Monday Races: Start the year Well…

So we turn the page on a decent 2017, and set about the new year resolved to avoid alcohol, carbs and win doubles.

Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day meeting is an ideal springboard into January, and today’s card is packed with interest.

The heavy ground may not be ideal for many in the staying chase (1250), including likely favourite Vyta Du Roc.  It should though be perfect for Kerry Lee’s Russe Blanc.

He won a valuable Warwick handicap off a mark of 127 in heavy ground in January 2016, and it has taken nearly two years to fall back to that mark.  He can prove a rare outside ride winner for Harry Skelton.

In the 2m4f handicap chase, (1400), its a simple case of a heavy ground, post Christmas handicap chase so it must be Venetia Williams.  Sure enough her Burton Wells looks well primed to exploit the muddy conditions.

Some classic Venetia training has this 9yo seeing the track for only the ninth time, but a heavy ground Uttoxeter run, and a decent Cheltenham run last season , as well as an encouraging recent seasonal debut suggest he is well set to take this valuable prize.

We are very tempted by Amis Desbois at a big price in the Dipper Chase (1325), but have enough respect for Willoughby Court to leave alone.

A similar respect for Arthur’s Gift is just enough to stop a tip for Skipthecuddles (1435) although we expect him to run a big race.


Russe Blanc (1250 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 5/2 generally available 

Burtons Well (1400 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/2 generally available 

Russe Blanc & Burtons Well, 1pt win double, approx 15/1….oops there goes the resolution !!!! Pass me a beer and some curry chips….

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