Day 3 of the Festival was ruled by the Irish. Mullins & Elliott took over Cheltenham, it’s time to wave the white flags! Hopefully a few English runners might a get a look in today!
Glenloe should have landed the gamble in the Pertemps and got us off to a great start. Glenloe hacked through the race and really should have won with plenty to spare. Barry Geraghty was sitting pretty coming to the last and maybe should have kicked on. Of course, he made a bad error and lost out in a photo. If Glenloe was a few lengths in front coming to the last and made the error, he would have won. The best horse finished second.
Balko Des Flos was the surprise winner of the Ryanair, Michael O’Leary gave the trophy to himself. The training performance of the day goes to Willie Mullins. Getting Penhill to win the Stayers after almost a year off the racecourse was exceptional effort. Cloudy Dream ran well for us in 3rd but needs better going, the place bet on Betfair was a winner.
The banker of the day Laurina won on the bridle, she's class and probably would have won the Supreme Hurdle on Tuesday. I can’t wait to see her against the boys.
The final day of the Cheltenham Festival of course is Gold Cup Day, more on that race shortly.
Apple’s Shakira can hopefully get the day off to a good start. She's only ever run at Cheltenham, handles bad ground whilst get the valuable mares’ allowance. Plenty of doubles, trebles and lucky 15's will be riding on her, let's hope she get's the job done for punters.
We could back 5 horses in the County Hurdle at 2:10 and still not find the winner. The top four in the betting are trained by Mullins & Elliott. It would take a brave man to say they won’t win it.
The same can be said about the Albert Bartlett at 2:50. My two against the field are Chef Des Obeaux 6-1 & Calett Mad 16-1. Both horses stay strongly and handle heavy going. Santini could be anything.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Firstly, I can’t have Might Bite. I don’t think his form is good enough whilst the horse has a big stamina doubt in my opinion. Might Bite, beat Whisper last year in the RSA by a nose, if Whisper was in the Gold Cup he’d be a 100-1 shot. Might Bite then went on to win the King George beating a 50-1 shot in Double Shuffle. I thought Might Bite was paddling at the end of the King George on soft going, he couldn’t go a furlong more never mind two furlongs as per today on heavy going. Throw in what he did at Cheltenham last year when heading for the exit after jumping the last, he’s not for me. If he wins, I’ll hold my hands up and admit I got it totally wrong. I’ve place laid the horse.
I've had a good bet on Native River EW antepost at 8-1. Conditions have come right, I think he’ll place at worst but hopeful of better. Horses will need to stay strongly in this year’s renewal, Native River wouldn’t be as quick as few of these but loves a slog and jumps like a stag. Our Duke would have a great chance if putting in a clear round of jumping. He normally hits one though and you can't do that in a Gold Cup.
Definitly Red would be a great winner for Brian Ellison and the North, he stays and handles bad going. I’m sure he’ll run his race but maybe he’s not quite good enough. The other two horses I like are Killultagh Vic & Edwulf.
Killultagh Vic & Edwulf raced against each other in the Irish Gold Cup, it was neck a neck going to the last when Killultagh Vic came down. Edwulf came back from the dead, he was given little hope when going wrong in the four miler at Cheltenham last year. The vets did a brilliant job. Edwulf stays strongly, loves bad ground and will have improved from his Irish National win. Our Duke was back in forth, Djakadam 3rd, Outlander 2nd, I’m not sure why those horses will turn the form around?
Killultagh Vic is priced at 8-1 but you can get 16-1 on Edwulf, I think he’s a cracking EW bet. If Edwulf was to win, it would be a fairy tale story. I would be hopeful the winner will come from one of the above-mentioned horses and hopefully not Might Bite!
Native River wins the Gold Cup for me. His price of 5-1 still looks good value. Edwulf could place at big odds plus a small saver on Killultagh Vic. Make sure you bet with bookies paying 4 places.
Burning Ambition looks to have a great chance in the Fox Hunters, Jamie Codd takes over in the saddle from an amateur and that can only be a huge plus. He’s short enough at 3-1. Unioniste might place at big odds, 16-1.
Diese Des Bieffes was my antepost bet in the Martin Pipe, I’m worried about the ground though. Diese Des Bieffes was perhaps looked after last time out. He looks well handicapped in my eyes and will go nicely if handling underfoot conditions.
If you need a winner going into the Grand Annual, the best of British to you.