Well what a day that was!!! The nap HOLYWELL rompted in at 25-1. As I said on the blog he was one of my two top bets for the festival, and boy did he prove me right. Good job to be fair, as all my other selectons disappointed. It was great to hear on twitter of a few of you who took my advice, and thanks for your nice comments. I'm on a bit of a run at the moment and hoping it will continue.
On to the final day, where has it gone already! Below are my selections for Friday and the second of my big fancies! Enjoy the racing and enjoy the Gold Cup.
1.30 TRIUMPH HURDLE
This is always a difficult one to win and it is competitive again. My selection in this is FAR WEST (2nd – 4-1), while the Nicholls string hasn't been firing on all cylinders, this one is a damn good horse. He has won well twice here and that could be his trump card. I'm hoping this gets the Ditcheat team off the mark. I think the slightly better ground will go against ROLLING STAR. I am however having a little each way on SWYNMOR (unplaced) who despite his poor effort last time looked all over the winner before falling at the last before that. He may still run to his capabilities.
2.05 VINCENT O'BRIEN COUNTY HURDLE
This is the race for my second big fancy of the week. He is a real favourite of mine, but this is not a case of heart ruling head as he has fantastic ability and the form to boot. COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) ran exceptionally well at Newbury behind MY TENT OR YOURS and they even thought of entering him in the Champion Hurdle. Next year definitely. Last season he was very impressive at Warwick defeating subsequent impressive winner AMBION WOOD. He was then going just as well as SIMONSIG in last year's Neptune when unseating Denis by going throught the side part of the hurdle. He will appreciate the better ground and will have the pace to run these into the ground up the hill. His was impressive last time and that will have put him right and DENIS O'REGAN did say this was his best ride of the week. For a little each way money HISABAAT (unplaced) is on a very good mark considering his form in the Triumph here last year.
2.40 ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES HURDLE
The winner of this race has to have immense battling qualities. AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8) has been nothing but impressive this year and showed true grit and determination when holding off THE NEW ONE last time out. How much stronger does that form look now, he also beat MEDINAS by about 12 lengths here on December, further form franked. Whilst this as always is a tough race to win I can't see past this one!
3.20 BETFRED GOLD CUP
I have to side with the favourite BOB'S WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) here. Not only does have have superb course form (4 from 4) but he will stay all day and has been finishing his races off so strongly. If you go back into his form he has beaten the likes of ROCK ON RUBY and CUE CARD and in his last two outings defeated FIRST LIEUTENANT here in the RSA Chase. He then jumped superbly in the Hennessey beating TIDAL BAY, and look what he did since then. He has the class, the form, the engine and is the one for me. SILVINIACO CONTI has done nothing wrong and is a good jumper too but if push comes to shove in the final furlong or two I think he'll struggle. I am going to have a bit each way on CAPE TRIBULATION (unplaced) who has come on so much lately and the forecast rain and the staying slog this is will help him, I just don't think he has the class.
4.00 FOXHUNTER CHASE
Again another one that really doesn't interest me, but I will put up TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU) to maintain his comeback from injury. He was a potentially top class horse and did run well in the Grand National a few years back.
4.40 MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS HANDICAP
GEVREY CHAMBERTIN is going the right way and was very impressive at Wincanton. However, there are a few with better chances in this at a lower weight. MA FILLEULE (unplaced) is one of those, receiving 11lbs off GEVREY is a lot to get and when you look at her form it makes me fancy her chances more. She won well at Warwick last time in a Grade 2 race, so she drops in class and the second (SWINCOMBE FLAME) franked the form when running well behind QUEVEGA on Tuesday. The third in that race KAUTO SHINY also ran well in the same race behind the supermare! At a big price DOUBLE ROSS (3rd – 14-1) is worth my each way money, he is the only confirmed front runner and may not get pegged back!
5.15 GRAND ANNUAL CHASE
The final race of the festival and I'm hoping to go out with a bang. ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)has the right profile for this and is a progressive horse. This one has more to offer and ran well beating NOZIC last time in bad conditions, and depending on the weather it may be a slog in this.
So those are my selections, I am equally as confident about COTTON MILL as I was with HOLYWELL, but please don't think that what I say is gospel and as I had a 25-1 winner I know it all, I don't! If you are having a flutter, do so at a level you can afford and good luck!
Here are my selections in short :
1.30 FAR WEST (2nd 4-1) SWYNMOR (ew) (unplaced)
2.05 COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) HISABAAT (ew) (unplaced)
2.40 AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8)
3.20 BOBS WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) CAPE TRIBULATION (ew) (unplaced)
4.00 TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU)
4.40 MA FILLEULE (unplaced) DOUBLE ROSS (ew) (3rd – 14-1)
5.15 ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)