1.30pm Cheltenham – 2m4f (2m3f168y) (New) Turners Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
1 POINT WIN BET AT A WIDELY AVAILABLE 8/11
Hi guys, we’re half way there with two days down and two to go. Yesterday was just as tough as I thought it was going to be but we still have 14 races to come so still have time to get a result or two. The bad news for punters is it doesn’t get much easier today with three 23-24 runner fields in the hotly contested handicaps and the 21-runner Mares’ Novice Hurdle is no bundle of laughs either. We also move from the old to the new course today where the Going is officially Soft and the ground could still become an even more major factor with an “unsettled” weather forecast today and a 50% chance of heavy showers depending on which app you use.
When I did the write-up for this about 2 hours ago it was a 9-runner race and I had Stage Star picked each way for 3 places but since then 2 non-runners have been declared so firms are now only paying the first 2 home. This makes Stage Star much less value with the two at the head of the market looking strong. So, I have opted for a small Mighty Potter win bet.
Mighty Potter is a 6 year old who hasn’t done much wrong in his 3 chase starts to date winning including 2 Grade 1’s. He kept on strongly over 2m5f at Leopardstown to win by 8.5 lengths last month so, with likely further improvement to come, today’s stiff/stamina sapping 2m4f shouldn’t pose any problems. He is the most likely winner of this but the 9 year old Appreciate It is no mug with his high class hurdles form bringing him in to the reckoning but he was beaten 10 lengths last time over 2m1f by Tuesday’s very good Arkle winner El Fabiolo. However, he is a bit of an unknown quantity stepping up to 2m4f over fences with him being contested over 2m-2m1f in his last 10 runs but he has won a National Hunt Flat race over 2m4f and also a 3-mile point to point 5 years ago so should stay the trip ok. Of the top two, I’m with the Favourite but don’t recommend getting too heavily involved as Appreciate It or Stage Star could spring a surprise.
2.10pm Cheltenham – 3m (2m7f213y) (New) Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
2 POINT WIN BET AT A WIDELY AVAILABLE 7/2
I think the head of the market has got this 23-runner handicap right with Thanksforthehelp (4/1) and Maxxum (11/2) having obvious winning chances. However, I think Thanksforthehelp could be absolutely thrown-in here off a mark of 128 after cantering home to win at Chepstow by a very comfortable 6.5 lengths 19 days ago. He appeared on that occasion to have been helped by a wind operation and first-time headgear (retained) and it was so visually impressive the subsequent 11lb rise doesn’t look likely to stop him if in the same form today.
2.50pm Cheltenham – 2m4½f (2m4f127y) (New) Ryanair Chase (Registered As The Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
SMALL EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT A WIDELY AVAILABLE 10/1 FOR PAYING 3 PLACES
Shishkin looked awesome and back to his old self when winning a Grade 1 at Ascot 26 days ago by 16 lengths and if he runs up to that level again he will prove very difficult to beat. However, there has to be a doubt there with him beaten twice before that and this is a good race for each way backers (having 9 runners) so I have decided to try to find some value for you.
I spent ages on this race but really struggled to find the 1 or 2 at a price which could take advantage if Shishkin under-performs. In the end, I chose Envoi Allen with the latest ground forecast (when the race is due to go off) perhaps not going to be as bad as we thought. The Going has been the most unpredictable variable all week and continues to make life difficult from a betting/tipping perspective. Envoi Allen for the De Bromhead/Blackmore partnership is a 7-time Grade 1 winner who I think could be suited by this intermediate trip. Third in last year’s Champion Chase, he could go well. I have to reiterate though confidence is low and your guess in this may well be as good as mine. Small stakes each way.
3.30pm Cheltenham – 3m (2m7f213y) (New) Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)
1 POINT WIN BET AT A WIDELY AVAILABLE 5/2
0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT ODDS OF 7/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 4 PLACES
In the 11-runner Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle the Gordon Elliott trained 5/2 Favourite Teahupoo has an obvious winning chance with the ground having come in his favour and him having won his 2 races this season. He beat Honeysuckle (who won on Tuesday) in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown back in December and that looks like a top piece of form in the context of this race.
