Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

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Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by sportform on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 1:39 am

GOING: GOOD (Good to soft in places; GoingStick: 7.2). (Cloudy)

1.30 JLT NOVICES´ CHASE (REGISTERED AS THE GOLDEN MILLER NOVICES´ CHASE) GRADE 1 (CLASS 1)
(5yo+)
Winner £68,340 9 runners 2m4f Good CH4

Last year's Supreme Novice Hurdle winner, Vautour, is the favourite for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. He has won two of his three starts over fences and while his form has been erratic he should appreciate the better ground now. PTIT ZIG for Paul Nicholls is 4-5 this season. He won his four novice races in good style, each by more than 6l. His only defeat came when falling in the Ascot Chase last time out. He beat Arkle third Josses Hill by 9l in December and has a very decent chance here. Apache stronghold won a Grade 1 Novice Chase last time and was previously not disgraced behind Don Poli. Splash Of Ginge holds some good each way value on his course form.

2.05 PERTEMPS NETWORK FINAL (A HANDICAP HURDLE) (LISTED RACE) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £45,560 24 runners 3m Good CH4

CALL THE COPS won well at Doncaster last time when stepped up to 3m. There could be more to come from him and the 5lb penalty looks very manageable. Brother Brian beat Call The Cops at Kempton in November before finishing third in the Relkeel Hurdle to Rocky On Ruby at Cheltenham in December. The handicapper may just be getting on top of his now though. Won last two at Aintree and Musselburgh and is a likely improver. Closing Ceremony won a Grade 2 event last time out at Haydock and is on a nice mark but would prefer softer ground. Sybarite has good course form from this season winning once over CD and two fourths. Looks and out-and-out stayer and could finish well for an each way place.

2.40 RYANAIR CHASE (REGISTERED AS THE FESTIVAL TROPHY CHASE) (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £178,538 14 runners 2m5f Good CH4

BALDER SUCCESS has won his last two starts including the Grade 1 Ascot Chase latest. His form from this season behind the likes of Special Tiara, Dodging Bullets and God's Own has been boosted this week and he has a very good chance in this race. Don Cossack has won his last four races in Ireland including beating Boston Bob and Lord Windermere and has to be respected. Taquin De Seuil won the JLT Novices Chase at this meeting last year and deserves another look over CD. Eduard was not beaten far by Many Clouds in November when giving the Gold Cup fancy 6lbs. He was then second to Wishfull Thinking in the Peterborough Chase in December and the trainer has stated he is in good form.

3.20 LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £170,850 17 runners 3m Good CH4

This is the biggest field for the World Hurdle in seven years possibly due to the fact that last year's first and second, More Of That and Annie Power, are not in the line-up. That leaves this race looking wide open. The Paul Nicholls pair of Saphir Du Rheu and Zarkandar lead the betting. Saphir Du Rheu had been chasing but stepped back to hurdles when winning over CD back in January. Zarkandar has good Cheltenham form and there isn't much between the two on form through Reve De Sivola. Lieutenant Colonel comes here on the back of two Grade 1 wins in Ireland and looks a potential top class stayer. COLE HARDEN has been one of the 'talking horses' of the festival in the newspapers in recent weeks and needs to be look at in the betting.

4.00 BROWN ADVISORY & MERRIEBELLE STABLE PLATE (A HANDICAP CHASE) GRADE 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £51,255 24 runners 2m5f Good CH4

Monetaire finished third at Cheltenham on his debut for David Pipe before winning well at Newbury last time out. Should appreciate the step up in trip and is on a nice mark. UN ACE has won two out of this four novice chases this season and was a good second behind Champagne West over CD last time out. Looks a progressive type and should have every chance in this. RajDhani Express has a good record at the festival winning a novice event in 2013 before finishing a credible third in the Ryanair Chase last year. Attaglance is another horse with good festival form having won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle in 2012 and a good second in a novice handicap event last year. Did disappoint in a Grade 3 event latest but this is more his level.

