Ive had a few weeks off the blog from Cheltenham. It takes a fair bit of study to write these blogs and after the hectic week of the festival I just needed some time to recharge my batteries. The flat season will be in swing soon and I will keep blogging throughout that too, hopefully bringing you winners in both formats of this awesome sport. I am dedicating this blog to my good friend James Graham, he regularly reads this and I saw him at the weekend to ask him if he had won by following my advice for the festival. He did with Willougby Court but denied to be greedy and put it in a win treble when the others didn’t win. He also didn’t see my tweet about Friday’s selections and missed Pacha Du Polder and Penhill. So, James, this one is for you today – I hope there’s a winner for you!! 🙂
Manifesto Novices Chase 1:45
This is a cracking little race to kick the festival off. FRODON comes into this bang in form and he has looked very good the last twice. He is clearly suited by good ground and he will make sure it is a decent pace. TOP NOTCH looked to be unlucky at the festival, he made a mistake two out which looked like it cost him the race as he was staying on well at the end. If he reproduces that tomorrow he will be hard to beat. CLOUDY DREAM ran a cracker in the Arkle but that looked to be well above what he has produced previously and he was fortunate as CHARBEL fell and the rest of the competition weren’t much good in my opinion. I’m going for a cheeky each way on MAX WARD. I was very impressed with the way he went away from the field over this trip last time at Kempton. It wasn’t a hard race and the market leaders have had some tussles of late and he will love the ground and despite this being a step up he looks very progressive. We will certainly find out, but 20-1 with Paddy Power is a huge price!
Doom Bar Juvenile Hurdle 2:20
DEFI DE SEUIL was very smart at the festival and has been all year, he will take some pegging back in this and looks the best Juve nile we’ve seen this year. I like the look of the Queen’s horse at a bigger price though. He has swerved the festival for this, will love the ground and looked smart when winning at Musselburgh last time. DIVIN BERE ran a beauty at the festival and Im fascinated to see how he gets on against the favourite.
Betway Bowl Chase 2:50
CUE CARD is the favourite for this but I have to take him on. He fell again in the Gold Cup and that will have taken its toll, the ground will also be too quick for him in my opinion and he is a definite lay. EMPIRE OF DIRT was lots of people’s banker for the festival but UN DE SCEAUX jumped them to death, he will not have to take anything like that on in this and will appreciate the better ground and I think he will get compensation here.
Betway Aintree Hurdle 3:25
Buveur D’Air was my first winner at the festival and I cant see anything beating him tomorrow, no bet, just watch and admire.
Foxhunters Chase 4:05
PACHA DU POLDER came good for me at the festival and helped me to a very profitable return with PENHILL. He ran a great race and should be thereabouts again under the same rider. This track should suit him more and with a steady run race over a shorter distance it should play even more to his strengths, I do expect them to ride him much more handy. BIG FELLA THANKS catches the eye in opposition at a cracking price.
Betway Red Run Handicap Chase 4:40
RAVEN’S TOWER has to have a cracking chance in this off a light weight. He is 1-1 here and won off a mark just one pend lower than today (OR138) when beating KEEL HAUL and PARSNIP PETE. The latter is only 2lbs better off but needs to make up 9 lengths, not going to happen. My selection has other smart form, he was beaten in a good race taken by POKER SCHOOL off a 5lb higher mark after coming third to ULTRAGOLD. He made a bad mistake early on last time that took him out of the race. He has had time to recover and I think will run a big race.
£5win RAVEN’S TOWER 4:40 Aintree 12-1 William Hill
£5win EMPIRE OF DIRT 2:50 Aintree 5-2 William Hill
£5ew MAX WARD 1:45 Aintree 20-1 Paddy Power