Cheltenham Day One

Here we go everyone! Strap yourselves in, the festival is upon us! Get your money down, your TV's on or set to record and bring on the buzz! As always Tuesday is a cracking day with lots of competitive racing and top horses to choose from. Will the Mullins yard destroy the bookmakers satchels on day one? Has Ruby made the right choice? Will McCoy get a winner on the first day? All these questions yet no answer! Personally I think the Mullins yard will have a couple, you can read these below. The twitter gamble guys have opted for the following tomorrow :
 
@DazGilbert1 – NED STARK 1440
@Tonythetyke – HORIZONTAL SPEED 1715
@Fernando_RFC2 – DOUVAN 1330
@LiamKenniford – SEGO SUCCESS 1640
 
Here are my selections race by race.
Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle 1330
As ever what a great race to start the day. DOUVAN has been touted as a good thing and has been stronlgy supported and could be very good from a yard who have won the last two runnings. He may prove me wrong but I don't think he'll stay up the hill in a race that is usually as quick as this one is run at. Plus I think the ground may be too quick for him. L'AMI SERGE has the potential but has he got the solid form in the book, not for me! I'm opting for an unexposed type however, on QEWY who I feel has the ability to improve again. He's well bred and despite also not having much form on the better surface I loved the way he went about beating the field at Newbury last time when beating CARDINAL WALTER by 6 lengths. He has gone on to frank the form since. BOUVREUIL was back in third and he has a decent form line through RAYVIN BLACK who was just pipped in the Imperial Cup on Saturday. The ground is my main concern but I think he has rhe ability to win. Interestingly when asked to pick a horse that he would like to ride in the week Sam Twiston-Davies replied Qewy!
The Bandit's selection – QEWY (Unplaced = -£5.00) My Dad's selection – JOLLYALLAN (unplaced -£5.00)
 
Racing Post Arkle Chase 1405
If UN DE SCEAUX can jump around at his break neck speed he has to have a cracking chance and is a worthy favourite, odds on though? Not for me! I have to go against an odds on horse in a race like this and he does have a question mark against his jumping. JOSSES HILL was well touted but has flattered to deceive this year and VIBRATO VALTAT could be the main challenger to the favourite with sime really eye catching perfomances along the way. CLARCAM has done nothing wrong this year but was put in his place by the favourite in a small field last time. However, I'm opting for COURT MINSTREL, he has always been a very smart horse on better ground and he travels so smoothly through his races. He is two from two over the bigger jumps this year with good in the title. He has also won 3 times with good to soft ground. He has a good record fresh and I think he is a cracking each way chance tomorrow and possibly better.
The Bandit's selection – COURT MINSTREL (unplaced = -£5.00) My Dad's selection CLARCAM (unplaced -£5.00)
 
Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase 1440
This is a cracking handicap and there are loads in with a shout. Firstly THE DRUIDS NEPHEW has caught my eye a few times this year and he could be well handicapped. MENDIP EXPRESS has looked consistent again this year and should be thereabouts. However, I've opted for one of my preview horses GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (treble). I've always thought he has a race like this in him and despite being dropped in class last time he won well from tne front and the blinkers really helped. I'm hoping the same tactics on ground he'll enjoy will pay divident. He's been raised 9lbs for that success but he's still pretty well in compered to his old hurdle form. Watch out for LOST LEGEND staying on late at the end!
The Bandit's selection – GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (treble) (unplaced = -£5.00)
My Dad's selection – BLACK THUNDER (unplaced -£5.00)
 
Stan James Champion Hurdle 1520
For me I cant see past FAUGHEEN here. He's yet to really break sweat but is top class and will take this. I hope HURRICANE FLY runs well too, but for me Ruby has made the right choice and the Machine will fly home!
The Bandit's selection – FAUGHEEN (WON – 4/5 = £2.50) My Dad's selection – THE NEW ONE (unplaced -£5.00)
 
