Wishing you a very Happy St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham!
An historic day yesterday and the perfromance of the day has to be Honeysuckle!
Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Gaillard de Mesnil was very impressive in winning at the Leopardstown festival by five lengths in February and Bravemansgame looks the pick of the home contingent after his ten length win in the Challow hurdle. I was very taken by Bob Olinger’s performance in winning the Lawlor’s Hotel Grade 1 Novice Hurdle in Naas in January and he was put away for this. He was a big fancy of mine even before Jamie Codd put him up as ‘a God given certainty’ in a Cheltenham preview.
Brown Advisory Novices Chase
Monkfish jumps, travels, stays, handles the track and is a certainty here. Banker 1/3 material in multiple bets.
Nicky Henderson has a good record in this race and following his seven length win in a good Kempton handicap in December, Monte Cristo (each way 10/1) looks to be laid out for this and could be the answer in what is always a tricky race to fathom. Birchdale (each way 16/1) from the same stable is the other one against the field, with an honourable mention to Botox Has who performs well at this track.
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
The feature race on day 2. The lack of a run around Cheltenham is being used as a negative factor but I’m a believer in Chacun Pour Soi. There was huge hype about this horse before he ever ran for W. Mullins - he has delivered impressively to date and should fill this gap on the Mullins CV. Put the kettle on has three wins over course and distance and saves her best for here.
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
Didn’t see enough from Tiger Roll at Navan to convince he is as good as he was at his imperious best. By a process of elimination Easysland should be just too good for the rest.
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup
I like Zanza (each way 7/1) who was a faller here three out when still going well in third place in December last. The first and second (Sky Pirate and Ibleo) are 18lb and 17lb higher than then while the selection can race off the same mark.
Weatherbys Champion Bumper
This should go to the Irish. Kilcruit looked unbelievable at Leopardstown in February while Jamie Codd said he could see Sir Gerhard coming back to win a Champion Hurdle in a couple of years. I have seen too many short priced fancies beaten over the years so prefer to go for a bigger priced horse each way. At 16/1 each way, Ramillies fits the bill here.