It is finally here the first day of the festival and what a spectacle it will be! The ground is likely to be tacky. So it will be very hard work. We certainly would have liked it to dry out sooner. It could be a muddling festival. No doubt there will be many questions answered and plenty of hard luck stories.
So we must begin with the first race…
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 13:30
2m 87y class 1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo plus)
MIN is heading the betting but at this stage looks a little weak. There are plenty of good horses in the line-up. Personally I am quite sweet on SUPASUNDAE @ 14/1 at the time of writing looks a value e/w play. While the top 3 in the market could all win there are others at huge prices that may just run better than the odds suggest.
CHARBEL at 22/1 in places wouldn’t be without a chance and could well nab at least a place and HOLLYBUSHHENRY posted a speed rating of note when winning last time and at 66/1 is overlooked by the market. We make the horse a 25/1 shot so there is plenty of value there although there is also plenty of risk too.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 14:10
1m 7f 199y class 1 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Novices’ Grade 1) (5yo plus)
DOUVAN is strong in the market and I don’t think we can oppose him. Sizing John should give his running and the DE BROMHEAD stable have some good chances at the festival this year.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 14:50
3m 1f class 1 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (5yo plus)
Where’s that pin when you need it! Wow a huge race and very tough to work out. We quite like the prospects of BAND OF BLOOD at 20/1 Dr Newland is a master at improving horses and this fella could well surprise a few people today. If I was to pick another it would be BEGTODIFFER @12/1 I feel the horse has more to offer and is still on the improve. One of those races where you could back lots of horses and still not find the one.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 15:30
2m 87y class 1 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (4yo plus)
A race I love yet the last few renewals have been disappointing for me. The race revolves around ANNIE POWER and can she break the poor stats MARES have in this race. Maybe she could she is class but I don’t think I could go in as the value is not there when the stats against are so strong. Maybe we feel that way because we got our fingers burnt on her last year lol.
Identity Thief could go well and would be my idea of a solid e/w bet yet I also respect LIL ROCKERFELLA and we are certainly hoping for a big run at 40/1 with Paddy Power as the form fits in with another horse we are keeping an eye on.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 16:10
2m 3f 200y class 1 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (4yo plus)
This race is dominated by WILLIE MULLINS and he has a horse that could be tough to beat in vroom vroom mag yet the horse at the price offered makes little sense to us. The only thing that will make this race worth an interest is if ANNIE POWER hacks up in the champion hurdle. A victory against the stats would be impressive and would beg the question are LEGACY GOLD 50/1 and MELBORNE LADY 150/1 massively overpriced. Both were beaten easily by ANNIE but if she beats her field easy today then these horses would be well over priced.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 16:50
3m 7f 170y class 1 146th Year Of The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup (Listed Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase) (5yo plus)
Here we like a couple of runners one has already won for us more than once SOUTHFIELD ROYALE at 7/1 widely available is priced about right with the size of the field but he’s a really nice horse and very genuine. The one that is slightly over priced here is BALLY CHORUS at 12/1 and makes plenty of each way appeal.
CHELTENHAM TUESDAY 17:30
2m 4f 78y class 1 Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) (5yo plus)
We look forward to this race, last year we bet BOUVREIL in the Fred Winter and he finished a great 2nd at 18/1 we also put the horse up as one of our horses to follow through the jump season. He may run really well in this but despite winning this season he hasn’t really had conditions to suit and I’m not sure this will be his day.
DOUBLE SHUFFLE is going for a bang in form yard and is a reasonable price around 10/1. The most interesting form line to me is to see how AMORE ALATO gets on. His stable are bang in form too and the run behind Silviniaco Conti at Ascot could prove to be very strong yes he was beaten along way but so were many other top class horses. 25/1 looks a reasonable price for an each way punt.
Thanks and we hope you have a great festival.
Matt – Unity Racing Club