OLBG Mare's Hurdle 1600
Everyone is harping on about how good Annie Power is and how she will win this easy. I beg to differ, firstly she has to show she has overcome her injury against a class field and secondly I think she is better over further! My selection in this is one of my best bets of the week – POLLY PEACHUM. She has gone from strength to strength and is a different animal on decent ground. She can be forgiven her last run as the ground was too soft and she's been given time to come back. She has form here at this level and I think there is more to come from her. I'm really confident of a big run!
The Bandit's selection – POLLY PEACHUM (nap) (2nd 9-1 = £5.62)
My Dad's selection –
 
Toby Balding National Hunt Chase 1640
PERFECT GENTLEMAN (nb) is my selection here and one of the Mullins string who I think has a great chance. He looks like a stayer and should come on even more for this extra distance. He's shown he gets 3 miles well and has won on ground similar to this. He should jump well despite a blunder a couple of runs ago. If THEATRE QUEEN starts the race well he has a good chance based on how much ground he made up last time to finish fourth.
The Bandit's selection – PERFECT GENTLEMAN (nb) (4th – 10-1 = £6.25)
My Dad's selection –
 
Novices Handicap Chase 1715
A cracking race to finish the day with a good few of these having very strong chances. THOMAS CRAPPER is one of these and is potentially another horse well treated on his hurdle form.KELTUS has some solid form in the book and this step up could see the improvement come out of him. BOLD HENRY ran really well here in November but has since flopped, he could run well. However, I think STELLAR NOTION is the answer here. He ran a couple of cracking races earlier this season at Leicester and Kempton. His last run here was disappointing but that was on pretty soft ground and I'm willing to overlook that as he looks a smart horse.
The Bandit's selection – STELLAR NOTION (unplaced = -£5.00)
My Dad's selection –
 
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Cheltenham Preview

The hours tick by, the anticipation swells, the culmination of the the National Hunt season is upon us. As an avid jumps fan this has to be the pinnacle week on the racing calendar for me. Ascot, Goodwood and The Derby are there too but nothing competes with that cheer as the tapes go up on the Tuesday.
So many hopes and dreams pinned upon these fine creatures as they gallop around this challenging and testing circuit. I’ve had a pretty decent time at the last few festivals with HOLYWELL winning the Pertempts in 2013 and winning me and a few of you a nice little packet!LORD WINDEREMERE winning the RSA in the same year. Previously I have fond memories of selecting BRINDISI BREEZE at 7-1 and SYNCHRONISED in his Gold Cup success. Last year day two proved the best with FAUGHEEN (6-4), BALTHAZAR KING (4-1) and SILVER CONCORDE (16-1) getting their noses up.
I haven’t really pinned my well earned cash on anything yet – although I have HOLYWELL antepost for the Gold Cup to make it a hat-trick of wins – what a moment that would be! Earlier in the week I like the chances of QEWY in the Supreme and POLLY PEACHUM in the Mares. I would love to see JOIN THE CLAN continue his upward curve in the Pertempts Final. I a. Still keen to see where GEVREY CHAMBERTIN goes too – he ran much better last time and I still think he has a big handicap in him. At the moment those are a few I have my eye on. I will put up the blog each night before the day itself and the twitter gamble guys have also opted to join in too. No doubt my old man will offer his pearls of wisdom. So all in all there may be a good few pointers on here for everyone.
Anticipation, excitement and restlessness are the emotions overcoming me at the moment. We are nearly there everyone, load your wallets, take aim at our old foe and here is to four days of entertainment, thrills and not too many spills. Enjoy!
 

Cheltenham Day Two

myWPEdit Image

myWPEdit Image





Well what a cracking first day that was. Despite only having a little wager on Holywell I was so pleased to see the little horse get up and win, I also gave a positive pointer to the second in the race too. It was a day of hitting the crossbar with TRIFOLIUM, MYTENTORYOURS and AHYAKONWYERSELF all placing. Really sad to see that Our Connor had to be put down to, such a sad sight. Thoughts go to all his connections. Lets hope there are no casualties on day two.



Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle



The race can only go one way for me, although how many times have we said that! FAUGHEEN has been nothing but impressive this year and seems to get better with every run and the more I look at the race the more I can’t see any horse beating it. David Pipe reckons RED SHERLOCK was his best chance of the week prior to day one, and he has down nothing wrong so far. I think FENNELL BAY may also run on for a place after two steady introductions from a decent flat performer. For me though its Mullins and Walsh again here.



SELECTION – FAUGHEEN (NB) (WON 6-4)

DAD’S SELECTION – FAUGHEEN (WON 6-4)



RSA Chase



This looks a really competitive race as ever. CORRIN WOOD was one I was really impressed with earlier this year, but I think the ground has seriously scuppered his chances. BLACK THUNDER at a big price could run a cracker back on ground he will prefer but there are doubts about whether he has the class for me. MORNING ASSEMBLY could be the real dark horse in the race, he has looked very good but again the ground is an unknown, if he handles it he could well take this. I’m opting for GEVREY CHAMBERTIN he really needed the run last time and just petered out tamely after putting himself in a good position. He was a smart hurdler and for me the improved ground will be the telling factor. I think he is a bit of a forgotten horse because of his last run and a few poor ones before that. With good ground forecast though I can see him running a big race at a big price.



SELECTION – GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – MORNING ASSEMBLY (3rd – 9-1)



CORAL CUP



As always this is an ultra competitive affair and if you get get the winner of this you will have down well and have a decent priced horse. DELL ARCA seems to be one of the favourites and he has solid form, as did CLONDAW KAEMPER before some low key efforts this season, however he did seem to return to form last time out. My selection though is COTTON MILL, again something of a forgotten horse because of what was a bit of a mysterious season last year. He ran nowhere near his best and remember this guy was travelling just as well as SIMONSIG a couple of festivals ago before unseating Denis at one of the last few flights. Again for me the key here is the ground, he is a really smart mover and on good ground has a good turn of foot which is so important in the race. It’s good to see him try this distance again to, the 2m and 2m1f he’s been competing in is too short for him in my opinion. He’ll run a big race I’m sure and I can’t believe he’s 25-1 as I type this. He has run decent races behinds MYTENTORYOURS and MELODIC RENDEZVOUS and I think he is a much better horse than his current mark.



SELECTION – COTTON MILL (NAP) (unplaced)



QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE



This is one of my favourite races of the week, class horses travelling so quickly and jumping so big and brave. What a spectacle it is. Mullins and Walsh are fancied again, but I don’t think the track will suit. CAPTAIN CONAN has the ability but I think will be found out for pace and while SIRE DE GRUGY has done nothing wrong for connections, this is the Queen Mother Champion Chase and for me he’s not good enough. My selection is HINTERLAND, I was really impressed with how he travelled and jumped last time and put him straight in my book for this race. I think he’ll fly around and take this race.



SELECTION – HINTERLAND (UR)

DAD’S SELECTION – CAPTAIN CONAN (PU)



CROSS COUNTRY CHASE



Never really bother about this race, but if I was forced to to pick one, on the forecast ground and on the back of impressive funds in similar races BALTHAZAR KING gets the vote.



SELECTION – BALTHAZAR KING (WON 4-1)

DAD’S SELECTION – BIG SHU (3rd 3-1)



FRED WINTER JUVENILE HURDLE



IVAN GROZNY was a smart performer in France and he brought that form over with him when winning a Naas. He then ran very below par last time out behind GUITAR PETE. The ground tomorrow should suit him better and I think My Wylie has another class horse on his hands here. CLARCAM interests me at a decent price and GOODWOOD MIRAGE could run a big race for the champ.



SELECTION – IVAN GROZNY (unplaced)



WEATHERBY’S CHAMPION BUMPER



Again not really a race I bet on as I don’t really get involved with bumpers. Mr Mullins has one hell of a record in this and he is mob handed here again, but I’m opting for SILVER CONCORDE (WON 16-1)to take this.



Good luck on day two!