Black Op Can Upset the Hot Pot In The First
Good morning and happy Cheltenham Festival day 2. Readers of yesterday’s preview are sitting pretty after Summerville Boy and Coo Star Sivola did the business. It was a draw between bookmakers and punters as three favourites won but Apples’s Jade was turned over as the odd-on favourite. Today the name on everybody’s lips is Samcro in the Ballymore Properties Hurdle (1.30).
There were five odd-on favourites in ante post betting and the accumulator paid 10/1. The worst case scenario for the bookies of all winning is not possible now after Apple’s Jade was only third in the mare’s hurdle. Samcro is the next odd-on shot to run and the horse looks vulnerable in a field of unexposed novices. Samcro has only won at Grade 3 level but BLACK OP was unlucky not to win a Grade 2 race and the horse can beat the favourite at 10/1 with William Hill.
The clash of the week is on in the Champion Chase. Willie Mullins has said in the past that Douvan is the best horse he has trained and Altior is the best chaser in training in Britain. It’s been a question of will they/won’t they but both horses are engaged today. Douvan is a dual festival winner as is ALTIOR and the latter is preferred. The horse remains unbeaten over obstacles so should be backed at 11/10 with Ladbrokes.
The romantics would like to see Black Corton win the RSA Chase. The horse has won eight chases this season and will be ridden by Bryony Frost who is one of the stories of the campaign. Black Corton won the Grade 1 novices’ chase at Kempton on Boxing Day so is proven at the highest level. Presenting Percy won at the meeting last year and that is a massive positive. However, MONALEE acts on heavy, has won a Grade 1 novices’ chase and is the standout bet at 7/2 with Coral.
Chelsea are up against it in the Champions League tonight. They are playing at Barcelona in the second leg of their last 16 tie and the first match at Stamford Bridge ended in a one-one draw. Chelsea have only failed to score in one of their last 12 fixtures in the Champions League and Barcelona always find the net at home. Therefore, the logical bet is BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE at 17/20 with Betfair.