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Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

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Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday Empty Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by sportform on Wed 12 Mar 2014, 1:48 am

GOING: GOOD (Good to soft in places). (Sunny)

Winner £68,340 Runners: 16Going: Good To Soft Distance: 2m5f CH4

Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins landed the opening race on Tuesday and have a very good chance again in the first race on Wednesday. Faugheen goes for the leading Irish stable and is unbeaten in five runs. The six year has won his three runs this season in easy style including a Grade 3 last time out. Red Sherlock leads the British challenge and is unbeaten in six starts. He has won twice before at Cheltenham including a Grade 2 course and distance win latest. He goes for the David Pipe stable and is said to be there best chance of the week. Rathvinden, another runner for Mullins, was 2 ½l behind Red Sherlock at Cheltenham last time but Ruby Walsh prefers Faugheen. Royal Boy is an interested runner for Nicky Henderson having beat Supreme Novices Hurdle runner up, Josses Hill, at Kempton in January. Ballyalton has looked a decent type throughout the season and will appreciate the good ground.

2.05 RSA CHASE (GRADE 1) (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £85,425Runners: 15Going: Good To Soft Distance: 3m110y CH4

They are a couple of nice types at the top of the betting in the shape of Ballycasey and Smad Place. Ballycasey goes for Willie Mullins and has won has won his two chases well this season. He was under pressure at stages last time out though and the 3m could be a problem? Smad Place is a former top class staying hurdler and will have no problem seeing out the 3m. The Alan King-trained horse has twice finished close up in the World Hurdle, to Solwhit last year and Big Buck’s the year before. He has taken very well to chasing winning two of his three runs. He beat Sam Winner last time out in a novice chase at Newbury and had previous won a 3m event at Exeter. His only defeat coming on his debut when unseating his rider when 12l clear. Corrin Wood has made a nice chaser for Donald McCain and he likes to be ridden up front. We have seen on day one that front runners are hard to peg back on this going. Annacotty needs to be respected. He won the Grade 1 Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day before finishing a close second to the useful Indian Castle at Cheltenham last time out. Gevrey Chambertin and Just A Par could go well for big stables at big prices.

Winner £45,560Runners: 28Going: Good To Soft Distance: 2m5f CH4

This is always one of the most open and hardest races to call at the Festival. Dell’ Arca finished behind Splash of Ginge in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February and has only been raised 5lb in the official ratings. Bayan is an interesting runner from Ireland for Gordon Elliot. He has been laid out since a close second at Cheltenham back in October. Meister Eckhart was second in this last year and is in good form again Alan King and Robert Thornton.

Winner £199,325Runners: 11Going: Good To Soft Distance: 2m CH4

With last year’s winner and top rated chaser Sprinter Sacre, absent due to injury, this race is wide open. Sire De Grugy has looked the best two miler chaser this season for Gary Moore winning the Tingle Creek, Desert Orchid Chase and the Clarence House Chase. The one big concern would be his Cheltenham form. Captain Conan has previously beat Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham in their novice season but was 3l behind at Sandown on his only run this season back in December. Arvika Legionniere leads the claims for Ireland. The Willie Mullins-trained horse won well over 2m last time out at Punchenstown but is another with poor Cheltenham form. Hinterland was won two races this term at Sandown for Paul Nicholls and has good claims for this. Sizing Europe won this back in 2011 and has been runner up the last two years but is 12 years old now. Module has won over course and distance before and landed the Game Spirit Chase last time out when beating Dodging Bullets. He was beaten just over 4l in the Jewson Novices Chase at last season’s Festival and could run well at about 20/1. Wishfull Thinking is another that could go well for Philip Hobbs.

Winner £31,280Runners: 16Going: Good To Soft Distance: 3m7f CH4

Balthazar King won this in 2012, is unbeaten in three starts this season including over the course and distance latest. Sire Collonges is another course and distance winner and has good claims for Paul Nicholls.

