Oddsguru’s Fancies For Cheltenham Week

Cheltenham 2019 Festival

Tuesday

Arkle Chase: It often pays to forgive a horse one below par effort, and Kayley Wollacott’s Lalor, was majestic in his first race over fences, coming home 7L clear of Dynamite Dollar, over course and distance in November. He was never going when finishing a well beaten 3rd behind the same animal 20 days later at Sandown, and it may be that this German bred needs a longer break between races. A repeat of his Cheltenham effort will make him hard to beat.

Champion Hurdle: Gordon Elliott’s super mare, Apples Jade, has made further progress this term and put in a blinding performance last time, when she beat
Supasundae, Petit Mouchoir, and Melon by 16L, 5L, and 3/4L, in a fast time. With the added bonus of her 7lbs Mares allowance she looks the one to beat in this year’s renewal.

Wednesday

The Ballymore : For an animal bred to be a 3 mile Chaser, (his grand dam is the mother of Best Mate and Cornish Rebel) Nicky Henderson’s Champ, has shown plenty of pace in his 4 hurdles victories, particularly last time in The Challow Hurdle at Newbury where he quickened impressively. With no stamina doubts, it will take a good one to lower his colours.

RSA Chase: The Gordon Elliott trained Delta Work, has won all of his 3 starts over fences, including a defeat of the subsequent Double Grade1 winner, Le Richebourg in the top Graded  Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse over an inadequate 2 1/2m in December. Impressive form and he will be hard to beat.

Wetherby’s Champion Bumper : Both Gordon Elliott’s Envoi Allen and Willie Mullins’s sole entry, Blue Sari are respected, but the Harry Fry trained, Get In The Queue, is an animal going from strength to strength, and won last time by 16L conceding 16lbs to the runner up.

harry fry cheltenham

Get in the Queue for Harry Fry’s descendant of Daylami

The form is nothing special but the manner of the victory was impressive and the time was good.

Thursday

Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle: Anyone who took our advice after Paisley Park won The Cleeve Hurdle in January will be sitting pretty. His victory by 12L and 2L over West Approach and Black Op was hugely impressive and Emma Lavelle’s winner of his last 4 races looks banker material.

Friday

Triumph Hurdle : The Joseph O’Brien trained Sir Erec was good enough on the flat to get within 2 1/2L of Stradivarius in Ascot’s Group2 Long Distance Cup Over 2miles last October, and having moved to Joseph from dad, Aidan at Ballydoyle, has proved at least as talented over hurdles, winning the Grade1 Tattersalls Spring Juvenile at Leopardstown last month. He won with his head in his chest, from stable companion Gardens Of Babylon, and had the 2nd Fav, Tiger Tap Tap, 8 1/4L back in 4th. Despite a slight training setback, (stone bruise which trainer Joseph assures will not affect his chance) he looks a good thing.

Gold Cup: Is Kemboy (pictured) the forgotten horse of this year’s Gold Cup? By the excellent French NH stallion, Voix Du Nord, (sadly deceased) who has sired plenty of top class jumpers, including Taquin Du Seuil, Vibrato Valtat, Vroum Vroum Mag, and
Defi Du Seuil, to name but a few, the Willie Mullins trained 7yo looks an improved performer this term. kemboy cheltenhamHe has won both his races including the Grade1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown (3m Good Leopardstown Dec 28) where he beat Monalee by 7L and had Road To Respect back in 3rd with Bellshill 4th. His defeat in last year’s JLT was down to some indifferent jumping but he looks much more the finished article this term, and only 7, still has plenty of further potential. He might just be the one to supply Willie with that elusive victory in Cheltenham’s Blue Riband.

John Gray

Champion Bumper Cheltenham Festival Betting Preview

Pylonthepressure

Another of the Mullins Brigade to have impressed has been the 5yo Pylonthepressure who has won his three races to date with considerable ease.

Preview : Weatherbys Champion Bumper, Wednesday.

First run in 1992, the Champion Bumper has been dominated by Irish Stables who have won seventeen of the twenty two renewals, a trend strongly emphasised last year, when the first six home came from stables from across the water. Willie Mullins has been the dominant trainer in the contest, winning eight times. Philip Hobbs and Colin Tizzard are the only two successful home based handlers since Martin Pipe in 2003.

The Willie Mullins trained Bordini heads the market at 6/1. Having finished only third in his sole point to point, he has impressed in his two bumpers, winning both of them with considerable ease. His last win was particularly eye catching, where responding to pressure, he ran on very stoutly up Navan’s demanding uphill finish to win comfortably. The third horse Rock on the Moor (recd 4lbs) who was twenty lengths behind, came out and won his next race, so the form looks solid.

Another of the Mullins Brigade to have impressed has been the 5yo Pylonthepressure who has won his three races to date with considerable ease. He trotted up in his sole point to point last May, and won equally readily when easily winning his first bumper at Thurles in December. It was his latest race (2m3f sft Naas Feb7) that impressed this observer. Second choice in the market to the highly regarded, Gordon Elliot trained, Space Cadet, to whom he was Conceeding 7lbs, Pylonthepressure made all, galloped all over the opposition, and stayed on stoutly to win by 8 1/2L from the Elliot horse. This performance had Cheltenham written all over it, and it would be no surprise see another similar effort on Wednsday.

The David Pipe trained Moon Racer hasn’t been seen since winning over the course and distance ( gd/sft) back in October. While the form was ordinary, he did win with his head in his chest in a respectable time. Connections have probably avoided the bad winter ground, so this 6yo who won his only previous race, a very competitive Fairyhouse bumper, last April, at odds of 50/1 is Definitley one for the short list.

Selection : Pylonthepressure

Danger. : Moon Racer