1.30pm Cheltenham2m4f (2m3f168y) (New) Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

GALOPIN DES CHAMPS

1 POINT WIN BET AT A WIDELY AVAILABLE 9/10

Hi guys, this 4-runner race is a mouth-watering duel between two of the best novices in training in the form of Galopin Des Champs (Evens) & Bob Olinger (6/5) but is probably the worst race of the week from a betting perspective with no each way play available and the other two taking part El Barra (28/1) and Busselton (50/1) highly likely making up the numbers both having more than 20lb to find on the ratings with the top two and neither likely good enough to make it up here.

A strategy I sometimes use in a 4-runner jumps race like this is to back the two outsiders against the two “Favourites” hoping they under-perform or have a mishap as there are often some big prices and some perceived value available on Betfair Exchange but I won’t even be doing that here with Galopin Des Champ & Bob Olinger both looking rock solid jumpers and never having had a fall in their combined 16 runs to date.

So, which one of the two is going to win? Well, unfortunately, you’re guess is as good as mine guys with them both having very similar profiles. You’ll like know I’m a massive Bob Olinger fan having tipped him ante post at 20/1 for last years Ballymore for which he duly obliged but the Willie Mullins trained Galopin Des Champs had very similar success readily winning the Martin Pipe over hurdles in a good/fast time and he has looked even better this year as a chaser. I’d like Bob to win but I fear Willie’s horse might just nick it so he is my token selection. However, my advice is not to even bet in this but rather watch it for the awesome spectacle it should be and keep your powder dry for later in the day.

2.10pm Cheltenham3m (2m7f213y) (New) Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

ALAPHILIPPE (NAP)

1 PT EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 6/1 WITH THE FOLLOWING FIRMS PAYING 7 OR 8 PLACES

The 8 year old gelding Alaphilippe was a good running-on 5th in last years Grade 1 Albert Bartlett over C&D where he can be seen staying on well up the hill improving from about 12th in to 5th in the final 2 furlongs with the race not enough of a test of stamina for him having been run on Good to Soft. Also, he was possibly left a little to much to do with those at the head of affairs getting first run on him when the pace quickened rounding the turn for home. A year further on and that bit more mature/stronger dropped in to this handicap off a mark of just 138, with no stamina doubts, and the application of first-time cheek-pieces possibly eking out a little more improvement, he has to have a great chance and looks a very good each way bet in this 20-runner affair particularly with Skybet offering a massive 8 places on the race while the other firms highlighted above paying the first 7 home.

He was very kindly dropped 2lb by the handicapper after travelling so very well for around 3-miles last time and was vying for the lead going over the last losing a couple of places late on and going down to the race-fit (with both having two runs already under their belts for the season) Sporting John & The Jam Man in a Class 2 handicap at Warwick 61 days ago. It was a very taking performance by him coming off a 302-day break and he is reportedly in good form at home and expected to come on for that run.

2.50pm Cheltenham2m4½f (2m4f127y) (New) Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

ELDORADO ALLEN

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 16/1 WITH THE FOLLOWING FIRMS PAYING 2 PLACES

This is another poor race from an each way perspective with the odds-on 4/6 Favourite, Allaho (rated 178 on Racing Post ratings), highly likely to win it barring mishaps having won the corresponding race last year by 12 lengths and looking as good if not even better now an 8 year old and with two non-runners declared all firms now only paying the first two home with only 7-runners remaining.

The only possible chink I can see in Mullins trained Allaho’s armour is him not having ran on ground quite this deep.

I have had a good look at the other 6 trying to establish what might follow Allaho home or take advantage should he under-perform (which we saw from Shishkin yesterday can happen) but they have been difficult to split.

I thought Conflated could go well but offers little value at 6/1 while another Mullins trained runner, Janadil, is semi-interesting dropping back from two stints over 3-miles having ran an all-out Allaho to within 2 lengths over this 2m4.5f trip at Punchestown back in December though you’d think Willie would know where he stands with them and Paul Townend stays with the Favourite. So, the horse I have landed on is Eldorado Allen who has improved this year for stepping up in trip progressing in all 4 of his runs (RPR’s 159, 161, 164, & 168) beating Gold Cup hope Royal Pagaille last time out. He will obviously have to improve again but that isn’t impossible.

He is far from a confident selection with Allaho being one of the “Hotpots” of the week and several other runners with chances so the advice can only be small stakes each way to finish in the first two or a small forecast to follow Allaho home.

