Cheltenham 2013 Day 3

 
Day two was just as action packed and eventful as the first wasn't it! SPRINTER SACRE has the potential to be one of the all time greats, what a performance that was. How good is it to see jumping gods like him! I felt for BOSTON BOB today but I still think my tip LORD WINDERMERE would have beaten him. I also felt RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL may well have gone on to beat BACK IN FOCUS and I was relieved I had a wager on both!
 
So on to day three and one of my big fancies for the whole week.
 
1.30 JEWSON NOVICES CHASE

DYNASTE is an obvious pick for this race, however I feel a drop back in trip is against him and the stable aren't exactly flying at that moment and 13/8 at the time of writing this is short. CAPTAIN CONAN is an obvious choice too but he had to work hard last time to beat THIRD INTENTION. I'm therefore opting for TEXAS JACK (unplaced) who has some very smart form. He split BOSTON BOB and LORD WINDERMERE last time out and look what they did yesterday. He has also finished behind BACK IN FOCUS when 3 miles looked long for him. Unlike the style of BOSTON BOB and LORD WINDERMERE he is better at this trip and has to have a fantastic chance.
 
2.05 PERTEMPTS FINAL

This is one of my top selections for the festival. HOLYWELL (nap) (WON – 25-1) has performed gamely all year with four gutsy performances. He looked even more effective when being stepped up to three miles. Running in snatches last time cost him the race but he showed immense battling qualities to stay on up the hill behind ELY BROWN. The trip, the speed of the race, the pure test of stamina and more importantly the track will play into his strengths. I can see him being delivered over the last just behind and then bound on up to the line. He's my best bet of the day. I am also having an each way squeak on ACCORDING TO TREV (unplaced) who will appreciate the drying ground and you cannot ignore the win he had here in October.
 
2.40 RYANAIR CHASE

MENORAH (PU) is a favourite of mine and I have to side with him in this despite the worry of the poor form of the stable. In my opinion this distance and this track bring the best out of him. His performance when beating HUNT BALL at Kempton had to be noted as he probably hated the ground. He is impressive here as I said with 3 wins and a place from 6 runs. He has the class and remember he did beat CUE CARD here in the STAN JAMES INTERNATIONAL HURDLE a couple of years ago and despite getting beat in the HALDON GOLD CUP to CUE CARD he did give him 3 lbs that day. I'm hoping what I've stated backs up my gut! With the ground drying I am also having a little nibble at ALBERTAS RUN (PU) his record here speaks volumes and but for the ridiculous winter we've had he would have been our sooner. He's pure class and depending on how much the ground dries he could be a huge price for a horse of his stature.
 
3.20 LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

A wide open contest in my opinion, the injury to BIG BUCKS gives plenty of these a shout. None more so than REVE DE SIVOLA who was very impressive last time. OSCAR WHISKY proved the doubters wrong last time by staying the distance. However, I'm opting for WONDERFUL CHARM (unplaced) this horse has been kept for this since the forecast was to be dry. He takes his chance here instead of the Coral Cup. Both the trainer and jockey think they potentially have a good one here, I'm happy to go with them judged on their experience of winning this. He has a fair bit to find on the figures, but he coud be anything. Well worth a sniff in a wide open contest!
 
4.00 BYRNE GROUP PLATE

I'm opting for an outsider in this who caught my eye last time out. HECTOR'S CHOICE (unplaced) ran an absolute stormer behind OPENING BATSMAN the other week at Kempton. He only dropped out close home and this drop to 2m5f will help. He won here last year in a Class 1 chase defeating AERIAL after getting nowhere near in this last year off a mark of 147. He's now rated 144 and I just fancy him to run well on better ground and as I say he really caught my eye last time out.
 
4.40 FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHASE

PRINCE OF PIRATES (unplaced) for me is the answer here. He is a progressive horse, who despite a few dodgy jumping rounds produced a good effort at Kempton last time. He is another one that prefers good ground and has won round here before. A talented amateur jockey on board with a few big races successes this year will also help. Bring on the bucks.
 
5.15 CROSS COUNTRY CHASE – re-arranged.
 
I don't really like or pay much attention to these races so am just looking at form briefly for this and suggest taking a chance with the French one, especially if the ground is tacky. So for me SACREE TIEPY (unplaced) is the selection.

After a couple of successful days so far, I'm hoping for another few wins here, especially HOLYWELL. Enjoy the day whatever, I'm n a course all afternoon so will have no idea what's been going on!