Gold Tweet (10/1) is a French raider who won a Grade 2 over C&D on today’s Soft Going 47 days ago so he will be suited by the track and conditions. He is only 6 years old so could easily have more to offer and will be fully fit on his fifth start since October. His trainer, Gabriel Leenders has his string in good order and is 2-2 with the horses he has sent over.
4.10pm Cheltenham – 2m4½f (2m4f127y) (New) Magners Plate Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
HAUT EN COLEURS
0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 6/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 6 PLACES
0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 8/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 6 PLACES
This is a highly competitive 24-runner handicap where the two I like are Haut En Coleurs (6/1) & Il Ridoto (8/1). Several firms are paying 6 places on the race with Skybet the only bookmaker I am aware of who are paying the first 7 home and you should really be seeking these offers and extra place protection out guys especially in these big field races.
The Willie Mullins trained Haut En Coleurs has been contested at Grade 1 & 2 level in his last 6 races so reverting back to a handicap here looks the “class” horse of the race. The distance suits, he is versatile ground wise, and I particularly like the first-time booking of up-and-coming apprentice Michael O’Sullivan who takes a useful 3lb off his back. He already won twice at this year’s Festival on Tuesday on Marine Nationale and Jazzy Matty and I can see him going close again.
Il Ridoto has plenty of Cheltenham course form having run here 4-times including over C&D 47 days ago where he beat the re-opposing Fugitif by a length with the two of them pulling 15 lengths clear of the 3rd in a 16-runner race. He went up a fair 8lb in the weights for that and can run a big race again with further improvement very possible.
4.50pm Cheltenham – 2m1f (2m179y) (New) Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle) (GBB) (Class 1) (4yo+)
0.5 POINTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 13/2 WITH SKYBET PAYING 5 PLACES
The unbeaten in 4 Nicky Henderson trained Favourite Luccia (7/4) has done nothing wrong being highly impressive all season but surely has to be taken on in a tight looking 21-runner race full of young possible improvers with the ground maybe on the soft side for her.
I like the chances of the unbeaten 5 year old mare Magical Zoe from the in form Henry De Bromhead yard. She showed an impressive turn of foot to win going away over 2m1f at Down Royal when last seen and this stamina test on easy underfoot conditions looks ideal for her. She is my only selection so let’s hope she gives us a run for our money. Each way advised with Skybet looking the way to go as the only firm paying 5 places on the race to the best of my knowledge.
5.30pm Cheltenham – 3m2f (New) Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (Sponsored By JRL Group) (GBB) (Class 2) (5yo+ 0-145)
0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 6/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 6 PLACES
0.5 PTS EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 20/1 WITH BET365 PAYING 6 PLACES
Today’s lucky last or get out of jail stakes is the 3m2f amateur jockeys’ handicap chase where there are 24 runners. The four I like and wouldn’t put you off having a bet on are Dunboyne (7/1), Beauport (10/1), Dr Kananga (18/1), & Rapper (20/1).
The 7 year old Beauport looks well-handicapped on the best of his form running off a mark of 143 today, he will be fit, he is well-suited by soft ground, and the step up to 3m2f could unlock further improvement. Dr Kananga was put up by the Racing Post Pricewise column so has been well-supported. He could be very well-in running off a mark of 135 with Darren Andrews taking a further very useful 5lb off his back on what could be by 5.30pm today extremely stamina sapping conditions. At 18/1 he could still be worth an each way punt with firms paying 5-6 places.
However, I’m not going to tip or ask you to bet 4 horses in any race so the two I have opted for are Dunboyne & Rapper. Dunboyne could be suited by the stamina test as well and I really like the first-time booking of the excellent Jamie Codd. The 8 year old is Gordon Elliott trained, will be fully-fit (a major bonus) on his sixth start of the season, and is completely unexposed at this type of extreme trip. I can see him running a really big race.
Rapper is a 20/1 shot I think could provide some each way value. He won over C&D back in January on similar ground to today and off a mark of 142 still looks on a decent mark especially with experienced apprentice Alice Stevens taking 3lb off. The application of a first-time visor could also spark some improvement.
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!
P.S. You can see my Cheltenham Festival results for all 84 races in 2019, 2020, & 2021 here
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