Cheltenham Thursday Tips: 4/1 Slam Bam and thank you Sam…

The Daily Nap:

Sam Spinner:  3:30 Cheltenham, 2pts win, 4/1 generally available

He has been a massive improver this season.  Followed up a heavy ground Haydock handicap demolition by making all and fending off L’Ami Serge at Ascot.  Coped well with undulations at Chepstow and loves soft ground.  He can be too tough for the rest of these, the challenge for young Joe Colliver on top is to deliver the pace-setting fractions and not use up too much too soon.  We trust him and Sam to deliver.

Thursday Other Races:

Invitation Only  1.30 Cheltenham, 1pt win, 10/3 generally available

It always helps when the most solid form comes from the top yard and jockey.  The Mullins-Walsh combination can strike with Invitation Only whose 3rd at Leopardstown was a superb effort.  Fellow Irish challengers Shattered Love and Snow Falcon are feared more than the English, although we will be cheering our good friend Phil and his horse Bigmartre – best of luck Phil.

Who Dares Wins,  2.10 Cheltenham, 1pt each way,  14/1 generally available

One of our favourite races, and one in which we have been lining up a gamble on Who Dares Wins, a quality 3rd in the much better Coral Cup last year, and wholly unexposed at this longer trip, albeit well suited to marathon flat races.  Whilst he goes on the ground, it will make his weight a more impactful burden.  He can still win, but wise to scale back stakes.

Sub Lieutenant,  2.50 Cheltenham, 1pt win, 20/1 generally available 

Reigning champ and rarely beaten star, Un De Sceaux is a shade of odds-on after this race has cut up to 6 likely runners, and is clearly the likely winner.  Cue Card has to defy age and a tough last race, whilst Balko des Flos would want it drier.  Frodon and Sub Lieutenant both handle this ground well, but it’s the latter that appeals most having closed to within two lengths of the favourite here last year, and can exploit any weaknesses in UdS’s stamina on this ground.  Each way no value in this 6 runner affair.

Traffic Fluide, 4.10 Cheltenham,  1pt each way, 33/1 generally available 

Always the toughest race, and more so this time with a number of key withdrawals. Conditions may not suit market leaders Tully East and Movewiththetimes, and this is a race with a long track record of big priced winners.  We’ll take Traffic Fluide, 6th in last year’s Champion Chase and an ok 4th of 12 in his last handicap – the Old Roan at Aintree.  Impossible tasks in the Betfair, King George and Ascot Chase since have seen mark drop by a generous 11lbs which could be a huge over-reaction now back in the right grade.

Laurina, 4.50 Cheltenham, 2pts win, 4/6 generally available

The Willie banker of the week.  Laurina is reputedly better than the stable’s previous winners of this race Limini and Lets Dance.  She was a great winner at Fairyhouse in a race that has worked out well.  She should be a Ruby steering job.

Mall Dini,   4.50 Cheltenham, 1pt win, 11/2 generally available  

Former Pertemps winner here, yet still a maiden over fences.  He was unlucky when a close up 5th in this last year.  Has been campaigned with this is mind all year since and returns off exactly the same mark.  Jockey Patrick Mullins should be on a high and compensation awaits for last year’s losses.


The Daily Yankee:

Invitation Only – Who Dares Wins – Sam Spinner  – Mall Dini


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