Here's a summary of my tips :

1.30 TEXAS JACK (nb)

2.05 HOLYWELL (nap) (WON – 25-1) ACCORDING TO TREV (ew)

2.40 MENORAH (treble) ALBERTAS RUN (ew)

3.20 WONDERFUL CHARM

4.00 HECTORS CHOICE (ew)

4.40 PRINCE OF PIRATES

5.15 SACREE TIEPY
 

Saturday Chances or Chancers?

 
The Cheltenham count down is well and truely on. Today gives us another chance to see a few potential contenders and we also have a Grand National Trial. Yesterday my nap EDMUND KEAN was very impressive and surely one to watch for the festival, the runner-up SEEDSMAN is also one to watch. I fancy a couple of David Pipe's today and I'm hoping the old boy above GILES CROSS can repeat last year's success.
 
Here are todays tips. I've done three Lucky 15's.
 
Lucky 15 Number 1
 
THE COCKNEY MACKEM 1515 ASCOT – (5th – 25-1) ran very well at the end of last season in some competitive chases. A superb second at the festival in the Byrne Plate behind Salut Flo shows this one has the ability. He has gone well fresh before and shouldn't be discounted back over hurdles. I've just got 25-1 on BetFred for this one which is a crazy price. Great each way chance!
 
CUE CARD 1550 ASCOT (nb) – (WON 15-8) this horse has bags of class and despite him stepping up in trip he still has enough ability at this distance to take this. He will never beat SPRINTER SACRE so connections' plan to change distance for me is sensible. Favourites have a cracking record in this race and the drop back in trip will suit and I think he will win comfortably.
 
MIAS BOY 1600 LINGFIELD – (4th – 7-1) I just can't leave this old favourite of mine and would back it to the death. He just got pipped last week at this course. He is back at a mile so will need a strong pace. I think that is what has resulted in places in the last two races is that he didn't get going soon enough. However, this is a step up in class. Must have a strong each way claim though.
 
SAOI 1635 LINGFIELD – (2nd – 3-1) bidding for a hat-trick and I was furious with myself for missing the first of those victories as I had backed it twice beforehand. He should appreciate the step up in trip and the form of his last two victories is strong and been franked by the runner up running to a place twice more.
 
Lucky 15 Number 2

VALCO DE TOUZAINE 1345 HAYDOCK – (3rd – 11-4) ran well in France and has two decent starts to his British career including a good second on his reappearance. He then ran creditably behind LORDOFTHEHOUSE next time out. Those runs should put him in with a smart chance today.
 
KENTFORD GREY LADY 1420 HAYDOCK (treble) – (4th – 2-1) she is a smart stayer and ran very well in third behind REVE DE SIVOLA in the Cleeve Hurdle last time. On that form she should take this today.
 
GILES CROSS 1455 HAYDOCK – (PU) he ran a cracker in the Welsh National and just emptied totally in the final few furlongs. At that point the stable had just come from being closed down so it was a damn good show. He won is last year ahead of NEPTUNE COLLONGES and we know what he went on to do. He loves the ground and the track and now that the stable are back with the winners again, he has a great chance to reclaim his crown. I have ran out of words for describing DENIS O'REGAN as a superb jockey and he will get the best out of him again.
 
SIXTY SOMETHING 1640 HAYDOCK (nap) – (unplaced) is a progressive horse as he showed when winning at Aintree and Bangor this season. He ran a bit under par last time at Doncaster behind STORM SURVIVOR but he still ran on well late in that race. O'REGAN's relaxed style will suit him and he should be crept into the race, fancy him big time to bounce back today.
 
Lucky 15 Number 3

AMIGO 1430 WINCANTON – (3rd – 13-8) won over 3 miles last time at Chpestow in a dogged style and he has been raised 3lbs for that success. With heavy ground again on the cards he should be thereabouts at the finish up the long Wincanton finish.
 
DIAMONDS RETURN 1615 WINCANTON – (PU) won three on the bounce at the end of last season including over course and distance and ran well last time out. Returns today and could continue that progressive trend, hopeful of a big run.
 
REAL MILAN 1405 ASCOT – (PU) whilst ROCKY CREEK is a worthy favourite after his impressive win at Warwick last time my selection has done nothing wrong so far in two novice chases and will revel in the mud. This is a big step up but he looks a smart one.
 
ASHKAZAR 1440 ASCOT – (LAST!!!!!) this old dog infuriates me! He can be absolutely class and was that at Cheltenham last season. He has so much ability but it depends how he feels. He'll either run well and give them something to think about or he won't be bothered and will be pulled up. I'm hoping for the first one at a pretty decent price.
 
 
So, quite a few selections today and I'm more than hopeful of my top three. I just have to say that THE COCKNEY MACKEM has such a good chance in my opinion today and I have put a little extra on him each way!
 
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Best of luck everyone and enjoy the racing!