3.30pm Cheltenham3m (2m7f213y) (New) Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

ROYAL KAHALA

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT ODDS OF 6/1 WITH THESE FIRMS PAYING 4 PLACES

This is an open looking 10-runner Stayers’ Hurdle with joint 4/1 Favourites but I had been keen on and short-listed Royal Kahala for this last week. Then studying in between Cheltenham races yesterday I saw her price shortening only to see she had been tipped by Tom Segal from the Racing Post’s Pricewise column. So, it’s not ideal that she has come in from 8’s to 6’s but she does look the one with the most potential for further improvement being a 7 year old who has also progressed in each of her three runs this season (RPR’s 145, 149, & 152) and she is totally unexposed at this 3-mile trip having won a Grade 2 over it at her first attempt back in January. She will have to improve again but the ground/trip/track look ideal and in receipt of 7lb from her male counterparts, especially under such stamina sapping conditions, I can see her going well.

4.10pm Cheltenham2m4½f (2m4f127y) (New) Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

ADRIMEL

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 14/1 WITH SKYBET & BETFRED PAYING 5 PLACES

IMPERIAL ALCAZAR

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 9/2 WITH THESE FIRMS PAYING 5 PLACES

This still highly competitive race has been reduced from 22 to 17-runners due to the Going change but at least offers us some each way value with six of the bookies paying the first 6 home. This extra place insurance really helps in these big-field races at the Festivals where any one of several can win and you often need some luck in running.

The two I like in this are Adrimel (11/1 with BET365 paying 6 places) & Imperial Alcazar (9/2). The latter doesn’t represent much value at 9/2 but looks like a bit of a “bet to nothing” as it will be a big surprise if he finishes outside the top 6 and he looked deserving of his 8lb rise in the weights when beating Beakstown by 10 lengths over C&D 47 days ago. He has won on Heavy so won’t be inconvenienced by the Going and there is probably further improvement to come from him.

Adrimel pulled-up in last years Grade 1 Albert Bartlett but that is actually the form that put me on to the 7 year old as he led for most of the 3-mile trip before tiring late on. He has looked even better this year dropped back in trip winning his last two including over this distance last time. He will like the ground and could give it a good go from the front.

4.50pm Cheltenham2m1f (2m179y) (New) Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle) (GBB) (Class 1) (4yo+)

DINOBLUE (Nb)

1 PT WIN BET ADVISED AT A BEST PRICED 15/8 WITH BET365

LOVE ENVOI

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 15/2 WITH BET365 PAYING 5 PLACES

You won’t want to hear that I have been with 15/8 Favourite Dinoblue in this for weeks but I thought when the Willie Mullins trained 5 year old mare won her only race to date by 15 lengths that she could be a bit of a monster! The 3rd, beaten 19 lengths, has won since, the ground will suit, and the yard are very keen on her chances. A 15/8 Favourite isn’t my usual fare but I can’t go past her and she is my Next Best bet of the day.

I’ve included Love Envoi (15/2) for those looking to take advantage of the firms offering 5 places on the race. She is unbeaten in all 5 of her starts to date and the ground has come in her favour. She can go well and should place at least barring mishaps with the Harry Fry string in decent order (Last 14 days: 3-13, 23%).

5.30pm Cheltenham3m2f (New) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (Sponsored By JRL Group) (GBB) (Class 2) (5yo+ 0-145)

OMAR MARETTI

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 10/1 WITH MANY FIRMS PAYING 6 PLACES

MISTER COFFEY

0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 12/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 6 PLACES

The three I like at each way prices in the 21-runner last race of the day are Omar Maretti (10/1), Mister Coffey (12/1), and Come On Teddy (10/1) and I wouldn’t put you off having a bet on any of them. However, for tipping purposes, I’m only going to go with the first two named.

Omar Maretti is an unexposed 8 year old who only went up a generous looking 5lb for an 8.5 lengths win at Catterick last month and he could yet have more to offer. Carrying just 11st 4lb with ground to suit he shouldn’t be far away.

Nicky Henderson has been honest about getting it wrong with Mister Coffey by running him on right-handed tracks so a better performance is expected from him on the left-handed Cheltenham course today. He is stepping up significantly (6 furlongs) in trip today but expected to improve for it and the first-time booking of Sam Waley Cohen is eye-catching.

Just a reminder that while I suggest bookies to bet with because they have the best price available or are offering to pay extra places in a race these are purely profit optimising common sense choices for your benefit and I receive absolutely nothing from them. I am not affiliated with any bookmakers!

Good luck with all your bets today guys!

Jibber Jabber

P.S. You can see my Cheltenham Festival results for all 84 races in 2019, 2020, & 2021 here

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