The waiting is finally over and we can get stuck into the greatest weeks racing of the year.
My first bets are in the 1-30 the Supreme, I think the front two are too short here.
I like ABACADABRAS at around 7-2, his second to Envoi Allen is the best form in the race, the run here in the bumper last year when he tanked all the way before weakening late on is excellent form too. There’s normally lots of pace in this race, that should enable him to settle better and my next selection EDWARDSTONE has been crying out for the very same opportunity, a big field and pace to run at, 20-1 is too big.
He’s already beaten Fiddlerontheroof earlier in the year and on a line through Stolen Silver has as good a chance as Chantry House (both those are a third of his price).
With there being extra places I can’t resist adding another 20-1 shot to my portfolio, that selection being ELIXIR D’AINAY.
If you forgive him his last run he has a similar chance to Abacadabras on a line through Envoir Allen, I like the fact he stays further and trainer Willie Mullins does love winning this race.
The next race is the Arkle at 2-10, that sees by bet of the day running FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES at around 4-1.
He wasn’t given the most positive of rides last time out behind likely favourite Notebook, the jockey was keener on beating his market principle that day rather than riding his normal race. He didn’t use his main asset, which is his superb jumping the ability to stay an extra half a mile will be an asset if the expected rain arrives overnight.
There are so many front-runners here and if they do go too fast having a hold up horse could be very advantageous, having AL DANCER on side around 20-1 fits that bill.
He has shaped well on a few occasions, however small field races haven’t suited this horse so far this term. He travelled best again last time at Doncaster but got outsprinted by Mister Fisher before staying on, summing his season up to date, he does have good course experience though and jumps well for a novice too.
The next race the 2-50 is just my kind of race and my first selection is NO COMMENT at around 11/1.
He has three good festival runs on his CV -765 and was travelling well in an ultra-competitive Leopardstown handicap when his Achilles Heel of the odd bad jump came to claim him five out,if he irons that out he’s got to run well here of a low weight
I like to have horses that have run well in this race before and both ACTIVIAL and BIG RIVER fit the bill at around 25-1and 20-1 respectively. Activial was sixth in this last year of a six pound higher mark, his run last year at Ascot took my eye when he was beaten a short head by Kildisart, he has a sixteen pound pull for that and is now looking well handicapped.
Big River was two places in front of Activial in this last year, runs here of just a one pound higher mark, won his last race at his beloved Kelso and loves heavy going where he’s won from four from six.
I can’t have a bet in the Champion Hurdle, if pushed I would tip up Pentland Hills, and the Mares race at 4-10 is a watching race too.
My last bets run in the 5-30, the first selection is LORD DU MESNIL at around 6-1.
He ran a brilliant race for this blog a few weeks back, getting caught in the shadows of the post at Haydock. I believe his style of racing could be well suited to this race, he’s an uncomplicated ride,jumps great, loves heavy ground and stays very well too!
I’m suggesting a saver on one at a big price OCEAN COVE at around 33-1.
He has a lot of ground to find with Springfield Fox I admit, but shapes like a plodder and if this turns into a real slog I want him on side, he’s another that loves soft/heavy ground.
There was one piece of form over hurdles last year at Warwick where he gave a pound and a fifteen length beating to Newtide and that is a fancied runner tomorrow.
Good luck with your bets on the first day at Cheltenham, please gamble responsibly!
1 POINT E/W ABACADABRAS (1-30 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W EDWARDSTONE (1-30 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W ELIXIR D’AINAY (1-30 CHELT)
1 POINT E/W FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES (2-10 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W AL DANCER (2-10 CHELT)
1 POINT E/W NO COMMENT (2-50 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W ACTIVIAL (2-50 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W BIG RIVER (2-50 CHELT)
1 POINT E/W LORD DU MESNIL (5-30 CHELT)
½ POINT E/W OCEAN COVE (5-30 CHELT)