota Moirette for Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper, who team up to great effect regularly and this profile looks ideal. Neitzsche takes the eye on most counts with Brian Ellison rarely bringing them to Cheltenham without a chance and currently no one riding better than Danny Cook. Rainbow Dreamer for Alan King and Tom Cannon seems to have slipped under the radar and finally Poker Play for David Pipe who seems to have held this one back for this race. He pulled too hard on his British devut but this strongly run race should help with this. We should have three against this big field but leaving one out is tricky.
1 unit e/w Poker Play
1 unit e/w Nietszsche
1 unit e/w Dakota Moirette
WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER (A STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE) (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4-6yo) Winner £42,713 23 runners 2m87y Good To Soft RUK
This races’ previous winners look like the best of the best in National Hunt, so we know it produces a quality winner. A winner who won last time out and an adjusted RPR of at least 126. Also best if they haven’t run for about a month.
It would be a shock to us if the Irish didn’t win this race. The three we fancy all come from the Emerald Isle. The first Is Jessie Harrington’s, Someday who improved significantly to win last time out with our only reservation being the 8 runner field. A larger one for experience would have been ideal. The second is Gordon Elliots, Fayonagh with the excellent Jamie Codd on board. The two wins looks terrific on paper and likely they will make the pace. Could be anything this horse. Of course, what bumper would be complete without a Willie Mullins horse, his son rides Carter McKay, a horse looking to make it nine wins in this race for the Irish Champion trainer. We will back all three with some degree of confidence with our inkling that Fayonagh may prove best.
1 unit e/w Carter McKay
1 unit e/w Someday
1 unit e/w Fayonagh