Cheltenham Day 3

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Day two was a good one. Firstly I take my hat off to SIRE DE GRUGY as I didn’t think he was good enough, boy did he prove me wrong. Brilliant for all the connections too. The blog went well on day two with wins for FAUGHEEN (6-4), BALTHAZAR KING (4-1) and SILVER CONCORDE (16-1). Hope you got on a few of them.

Here are Thursday’s selections – good luck if you’re having a flutter!

JLT NOVICES CHASE

FELIX YONGER is a worthy favourite and he should like the ground despite some of his victories coming on softer ground. The way Walsh and Mullins have started the last two days you wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in. DOUBLE ROSS has put some gallant performances in here and should be thereabouts turning in. WONDERFUL CHARM will be in with a shout and his trainer will be wanting to get off the mark. OSCAR WHISKY and TAQUIN DE SEUIL have had a few ding-dongs this year with the former getting the best last time on softer ground and level weights. I’ve opted for TAQUIN though as I think he will come on for the dryer ground and will out battle Henderson’s charge towards the line.

SELECTION – TAQUIN DE SEUIL (WON 7-1)

DAD’S SELECTION – FELIX YONGER (unplaced)



PERTEMPS NETWORK FINAL

This was the scene of HOLYWELL’s victory last year and I’ve got a similar horse with a similar profile and the same mark. UNCLE JIMMY ran very well behind THOMAS CRAPPER here in November in a race that’s form is pretty strong. He then went on to win the race that HOLYWELL was second in last year of a two pound lower mark. He has been raised another 7 lb to an official rating of 140. The same mark HOLYWELL won this off last year. He is a similar traveller to HOLYWELL and is game too and will be staying on all the way to the line. The extra distance really helped him at Warwick and I think the better ground will suit him too. I’m very hopeful of this one running a very good race! Of the others FINGAL BAY obviously oozes class but has a big weight to carry, MICKIE would need it softer. GRAND VISION came second to UNCLE JIMMY and was ten pounds worse off at Warwick. He’s only two pounds worse off in this and could be my selections biggest threat! I will also put a little shout in for SO FINE, who’s course and distance run behind SUNNYHILLBOY here earlier in the year caught my eye. Mr Hobbs is mob handed here!

SELECTION – UNCLE JIMMY (NB) (unplaced)



RYANAIR CHASE

This race is always a cracker and it should be again! AL FEROF has bags of class and has a good record here so should run well. BENEFFICIENT will go over favourite based on his victory last year and reposes with DYNASTE. MEDERMIT was going places the other year before getting injured and if back to his best he could be a real threat at a big price. I’m opting for BOSTON BOB though. He was running a big race last year when falling in the RSA chase and he ran well in behind BRINDISI BREEZE a couple of years ago on good ground. Today will be his day!

SELECTION – BOSTON BOB (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – BENEFFICIENT (PU)



LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE

I cannot believe I have just got 4-1 for BIG BUCK’S. Now I know he has been injured but think about it people. A train wouldn’t have beat him before the injury and I thought he ran a brilliant race last time when just being pipped by KNOCKARA BEAU and AT FISHERS CROSS on ground not ideal on his first run in ages! He just got tired, it would have been like running in treacle for him. Slap all your cash on him, he’s still the best and will put ANNIE POWER in her placer tomorrow. He will love the better ground, loves the hill and just get ready for the crowd to roar! Come on a bring home the BUCKS!

SELECTION – BIG BUCKS (NAP) (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – ANNIE POWER (2nd – 11-8)



BYRNE GROUP PLATE

COLOUR SQUADRON could finally run a big race at the festival and should be thereabouts. JOHNS SPIRIT has had on hell of a season and Richie McLernon knows him inside out, but has he had too many tough races? FIRTH OF THE CLYDE could give the north another big success and SHANGANI has hit form at the right time. I’m opting for BLESS THE WINGS though. He’s on a cracking mark and is 5 lbs lower in the ratings than his last success and a full 9 lbs lower than his run at the festival last year. With the better ground suiting and the addition of first time bilkers to sharpen him up he is a very appealing each way proposition.



SELECTION – BLESS THE WINGS (unplaced)

DAD’S SELECTION – JOHNS SPIRIT (4th – 9-1)



FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CUP

The amateur riders get their turn in the lime light as the curtain comes down on day three. TWIRLING MAGNET has caught my eye, goes well fresh and must have a big chance. There are several horses that are particularly well handicapped based on old form. QUINZ being one of them! NIGHT ALLIANCE has been excellent this year but pulled up last ti e at Haydock in a better race, has he the class? Not sure, but if he puts that run behind him he could worry a few over the last. I’m opting for another well handicapped horse PROBLEMA TIC has shown he has some class, particularly on better ground. He bounced away at Perth last summer beating the likes of MERRION SQUARE and BLACK MULLIGAN. Of his 8 wins 4 of them have come in good ground and he is now a pound lower in the ratings than the Perth success. With the ground likely to dry out a little more he has a great chance in my opinion. Or he will show his other side, not go at all and be pulled up! Let the equine gods decide!

SELECTION – PROBLEMA TIC (unplaced)



Good luck if you’re having a flutter again, enjoy the spectacle and lets hope we fleece the bookies!

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