The Dons Cheltenham Bulletin
We are two thirds through an informative and hugely entertaining Cheltenham Open meeting
and here’s what the Don has learned in the first two days.
1 – This really feels like the start of the Jumps Season and the atmosphere from Friday morning was up a notch from anything so far this season.
2 – Del Arca could still be a superstar over fences and there was a great deal to like about this debut on Friday before he blew up after the last. The Pipe yard feel he could be back here as a serious contender in March and the lasting impression of the way he travelled here will linger.
3 – If you have to doll off more than five fences in a race because of sunlight don’t bother running the race!
Safety must come first but Cheltenham did look a bit silly and you do wonder if it would be better to add the race to the next day or try later in the day than the frankly farcical scenes we saw here.
4 – Any one who was concerned about the yard of Paul Nicholls over the last few weeks needn’t be now as I have been to the paddock and viewed them all over the first two days and they all looked supremely healthy and very fit.
5 – The Hobbs yard are equally far forward and Richard Johnson who is now a veteran looks as good as ever, he outpoured Barry Geraghty in a finish here yesterday and not many do that!
6 – Jonjo and Alan king’s horses by comparison look just short of peak fitness which I find very odd given the importance of this meeting and they might need a little caution. Both powerhouses and will be back soon but against other top yards you need to be 100%.
7 – Kings Palace is a future star! I made him a max bet yesterday and he didn’t disappoint, he jumped like an old hand and connections were grinning like mad at the post race inquest. I think he could be very good and he will come on for this debut. He is a horse you MUST follow. I think they will come back here with him or go to Newbury.
8 – Bitofapuzzle who won the bumper last race yesterday has a big heart and a lot of talent. His action made me think he may need soft ground so Trainer Harry Fry will be careful with him but it will take a good one to lower his colours as he gave some well bred types weight and a beating here.
For today’s bet we go to the last and the Henderson horse Birch Hill. He is making some very shrewd judges very excited and could be the next big star from this yard. Take the 2/1 with Coral as this will be backed.
For the top meetings always always Trust in the Don over 500 up in 2014 and determined to push that higher.
Back next Sunday.
The Gambling Don