We turn into the final home straight for the Cheltenham Festival week and let’s hope we can end it in profit. Thursday was a memorable day with four blog winners,all of which were lovely prices.
Milan Native at 10/1 was a massive highlight and I hope you were all on. Best of luck with whatever you get behind on Gold Cup Day.
Solo to win
JCB Triumph Hurdle (13.30)
This race could see a stunning burn up with so much speed here on, coupled with drying ground. We have Solo who shot to the front of the market after a stunning win at Kempton recently. Paul Nicholls compared him to Master Minded straight after the race and if he was half as good as him, he would be capable of landing this.
That said, there are others that catch the eye. Goshen is one I haven’t warmed to, but Gary Moore’s horse saw good money after wins at Ascot and Sandown. I just don’t remain happy enough with his jumping to date.
Allmankind has been a free going type that has perhaps got away with his run style. I think that he is probably going to struggle to get away in this deep renewal. Everything points towards Solo for me, with Aspire Tower to chase him – for BetVictor ambassador Rachael Blackmore – and be the best of the Irish challengers, as I fully expect.
Mohaayad – Each Way
Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (14.10)
The county is a race that has been dominated by the Skelton team in recent years and previous winner Mohaayad is my first selection for the race. He has not won since Ascot in December 2018, but his mark now makes him a very well-handicapped horse. In the context of this race, off 142, he is bound to be in the mix as they turn in.
Amaron – Each Way
Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (14.10)
My alternative choice in the race will be Amaron, having his first start in a handicap, he has been campaigned at a level above perhaps where he could be competitive entering into a handicap. Mullins is another with a great record in the race and I will be backing the pair.
Kiltealy Brigs – Each Way
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (14.50)
The Albert Bartlett has a record of throwing up some strange results and big-priced winners. Last year, it went to RSA second Minella Indo, so nothing can be discounted here.
Traditionally, you want a horse with plenty of experience. I am going to put one up for this which probably fits both of those trends. BetVictor ambassador Jamie Snowden runs Kiltealy Brigs and I think at 66/1 he could be overpriced.
The Kelso run last time out probably didn’t teach him much and I know from Jamie’s BetVictor blog he was keen to run him in the EBF final. But with Sandown gone due to weather, I am pleased to see him run here and think replication of his run, when third here in the grade two in January, could see him outrun a massive price.
Clan Des Obeaux to win
Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (15.30)
The blue ribbon chase event changed shape dramatically recently when Native River was pulled out due to injury. As it stands, we still have a strong renewal with plenty to like about many in the field.
I am going to keep the selection simple and back a horse from a man who knows what is needed to have a winner in the race. Clan Des Obeaux arrives here having destroyed the field in the King George. The big difference to his previous Gold Cup effort is he has been kept fresh for the race this year.
Avoiding Ascot this year will prove a masterstroke for Nicholls and I am so confident I am putting the selection up as a win only bet.
Chosen Mate – Each Way
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (16.50)
It still feels slightly strange with this race not being the last event to close the Festival, but it remains as hard as ever to land the winner of it!
Gordon Elliott, as ever, has had a fantastic week at the Festival and it will be his horse, Chosen Mate, that I will be cheering on here. His form in the book feels fair and a mark of 147 looks a bit of a gift for this; and with Davy Russell on, I expect a huge run from the 6/1.
Five O’Clock – Each Way
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (17.30)
We close the entire week with a race Gordon Elliott loves to win. He has several candidates and I have a personal interest in seeing Everybreathyoutake run well, being involved with him.
I must say it will be a highly competitive renewal and many have great chances. Pressed for a selection in the race I am going to opt for, the Mullins horse is open to huge improvement and arrives here off the back of a nice hurdle win at Thurles. That was a grade three race and the unexposed nature of this five-year-old offers potentially some cracking value at 11/1.