Cheltenham Thursday Tips: 14/1 Nap can close the show…

NAP OF THE DAY:

Speaker Connolly  –  (1730 Kim Muir),  3pts win,  14/1

The Kim Muir is always a great race for a bet.  The market has reacted to the sublime Jamie Codd’s booking for Measureofmydreams, he has an obvious chance but looks short enough now for a horse newly returned from an injury break.  It’s All Guesswork doesn’t look quite as well treated over fences as he was over hurdles when catching the eye last time.  We prefer the novice Speaker Connolly.  He was very impressive at Leopardstown over Christmas but couldn’t cope with a fast ground 2m4f there last time when staying on too late in the day.  This trip and ground look ideal and likely to bring out more improvement.  He does need to jump better, but he warmed up well last time after a sticky start and is improving rapidly with experience.

RACE OF THE DAY:

Kilbricken Storm   –  (1530 Stayers Hurdle),  1pts win,  14/1

The big race of the day will have punters willing with wallets and hearts for a win for Paisley Park.  We will cheer him home for his enthusiastic blind owner, but from a purely betting perspective he is a bit short in a decent field.  Faugheen could be a big danger and borders on value, but Kilbricken Storm’s big day came when winning the Albert Bartlett here last year (with Paisley Park well beaten), and with conditions moving in his favour he can represent excellent value.

REST OF THE CARD:

Defi Du Seuil   –   (1330 JLT Chase),  1pt win,   11/4

Defi and rival Lostintranslation have been trading blows all season and there should not be much between them here.  Lostintranslation fans will have welcomed the rain, but Defi still looks to have the fraction more class, and although he needs to time his challenge well, jockey Barry Gerraghty knows the drill and will stalk and pounce.

Sire De Berlais  –  (1410 Pertemps Final),   1pt win,  6/1

Ran a conspicuous qualification effort at Leopardstown, doing the bare minimum to qualify without doing much to damage his rating.  Ran well in the Martin Pipe here last year whilst looking more of a stayer and this race looks to be the culmination of a 12 month plan.

Frodon   –  (1450 – Ryanair Chase)  –  1pt win,  6/1

A cracking Ryanair Chase with plenty of classy contenders.  Jockey Bryony Frost gets on very well with Frodon and will doubtless give him her usual attacking front-running ride.  She will need to get her pace fractions right with so much quality stacked on her tail, but these conditions will play to his strong suit and he looks fair value.

Sirrah Du Lac   –  (1615 – Festival Plate)  –  1pt win,  8/1

Not much to choose between Janika and Sirrah Du Lac on January form here.  Sirrah just won a duel up the hill there and that gutsy staying effort may well be what is needed in what could be a gruelling test if run at the likely tear-away gallop.  Eamon An Cnoc appeals most of the outsiders, although this trip may be at the edge of his limits.

Indefatigable  –  (1650 – Mares Novice)  –  1pt each way,  33/1

Paul Webber’s mare has form with Posh Trish and ran the useful Lady Buttons close at Doncaster last time.  She has looked like a mare who would appreciate a stiffer test of stamina and should get that here.  May be finishing well when others have had enough, and there are enough doubts about the market leaders to anticipate a shock.

 

The Daily Yankee:

Defi Du Seuil   –   Sire De Berlais  –  Frodon  –  Speaker Connolly

 

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