4.40 FULKE WALWYN KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP HANDICAP CHASE (AMATEUR RIDERS) (CLASS 2) (5yo+ 0-145)
Winner £35,976 24 runners 3m2f Good RUK

The Package has good festival form, is on a nice handicap mark and top amateur jockey, Jamie Codd, is on board. MASTERS HILL has been improving throughout the season and produce a career best when winning at Exeter latest. Clondaw Knight is another progressive type and could go well for Lucinda Russell.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by racingnut on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 9:52 am

The pick of the four days in my opinion,three cracking grade ones with competitive fields and the usual nightmare handicap thrown in for good measure

1.30 Really deep renewal with a handful having shown enough to warrant strong consideration. Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido oppose again,the former ran into Don Poli last time,thats turned out top flight form and on this better ground he might just have the edge.Ptit Zig had looked good until a novicey fall last time against some battle hardened campaigners,not sure if he has the scope to go on again and the quicker ground is a worry.VAUTOUR was mighty at last years Festival and his first spin over fences was awesome,it hasnt gone all to plan since then but the vibes seem positive,he loves this place,he will enjoy the nice ground and the stable have always thought that he would improve for this sort of trip.Major claim.

2.05 Only one horse has won the Final in the same year as winning a qualifier so beware any that have done so already this season! Regal Encore and Call The Cops looked good last time out but the former is a rogue and the latter looks in the handicappers grip.Closing Ceremony has a touch of quality but needs plenty of cut.Sybarite has the ability but gets behind and it will be hard to make up lots of ground on this better surface.KNIGHT OF NOIR looks the Pipe second or third string but he took the eye last time out at Exeter behind Regal Encore and if they go their usual crazy pace up front he might be able to come late.Not a real betting race so small ew.

2.40 Cracking heat with a host of live chances.Don Cossack has looked a reformed character this season,hes done little wrong but this track and the drying ground might just go against him.Foxrock comes here in top form but almost as an after thought,he looks the type to go well but without quite having enough.Taquin De Seuil returns to his optimum conditions but it would take a major leap of faith to side with him on what hes shown this term.Balder Succes and MA FILLEULE clashed at Ascot with the former coming out on top but I thought that the slow ground and small field played against the mare,she was too free most of the way yet still got within two lengths of the winner.This bigger field and better ground will suit her well and the mares allowance is an added bonus,if she gets loose on the front end I think she takes a deal of beating.Massive ew claim.

3.20 No stand out performer makes this a crackerjack of a renewal,handfuls of horses with lots of interlinking form,Saphir Du Rheu,Reve De Sivola,Zarkandar,Un Temps Pour Tout,Cole Harden have all ran against each other and all have some sort of a chance if they put their best foot forward.Lieutenant Colonel and MONKSLAND clashed over Christmas,the former came out on top but that was the latters first run in ages,he then got mugged by Dedigout on desperate ground at Gowran,this nice ground,big field and strong pace will suit and I can see him getting a proper Carberry ride and being put in late on.He is obviously difficult to train but at the current price i'd be taking a chance.Solid ew.

4.00 Impossible handicap,great spectacle to watch but not to play in.Have to respect anything from the Pipe yard so Monetaire warrants a second look but represents little value.Attaglance has a tremendous Festival record but you would be second guessing on what hes done this year.Rajdhani Express ran much better than the form figures suggest last time,he followed Rocky Creek through at Kempton but just emptied at the third last,this trip and ground are ideal for him but weight stops trains and I think hes over burdened.I take a chance with an old warrior who has plunged down the weights CHAMPION COURT is down to 141,i appreciate that hes shown little over the past two seasons but he loves this place,he enjoys a sound surface and if he was to recapture even a small amount of his past glories then he is absolutely thrown in at todays weights.Last chance saloon but have to go small ew.

4.40 The jockey is more important in these events than the horse,CHAMPAGNE JAMES is ridden by Katie Walsh,that will do for me.Total no bet race.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by sportform on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 3:10 pm

Vautour was very impressive in the opener and the King George on Boxing Day looks ideal. I had a good win on Call The Cops in the second and good to see Tony McCoy get a Grade 1 win at his last festival. He is not without a chance on At Fishers Cross in the World Hurdle either. The Rebecca Curtis horse has has three wins and two places in five runs at Cheltenham.
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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by racingnut on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 7:32 pm

Three superb front running performances today,Vautours demolition of what looked quite a deep field will live in the memory for a time to come.It screamed King George 2015,his jumping was exemplary, I personally think he would have won the Arkle or the Queen Mother with that performance.Uxizandres effort was just as praiseworthy because unlike the Mullins winner,this fella was almost running away with AP over the first mile yet he still found plenty when the gun was put to his head three out.Hats off to Cole Harden,he recaptured his early season form in no uncertain terms and led these a merry dance from flagfall,nice to see two of the lesser lights have some Festival success.

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Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu 12 Mar 2015, 7:41 pm

Vautour was insanely good. Best run you'll see for a long time.

Thank good for The Package late on to keep me happy

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