Well the first day of the Cheltenham festival belonged to Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Especially when Ruby has to pick between the Mullins and Nicholls horses and nine times out of ten he gets it right.
Many experts including me thought Zarkander would beat Hurricane Fly in The Champion Hurdle but the great Irish jockey had other ideas and his judgement was correct on this occasion.
Today’s Festival action is of the highest standard and the two races that interest me are the Fred Winter handicap hurdle 4.40 and the Bumper at 5.15.
Most of you will know we have put up Sgt Reckless in the bumper at a tasty 20/1 with Corals and he is now as low as 8/1 with most firms. Champion flat jockey Richard Hughes has been booked to ride and coming from a jumping background there is nothing he would like more than a Festival winner to add to his C.V.
I suppose at 8/1 the value has gone so for Howies Hottie I will put up a big price one in the Fred Winter at 4.40. The selection is Pistol from the Philip Hobbs yard and Richard Johnson takes the ride. This gelding has won its last two races but has had to make its own running out in front which did not suit.
So today we have been told he will sit just behind the pace and make his play at the business end of the race. They have also fitted him with cheek pieces to help him concentrate and not idle if he hits the front.
Pistol is 28/1 with corals and win, lose or draw that’s good each way value in my book.
Arsenal take on Bayern in their 2nd leg Champions League clash and are looking for a miracle in trying to qualify. Both teams have injuries and in football you never know. As a betting proposition I reckon both teams to score is the bet at 3/4 with Blue Square.
The eyecatchers have been in great form yet again with Linkable, Aim to Prosper and Hanoverian Baron winning in the last week or so.
Big Jer trainer C.Mann – Hated the undulations of Chepstow and this huge gelding will be seen in a better light on a flatter galloping track.
Our Mick trainer D.McCain – Ran 2nd at Cheltenham yesterday but he will be even better on drier ground.
Puffin Billy trainer O.Sherwood – Came home 5th in the Festival opener yesterday. He was travelling as well as the winner when a blunder 3 from home cost him dear.
Come on Blue Chip trainer P.Darcy – I thought he needed the race at Wolverhampton last Saturday and after a slow start was never in contention. This polytrack specialist will improve by leaps and bounds for the race.
Back next Wednesday have a good week and be lucky.