Good morning all,
Second part of my Cheltenham thoughts, finishing off Tuesday with the Mares and NH Chase. I'll do Wednesday next week.
As expected, all National Hunt has bitten the dust today, and with that, my interest in the days racing ends pretty quickly, but there is a selection from Lingfield too.
Bets so far – Roksana e/w (16-1)
I backed Roksana for this after her defeat in the Long Walk. My thinking at the time was that everything went right for her that day (and wrong for Paisley Park) and she was still two lengths down at the winning line. With that, the Skeltons would look at it in the cold light of day, realise that the best she would be playing for in a Stayers would be a place, and go for the Mares, where she would be more competitive (and, to my eyes, at the right trip).
Of course, since then I have spoken to my good friend and colleague Mr Rory Delargy, who has shot my argument down in flames. He counter-argues that with the Irish horses showing little, that bit of form is probably the form to concentrate on, and with Paisley Park blowing out in the race last year, connections would be willing to take their chance against him and Thyme Hill again. Hard to argue against, although I’m more than happy with the bet I have got.
Who knows which Willie Mullins runner goes for this at this stage? I’m guessing Willie himself won’t know until he presses the button on the Sunday morning, but Concertista holds top claims. It isn’t just her form this season, it is her Festival record, which is very good and the speed figures she’s achieved on both occasions are huge. If you knew for certain she’d be the one to turn up, the 7-4 with 365 is arguably fair.
I gave Floressa a mention in passing in my Doncaster piece from a couple of weeks ago, and stepping up in trip here, I could see her running a better race, especially if the ground has dried up by then. Again, though, no mileage in backing her at present, wait for the extra places on the day, as she’ll be a similar price to what she is now.
National Hunt Chase
No bets as yet.
And at this stage, no intention of having one, although I have a couple I’m keen on.
Latest Exhibition would be top of my list. He keeps shaping like a thorough stayer, although I’ll grant you he’s not bred to want a trip (arguably 20f-24f would be ideal on that) but you can’t argue with his form this season and he’ll be glad to see the back of Monkfish, who surely goes for the RSA now the Brown Advisory.
He’s got Festival form too, with his close second in the Albert Bartlett last year, and everything he’s done this year leads me to think he’s the one to beat.
Favourite Galvin has Festival form too, but a defeat of Soldier Of Love here in October does not carry the same weight behind it as Latest Exhibition’s form does, and it looks to have been overrated (the second pulled up behind The Big Breakaway next time). He looks poor value to my eyes.
Royal Pagalle would be a danger to all if he turned up here, but in a year when the Gold Cup looks open, they will probably take their chance there. Next Destination would be a possible after his Warwick win, and he looks the type for this, but when all is said and done this is a race I’ll wait to have a bet in until nearer the day.
At Lingfield Avorisk Et Perils has a decent chance in the 3.10, the 10f handicap. Back on a winning mark and caught the eye last time when not beaten far. Stall 8 gives him chance to stay wide and come with a late run, never a bad thing here. He's today's selection.
Good luck with all your bets,