Willie Mullins & Ruby Walsh hit back with a bang yesterday at Cheltenham. A four timer on the day ensured Mr Mullins is still the one to beat.
Yorkhill was a very good winner of the JLT, he was given a peach of a ride by Ruby Walsh and got the day off to a great start. Un De Sceaux bossed the Ryanair Chase with an exhibition round of jumping, it was an emphatic display. I was disappointed with the tactics on Empire Of Dirt, a proven 3 miler but held up at the back of the field. It’s near impossible to make ground up in these types of races. Empire Of Dirt was running on strongly when it was all too late, he should have been 3rd but Bryan Cooper failed to ride him out.
Mullins & Walsh were at it in again with Nichols Canyon who won The World Hurdle. The step up in trip suited the horse perfectly. You have to feel sorry for Lil Rockerfeller who ran a belter and must be one of the most game horses in training.
Road To Respect collected the Brown Advisory in great style winning by 6 lengths for Noel Meade. Starchitect made up huge amounts of ground to grab 5th and returned the EW money. Starchitect raced a long way off the pace in a race that suited being handy.
Ruby Walsh was awesome on let’s Dance and completed his 4 timer, the leaders went a crazy pace and set it up for Ruby who didn’t panic and rode his own race. Soon as he pressed the button, Let’s Dance took off and came through with a wet sail. A couple of winners on the day for the blog ensured we stay in front.
The final day of Cheltenham this afternoon and Gold Cup Day.
I hold a nice ante post voucher for Native River, I’ll admit I’m not as confident going into today as I was a few weeks ago. I have no doubts about the horse and think Native River is the best in the race but I’m worried about the stable form. The Colin Tizzard horses have ran poor in the past few weeks. All bar one of their Festival runners have either been pulled up or tailed off.
It might be something of nothing and I hope it is, providing Native River is fit and well, I’m sure he’ll run a huge race and take some beating.
It won’t be easy to find winners today, big field handicaps and many unknowns. I hold another antepost voucher in the Triumph Hurdle, Defi Du Seuil. He looks a class act and I'm very hopeful.
The County Hurdle is a minefield, North Hill Harvey priced at 8-1 is the class horse in the field and been saved for this for this race. He looks sure to go well but carries a lot of weight.
Gordon Elliott has made no secret about Death Duty and thinks it’s the best horse he’s trained, he takes his chance in the Albert Bartlett. Death Duty is priced at 5-2, that might look huge come 2:55 but you can back 5-2 shots in far less competitive races every day of the week.
It would be fantastic to watch On The Fringe create history and win the Foxhunters for the 3rd year running. This year’s renewal look very strong, On The Fringe will have to be right at his best. The Paul Nicholls trained Wonderful Charm will give him something to think about providing no rain falls.
The last two races on the cards will be a watching brief, however I very much hope our sponsored jockey Charlie Hammond gets a great spin out of Catamaran Du Seuil in the Martin Pipe.
Good luck on the final day.