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Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

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Cheltenham Festival - Thursday Empty Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by sportform on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 1:37 am

GOING: GOOD (Good to soft in places; GoingStick 7.5). (Partly cloudy)

2.40 RYANAIR CHASE (REGISTERED AS THE FESTIVAL TROPHY CHASE) GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+)
Winner £156,613Runners: 12Going: Good Distance: 2m5f CH4

The Ryanair Chase could be the ideal race for AL FEROF. Tried without success over 3m this term, he has excellent Cheltenham form and will appreciate the shorter trip. Dynaste for David Pipe was well beaten in the King George over 3m on Boxing Day but won over course and distance as a novice chaser and could find this his best option. If he can rediscover his Betfair Chase form he may be the one to beat. Benefficient won the Jewson Novices Chase at the Festival last year beating Dynaste by just over 3l. Hasn't shown anything like that form since but won a Grade 1 event latest.

3.20 LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE GRADE 1 (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Winner £156,613Runners: 12Going: Good Distance: 3m CH4

This year’s World Hurdle looks a fascinating race with the returning BIG BUCK'S making most of the headlines. The Paul Nicholls charge had been sidelined for over a year until making his comeback in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January. Having looked like the winner for most of the race he was headed in the run in by Knockara Beau. His trainer sited the heavy ground as an excuse and believes the horse will be spot on for the Festival. Annie Power for Willie Mullins has been one of the horses of the year so far. The six year old mare is unbeaten in 10 starts under rules and has won her three British races impressively. Celestial Halo was second in this race last year and will be the likely ride of Daryl Jacob.
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Cheltenham Festival - Thursday Empty Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by sportform on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:18 am

Felix Yonger's early season form in beating Defy Logic and Trifolium would have seen him go very close in the Arkle on Tuesday. He hasn't shown quite the same form in his last two runs but they were both on softer ground and he should appreciate today's going much more.

Double Ross was a horse I mentioned on a previous thread as an on-to-watch. He has had a couple of nice Grade 3 wins at Cheltenham already this season and could run well at a bigger price.
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Post by rIck_dAgless on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 9:38 am

Must admit sportform, I am enjoying these updates and finding them useful, so cheers!

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Cheltenham Festival - Thursday Empty Re: Cheltenham Festival - Thursday

Post by racingnut on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 10:05 am

The JLT looks a pretty strong renewal with Felix Younger,Oscar Whiskey et al all bringing solid form but I do like VUKOVAR.Big reputation when coming over from France,he left his slightly disappointing debut at Warwick way behind when slucing home at Newbury.He jumps for fun,will stay further and I can see him getting a few of these out of their comfort zone a long way from home.Drying ground is a slight concern but hes totally unexposed and just might be a class apart.

Wouldn't touch the Pertemps with a barge pole,its the biggest conundrum of the Festival but ive always thought that UTOPIE DE BORDES has a big pot in her.She ran with credit behind At Fishers Cross at last years and this is a drop in class.

The Ryanair is AL FEROFs to lose.Rock solid festival form from seasons past,he brings everything required to the table today.easy comeback and a real good King George effort,okay his Newbury run was lacklustre but the bottomless ground and the slog that it was just wouldn't have suited.Cant have Dynaste in any race,over any distance and I don't think he operates around here,he has more questions to answer than al the others put together.

The day of reckoning arrives,the big match up is here.Annie Power tries to wrestle the World crown,she brings solid form to the table,form which probably doesn't even come close to telling us how good she is.Defeats of Zarkandar read well and an egg and spoon race win at Doncaster revieled nothing that we didn't know.Does she need 3m? Will 3m bring about any improvement?  Will she stay 3m? Can she produce her basic speed at the end of this test? If you are adamant that she ticks the yes box to all those then on you go and weigh in at 11/8,which ever way I look at it that is shocking value.BIG BUCKS doesn't need any introduction,arguably the best horse in his chosen sphere ever to grace the Turf.His injury problems and comeback have been well documented,i personally thought that he ran a screamer and it was only in nthe last 150 yds that he really faltered.This place and test is his counting house and he MUST take the beating,any 4s or bigger must be taken.

I don't think this is a particularly deep renewal of this heat,the higer rated horses have it between them in my opinion.Johns Spirit loves it here and brings good form to the table but he has risen sharply in the weights,Colour Squadron is the highest rated maiden chaser in the country even though he has some real cracking form,he does strike me as a bridesmaid.CHAMPION COURT is slightly enigmatic but has some real top flight form,4th in the King Goerge,solid efforts around here before and he just thrives at this time of the year.The drying ground is a massive plus as is his riders 7lb allowance and I take his class to out.

Like the previous event I think this Kim Muir rests between the higher rated ones.The ability of the rider is almost as important as the horses and I go for the highest rated of them all in ROBERTO GOLDBACK.His big race is patchy I must admit but on his day he has a touch of quality,this place holds no fears and nice ground is a big plus.His jockey needs no introduction and if hes good enough then his rider is as well.

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Post by racingnut on Thu 13 Mar 2014, 5:11 pm

In a sun drenched parade ring at his beloved Cheltenham a truly great warrior of the Turf said his final goodbyes to his adoring public,never to light up the cold dark days of mid Winter again,never to raise the pulse,never to fire the burning anticipation.The legend that is Big Bucks had finally succumbed to that cant be avoided, though we all try our hardest to, inevitability of old age.The fairytale,the final hurrah was not to be,the old zip had deserted his once imperious self and he became for the only time in his dominance of the staying hurdle division an also ran,a mere mortal.Without question the greatest staying timber topper there has and very probably ever will be,he leaves a legacy that will live long in the minds of those who witnessed his passing through our most glorious of sports,a name that will earn its place along side the legends,a reputation that will remain untarnished.Sound and healthy,all in one piece,he owes not a jot to all those associated with him, a credit to himself,his connections,his admiring public and to the sport itself.Long and happy life big fella.

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