Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

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Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by sportform on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 12:49 am

GOING: Old Course - GOOD TO SOFT (Good in places; GoingStick 6.9); Cross-Country Course - GOOD (Good to soft in places; GoingStick 7.2). (Light rain)

1.30 NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES´ HURDLE (REGISTERED AS BARING BINGHAM NOVICES´ HDL) (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £68,340 10 runners 2m5f Good To Soft CH4

Another day at Cheltenham and another Mullins, Walsh favourite in the opener. This time in the form of former John Gosden horse NICHOLS CANYON. This Authorised horse has won 3-4 over hurdles including comfortably beating Windsor Park in the Deloitte Novices Hurdle at Leopardstown last time out. Ireland also provides the second and third favourite in Outlander for Mullins and Windsor Park for Dermot Weld. The leading British challenger is the John Ferguson trained Parlour Games who beat a useful type in a Grade 1 at Newbury latest. Tony McCoy rides. Rebecca Curtis and Paul Townend had the last winner on Tuesday and team up again in this with Beast Of Burden who has won some lesser events in good style.

2.05 RSA CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £85,425 9 runners 3m110y Good To Soft CH4

With Coneygree going for the Gold Cup instead this race looks a little bit more wide open. Don Poli has won his two chases in Ireland staying on well over 3m last time out. Neil Mulholland won with The Druids Nephew and has another lively contender in this with THE YOUNG MASTER. He is 4-4 over fences including a good win over CD. Kings Palace for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore is another CD winner and is 3-3 this term. Southfield Theatre goes for Paul Nicholls and has been running credible this season winning well from Melodic Rendezvous at Exeter last time out. If In Doubt seems to be improving over fences and won a big handicap latest. The better ground will be a plus too.

2.40 CORAL CUP (HANDICAP HURDLE) (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £45,560 26 runners 2m5f Good To Soft CH4

Paul Nicholls has the favourite in this big handicap with Aux Ptits Soins who has won his two hurdle races in France and makes his British debut here for the Ditcheat trainer. Activial for Harry Fry and Noel Fehily has been third in two top handicaps so far this season and could be a likely improver. Another for Paul Nicholls, LAC FONTANA, has won three times at Cheltenham and was only 8l behind Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen in the Ascot Hurdle back in November. He flopped latest but has a decent chance if recapturing his form from last spring when winning Grade 1 events at Aintree and Punchestown.

3.20 BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £199,325 11 runners 2m Good To Soft CH4

This is one of the most anticipated races of the festival with the last two winners of the race, SPRINTER SACRE and Sire De Grugy, meeting for a battle royale. Both have had their issues with injuries this season and both still have question marks. Sprinter Sacre was an all conquering superstar two years ago but has struggle with injuries since. He was second to Dodging Bullets on his seasonal debut but should come on for that run and will appreciate the better ground. Sire De Grugy unseated his rider and his first start this year but bounced back with an impressive display at Chepstow when conceding weight all round. Mr Mole is unbeaten in three starts this season, winning a Grade 2 event latest, and has to be respected. Dodging Bullets looks to have improved a bit this season but has question marks at Cheltenham and going left-handed.

4.00 GLENFARCLAS HANDICAP CHASE (A CROSS COUNTRY CHASE) (CLASS 2) (5yo+)
Winner £37,536 16 runners 3m7f Good CH4

Any Currency was second in this race last year and won over CD at the Open meeting back in November. Has a good chance but carries plenty of weight. NUAGE D'AINAYhas plenty of experience of these races in France and could be the main danger.

4.40 FRED WINTER JUVENILE HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo)
Winner £42,713 22 runners 2m110y Good To Soft RUK

ARABIAN REVOLUTION has won two of his three hurdle starts. His only defeat coming on his second start when he followed Beltor home at Ludlow. That horse has since hosed up in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton and is one of the favourites for the Triumph Hurdle. Golden Doyen beat Hargam over CD back in November and was runner up to the talented Top Notch last time out. In between he struggled on the heavy going at Chepstow over Christmas. Starchitect is a first Cheltenham runner for Sea The Stars. The Donald McCain horse won his first two races before finish behind Peace And Co and Hargam in his last two runs.