Winner £42,713Runners: 24Going: Good To Soft Distance: 2m110y RUK

Dawalan goes for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty, won a couple of races at Newbury and looks a decent prospect at this level. Ivan Grozny is an ex-French flat horse that has moved to Willie Mullins stable in Ireland. He won two runs ago and was 7 ½l behind the impressive looking Guitar Pete last time out. Clarcam for Gordon Elliot has similar form behind Guitar Pete. He looks a chaser in the making but it wouldn’t surprise if he was to go close in this. Azza is another ex-French horse who won over course and distance on his debut for David Pipe before finishing third in a hot juvenile race last time behind Royal Irish Hussar and Guitar Pete.

Winner £34,170Runners: 23Going: Good To Soft Distance: 2m110y RUK

This race is one of my favourite at the Festival. Willie Mullins has three runners at the top of the market in the form of Black Hercules, Shaneshill and Killultagh Vic. Ruby Walsh is aboard Shaneshill and that could be the best one. Modus for Robert Stephens is by Motivator. He has won his two starts in nice style including a win at Cheltenham last time.

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Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday Empty Re: Cheltenham Festival - Wednesday

Post by racingnut on Wed 12 Mar 2014, 8:41 am

Without doubt the hardest of the Four Days for punters with the almost impossible Coral Cup and Fred Winter allied to the Champion Bumper that has more plots than the usual Agatha Christie novel and the avoid at all costs Cross Country.
Day One provided all the emotions possible,from unbridled joy to the absolute depths of despair and whatever way you cut it,financial gain cant possibly hide the raw emotion felt by all when Our Conor suffered a most cruel,cold and public demise.
From a form point of view it was same old same old in that a seasons form was thrown out of the window,all the soft ground form counted for nothing.

1.30 Loads of soft ground form of high calibre,Faugheen has impressed but his jumping certainly has issues and 9/4 is abysmal value.Red Sherlock has cantered round to impressive victories and has course form,obvious chance.Im going out the ball park on this one and CUP FINAL is the choice.Bred to want this trip and surface,he has run with credit around speed tracks like Taunton and Kempton against Irving and aquitted himself well,this test can only bring out the best of him and at 20s he is worth a small ew.

2.05 Ballycasey,Smad Place,Corrin Wood,Annacotty,you could give all these and more a chance,it looks a really deep renewal with plenty in with squeaks on their best form but im going for one with previous festival form in the shape of SAM WINNER.Second to Smad Place last time he re opposes on 3lb better terms and with the conditions here suiting better than the horrible slog that Newbury provided the 14s on offer looks a solid bet.

2.40 Too many to possibly mention that have claims,its a race where you could have six bets and not get a pick up.Im going wild again and putting up OSCARS WELL.Has run well here before in a Neptune and a Champion Hurdle and although hes lost his way in recent times,his mark and the prevailing conditions combined to his price just sway me towards giving him one more chance to rekindle his fire.

3.20 Wont have Sire de Grugy at any price,hes picked up the bits left by Sprinters absence.Hes beat nothing of note and im convinced he wants softer ground and a flatter track.Captain Conan has claims but I think he wants further and more juice.Arvika just doesn't operate this way round.Hinterland needs to find a stone.SIZING EUROPE may be the wrong side of 12 but hes been here and done it,everything is right for him and with 6lb covering most of the field then a run in the 160s will be good enough.No reason to think that even in the Autumn of his career he cant produce that.

4.00 Totally avoidable and forgettable event wouldn't waste money on on this but if forced for a selection I put up DIAMOND HARRY.Classy but injury prone performer right through his career he has to be given a chance of his current mark.  

4.40 Another nightmare of a race,Dawalan,Ivan Grozny and Clarcam have solid looking form but with the conditions drying by the minute im plumping for GOODWOOD MIRAGE.Cost a small fortune for current connections and made a pleasing debut,two runs since have been less encouraging but he ran better than his final position suggests in the Adonis and if they go hard up front then he can come late and pick up the pieces.

5.15 VIGIL has screamed at me since his ultra impressive Leopardstown romp and his astute trainer doesn't come here just for the country air.Very strong claim.


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