RACING THIS WEEKEND
We are kicking straight into this weekends action in this week’s blog, I feel the racing we had last weekends was a bit of a let down to say the least. All I can remember is Allaho dotting up and merit favouritism as the RYANAIR CHASE FAV.
Now where do we start…
Cheltenhams card on Saturday is a thing of beauty, even featuring the rearranged Clarence House Chase.
Let’s start with the JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE TRIAL. BURDETT ROAD boasts favouritism at 6/4. The field includes the likes of SIR GINO, INTELOTTO & SALVER to name a few. For me this is BURDETT ROAD’s race for the taking. He’s an absolute machine, the last day he absolutely hosed up here under a cool ride by Harry Cobden. Now despite SIR GINO looking very classy on his last run, to me he looked to lack speed. Yes he’s absolutely bolted up, yes he could well be a better horse on better ground, but so could BURDETT ROAD.
He’s going to take the world of beating here, he’s proven over course and distance on which in these juvenile races is a huge playing factor. Cobden is jocked up which again is just more optimism of his chances. 6/4 is a good price and in my book should be more of a evens shot. He’s an RPR of 142 leaving SIR GINO back on a 134… NAP.
TIMEFORM NOVICES HANDICAP CHASE
They’re two runners in this that have really caught my eye from an each way perspective. I do think GINNY’S DESTINY is a solid fav coming into this. That form of his last run beating GREY DAWNING looks even better now as the Skelton trained horse gagged up last time out beating APPLES AWAY and BROADWAYBOY by 14+ lengths. But 4/1 is a skinny enough price for me in this type of Handicap.
I think UNEXPECTED PARTY at 14/1 EW is a cracking each way bet here. I think there’s a solid chance he will shorten come the off and 14/1 will look a gift, they’re likely to be 4 places on offer and I can’t see him out of the frame. You go back to his first run of this season and he beat KNAPPERS HILL in a comfortable fashion.
Now obviously he’s been rather underwhelming to say the least since his last success but it makes you wonder if this was part of the plan by Dan Skelton, he is one of the best around for getting one ready for a targeted Handicap and a repeat performance of his last success would see him go extremely close here. Fergus Gillard is a extremely talented conditional rider and the extra few pounds off gives him a better edge, it’s his only ride of the day too.
SCARFACE 14/1 EW again represents a great each way chance in my eyes. He was mightily impressive on the last day stretching away from ROCK MY WAY & AUTHORISED SPEED. He is clearly highly thought of by the yard as he is a previous ballymore runner and perhaps he can improve again on his last performance. Brendan Powell is a very smooth pilot and possess excellent judgement of a race.
COUNTDOWN PODCAST HANDICAP CHASE
IL RIDOTO & FUGITIF battle out favouritism at the top of the market being 4/1 & 5/1 respectively. FUGITIF holds a close place to my heart and is one of my favourite horses in training but carrying the 12st here top weight really puts me off backing him here. IL RIDOTO warrants respect and with Cobden being back on gives you a vote of confidence but…
I believe that GA LAW 15/2 EW is a great bet here. Again he gives 2lbs away to IL RIDOTO but he’s beaten him into submission round here before giving 2lbs to him. He comes back to 2M 4F since 2022 and this is his best trip. Stepping up to 3M was a huge mistake by Jamie Snowden and I think he’s finally realised that. Snowden absolutely loves a plot and this looks as stinky as they come to me… great chance!
PADDY POWER COTSWOLD CHASE
STAY AWAY FAY has received plenty of support over the last few days being smashed in from 4/1 into 5/2 FAV. ROYALE PAGAILLE is an absolute mule around Cheltenham and I think he can be wiped straight out of this field. THE REAL WHACKER at 3/1 seems plenty short to me now but given his form around the track and plugging on into 4th in the KING GEORGE he may be coming back to his best form.
AHOY SENOR is an absolute lunatic and with his last win coming a year ago, his last 2 runs resulting in him pulling up, I think he can be disregarded here but it wouldn’t surprise you if he was to win this either… CAPODANNO and DATSALRIGHTGINO had a tough race on the last day and I wouldn’t be backing them. STAY AWAY FAY 5/2 gets my vote.