5.15 WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER (A STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT FLAT RACE) (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4-6yo)
Winner £34,170 24 runners 2m110y Good To Soft RUK

Willie Mullins has a fantastic record in this race and fields seven horses in this renewal. Ruby Walsh rides Bellshill whose form is closely related the Silver Concorde and Shaneshill in last year's race. Pylonthepressure has won his two NHF races in Ireland impressively and could be the best of the Mullins horses. Vigil, who beat Bellshill last time out, was fifth in this last year and comes back for another go. MOON RACER for David Pipe is unbeaten in two starts and won impressively over CD in October. O O Seven is an interesting runner for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty at a big price.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by racingnut on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 11:42 am

1.30 This looks a pretty strong renewal with a host of good looking form on offer.Nichols Canyon will be a warm order on the back of what looked comfortable win last time but its the second in that race,WINDSOR PARK,that interests me.I thought that the whole field allowed the Mullins runner too much rope on the front end and Dermot Welds charge did very well to get as close as he did at the finish.He will be ridden slightly more forward today and he looks like he will relish the stiff finish.Solid ew claim

2.05 Always a brutal affair regardless of the ground or quality of field.Don Poli has the best form but he looks like he needs proper Winter ground,Kings Palace loves this place but he folded tamely at last years Festival and that sticks in my mind.The real unexposed on is THE YOUNG MASTER,made headlines earlier inn the season for all the wrong reasons but his form is on an upward curve and his last win against battle hardened campaigners reads well.Solid ew claim

2.40 Minefield of a handicap with more plots than Guy Fawkes but I would take a punt on the topweight VOLNAY DE THAIX,he has a touch of quality,he ran a screamer under a similar burden at Haydock and his able pilot takes 3 off.Small ew.

3.20 Super race.The clash weve been waiting for but not in the circumstances we'd have liked with both Sprinter and Sire having questions to answer.At his best the Henderson star would gallop all over these but his Ascot run posed more than it answered,Sire threw in a stinker at Newbury but got back on track with a win around Chepstow,albeit against third raters and on bad ground.Dodging Bullets just doesn't go around here and Champagne Fever is the biggest enigma over fences for many a year although he does reserve his best for this place.Mr.Mole is a total scallywag  and the rest don't seem good enough.Not a race to get involved in for me but at the odds I would take SPRINTER SACRE to last it out.Small win.

4.00 Total no interest race,this is the festivals equivalent of Disneyland.IPSOS DU BERLAIS if pushed for a selection.

4.40 GOLDEN DOYEN has some form with the top 4yos on this side of the water,he has enough weight but he does have a touch of quality.Small ew.

5.15 Loads of dark horses,loads of big reputations but I keep coming back to BORDINI.He has done nothing wrong this season and he looks like he will relish the better ground and stiff track.Small win.

Not a day to get overly involved with for me,Windsor Park and The Young Master are two probable wagers,the rest are just possible.Good luck to all.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by sportform on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 3:42 pm

Great run by Somersby. Won been good to see him have won. Don Poli was an impressive winner in the RSA Chase. Good to see Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies taking the challenge to Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Nicholls and Twiston-Davies have good chances in the next two with Sire Collenges and All Yours. I've got my two biggest bets of the festival so far coming up in the last two races of the day.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by racingnut on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 7:23 pm

Windsor Park looked a useful type as I thought this was a strong renewal,whether he goes up or down in trip for next season is a casing point, he didn't seem to lack toe or tactical speed today and this event seems to throw up proper Champion hurdle contenders year after year.Don Poli looked a proper Gold Cup horse for the following seasons, he was on and off the bridle and dossed in front yet still pulled out plenty from the last and looked like he had more left in the locker.Dodging Bullets finally came good around here but it was the demise of a former superstar that grabbed the headlines in the Queen Mother,Sprinter Sacre was in trouble after the second and I was amazed he got to the second last,he has to be retired before he gets damaged beyond repair,his place in racing folklore is assured,let he be remembered as the true great that he was and not as the pale imitation he is turning into.Special Tiara deserves a mention as he forced a breakneck gallop from the off and was still in with a squeak at the last,he continued the good form of the de bromhead runners at this years Festival and he warrants a second look if he contests another big two mile pot at another of the Spring Festivals.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by sportform on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 2:00 am

I think Windsor Park will probably go chasing next year with the JLT Novices Chase and the RSA Chase likely targets. Don Poli was impressive but Coneygree missed the race in favour of the Gold Cup. It will be interesting to see how he goes in that on Friday. Moon Racer looked impressive in the Champion Bumper and won me enough in the last race.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

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