The first day of the Cheltenham Festival was magical, Honeysuckle winning on her final start was the perfect result for the Bromhead’s after the tragic accident the family went through.
Constitution Hill confirmed he’s a monster and would likely win a Group race on the flat never mind the next four Champion Hurdles if that’s what connections decide.
Punting was ok, El Fabiolo was the main bet and won, Byker beaten a neck in the Boodles was a tough one, but EW money came home. Gaillard Du Mesnil ensured we move into day 2 with head above the water.
It looks tough today, heavy rain is forecast from 13:00 and will continue through the day, conditions could become very testing.
The Ballymore is the first race, the top four in the betting looks the ones to concentrate on. No real thoughts, you could back three of them and the other one wins. Impaire Et Passe is hard to oppose for the win, he's looked smart and could be anything. Good Land could be the EW angle.
Gerri Colombe is perhaps shorter in the betting than he should be due to the number one’s next to his name in the Brown Advisory.
I’m not sure Sir Gerhard will stay, whilst, The Real Whacker looks solid. I’ll have a bit EW on Thyme Hill at 10-1 who was the best of these over hurdles.
His jumping was better last time with cheekpieces fitted, if Michael Nolan can get him from A to B with no problems, he'll have a squeak.
The Coral Cup at 2:50 is a nightmare, make sure you get the six places on offer before betting, some bookies go seven. The pin has fallen on Good Risk At All, 14-1 EW.
More rain the better for this strong travelling horse. His effort at Carlisle was smart when beating Wholestone on heavy ground. The next effort can be forgiven as this came over three miles and the pace was slow. Good Risk At All ran too free and didn’t get home.
This looks to have been the plan for a long time, was fav for the race last year but balloted out. If the heavens open as forecast, Good Risk At All should be seen moving well at the business end of the race and looks to have a good EW chance as any.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the big race of the day at 3:30. I find it very hard to get away from Energumene who won a tidy sum last year for me. This is perhaps heart over head, I’ll keep faith with him and think his latest run can be ignored. He's been brilliant in the past, trust in Mullins to have him spot on for the only day that matters.
Galvin was my pick for the Cross Country, but he doesn’t want the rain. Him and Delta Work are the two class acts. We won’t get rich backing either horse, watching brief for me but one or the other will win.
Dinoblue looks well treated for Willie Mullins in the Grand Annual, only beaten 3 lengths by Impervious, now rated 153 and won a Grade 3. Her latest start, Dinoblue gave Magic Haze a real race in a Listed Chase, Magic Haze was 145 rated.
Running off 140 and with just 10-13 to carry, Dinoblue looks the way to go, but note, she doesn’t have experience in a big field such as today. Priced at 5-1 EW.
The bumper isn’t a race to go mad in.
Fact To File looked a strong stayer and could turn the tables around with A Dream To Share especially if conditions become heavy. Encanto Bruno is well thought of, however all form has come on good ground.
Search around for the place offers, the next two days look a little more punter friendly. A cheeky EW double might be worth a go, Thyme Hill and Good Risk At All, we can then all retire!