Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

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Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by sportform on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:41 am

It is that time of year again where the best national hunt horses travel to Gloucestershire for the
Cheltenham Festival. This is the place to discuss all things Cheltenham for day one.

GOING: GOOD TO SOFT (Good in places; GoingStick 6.9). (Mostly sunny)

1.30 SKY BET SUPREME NOVICES´ HURDLE GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £68,340 12 runners 2m110y Good To Soft CH4

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh have four hotshots on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and will be looking to get off to a flyer in the first with DOUVAN. The 5YO has been impressive in two starts in Ireland since joining Willie Mullins' yard including winner a Grade 2 event at Punchestown last time out easily enough. The main danger could come in the form of another ex-French horse, L'Ami Serge, who has improved rapidly for Nicky Henderson. He has won Grade 2 and Grade 1 races twice latest but is not the most fluent jumper. Tony McCoy will be looking to get his final Cheltenham Festival off to winning ways on Jollyallan but that horse will need to show some improvement. Seedling is 3-3 for Warren Greatrex including a CD win latest and could run well at 16/1. Shaneshill was runner up in the Champion Bumper last year and make go better than his recent form suggests with the drop back in distance to 2m.

2.05 RACING POST ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY CHASE GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £85,425 11 runners 2m Good To Soft CH4

UN DE SCEAUX has looked one of the class acts of the season so far. He has won his last two outings in easily style including a Grade 1 latest when beating Clarcam by 15l. His jumping has looked a bit suspect at times though and he did fall when clear on his chase debut. Cheltenham will offer a much stiffer challenge than he has seen so far. It is yet to be seen what he has beat in Ireland. The main challenger is Vibrato Valtat from the Paul Nicholls yard who is 4-5 over fences. His only defeat coming at Cheltenham when not catching the winner. Three Kingdoms and Dunraven Storm have close form with Vibrato Valtat and can not be discounted at bigger prices. The former is ridden by McCoy and the latter has CD form. Court Minstrel is another with CD form and may not have handle the softer going at Sandown last time out. God's Own beat Balder Success and Cue Card in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter in November when in receipt on weight and could have place claims at around 40/1 back on better going.

2.40 ULTIMA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £51,255 24 runners 3m1f Good To Soft CH4

Tony McCoy is onboard the favourite, Pendra, for the first big handicap of the meeting but will need to show some improvement of his most recent form. The Druids Nephew was second behind Sam Winner in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham in November and has a decent handicap mark. A repeat of that run will put him in the frame. The lightly raced novice, Ned Stark, has won 3-4 this season and should improve further now going over 3m. Annacotty beat Big Fella Thanks last time at Cheltenham and has claims. WHAT A WARRIOR was 2-2 for his new yard before pulling up in the Hennessey at Newbury last time. Will appreciate the better going here. Smart Freddy won well over 3m at Doncaster before getting outpaced over a shorter distance latest. He is on a nice weight for his handicap debut.

3.20 STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE CHALLENGE TROPHY GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £227,800 8 runners 2m110y Good To Soft CH4

Eight go to post for the day's blue riband event. The unbeaten FAUGHEEN has won both of his starts this season landing the Ascot Hurdle in November before adding the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. The Willie Mullins trained horse won the Baring Bingham Novices Hurdle at the Festival last season. Jezki, third in the Supreme Novice Hurdle in 2013, improved to win this race last year from My Tent Or Yours. Has been beaten by Hurricane Fly three times this year and may struggle to reverse that form. Hurricane Fly has won his last three starts including the Irish Champion Hurdle last time out but Ruby Walsh has deserted him for Faugheen. Paul Townsend takes the ride. With much of the talk in the build up to the festival being about Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy, Paul Nicholls' new stable jockey could steal the show and he has a very good chance in this with The New One trained by his father Nigel. The horse was an unlucky loser in this race last year after being badly hampered early on and has won his five races since including the Aintree Hurdle and International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

4.00 OLBG MARES´ HURDLE (REGISTERED AS THE DAVID NICHOLSON MARES´ HURDLE RACE) GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £56,270 16 runners 2m4f Good To Soft CH4

Possibly one of the more easier races to predict at the Cheltenham Festival. This race has been dominated in recent years the the all-conquering Willie Mullins trained mare Quevega and he has found another one just as good in ANNIE POWER. She has won 11 of her 12 starts with her only defeat coming in the World Hurdle at the Festival last year. I am surprised that she runs here and doesn't go for the World Hurdle again as that race looks weaker than last year. Of the rest Glens Melody pushed Quevega close last year and has to be respected. Carole's Spirit and Bitofapuzzle have each way shouts.

4.40 TOBY BALDING NATIONAL HUNT CHASE (AMATEUR RIDERS´ NOVICES´ CHASE) (LISTED RACE) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £50,966 17 runners 4m Good To Soft RUK

Very Wood won the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at the Festival last year and won well last time out for Noel Meade. He was 12/1 for the RSA Chase and maybe taking an easier option here. Has pulled up on two of his four chase starts and the step up in distance maybe a worry. Sego Success has won his last two races at Wetherby and Warwick and looks like a staying type. Sam Waley-Cohen takes the ride for Alan King in this amateur rides race. Cogry has been progressive for Nigel Twiston-Davies when chasing this year but was a long way behind Very Wood at the Festival last year. I NEED GOLD could have good each way value at around 50/1 (66/1 888sports) on the better going.