CLARENCE HOUSE CHASE
JONBON 2/7 wins but no bet.
LOSSIEMOUTH boasts favouritism in and around 5/6. LOVE ENVOI is 2nd in the betting at 11/4, RUBAUD 4/1 BAR.
This looks a penalty kick to LOSSIEMOUTH, but she comes into this with no prep run ahead of her challenge of the Mares Hurdle in March. Could she still be good enough to beat these here? My answer would be yes. She looks like she has gears to burn with her run style and she has a cruising speed that wows you. She’s proven around the track, 5/6 is very skinny and perhaps could be one to partner JONBON to make for a tidy 1.7/1 double for the muggy bet of the weekend.
RUBAUD warrants respect after finishing 8 ½ lengths behind CONSTITUTION HILL in what was one of his most impressive performances to date. I think out of the field, he has the best chance to serve it up to Willie Mullins star mare and perhaps the forecast could be of interest…
MCCOY CLEVE HURDLE
A battle of the Stayers… DASHEL DRASHER and old boy PAISLEY PARK dispute favouritism at 3/1 and despite them being extremely consistent performers and darlings of this division I think they both had a very tough race last time out against the young pretender in CRAMBO. CHAMP I wouldn’t be backing with free money, the old boys best days are well and truly behind him and hopefully he is retired after this race. MARIES ROCK 11/2 EW is my angle into this race.
She is so talented on her day but looks to have regressed a huge amount this season, despite that her form around Cheltenham is absolutely solid, with her winning 2 races, 2nd in another out of 4 races. Now she hasn’t excelled since stepping upto the 3M but I think after a solid run in 2nd behind Bob Olinger over 2M 4F, this is the correct route to go down and Nicky knows what he’s doing with these staying hurdlers. Grand National winning NOBLE YEATS is also available at 11/2 and could be worth having on side as an each way bet…
SUPER ALLOYS NOVICE HURDLE
Top of the market here is Harry Fry’s GIDLEIGH PARK at 5/6 and despite being short, he should take all the beating here. He has looked an absolute machine and a proper progressive type. Now over the 2M 4F he put forward a career best performance in my eyes on the last day and will have come on plenty for that race. Now you can take the form of him beating THE JUKEBOX MAN by 6 lengths on his debut and has only improved more since that. Compared to LOOKAWAY who is a very experienced novice hurdler to say the least who only finished a length infront of him on his last run.
I’d give JONNYWHO half a chance here but again, this lad finished behind THE JUKEBOX MAN so on paper you’d probably give him no chance, but he plugged on very well to the line and was an eye-catcher on the last day. Back to GIDLEIGH PARK, he’s going to take an awful lot of whacking here and despite being skinny at 5/6, he again could be worth a solid single or in a double with JONBON.
With Cheltenham covered in depth, let’s take a look at some of the headline races of this weekends action, starting with the GRADE 1 YORKSHIRE ROSE MARES HURDLE.
ASHROE DIAMOND 15/8 looks a gift. She’s ran a stormer to finish 3rd behind TEAHUPPO and IMPAIRE ET PASSE on what was her 2nd start over 2 and a half miles. I’d have her beating YOU WEAR IT WELL comfortably, GALA MARCEAU is a very strong mare and warrants respect after getting back to winning ways at Auteil, I would have her the one that ASHROE DIAMOND has to beat.
I’d imagine that Paul Townend will come over and be saddled up on the mare which would indicate that this mare is the stronger of the Mullins contingent.
ALBERT BARTLETT RIVER DON NOVICES HURDLE
SHANAGH BOB tops the market at 11/4. He was very game last time out and despite it taking him a while to get going, he was very impressive. He is giving away 5lbs today and that would give me optimism of KERRY HILL 10/1 EW to reverse the form with the favourite here. I’m not advising a bet but I can see KERRY HILL running a good race.
That’s the blog wrapped up for this week. I think we could see something special from BURDETT ROAD this weekend, I’m hoping he blitzes SIR GINO and becomes very apparent that he is going to take all the beating come the off in the TRIUMPH HURDLE.
Best of luck if you’re having a bet this weekend.