Altior & Samcro produced awesome displays on day 2 of the Festival and sent the short priced backers home happy. Samcro never looked like getting beat, he could be one of the best we’ve seen for a long time. I was deep on Min EW in the Champion Chase. From early as the 3rd fence I was counting my money and planning another Vegas trip. Altior looked beat and was been niggled along, Douvan came down and Min was hacking. He travelled like the best horse in the race and looked a good thing to win when hitting the front two out.
Altior had other ideas though, despite never going his class got him through. Altior kicked in the afterburners jumping the last and won easily in the end. His jockey, Nico De Boinville said after the race, “at no point was he happy with Altior who hated the going”. It’s hard to see Altior ever beaten again, he’ll be even better on a quicker surface. A profit was made on Min, the bet proved to be the safe one but the difference between winning and a place was huge. The penthouse suite at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas will just have to wait!
I think we saw a possible future Gold Cup winner in Presenting Percy. I loved the way he sat off the pace and jumped like a stag before moving into contention. Davy Russell never had to ask the horse a question. Presenting Percy looks very good, I was quite taken by him. He was a nice 5-2 winner so that also helped.
Willie Mullins got the 1,2,3 in the bumper, but maybe not in the order he thought. Veneer Of Charm was a surprise winner of the Fred Winter. Rated just 75 on the flat he shouldn’t have been good enough but has clearly taken to hurdles well. I would take the form of this race with a pinch of salt, it was maybe a case of what young horse handles the going the best.
I thought we we’re very unlucky with the bet on Look My Way. Backed from 20-1 into 8-1, Look My Way chances we’re over at the 3rd. He was badly hampered by a fall of Knight Destroyer and stumbled over the horse. He lost a couple of shoes in the process.
Day 3 of racing sees the action switch to the inside course, 9mil of rain has fallen and the going remains soft / heavy in places. Thursday of the Festival is my least favourite day of the meeting. Huge fields, handicap races and maybe not quite the class of horses we see on other days of the meeting. It’s normally a day where the bookies win plenty.
The JLT at 1:30 is the first race of the day, I’ve not had a bet yet but will throw a tenner on Invitation Only just for some interest in the race.
The Pertemps is normally a minefield for punters. Glenloe EW at 6-1 would be my selection. Glenloe looks to have been saved for this, his form couldn’t have worked out any stronger. I think he’s well handicapped.
The Ryanair Chase sees just six runners take their chance, a disappointing number. Un De Sceaux is the horse to beat but might have a little stamina doubt on such going? The roof would come off if Cue Card won, can a 12 year really win this race?
Cloudy Dream could be the surprise package, he’s running over his best distance, never runs a bad race and stays very strongly. Cloudy Dream was 2nd in the Arkle behind Altior and shouldn’t be ruled out. The form of his last three starts reads, second behind, Native River, Definitly Red & Fox Norton. Top form. I’ve backed him EW at 12-1, 2 places only. 11-10 to finish top 3 is available on the exchanges.
The Stayers Hurdle at 3:30 is going to take some winning, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Unowhatimeanharry go close. Sam Spinner would be the placepot horse.
It would be brilliant if The New One flew up the the hill and won, I’m not sure he’ll get the trip though. I’ve backed L’Ami Serge EW at 12-1. He’s quirky but very talented. L’Ami Serge loves Cheltenham, never out of the places in 4 starts. Daryl Jacob might just be the jockey to get the best out of him.
The Brown Advisory Plate is another huge handicap 24 runners. I backed King’s Socks the other week antepost. His form with Footpad in France is very good indeed.
The good thing of the day should be Laurina in the Mares’ Novice. She’s held in huge regard by the Mullins camp, one of their bankers of the meeting. She’s short at the price of 4-6 but will take the beating.
No real thoughts on the last, The Fluke Kim Muir. I would like to see Band Of Blood go well for obvious reasons whilst Final Nudge should give you a fair spin for your money.