Cheltenham Festival - Friday

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Cheltenham Festival - Friday

Post by sportform on Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:06 am

GOING: GOOD (Good to soft in places on Chase course; Going Stick: 7.2). (Rain)

1.30 JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo)
Winner £68,340 17 runners 2m1f Good CH4

PEACE AND CO will go off favourite for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty. He was won 3-3 over hurdles including a Grade 2 latest over CD. Nicky Henderson also trains the second favourite Hargam who is another CD winner. Henderson also runs the unbeaten Top Notch who is 5-5 and has plenty of potential. Beltor won the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton last time out. The runner up in that, All Yours, ran well in the Fred Winter on Wednesday. Willie Mullins fields three runners. Ruby Walsh rides Dicosimo but the Gigginstown horse Petite Parisienne maybe the best of them. Stars Over The Sea runs for David Pipe. The Sea The Stars horse won his first two starts over hurdles easily but disappointed last time out over CD. Could potential rediscover some better form now wearing first time headgear.

2.05 VINCENT O´BRIEN COUNTY HANDICAP HURDLE GRADE 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £45,560 26 runners 2m1f Good CH4

PRINCELY CONN was not far behind Nichols Canyon in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse in November. He ran well on his handicap debut last month, seems to be on a decent mark and is still a potential improver. Tony McCoy takes the ride. Quick Jack currently leads the betting. He has been seen out over hurdles since last season. He did finish third in the Cesarewitch back in October though and trainer Tony Martin has a decent ready of readying horses for big handicaps. JP McManus also has Sort It Out running. This Edward Hartly horse has won his last two starts in Ireland. Baltimore Rock, Dormello Mo and Wicklow Brave could be best of the rest.

2.40 ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES´ HURDLE (REGISTERED AS THE SPA NOVICES´ HURDLE) GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £68,340 20 runners 3m Good CH4

Black Hercules goes here for Mullins and Walsh. Was fourth in the Champion Bumper last year and is 2-2 over hurdles including a win over 3m latest. Both of those wins were on heavy and he will appreciate the rain coming. No More Heroes has won two of his three hurdles starts this season. Won a Grade 2 event to starts back and will be suited by the step back up in trip here. BLAKLION has won two Grade 2 races this season including at Cheltenham. He wasn't too far behind Parlour Games and Vyta Du Roc at Newbury over Christmas. He finished second behind Nicky Henderson's unbeaten hurdler Caracci Apache over 3m at Doncaster latest and is take to reverse that form with a better ride today. The unexposed Out Sam is 2-2 under rules for Nicky Henderson and is a potential improver. Tea For Two was an impressive winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton and could be a good each way shout at around 33/1.

3.20 BETFRED CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP CHASE GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £313,225 18 runners 3m2f110y Good CH4

See Gold Cup Preview thread.

4.00 ST. JAMES´S PLACE FOXHUNTER CHASE CHALLENGE CUP (CLASS 2) (5yo+)
Winner £23,984 24 runners 3m2f110y Good CH4

PAINT THE CLOUDS is unbeaten in six chase starts including four hunter chases. Is trained by Warren Greatrex who won the World Hurdle on Thursday and is ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen. Current Event ran up a number of PTP wins before easily winning a 'qualifier' for this race last time out at Musselburgh. Jamie Codd has already won two races at this meeting and rides Vital Plot in this while Junior won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup back in 2011 and deserves a check in the betting.

4.40 MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS´ HANDICAP HURDLE (CLASS 2) (4yo+ 0-145)
Winner £31,280 24 runners 2m4f110y Good RUK

Roi Des Francs won a Grade 3 novice event last and goes here for Willie Mullins. The stable have won this race twice in the past four years and have a great chance of doing so again. Noble Endeavour was second behind Zaidpour in a Grade 2 event in November and won well at Punchestown last time out. JOLLY'S CRACKED IT looked a decent novice hurdler on his first two starts but his form has tailed off since. The step up to 2m4f should suit as should the step back down in class.

5.15 A.P. MCCOY GRAND ANNUAL CHASE CHALLENGE CUP (HANDICAP) GRADE 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £51,255 24 runners 2m110y Good RUK

The final race of this year's Cheltenham Festival and a race named in the honour of Tony McCoy who is retiring at the end of the national hunt season. He rides Ned Buntline who will surely go off favourite for this. The Noel Meade trained horse was second in the race last year and has been laid out for this. SOLAR IMPULSE is in good form after two seconds behind Three Kingdoms and Josses Hill. Chris Pea Green has been running consistently in novice events this season winning twice and  runner up in his other four. May have won last time out if not for a blunder two out.
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