5.15 CHAPS RESTAURANTS BARBADOS NOVICES´ HANDICAP CHASE (LISTED RACE) (CLASS 1) (5yo+ 0-140)
Winner £34,170 20 runners 2m4f110y Good To Soft RUK

Generous Ransom won over CD last time out and is up 8lbs in the handicap for that win. Could be more to come from the Nicky Gifford horse if allowed to dominate. Bold Henry won a valuable handicap at Cheltenham back in November and goes here for Philip Hobbs and Tony McCoy. The step up in distance could see some improvement in the horse. STELLAR NOTION won his first two chases well enough before struggling here behind Generous Ransom on the soft going. He has been well back on Monday evening and it would be no surprise to see him recapture his early season form on the better ground. Knock House has close form with Stellar Notion on could be a player.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by IrnBroon on Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:57 pm

Really fancy the Mullins hotpots in a 4 timer that pays over 20/1 at corals

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by racingnut on Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:10 pm

I would take on three of the four so called Mullins good things,cant have Douvan,Un De Sceaux and particularly Faugheen,they represent no value whatsoever.It isn't a day for getting overly involved with for me,small ew on a few bigger priced ones namely Sizing John,Dunraven Storm(his form is on a par with Vibrato Valtat),Monbeg Dude and Knock House.The only serious bet would be THE NEW ONE,unlucky last year and its all in place for a big run today.Annie Power should win the mares event but again odds on is a no no for me an whilst im quite sweet on Cause of Causes I wont get involved too much in amateur riders races.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by sportform on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:57 am

One up for Mullins and Walsh and at a huge 2/1 too.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by CJB on Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:21 am

Un De Sceaux is a brilliant horse. Impressed me a lot more than Douvan did.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:23 am

Two very easy wins so far. Both very good rides, Ruby and Mullins on top form as ever.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by sportform on Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:55 am

Douvan won, Un De Sceaux won, Faugheen won, can Annie Power complete the bookmakers misery?
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by sportform on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:10 am

You couldn't make it up. Annie Power with all the accumulators on her falls at the last when clear.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Duty281 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:45 am

You can blame my mate for Annie Power falling.

He had £20 on the four-accumulator of Douvan, Un De Sceaux, Faugheen, and Annie Power at around odds of 17/1 (I think). I were tempted, but instead opted for weighty singles on Douvan and Faugheen (What. A. Horse.)

About two fences out from Annie Power's, seemingly, inevitable triumph, my mate says "It's a foregone conclusion." Doh

Not as severe a jinx as Jonathan Rendall's on Flagship Uberalles, but still pretty heavy.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:52 am

I said "dont you dare fall". I havent said that once today, some sort of weird feeling. She was easily the best horse though and I won't forget that for next year.

The one I needed most (Douvan) came in so i'm happy

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Lairdy on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:59 am

In that case can you let your mate know he owes me £85?

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by racingnut on Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:31 am

A red letter day for the Walsh/Mullins combo.Three super performances to claim a notable first day record and to saddle a one,two in the first and then a clean sweep in the Champion Hurdle is the stuff that racing folklore is made of.Both are very unassuming men,easy to approach,good with the press and public alike and while its easy to say that anyone could train or ride the high value blue bloods that the stable has in abundance,you still have to deliver on the day and today they delivered in a massive way.If this day is the portent of the three to come then the rest of racings great and good are going to be fighting for leftovers.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Afro on Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:57 am

Winner of the day for me was Un de Sceaux. To front run at Cheltenham and do it so emphatically really impressed.

Really impressed with Faugheen too.

I was put off by his price compared to what he had raced, thinking there was more value in the other 3 big names, but he showed what a class act he is. That field was high class with 3 Champion Hurdles and plenty of festival winners between them, and he beat them comfortably.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Afro on Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:03 am

And tomorrow is going to be a really tricky day to pick winners. Even by Cheltenham standards
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by Duty281 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:18 am

Lairdy wrote:In that case can you let your mate know he owes me £85?

I think the bookmakers owe him about £40 million!

At least, that is the estimated amount they have saved from Annie Power's fall.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

Post by sportform on Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:55 am

Afro wrote:Winner of the day for me was Un de Sceaux. To front run at Cheltenham and do it so emphatically really impressed.
He just had too much cruising speed for them. It would have been interesting if God's Own had got a clear jump over the last and was closer to him in the run in.

I back Douvan at a huge 2/1 but didn't bother with the other Mullins favourite. No value in them. I wouldn't have got much back from my £1 win Very Happy Won some each way money on God's Own and Hurricane Fly.

Shame Annie Power didn't win. She was so impressive up until the last hurdle. She hasn't had the best of luck at the festival so far.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Tuesday

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